How to beat the heat in August
You will find very little air-conditioning in the Netherlands. The reason is obvious, but then, when the summer turns out a tat more tropical, we suffer in our 30 degrees bedrooms, and we buy little electric fans en masse, so we can sit in front of them, and even though they make a lot of noise, they are sold out within three days, after which the heat wave normally ends and the fans are stacked in the attic where they collect dust till the next 3-day heat wave comes along. But what to do when the heat lingers? Here’s a little list of cool havens in Amsterdam, to escape to when temperatures keep rising.
Go see a movie
Anyone who’s ever backpacked and found themselves stuck in an Asian metropole knows the perfect answer for a blistering afternoon is a trip to the cinema. Cool, dark and comfy, no matter what movie is on, the cinema will give you a break from the heat and the light. Go to the bigger ones, like Pathé, to be certain of air conditioning.
Go take the metro
After years and years of construction, the Noord-Zuid-line has finally been added to Amsterdam’s metro network. Most locals will be happy to complain about everything that is wrong, ugly and unnecessary about it, but a smooth ride under the ground certainly beats riding a hot busy tram, with your head tucked in some stranger’s armpit.
Go see an expo
No better reason to get cultural than a merciless august sun beating down on a concrete jungle. Go for the big ones, find yourself a bench in a quiet room facing some challenging work, and don’t move for the rest of the afternoon, to reflect on what is in front of you, while slowly regaining an acceptable body temperature and likewise complexion.
Go read a magazine
It may not be your first choice to visit a library on a trip, bust a lot of libraries in big cities are architectural must-sees, and this is also the case of our Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam. The library was designed by Jo Coenen and it opened in 2007. It’s a modern and light building, with splendid views of both the IJ and the city. Grab an iced coffee and a stack of Time Magazines and catch up on your reading. The Coffee Company next to the OBA also has air conditioning.
Go have a drink
Some hotel bars will be air conditioned, try Volkshotel on the Wibautstraat, or The Hoxton on the Herengracht. Both attract hipsters and freelancers, so if you don’t mind them, order yourself a Fritz-Kola or a cold brew ( or a frozen Margarita I’d say) and enjoy the hubbub.