Exploring Amsterdam’s Beaches: A Guide to the City’s Coastal Retreats

Trade city streets for sandy retreats - Amsterdam's best beaches are closer than you think!

So, you thought Amsterdam was all about tulips, canals, and those famous coffeeshops, right? Well, let’s shake things up a bit. Just a quick train ride from the heart of the city, Amsterdam’s beaches are waiting with open arms.

Yet, these aren’t just any coastal beaches! Because let’s not forget that Amsterdam beaches are framed by the powerful North Sea, making them a haven for thrill-seekers and dreamers alike. So, before you get lost in the city’s coastal beaches, come along, and let’s explore what the city has to offer. From a fun party atmosphere and unending beaches to cultural happenings and volleyball equipment – these beaches offer it all! Trust me, you’ll be booking tickets by the time we’re done!

Larissa-Circle-Loving-New-York
The most famous beach

The beach in Amsterdam

Zandvoort aan Zee is known as THE beach of Amsterdam. It is the most famous and most visited beach by tourists and residents of Amsterdam. It is easily accessible by bus, train, and car and you can enjoy a walk on the fine sandy beach at any time of the year.

Discover the Best Beaches in and around Amsterdam

From Zandvoort’s wide sandy expanses to the charming cultural village Wijk aan Zee, there’s more to Amsterdam’s surroundings than meets the eye. Whether you’re drawn to a family-friendly beach resort, the allure of beachside bars, or captivating art exhibitions, the region promises a coastal haven for every kind of traveler. So, without further ado, here are the best Amsterdam beaches:

  1. 01

    Zandvoort aan Zee: Amsterdam’s Popular Seaside Resort

    Beach in North Holland
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    Zandvoort Beach
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    Often referred to as Amsterdam Beach due to its close proximity to the Dutch capital, Zandvoort aan Zee really draws summer crowds. Yet, this shouldn’t come as a surprise because Zandvoort isn’t a secluded getaway; it’s a vibrant escape where city-dwellers flock for a slice of North Sea magic. And why not? With an array of beach pavilions, bustling restaurants, and iconic beach clubs that seamlessly transition from daytime dining spots to nocturnal party hubs, Zandvoort Beach offers an exhilarating blend of sun, sand, and surf.

    Reaching Zandvoort Beach from Amsterdam:

    A mere 30 km separation means a swift 40-minute drive or an equally quick journey via the Sprinter train, making this beach a convenient coastal escape.

    Recommended Activities:

    • Swimming: Zandvoort’s shallow waters beckon swimmers, and with the ability to rent chairs, it’s a prime spot for both relaxation and play.
    • Beach Clubs: Beyond sunbathing, Zandvoort’s beach clubs offer world-class live music and a fun party atmosphere, evolving from daytime seafood delights to nighttime dance venues.

    It’s also worth mentioning that Zandvoort is most lively in the summer season, but visiting off-season promises serene beach moments without the usual crowds.

  2. 02

    StrandZuid: The City Beach Oasis

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    While many top beaches lean into Amsterdam’s coastal vibes, StrandZuid offers something a bit different. Tucked away in the picturesque Beatrix Park in South Amsterdam, this city beach gives you that genuine beach vacation feel right in the midst of the city centre.

    Getting to StrandZuid:

    With its heart in Amsterdam, StrandZuid is a short journey from any city point. For example, from Amsterdam Centraal, it’s a 10-minute ride on Metro line 52. Or you could always take a quintessentially Dutch bike ride that will get you to the beachside in about 20 minutes.

    Top Activities to Try:

    • Relaxation: With its sandy shores bordering a serene lake, StrandZuid provides an ideal backdrop for sun-lovers and swimmers alike. And if a change of scenery is needed, Beatrix Park’s hiking trails await.
    • Culinary Delight: This city beach rivals its coastal counterparts with its vibrant food scene. In fact, the park’s own waterside restaurant, coupled with nearby multicultural eateries, ensures taste buds are always on a delightful journey.

    Whether it’s for a refreshing swim or a serene waterside stroll, StrandZuid, with its blend of urban charm and natural beauty, stands as a year-round haven for city dwellers and tourists.

  3. 03

    Castricum aan Zee: An Unspoiled Coastal Gem

    City in North Holland
    Castricum aan Zee
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    While a lot of beaches near Amsterdam are connected to a charming cultural village, Castricum aan Zee stands alone. Its main draw? A vast stretch of sandy shore dotted with a few cool beach bars. After all, isn’t that the true heart of a beach escape? Yet, regardless of what we think, the steady stream of visitors each year certainly seems to say so.

    Reaching Castricum aan Zee from Amsterdam:

    Situated north of Wijk along the North Sea coast, the neighbouring village of Castricum is approximately 36 km from Amsterdam’s heart. A 40-minute car ride or a 30-minute train journey to Castricum Station will get you there.

    Must-Do Activities:

    • Beach Vibes: The real draw here is the pristine beach. But just because it’s not linked to a village doesn’t mean it’s missing any comforts. Whether you want to take a dip, lounge on the shore, or take a peaceful beach stroll, it’s all here.
    • Museum House Hilde: As for Museum House Hilde in Castricum? It provides a fascinating trip through the Dutch historical narrative, spanning from ancient settlements to the present day. And trust me, the ancient ship display is especially captivating.

    In essence, Castricum aan Zee captures the unadulterated beauty of the coast, making it a must-visit when you’re looking for the best beaches in Amsterdam.

  4. 04

    Pllek: Urban Beach Meets Cultural Hotspot

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    An urban beach with a twist, Pllek effortlessly fuses the serene ambiance of a waterfront with the energetic buzz of a cultural center. Set within the NDSM Wharf, Pllek’s creative use of industrial shipping containers crafts a unique beachside environment.

    Getting to Pllek:

    Pllek is just a quick ferry ride away from Amsterdam’s Central Station. As you approach, prepare for panoramic views of Amsterdam’s River IJ, set against the city’s iconic skyline. This isn’t just a journey; it’s an introduction to a waterside masterpiece.

    Why Visit Pllek:

    • A Perfect Blend: Whether it’s the sun-soaked sandy stretches or the striking skyline views of Amsterdam, Pllek delivers an unparalleled beach experience.
    • Cultural Enrichment: Home to art exhibitions, music performances, and various cultural events, it’s more than just a beach.
    • Pllek Restaurant: A favorite for locals, this under-the-radar restaurant serves sustainable tapas-style dishes complemented by a variety of beers and mouth-watering burgers. Weekends here see an influx of locals, all keen on savoring the serene beachfront and taking a refreshing dip in the River IJ.

    If the allure of an urban beach, set against the backdrop of Amsterdam’s rich cultural tapestry, entices you, Pllek is the place to be! Once you’ve seen it, you’ll understand why so many people consider it one of Amsterdam’s best beaches.

  5. 05

    IJmuiden: Adventure Meets History on this Sandy Beach

    City in North Holland
    IJmuiden
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    Located right at the gateway of the North Sea Canal, where Amsterdam’s border meets the ocean’s vastness, IJmuiden is more than just another Amsterdam beach. Not only is it lauded as one of the premier beaches in Amsterdam, but it’s also a hotspot for water sports enthusiasts. Here, adrenaline and relaxation don’t just coexist; they dance together.

    Travel to IJmuiden from Amsterdam:

    Only 30 km from Amsterdam’s centre, IJmuiden is easily accessible, be it a quick 30-minute drive or a scenic journey combining train and bus.

    Highlights to Experience at this Amsterdam beach:

    • Water Sports Galore: Renowned as Amsterdam’s best beach for water sports, IJmuiden is a hub for surfing lessons, kayaking, and paddleboarding. With numerous beachside bars and water sports centres around, you can hire equipment or enjoy a refreshment on a beer terrace.
    • Forteiland IJmuiden: This UNESCO World Heritage Site island fortress, constructed in the 1880s and significant during WWII, serves as a testament to Dutch military history.
  6. 06

    Strand Blijburg: Amsterdam’s Vibrant Artificial Beach

    Beach in Amsterdam
    Strand Blijburg
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    Amidst Amsterdam’s array of coastal offerings, Strand Blijburg stands out for its unique charm. This city beach boasts an artificial sandbar extending into the River IJ, providing an inviting urban oasis. Easily accessible by tram from Centraal station, it strikes a perfect balance between convenience and a beachside escape. Whether you’re in search of relaxation or entertainment, Strand Blijburg offers a welcoming atmosphere for all.

    Getting to Strand Blijburg:

    To reach Strand Blijburg from Amsterdam’s city center, simply hop on a tram at Centraal station, and within a short ride, you’ll arrive at this bustling urban beach.

    Highlights:

    • Cultural and Musical Extravaganza: The beach ensures you’re entertained with various cultural happenings and world-class live music.
    • Adventurous Sports: From kite surfing to sailing, adrenaline junkies have plenty to engage in. And for those seeking a serene experience, the wide sandy beach with an iconic red shovel and sand sculptures is perfect.
    • Safety First: The official swimming spot, complete with a lifeguard, ensures a fun and safe day for families.

    So, if you visit Strand Blijburg, you’re in for a delightful blend of cultural entertainment, thrilling sports, and a safe, family-friendly beach environment.

  7. 07

    Noordwijk aan Zee: Where Chic Meets Tradition

    Beach in North Holland
    Noordwijk aan Zee
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    Noordwijk aan Zee beautifully combines traditional Dutch life with a touch of modernity. This popular seaside resort town offers a wide range of experiences, from the lively beach clubs exuding Bali vibes to the quaint charm of the neighboring village.

    Traveling to Noordwijk:

    To reach Noordwijk aan Zee from the city center, you can take a car journey that will get you there in approximately 40 minutes. Alternatively, you can use public transportation by taking a train from Amsterdam to Leiden and then transferring to a bus that will take you directly to Noordwijk aan Zee, which may take around an hour.

    Highlights:

    • Golf and Museums: Amidst the scenic masterpiece of beautiful dunes, the Noordwijkse Golfclub offers a world-class experience. Moreover, museums like the Museum of Comic Art and Museum Engelandvaarders provide cultural insights right by the beach.
    • Beach Clubs and Festivals: Party from dusk till dawn in some of the best beach clubs in Amsterdam. And if you visit during July and August, the Levende Beelden Festival is a must-see, where performers morph into living statues.
    • Flower Fields and Beach Bars: Known for its picturesque flower fields, Noordwijk provides a serene backdrop to unwind, complemented by the beachside bars where you can sample local brews.

    In all, Noordwijk aan Zee harmoniously blends the essence of traditional Dutch life with contemporary chic, making it a unique and captivating coastal destination near Amsterdam.

  8. 08

    Bloemendaal: Amsterdam's Party Hub on the North Sea Coast

    Beach in North Holland
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    Nestled between IJmuiden and Zandvoort, Bloemendaal is a small beachfront strip that stands out with its expansive sandy shores and crashing waves. Renowned for its vibrant nightlife, it’s a haven for party enthusiasts during the summer months.

    Accessing this Amsterdam Beach:

    Located about a 30-40 minute drive from the heart of Amsterdam, visitors can also conveniently reach Bloemendaal via the Sprinter train within a similar time frame.

    Activity Recommendations:

    • Beach Clubs: Experience the electrifying nightlife reminiscent of Ibiza without leaving the Netherlands. Clubs like Woodstock69 and Vroeger are prime spots for dancing and enjoying live music.
    • National Park Zuid-Kennemerland: Positioned between Zandvoort and IJmuiden, this park offers serene trails amidst sand dunes, presenting an opportunity to witness the region’s unique wildlife.
    • Haarlem: On the route to Bloemendaal from Amsterdam, a stopover in Haarlem provides a chance to enjoy a genuine Dutch city vibe enriched with art, dining, and cultural events sans the usual tourist crowds.

    To put it simply, if you’re looking for a beach that combines summer sun, sand, and nightlife for a memorable beach escape near Amsterdam – then Bloemendaal is what you want!

  9. 09

    Sloterplas: Amsterdam's Refreshing Oasis

    Beach in Amsterdam
    Sloterplas Strand
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    Sloterplas, one of Amsterdam’s most expansive beaches, features pristine sandy shores, designated safe swimming areas, sun lounger rentals, and ample shaded spots. But would you believe that this great beach is located in the Leafy Nieuw West Neighbourhood? It’s true! Despite being located within the city, it’s still one of the best beaches in Amsterdam to visit.

    Travel Distance from Amsterdam:

    You can easily reach Sloterplas by taking a short tram or bus ride from Amsterdam’s city center. The Nieuw-West neighborhood, where Sloterplas is located, is well-connected to the heart of Amsterdam, making it a convenient destination for both locals and visitors.

    Activity Recommendations:

    • Sailing and Water Sports: The lake’s refreshing water makes it ideal for various water activities. Furthermore, a nearby sailing school and water sports centre allow visitors to enroll for lessons or hire equipment.
    • Recreational Activities: The beach is a blend of sandy and grassy areas. During the summer, amenities like chair rentals, volleyball setups, and food trucks enhance the experience.
    • Nearby Attractions: Besides the beach, the surrounding park trails and bike paths offer more recreation. And while swimming, be cautious of the lake’s steep drop-off, marked by buoys.

    As you can see, Sloterplas offers a perfect escape from the bustling city, providing a refreshing oasis just a short ride away from Amsterdam’s center. Whether you’re into water sports, leisurely beach days, or exploring the surrounding natural beauty, Sloterplas has something for everyone.

  10. 10

    Buitenzwembad Marineterrein: The City's Hidden Gem for Summer Dips

    Beach in Amsterdam
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    Though not traditionally a beach, Buitenzwembad Marineterrein offers a distinctive swimming experience. Its intriguing coastlines, coupled with floating pontoons, make it a favored spot for the locals, especially during the sunny days of summer.

    Travel Distance from Amsterdam:

    Getting to Buitenzwembad Marineterrein from Amsterdam is a breeze, as this hidden gem is centrally situated within the city, making it easily reachable for urban residents and visitors alike.

    Activity Recommendations:

    • Floating Pontoons: Initially an off-the-beaten-path swimming spot, the council enhanced the location by installing these pontoons. Now, during sunny days, they’re crowded with swimmers seeking relief from the heat.
    • Safe Dips: Though it hasn’t received official approval as a designated swimming spot, many visitors and locals still choose to take a dive. The location presents the ambiance of a hidden oasis.
    • Harbour Views: While there, don’t miss the picturesque views of the harbor, which accentuates the serene atmosphere, making it a perfect escape within the city.

    If you’re yearning for a unique beach holiday in the heart of Amsterdam, Buitenzwembad Marineterrein is an off-the-radar place that’s perfect for you to explore.

  11. 11

    Wijk aan zee: A Coastal Gem Offering Sandy Shores and Surfing Paradise

    Beach in North Holland
    Wijk aan zee
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    Wijk aan Zee is not just a popular beach resort; it’s a coastal haven offering the broadest sandy shores in the Netherlands. Paired with its culturally rich village, it’s an idyllic blend of relaxation and traditional Dutch charm. And did I mention that this place is home to the most coastal beaches in Amsterdam?

    Travel Distance from Amsterdam:

    Positioned opposite the North Sea Canal from IJmuiden, Wijk aan Zee can be reached by car in approximately 40 minutes from Amsterdam. Opting for public transport might extend the journey to nearly an hour.

    Activity Recommendations:

    • Beach Activities: Famed for its surfing potential, Wijk aan Zee is a surfer’s delight. Even if surfing isn’t on your agenda, the beach’s pristine water clarity promises an enjoyable swim. Visitors can rent chairs, bask in the sun, fly kites, or simply take a leisurely stroll.
    • Village Exploration: Nestled amidst sand dunes, the village of Wijk aan Zee exudes traditional Dutch vibes. It’s dotted with inviting restaurants, unique shops, and quaint art galleries. A walk through this village feels like a journey back in time, immersing visitors in authentic Dutch culture.

    For those in search of the Netherlands’ broadest sandy beaches, epic surfing experiences, and a dash of traditional Dutch allure, Wijk aan Zee is the perfect coastal destination.

Visit Amsterdam’s Beaches with the Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket

This versatile intercity and public transportation pass is your key to hassle-free exploration. Whether you’re intrigued by historic villages, picturesque landscapes, or Dutch culture, this ticket offers unlimited travel, including GVB services, regional buses operated by Connexxion and EBS, and NS trains in the Amsterdam region.

Amsterdam Regional Travel TicketWhat sets it apart? Flexibility. You can select 1, 2, or 3 consecutive days, catering to quick getaways or extended regional adventures. Purchasing and using the ticket is a breeze, with easy online acquisition and convenient activation upon first use.

Notably, it’s perfect for exploring Amsterdam’s beaches like Zandvoort and IJmuiden. These destinations, beloved by visitors and locals alike, are just an hour away by bus or train and are seamlessly accessible with the Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket.

Unlock the treasures of Amsterdam and its surroundings effortlessly – get your ticket, and embark on a journey that goes beyond the city’s boundaries.

BUY Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket

Amsterdam Beach Tour to Haarlem and Zandvoort

Embark on a delightful day trip tour from Amsterdam, exploring Haarlem’s charming historical sites and cultural attractions. Experience river cruises, flower markets, and more in this compact yet captivating city. Then, breathe in the fresh sea air and stroll along the stunning sandy beaches of Zandvoort, one of the Netherlands’ oldest seaside resorts.

Zandvoort

The first bathhouse here opened in 1828, drawing celebrities and remaining a popular beach destination. Convenient bus access, free Wi-Fi on board, and wheelchair accessibility make this journey hassle-free. Embrace the beauty of Haarlem and the North Sea, all in one day.

  • Validity: Your bus ticket is 100% flexible, during the day you can use it as often and as often as you like.
  • Departure:  Bus 80 leaves from various bus stations in Amsterdam (Busstation Elandsgracht, Rozengracht, Gillis van Ledenberchstraat, De Rijpgracht, Charlotte de Bourbonstraat, Bos en Lommerweg, Egidiusstraat, Bos en Lommerplein, Burgemeester de Vlugtlaan, Burgemeester Fockstraat, Plein ’40 – ’45)
  •  Arrive: Bus 80 continues to various tourist stops such as the center of Haarlem and the center of Zandvoort (5 minutes walk from Zandvoort beach).

Book Amsterdam’s Beaches Bus Tour

Tips for enjoying the beaches in Amsterdam

While Amsterdam’s beaches may not rival tropical paradises, they certainly have a charm of their own. To ensure you make the most of your sandy escapades in this bustling city, here are some key tips:

  • Timing is Everything: Early mornings or late afternoons are typically less crowded. So, if you’re keen on a peaceful experience, try to avoid the midday rush. Conversely, if you’re looking to mingle and revel in the energy, noon is your cue.
  • Pack Wisely, but Lightly: Sure, a sun hat, sunscreen, and a good book are essentials. However, many beaches are accessible via cycling paths, and you wouldn’t want to be weighed down. Remember, many beachside establishments offer rentals for chairs and umbrellas.
  • Dive into Local Delicacies: Beach clubs and cafes serve up some scrumptious treats. Don’t pass up the opportunity to try local snacks or beverages; they often provide a unique taste of Dutch seaside culture.
  • Stay Informed on Swim Safety: Not all spots are official swimming areas. Before taking a dip, ensure you’re in a designated zone. Paying heed to warning signs and buoy markers will ensure your safety and prevent any unwanted surprises.
  • Respect the Environment: It might sound cliché, but it’s crucial. Whether it’s not leaving trash behind or avoiding trampling protected dune areas, being conscious of your footprint makes a difference.
  • Engage in Local Activities: From kite flying to joining in on a friendly beach volleyball match, participating in local activities will not only enhance your beach experience but also introduce you to some of the city’s vibrant culture.

Armed with these tips, you’re all set to enjoy Amsterdam’s beaches to the fullest. Whether you’re lounging with a drink in hand on a beach holiday or exploring the dunes, there’s no doubt you’ll have a memorable time.

FAQs: Amsterdam's Beaches

Should I go to the beach in Amsterdam?

Absolutely, visiting the beaches in Amsterdam is a delightful experience, especially during the summer. Amsterdam offers a diverse range of coastal destinations, each with its own unique charm. Whether you’re looking for a lively beach club scene, a tranquil escape with pristine sandy shores, or a blend of traditional Dutch life and modernity, Amsterdam has it all. The best beaches in Amsterdam provide a perfect opportunity to relax, enjoy water sports, and soak up the sun while immersing yourself in the Dutch coastal culture.

How far is Amsterdam from the beach?

The distance from Amsterdam to the nearest beaches varies depending on the beach you choose. Generally, the closest beaches to Amsterdam, with one such beach, such as Zandvoort and Bloemendaal, are located about 30 to 40 kilometers (approximately 19 to 25 miles) away from the city center. You can reach these beaches within a 30 to 40-minute drive or take a quick train ride, making them easily accessible for a day trip or a relaxing seaside getaway from Amsterdam’s urban hustle and bustle.

What is the closest beach to Amsterdam city?

The closest beach to Amsterdam city is Zandvoort aan Zee. Zandvoort is often referred to as “Amsterdam Beach” due to its proximity to the Dutch capital. It’s conveniently located just about 30 kilometers (approximately 19 miles) away from the city center. You can easily reach Zandvoort from Amsterdam by car, train, or bus within a short travel time, making it a popular choice for both locals and visitors looking for a quick escape to the popular seaside resort town.

Can you swim in beaches in Amsterdam?

Yes, you can swim in the beaches in Amsterdam. Amsterdam has several beautiful beaches along its coastline, and swimming is a popular activity during the summer months. The water quality at these beaches is generally good, and there are designated swimming areas with safety measures in place. It’s important to pay attention to any posted signs and follow local guidelines to ensure a safe and enjoyable swimming experience in Amsterdam’s beaches.

What are some good places for an evening walk on the beach in Amsterdam, Netherlands?

Amsterdam boasts several beautiful beaches along its coastline, making a visit to the beach a worthwhile experience. You can escape the city’s hustle and bustle and enjoy the North Sea’s refreshing waters. Whether you’re looking for lively beach clubs, water sports, or a tranquil sunset stroll, Amsterdam’s beaches offer a diverse range of activities and atmospheres to suit your preferences. Don’t miss the chance to relax and unwind by the sea during your Amsterdam adventure.

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About the author

Das Reisen ist meine große Leidenschaft. Ich liebe es, die Wanderwege in Rio de Janeiro zu erkunden, die besten Strände in Miami zu entdecken, die ältesten Museen in Rom zu besuchen und noch die besten Gerichte in Paris zu verkosten.

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