6 beaches near Amsterdam: Where to go for sun, sand, and surf

Published by: BouncePosted
Beaches near Amsterdam

It's no wonder that Amsterdam is one of Europe's most visited cities. With spectacular cultural attractions like the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum, fascinating historical monuments, and one of the most unique café cultures in the world, Amsterdam offers just about everything you need to enjoy a great vacation. Including a beach.

It's often forgotten that Amsterdam is a port city, and it's rarely people's first choice for a beach holiday. After all, the North Sea is not the Caribbean, and the weather in Amsterdam can often be cold, wet, and windy. But in this sea-level country, the nearest beach resort is never far away. Summer does indeed come to the Netherlands every year, and when it does, the best Amsterdam beaches can give you a taste of the seaside life without straying too far.

Drop off your bags at a luggage storage in Amsterdam and check out some of the best beaches the city has to offer. As well as the occasional city beach, beaches near Amsterdam offer a great way to explore more of this beautiful country and recharge your batteries at beach clubs and coastal beaches outside the city.

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Amsterdam city beaches


Many of the beaches near Amsterdam take advantage of the city's proximity to the coast. But StrandZuid isn't most coastal beaches. If you want to enjoy a taste of the beach life without leaving the city itself, you have multiple options, but this is one of the best beaches in Amsterdam itself, and definitely worth checking out if you want to stay local.

Travel distance from Amsterdam

Zero. This beach is located in beautiful Beatrix Park in South Amsterdam, and depending on where you're staying in the city, you may even be able to walk to it. If not, you can reach the beach from Amsterdam Centraal Station in about 10 minutes on Metro line 52, or do like the Dutch do and bike there in about 20 minutes. If you've ever wanted to take a beach holiday in the center of a major European city, this is your chance.

Activity recommendations

Beach: StrandZuid offers a sandy beach on the shore of a lake that makes it one of the best beaches in the city. This Amsterdam beach is a great place to swim in the refreshing freshwater or stretch out on the sand and soak up the summer sun. The park itself also features numerous hiking trails where you can stretch your legs if you want to take a break from the beach.

Food: Because it's located in the city, this Amsterdam beach offers a food scene that very few of the admittedly beautiful beaches on the coast can compare with. There is a beautiful waterside restaurant in the park itself and just a short walk outside the park, you'll find tons of different cuisines from around the world in this lively and multicultural area.

You don't have to swim to take advantage of this great beach, and at any time of year, you'll find the park packed with city dwellers enjoying the waterside environment. Since it's located right in the city, StrandZuid makes a great place to visit at any time of year if you just want to decompress and recharge your batteries in the natural environment.

Zandvoort Beach near Amsterdam

Zandvoort Beach

Styling itself as Amsterdam Beach because of its proximity to the city, Zandvoort aan Zee is hardly the place to come if you want to avoid crowds. This popular seaside resort town is packed with city-dwellers in the summer looking to cool off in the waters of the North Sea. Then again, that's not necessarily a bad thing. If you're looking for a beach resort with great amenities like restaurants, beach clubs, beach pavilions, and lively nightlife, Zandvoort Beach might be exactly what you're after.

Travel distance from Amsterdam

On the shores of the North Sea, Zandvoort Beach is only about 30 km from the heart of the city. You can reach Zandvoort aan Zee with a drive of about 40 minutes. You can also get there by public transit in about the same amount of time by taking the Sprinter train straight to the coast.

Activity recommendations

Swimming: The shallow water at this Amsterdam beach makes it one of the best beaches for swimming. You can also rent umbrellas and sun loungers to stake out your perfect spot to enjoy the coastline. The water here is never exactly warm, but on a hot day, it does offer a great way to refresh yourself, and you can always warm up again by sunbathing on this family-friendly beach.

Beach clubs: Amsterdam Beach is legendary for its beach clubs. By day, many of these beach clubs operate as restaurants where you can get great seafood and other tasty snacks, but at night, they transform into lively nightclubs where the party keeps going until the early hours of the morning. While that doesn't make the most relaxing beach vacation, it is a wonderful option for those who like to party.

Zandvoort is an absolutely bustling place in the summer season, but off-season, many of the clubs and restaurants close down. That's not necessarily a bad thing. Outside of the summer season, Zandvoort gets quiet and becomes a great place to enjoy some peace and tranquility without straying too far from the city.

IJmuiden Beach


Another of the top beaches in Amsterdam, IJmuiden is not some off-the-radar place but instead a hugely popular beach well-known in the area for water sports. Located right at the mouth of the North Sea Canal that connects Amsterdam to the ocean, IJmuiden is packed with things to do. If you're looking for the best beaches in Amsterdam for adventure and sport, IJmuiden is easy to reach and great for fun activities.

Travel distance from Amsterdam

At only around 30 km from the city, you can reach the beach at IJmuiden with a drive of only 30 minutes or so. You can also get there by a combination of train and bus, which will take a little over an hour.

Activity recommendations

Water sports: The most popular water sports destination of any of the beaches in Amsterdam, IJmuiden is the perfect place for surfing, paddleboarding, kayaking, and other aquatic activities. There are also plenty of companies in the area that will rent you equipment or provide classes so you can learn a new skill. As with all the beaches in Amsterdam, the water is cold, but wetsuits can be provided to keep the chill away while you engage in some exciting sports.

Forteiland IJmuiden: Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this island fortress was built back in the 1880s. Utilized during World War II, the fortress is now a monument to Dutch military history and can be visited on open days throughout the year. It's a unique place to take a break from beach life and explore a little more of the history of the Netherlands while you're in the area.

Bloemendaal Beach near Amsterdam


The third of the beaches on the North Sea coast nearest Amsterdam, Bloemandaal offers the same endless sand and rolling waves as IJmuiden and Zandvoort. And like those resorts, Bloemendaal is an excellent place to come for nightlife during the summer. In fact, this may be the best beach in Amsterdam if you want to party the night away.

Travel distance from Amsterdam

Around a 30-minute to 40-minute drive from Amsterdam, Bloemendaal can also be reached on the Sprinter train in about the same amount of time.

Activity recommendations

Beach clubs: Some of the region's best beach clubs offer a fun party atmosphere for city dwellers who want a taste of the Ibiza party scene without going too far from the Dutch capital. Often featuring world-class live music, clubs like Woodstock69 and Vroeger provide incredible places to dance the night away and party with locals and visitors alike. Summer in Bloemendaal offers one of the best party scenes in the whole of the Netherlands, so if you want to meet new people, enjoy incredible music, or just dance till you drop, this is the place to do it.

National Park Zuid-Kennemerland: This area of protected sand dunes stretches from Zandvoort to IJmuiden, with Bloemendaal right in the middle. That makes it the ideal location to take a walk through the hiking trails and encounter the unique ecology and wildlife of this region. With plenty of walking routes and cycle paths, this is a great place to get some tranquility away from the busy beach and its famous club scene.

Haarlem: To reach Bloemendaal from Amsterdam, you'll need to pass through the city of Haarlem anyway, so you may as well explore while you're there. Haarlem looks very much like Amsterdam minus the tourist crowds, so it's a great place to tour if you want to soak up the atmosphere of a real Dutch city and enjoy art exhibitions, great restaurants, and cultural happenings in an underrated city

Wijk aan Zee near Amsterdam

Wijk aan Zee

Offering the widest sand beach in the Netherlands, this family-friendly coastal spot has managed to remain something of a hidden gem. Along with the beautiful beach, Wijk aan Zee offers a charming cultural village where you can sample traditional Dutch life, making this an exceptional place to get away from it all and relax on your beach vacation.

Travel distance from Amsterdam

Sitting on the other side of the North Sea Canal from IJmuiden, Wijk can be reached from central Amsterdam by car in around 40 minutes. Public transportation will take closer to an hour.

Activity recommendations

Beach: The crashing waves of Wijk make it one of the best beaches in Amsterdam for surfing. You don't need to struggle into a wetsuit and grab a board to enjoy this beautiful beach. There is excellent water clarity here that makes it great for swimming, and you can rent chairs, stretch out on the sand, fly a kite, or go for walk while enjoying traditional Dutch beach life.

Explore the village: This traditional village sits among sand dunes and is a lovely place to explore. Full of great restaurants, quirky stores, and tiny galleries hosting art exhibitions, this friendly and hospitable place feels much further from Amsterdam than it really is. Spend some time in the village, and you'll be getting a great taste of authentic Dutch life on your seaside break.

Best beaches near Amsterdam

Castricum aan Zee

Unlike most coastal beaches near Amsterdam, Castricum isn't part of a village, so the only reason to come here is to enjoy the popular beach resort with its cool beach bars and sandy beach. Still, isn't that enough? The thousands of visitors who come here from the city every year certainly seem to think so.

Travel distance from Amsterdam

North of Wijk but occupying a spot on the same North Sea coast, Castricum is about 36 km from central Amsterdam and can be reached in about 40 minutes by car. Castricum Station can be reached by train from central Amsterdam in around 30 minutes.

Activity recommendations

Beach: Without a village supporting it, the beach is the main attraction here. But don't think that means you won't find amenities. This coastal resort is popular enough that many beach bars, food trucks, and other businesses have sprung up in the area to profit from holidaymakers. Take a swim in the sea, stretch out on the sand with a good book, or take a long walk and enjoy this relatively unspoiled coastal destination.

Museum House Hilde: In Castricum itself, this archaeological museum makes use of interactive exhibits to bring the remote past to life. Learn about the entire history of the Netherlands from the first human occupation up to the present day. Don't miss the ancient ship that is a highlight of this intriguing museum.


You don't have to travel very far from Amsterdam to have a great time on the beach. But there's enough to do at these coastal resorts that they could easily be the focus of a great weekend trip from Amsterdam. And in a city not known for its affordability, some of the more unspoiled beaches offer great free things to do in Amsterdam as well if you're traveling to the Dutch capital on a budget.

Drop off your bags at a convenient luggage storage and head to the beach whenever you need a break from the busy city. If nothing else, you'll be able to relax and head back to Amsterdam ready for more exploration of this incredible city.

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