The cool younger brother of rock climbing, bouldering focuses on harness-free climbing on smaller rock formations (compared to traditional rock climbing) – making it a go-to sport at indoor artificial rock walls. Bouldering has been taking Europe by storm over the past few years, and Amsterdam is no different. Well, it is a little different – this is Amsterdam, after all.
Enter Het Lab in Amsterdam West. On top of the standard sessions, the bouldering hotspot boasts group training, one-on-one intensive lessons, weight-busting exercise classes and youth groups for the little ‘uns. But bouldering isn’t for everyone, so if you’re bringing Gran along, there’s yoga lessons, too.
Now, all that climbing and clambering will build up quite the appetite. Don’t worry, though: Het Lab’s restaurant has plenty of delectable meals on hand to help you recharge your batteries. And there’s a range of beers and wines available, too. Nothing gets rid of those first-timers’ sore forearms more than a nice cold one!
Transformatorweg 32, hetlabamsterdam.nl
Reclaimed from the sea back in 1976 (gotta love the Dutch), Almere – a 25-minute train ride from Amsterdam – is known among outdoor enthusiasts for its range of pedal-to-the-metal activities – particularly when it comes to water sports.
Cablepark Almere gives thrill-seeking visitors and locals an opportunity to zip along the stunning Weerwater Lake on water skis or a wakeboard. And thanks to the kilometre-long cable track, adrenaline junkies can fly across the water at speeds of up to 30 kilometres per hour. For veteran tricksters, this gives ample leeway for jumps, tricks and – of course – general showing off.
Yet, there’s plenty to do for beginners, as well. In addition to the dedicated training track, Cablepark Almere boasts a wakeboarding clinic and a kids’ clubs for youngsters looking to get into water skiing and wakeboarding.
Nearby is View Almere, where you can grab a bite and drink while taking in all the action on the lake. Turns out that witnessing people wipeout on the water is pretty good dinner entertainment.
Bergsmapad 1, cableparkalmere.nl
You can bungee jump in pretty much any major city in the world, but there’s something truly special about seeing the canal ring from over 50 metres above ground level – and then seeing it from 2 metres above ground level just five seconds later...
And that’s exactly what goes down at this exciting location, which also offers group jumps and team-building exercises. Located just opposite Central Station, Bungee Amsterdam gives the brave a chance to take a leap of faith off a restored crane in NDSM. There’s even a whirlpool on top of the crane. And did I mention the crane is a hotel, too? Only in Amsterdam…
Achterweg 11, bungeeamsterdam.com
Ah, paintballing: a sport that's all about teamwork, communication, leadership and focus – or just a great excuse to shoot your mate square in the chest with a satisfying splat of paint. Either way, look no further than the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area for a thrilling and authentic paintballing experience.
A 10-minute train ride away from Amsterdam, Spaarnwoude is an open oasis of grassland and woods, right next to the beautiful city of Haarlem. Naturally, this makes for one heck of a paintball arena. And with 12 battlefields on offer, one minute you'll be defending your hill from relentless attackers – and the next, you'll be rushing their base to capture that ever-illusive flag. Think Call of Duty but in real life (minus all that death and gore, of course).
If that's a bit too messy for you, the location also offers lasertag. And when all's said and done, there are BBQ facilities, so you and your team/opponents can chow down while reminiscing about your day of paintballing – or more likely, while having a heated debriefing about how that shot shouldn't have counted...
Genieweg 44, paintballspaarnwoude.nl
Skatepark Noord, the skate hotspot for the city’s most serious skateboarders, left the skate community completely stoked when it opened its doors last year. The sprawling 1,600-square-metre park boasts cutting-edge tech that allows the ramps and obstacles to be raised or lowered using hydraulic lifts, meaning that the park can be modified for any skateboarding occasion.
And the park really does make the most of these customisation options – especially at its dedicated skateboarding school (Dutch link). Skatepark Noord has already seen skate demos from the likes of the Nike SB team – as well as video-part debuts, late-night skates and the popular girls-only skate sessions.
Aambeeldstraat 12, gonoord.com
Discover more go-to skate spots in Amsterdam.