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Discover Amsterdam
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Canal view with bike
Image from Koen Smilde

Nature and active in the Oostelijke Eilanden

The Oostelijke Eilanden can also be considered as one giant outdoor playground surrounded by water. Within the neighbourhood, you’ll find superb outdoor swimming spots, lush modern parks and plenty of adventure activities to keep you active.


Bogortuin outdoor swimming spot on Javaeiland
Image from Koen Smilde

In a neighbourhood surrounded by water, you will of course find plenty of outdoor swimming locations. On sunny days, Bogortuin on Java Island is one of the most popular places to take a dip. Find a spot in the shade on the large lawn, take the picnic basket and a rug with you and make an afternoon of it. As you’re swimming you can enjoy the spectacular views of the quirky buildings, iconic canals and photogenic bridges.


Take the boat to one of Amsterdam’s top hidden gems: Vuurtoreneiland. This uninhabited island is a unique piece of nature, just off the shore of the city centre in the middle of the IJmeer. On it, you’ll find roaming animals, rare plants, a dilapidated fortress and Amsterdam's only lighthouse. There’s a year-round restaurant that serves seasonal produce and ingredients grown from the island's very own greenhouse. Note: you have to make a reservation to get to the island; you can't moor your own boat there.

Borneo Island

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On hot days, you’ll find another superb place to cool off at Borneo Island. Head to the jetty of the Entrepothaven where you can sunbathe on your towel or take a dip in the water. If it's not warm enough to swim, then why not take a walk around the stunning modern architecture of the area? The 90-meter-long Python Bridge meanders over the water like a snake.


People sitting on the terrace of Pension Homeland at the Marineterrein
Image from Pension Homeland

In the 17th century, the Marineterrein was built for the large VOC ships. Today, the area is teeming with cool waterside hangouts, designated swimming spots and cultural spaces. Swing over to Brewery Homeland for delicious beers with fantastic views over the water or tuck into some bang-up grub at Kanteen25 and Scheepskameel. There is a superb designated swimming area with stunning views over the Maritime Museum and the docked VOC ship replica. It's also traditionally the starting point for Amsterdam City Swim - a charity sports event which takes place each August.

Wind ‘n Wheels

If you like that windswept look, then you should try racing along the sand in a land yacht or kite buggy. Located on Zeeburgereiland to the east of the city, Wind ‘n Wheels will help to get your pulse racing with a session of land sailing (also known as ‘blokarting’). You’ll experience the same acceleration and g forces as you would on a go-kart, but the big twist is that your vessel is totally wind-powered. Other activities on-site include electro-cross and archery tag.