Explore the charming beach towns

ijmuiden amsterdam beach huts

Dotted along the coastline, the charming beach towns of IJmuiden, Bloemendaal or Zandvoort make for a refreshing place to take a stroll. Typically Dutch - there’s even a word for it, uitwaaien, meaning ‘to walk in the wind’ - is visiting the beach on a windy, slightly cold day and going for a long walk. Alternatively start your day with a brisk dip in the ocean - you will come back feeling relaxed and completely refreshed.

Learn about the region's fishing and shipping industry

IJmuiden harbour amsterdam beachThe cycle from Zandvoort to IJmuiden takes about an hour, or there is a handy train. As one of the biggest fishing harbours in Western Europe, IJmuiden has a strong connection to the sea. Learn more about the region’s maritime activities at SHIP or the IJmuider Sea and Harbour Museum.

Check out some contemporary art in an old fort

A little further afield but also well worth a visit is Kunstfort by Vijfhuizen, a former military fort which was once part of Amsterdam’s Defence Line. This unique space is now used as a contemporary art centre with various exhibitions and film screenings on the agenda, along with an on-site restaurant.

Indulge in Michelin-starred dining

De Bokkedoorns If you fancy treating yourself to some top-notch grub, the area is home to a wealth of restaurants and bars to suit all budgets. Located in the beautiful dunes outside Zandvoort, De Bokkedoorns has a surprisingly relaxed atmosphere considering it boasts two Michelin stars. Seasonal ingredients are prepared with care and imagination offering both an escape from the city and a culinary adventure.

Stay overnight in a historic lighthouse

Seinpoststelling Amsterdam BeachFor an extra flourish to your trip, why not book an unforgettable night’s stay? For many years the Seinpoststelling served as a lighthouse for the harbour of IJmuiden. It now houses a cosily furnished sleeping spot with a spectacular view of the sea and passing boats. Have a read of our accommodation guide for more tips on where to rest your head for the evening.

Explore historic military bunkers

Amsterdam Beach forteiland IjmuidenAlso in IJmuiden, the Bunker Museum is housed in a German bunker from WWII and is the starting point for fascinating walking tours through the area. At the mouth of the North Sea Canal you'll also find Forteiland IJmuiden, an impressive fortress dating back to 1880. A walk around the grounds reveals unique artefacts, varying from a German soldier’s bottle to a submarine for two.

Tuck into culinary surprises

Hokkai Kitechen Amsterdam BeachUnwind and refuel at one the many restaurants along the promenade, or enjoy the sea view at Zilt aan Zee IJmuiden. For more adventurous foodies, Hokkai Kitchen in IJmuiden serves up delicious Japanese grilled fish and sushi dishes. You’ll find it among the warehouses at IJmuiden harbour, with fresh fish and carefully selected rice, nori and shoyu coming together at the chef’s table.

Take an electric bike tour

Amsterdam Beach cycling Nationaal Park ZuidKennemerland

Anyone looking to explore everything Amsterdam Beach has to offer should absolutely look into bike hire or an electric bike tour. Dutch Pedelec Tours allow visitors to cycle with ease through the stunning dune landscape and they even offer route maps and professional guides. You'll find numerous cycle paths through the area - check out these cycleseeing itineraries for more inspiration. The Amsterdam Beach area is easily accessible by bike or train from Amsterdam.

Watch the sun go down from a relaxing terrace

San Blas Amsterdam Beach

End your day with a cold drink and a perfect sunset in one of the many trendy beach clubs along the coast. The San Blas pavilion in Bloemendaal is open year-round with an environmentally conscious outlook. Serving affordable, organic food and avoiding as much plastic waste as possible it was constructed using sustainable and reclaimed material and runs off solar energy.