Amsterdam Beach is a perfect place for adventurers, nature lovers, and sun worshipers, whether you're going for an afternoon, a day or a mini vacation with the kids and family. View all activities in Amsterdam Beach, delve into the local art and culture and treat yourself to a delicious meal or drink in one of the region's popular hotspots.
Just outside Amsterdam lies one of the most unspoilt coastlines in Northern Europe. Go here, as the Dutch people do, to relax and get a breath of fresh air, away from the city. Beaches stretch from the north to the south, with typical Dutch wide plains of sand. Perfect for water sports or just lounging about. Most of the beaches and the towns are within half an hour from Amsterdam city centre, easily accessible by train and public transport.
Behind the beach, you’ll find the dunes, an important part of the landscape and unique in the otherwise flat countryside. As about a third of the Netherlands lies below sea level, the dunes form an important barrier against the occasionally wild and rising North Sea. Forming hills, the dunes not only offer protection but also offer leisure opportunities. Go cycling or take a long walk, while spotting birds and other wild animals.
In addition to the relaxing vibe of the beaches and dunes, Amsterdam Beach also uncovers some of the country’s most impressive works of history. Forteiland is part of the Defence Line of Amsterdam, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The island fortress was constructed in the 1880s to help defend the surrounding area and restrict shipping traffic heading for Amsterdam. During World War II, the fort island was used by the German soldiers as part of the Atlantic Wall.
Multiple towns are located across the beach area, with Zandvoort, IJmuiden and Bloemendaal as the main visiting spots. With their robust piers, surfing hotspots, restaurants and beach clubs, there is enough to see and do to spend an afternoon or full-day here - whether in summer or in winter.
Zandvoort aan Zee
One of the most famous beaches is at Zandvoort. Together with the sea and dunes it forms a wonderful nature reserve where you can enjoy water sports or just relax. Popular with tourists and families, Zandvoort boasts wide, sandy beaches and a good choice of funky beach bars for food and drinks overlooking the sea. Locals and visitors from all around Europe flock there during the warmer months for long lazy days of sunbathing and seaside fun. The water can feel pretty cold (that's the North Sea for you), but it does warm up on hotter days. The sea at Zandvoort is very clean, so if you're bold enough to brave the cold it's a lovely place to swim and splash about. Find out how to get to Zandvoort from Amsterdam.
Go there for: Sunbathing and swimming, family fun, great beach bars and restaurants
Bloemendaal aan Zee
Less built-up than its neighbour Zandvoort, Bloemendaal is a great place to dip your toes in the North Sea or to hit a dance floor once the sun goes down. Characterised by its fantastic selection of cool beach bars and clubs, Bloemendaal has regular live bands and DJs creating open air parties that go on well into the night. For the more adventurous, there’s an area for nude sunbathing that can be found further north up the shore. Between the regular town and the sea and sand, you can enjoy the wild dune landscape. Find out how to get to Bloemendaal from Amsterdam.
Go there for: Chilled-out beach bars, live music, sunset beach clubs
IJmuiden aan Zee & Wijk aan Zee
The expanse of sandy shore at IJmuiden is the widest beach in the Netherlands. Venture beyond the main access areas to be rewarded with empty stretches of beach. On windy days (common here) this beach is popular for kite flying and windsurfing. The close-knit community of Wijk aan Zee makes for a lovely laid-back day at the beach. The Timboektoe beach pavilion has something for everyone, from live music every Saturday to children’s sand sculpture contests and yoga on Sundays. Adventure-hungry? You can even go paragliding here. See how to get to IJmuiden from Amsterdam.
Go there for: Wind water sports, relaxed beach clubs, vast empty beaches, blustery walks.
Zuid-Kennemerland National Park
The Zuid-Kennemerland National Park is a respite of natural beauty and wildlife on an ocean-side edge of the Randstad region. Walk or bike through the dunes, discover hidden lakes, relax on the shoreline and visit the Landgoed Duin & Kruidberg country-house hotel adjacent to the park.
Go there for: Getting away from it all, hiking through the dunes, biking,wildlife spotting.
Heemskerk area beaches
If you’re seeking even more peace on a piece of the shore, rent a bike in Beverwijk and head to the dune-lined landscape west of Heemskerk.
Go there for: Dune walks, peace and quiet, nature.
Looking for beaches in Amsterdam city centre? See our guide to Amsterdam's urban beaches