The Amsterdam area is lined with beautiful stretches of coastline, making for some fantastic day trips at any time of year. There are a great selection of beaches within half an hour of Amsterdam, each with its own distinctive style and landscape. Whether you're looking for white-knuckle watersports, sunbathing and swimming, vibrant beach bars or unspoilt nature, you'll find it all at Amsterdam's beaches.
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, exploring the dunes
Bloemendaal aan Zee
With more of a party atmosphere 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: Beach parties, 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
Zuid-Kennemerland National Park
The Zuid-Kennemerland National Park is a respite of natural beauty on an ocean-side edge of the Randstad region. Walk or bike through the dunes, 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, long blustery walks, biking
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