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camping, picknick table
Image from Gert Buchner

Camping in and around Amsterdam

Summertime in Amsterdam is best spent outdoors, but it doesn’t have to be limited to dining on a sun-drenched terrace or lounging in one of the city’s peaceful parks. Thanks to its nature reserves and the surrounding sea, Amsterdam boasts some of the best campsites in Europe. Camping in the Netherlands is a casual affair with all mod-cons close to hand. It’s all about kicking back and relaxing in the open air. Take part in a favourite Dutch pastime by pitching a tent, parking a caravan or bunking down in a bungalow at one of Amsterdam’s best campsites.

Vliegenbos

Image from Linda Hegeraad

Stepping onto the campsite at Vliegenbos is like stepping into another world—a world that is only a short journey by bike or Metro from Amsterdam Central Station. Situated in a forest in Amsterdam Noord, Vliegenbos offers easy access to the city centre, shower facilities and modern amenities, as well as its own natural surroundings to explore. All types of campers will find accommodation: social butterflies will love the camping hotel, with tents grouped around an outdoor kitchen and hangout area, while those who prefer more modern facilities can stay in one of the furnished hikers’ cabins.

Camperpark Amsterdam

Playground and harbour at Gaasperplas lake
Image from Koen Smilde

Surrounded by meadows and waterways but only 15 minutes by rail from the city centre, Camperpark is an ideal location for those who want to get in touch with nature but don’t want to stray too far. The Gaasperplas recreational area features plenty of fun for adults and children, including gardens, playgrounds and the opportunity for water sports such as canoeing, windsurfing and more. It’s all tents and caravans at this campsite—no huts, cabins or hotels—so it’s for committed campers, though it does feature a restaurant, campsite shop, shower facilities and free Wi-Fi.

Camping Zeeburg

Live the island life at Camping Zeeburg, a campsite located on a small island in the IJmeer. It is more of a community than a campsite, with a restaurant, supermarket, open outdoor kitchen, a free-to-pick herb garden, a children’s petting zoo, and weekly live music and events. In addition to plenty of space for tents and caravans, Camping Zeeburg offers quaint, brightly painted two- or four-person ‘wagonettes’ and one-, two- and four-person eco-cabins. The cabins are furnished and heated, and the campsite features sparkling clean onsite shower and laundry facilities.  

Zeeburg, Oost

Camping de Badhoeve

Broek in Waterland
Image from Koen Smilde

Everyone loves a waterside location, especially one that gives you quick access to the city. Camping de Badhoeve on Kinselmeer offers tranquillity and access to IJmeer, where you can enjoy nature, water sports or bird watching to the north of Amsterdam. From this idyllic spot, you can cycle into the centre of Amsterdam or spin your wheels in the other direction to take in classic Dutch villages such as Marken, Volendam, Monnickendam and Edam. Kids are well catered to with a playground and sports field.

Het Amsterdamse Bos

Image from Marie-Charlotte Pezé

The Amsterdamse Bos (Amsterdam Forest) is on the city's southern outskirts. This large expanse of green space in Amstelveen has much to explore within its borders and hosts many events throughout the year. Soak up some rays, swim in the nearby Nieuwe Meer or jump on a bike to explore Aalsmeer, the fresh waters of Westeinderplassen or Oudekerk aan de Amstel. Regarding accommodation, choose from hostel dorms, cabins with self-contained options, and spots to pitch your tent or pull up to in your caravan or camper.

Camping de Lakens

Don’t expect just the standard tents found elsewhere at De Lakens. At this campsite north of Amsterdam, you can camp in an authentic American school bus called the Beachbus or stay in a retro Airstream trailer, bungalow or backpack shack. Tents are also available—and already set up, so there is no need to drag your own camping gear. De Lakens is the perfect place to be pampered while camping; besides clean shower and toilet facilities, the campsite offers massages and manicures on the Wellness Bus, a steam in the sauna and yoga in the Zen Zone. For added sizzle, hire a barbecue and create the perfect holiday meal.

Camping De Lakens, Bloemendaal

Outside Inn

Interiors of Outside Inn indoor campsite hotel
Image from Zo Alfeqar

Love the experience of camping but don't fancy braving the Dutch elements? Outside Inn is the only indoor campsite in the Netherlands, offering a variety of unique overnight stays for the weather-sensitive traveller. Sleep in a vintage caravan, a retro camper van, a beach house or a charming camping pod, with each room equipped with a plush bed and cosy interior - so you never need to grapple with tent poles. All the rooms are inside a 1000 m² hall surrounded by grass, indoor terraces, swings and all the camping facilities you need. 

Outside Inn, Zuidoost

Camping Bakkum

Heemskerk beach
Image from Heemskerk - Zee van tijd

Travel a little further north of Amsterdam to camp by the sea at Camping Bakkum. Offering a multitude of accommodations, Bakkum lets you camp the way you want to: relax under the shade of maple trees at the Forest Pitches or hang out with fellow water sport enthusiasts at the Watersport Pitches, which feature complimentary locker space at the beachside Sports at Sea centre. Campers that prefer a little more luxury can stay in one of the beach cabins or bungalows, which—unlike many cabins on other Amsterdam campsites—feature toilets and even a private shower.

Camping Bakkum, Castricum aan Zee

Waterfront Lodges

Floating lodges, accommodation in Uitermeer
Image from Manon van den Oort

Fancy going back to basics in nature but still require a comfy bed, an eco-toilet, a basic stove and a cup of coffee in the morning? These unique floating lodges are situated just outside Fort Uitermeer in the Castles and Gardens region and offer a tremendous camping experience but with all your essential comforts catered to. The lodges give immediate access to the River Vecht - ideal for visitors who need a tranquil overnight stay during a boating or cycling trip. Great for fishing, sailing, or just enjoying the tranquillity. Breakfast packages, bedding and canoe hire, can all be purchased as an add-on for additional comfort.

Recreatiepark Aalsmeer

glamping at the camping, exterior of tent
Image from Recreatiepark Aalsmeer

Get back to nature with a stay in one of the cabins, teepees or glamping tents at Recreatiepark Aalsmeer, one of the country’s first marinas, the facilities of which guests are invited to use. There are different sorts of accommodation available, with options for groups of between two and four guests. Some sites are accessible by boat, making them ideal for water sports holidays.

Natuurcamping de Kemphaan

Adventurous families should look no further than Natuurcamping de Kemphaan, which offers various activities and direct access to the green wilderness of New Land. The park offers the possibility to pitch our own tents, caravans, campers and trailers and provides warm showers, chemical toilets and electricity. On the premises, visitors will also find the AAP Foundation - a unique animal shelter for apes and other exotic mammals. Fun Forest Almere is just five minutes away - a climbing paradise decked out with various ropeways and climbing courses, the biggest in the Netherlands.