A Cursory Glance at Amsterdam’s Unique City Beaches

Amsterdam’s claim to fame as one of the most romantic places in the world is certainly undeniable. The colorful flowers, romantic boat tours of the scenic canals, charming cafes, restaurants and pubs, a staggering collection of valuable artefacts and masterpieces from the works of the Old Masters housed in city museums as well as a liberated and free-thinking populace have all come together to make Amsterdam one of the top holiday destinations. The Netherland’s capital city is also the financial and cultural center of the Dutch government, is equally renowned for its innovative network of waterways and canals (‘Grachtengordel’) which was recently added to UNESCO’s list of World Heritage sites, for the works of art of Rembrandt and Van Gogh, and yes, even the popularity of its ‘Red Light’ District are yet other reasons why tourists choose Amsterdam among the top picks in Europe.


For all of its charms and attractions, tourists are often pleasantly surprised to learn, that yes, Amsterdam does have beaches. Three of them in fact. These are the beaches of Strand West, Strand IJburg and Strand Zuid. Summertime is always a good time to heat up the beach and enjoy the fine summer weather. If a day at the beach for some fun in the sun, sand and surf is listed at the top of your to-do list here in Amsterdam, these three beaches are indeed wonderful options. You don’t need to travel by train or hop on a car to reach the seaside resorts and beaches of Zandvoort and Scheveningen, Amsterdam, the ‘Venice of the North’ has got your love for the beach covered.

Strand West

Strand West easily has over 66,000 square feet of sandy beach where you can enjoy the day lounging on hammocks, benches and bean-bag chairs while sipping cocktails or a cold beer. The most popular of Amsterdam’s 3 beaches among younger people and students, one can easily see and feel that the vibe of Strand West is definitely geared towards the young and hip crowd. You’ll see groups of adolescents playing a lively game of beach volleyball, laughingly kicking a football around or dancing to the beat of today’s latest hits played by the regular DJ at the bar. Strand West is only short distance away from Central Station, just take Bus 48 and 22 and you’ll be there in 15 minutes tops. From your Amsterdam holiday apartments, you can also also reach Strand West by bike so you can stay up well into the night without needing to worry about missing the last bus trip home.
Strand IJburg

Unlike the beaches of Strand Zuid and Strand West, one can actually take a dip and swim in the waters of Strand IJburg, which is prohibited in the other two. Watersports enthusiasts and the more adventurous try to have a go at windsurfing from Surfcenter IJburg, which can be found just a short distance away from Strand IJburg’s beachfront strip. Enjoy the great food, music and cocktails from popular Blijburg beach restaurant, plop yourself on a bench and get the perfect tan or better yet, simply wait until sundown to help the locals build a blazing bonfire to ward off the oncoming evening chill. Families enjoying a picnic down at the beach are also a familiar fixture at Strand IJburg along with few hippies and colorful local figures.

Strand Zuid

The more luxurious among the three, Strand Zuid, has a decidedly more affluent look and feel to this man-made beachfront strip. The beach area is fairly small, measuring only 2,200 sq. meters in total, and yet come summertime, members of Amsterdam’s high society flock to Strand Zuid to enjoy the fine weather, sip champagne and cocktails and rub elbows with the other members of the city’s upper class. But contrary to Strand Zuid’s upscale and trendy image, people from all walks of life and social class are readily welcome here. Kids will also fall in love with Strand Zuid’s kid-friendly activities. Shower stalls to cool off are also strewn throughout the beachfront area since swimming in the beach is prohibited.


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