5 outdoor lakes in Dutch cities you can swim in
It’s summer and although the weather might have recently taken a turn for the worse, it is surely set to heat up again (at some point). And what’s the first thing that comes to mind when the temperatures get above 25 degrees? Where can you swim, of course! And more importantly, where can you swim outside, especially in Dutch cities?
An abundance of bodies of water
The Netherlands is home to countless bodies of water, all of which may look extremely refreshing on those hot summer days. However, whilst that may be the case, you are not allowed to swim in any old canal, lake or stream you find. The water could, after all, be crawling with bacteria you’d rather not ingest.
That’s why it’s always best to check zwemwater.nl to see the latest status of the 724 official swimming locations. These spots are tested for their water quality and physical safety, so you can ensure your dip in the water won’t have you visiting the doctor later. Here are five locations in cities across the Netherlands where you can swim outdoors. The spots are all official swimming locations. Before heading out, make sure you check the status of the water quality.
1. Amsterdam: Nieuwe Meer, Oeverlanden
Want to escape the tourists and go on an adventure? Head to the Nieuwe Meer! One route you could cycle to get there is through the Amsterdam Forest- talk about fairytale- and then take a small ferry (available on the weekends) to the Oeverlanden on the northside of the lake. Of course, you can also get there by public transport. There are two official swimming spots here, both of which are free entry.
The north side of the Nieuwe Meer is split into two areas, a nature reserve and recreational area- where you can grab a bite, go to the bathroom (an important detail), play on the beach or barbecue in certain signposted areas. If you visit the nature reserve, you might catch a glimpse of a group of Scottish Highlanders grazing there- sounds pretty awesome to us.
Back to the swimming spots, the exact address is: Nieuwe Meer Westzijde, Oeverlanden, and Nieuwe Meer, Noordoever. Both are on the Anton Schleperspad, Amsterdam. The water quality for the last four years has been classed as excellent!
2. Utrecht: Haarrijnse Plas
A cool dip is exactly what we’re looking for on those hot summer days, but where to go if you live in Utrecht? Why not take a trip to Haarrijnse Plas, it’s situated in the province of Utrecht, so, unfortunately, it’s a little more than the usual five-minute bike ride. You’ll find the lake between Vleuten and the area Haarrijn. It’s also possible to get there by bus, just take number 4, Zuilen – De Wetering from Utrecht Central Station and get out at Zwemstrand Haarrijn.
You can safely swim in the enclosed area of the lake and there is also a sandy beach, dunes, a sunbathing area and sports area, with equipment to play games, which you can enjoy. There are also other facilities available, such as toilets and a restaurant. Bringing your own tipple is not allowed- something to keep in mind if you were planning on sipping on something alcoholic in the sun. The water quality at the lake has been excellent for the last four years. Its exact location is Marga Klompésingel, Utrecht.
3. Rotterdam: Kralingse Plas
Dutch cities have an abundance of water bodies, and Rotterdam is no different. However, there only a few official swimming spots. One you could visit is Kralingse Plas, located at Langepad. The water quality here is classed as good, so slightly worse than the spots mentioned in Amsterdam and Utrecht. It’s worth checking whether there are any warnings before you go. That goes for all swimming spots, by the way.
You can find the Kralingse Plas between the Kralingse Forest and the neighbourhood, which shares the same name, Kralingen. It is a pretty big lake, and you want to be on the west side to be able to swim there. There’s also a beach, and for the naturists, a nudist beach to the north.
4. The Hague: Plassen Madestein
You could, of course, visit Scheveningen beach if you are in The Hague, but why not get away from the crowds and visit a lake instead? Head on over to Recreatiegebied Madestein (Recreation Area Madestein), one of the greenest areas in The Hague! There are plenty of entrances to the area, so you can come from whichever way you please. It’s also possible to get a bus there if you don’t fancy cycling.
Around the recreational lake, there are several small beaches and sunbathing and sports areas. If your stomach is rumbling, take a trip to Pluk! a farm with a lunchroom. There, besides grabbing a bite, you can pluck fruits, vegetables and flowers on a subscription basis, and pet the animals.
Back to the lake, the water quality has been classed as good for the last four years. Unlike Scheveningen beach with its salty seawater, this lake has freshwater, so you won’t have to dust all the salt off after drying.
5. Leiden: Kagerplassen ‘t Joppe Merenwijk
‘t Joppe is one of the lakes making up the small lake system called the Kaag Lakes. It’s a pretty big lake, with the Westoever part lying in Warmond. The official swimming location here is on the island “De Strengen”. You’ll find a sunbathing area and a sports area too, but for the most part you’ll be surrounded by nature and a recreational area- sounds like the perfect, relaxing day to us. Entry will cost you nothing and the water quality for the last four years is excellent!
What is your favourite swimming spot?
Have you visited any of these spots? Or do you know of an awesome, official swimming spot? We are curious to know, so drop us a comment below! But remember, always check online to see if the quality of water at the spot you want to go to is good and there are no warnings known. After all, no one wants to go swimming only to get sick afterwards, right?