City beaches you need to visit in the Netherlands
Now that the summer is upon us, it's a great time to get out with some friends and enjoy a day at the beach! The Netherlands has plenty of great costal beaches, but there are some brilliant options for city-dwellers too.
Find a beach near you!
Want to make the most of the nice weather? You don’t always have to travel to the coast to enjoy a fun and relaxing day at the beach, as the following beaches in cities across the Netherlands prove with ease.
Beaches near Amsterdam
Amsterdam's beaches are a guaranteed fun day out for friends and family alike. Though the city has plenty of coastal beaches within a short commute, Amsterdam has lots of great spots just a short bike ride from the city centre!
Boasting an idyllic view of the IJ river and a creative, industrial décor, Pllek is the place in Amsterdam to catch some Dutch summer sun (Yes, it really does exist... sometimes). This place is especially great if you're someone who prefers to live an environmentally-friendly lifestyle, as Pllek offers a menu featuring organic produce. Roughly 75 percent of the menu is vegetarian as well!
Besides a lovely sandy beach to relax on, Pllek also offers live music, yoga lessons, art exhibitions, workshops, mini-festivals and (international) film evenings.
Similarly to Pllek, Strandzuid - located on the edge of the Beatrixpark and just a stone's throw away from RAI Amsterdam - is another great spot for anyone wanting to enjoy a beach-like vibe in the Dutch capital. Its location makes it easily accessible via public transport, and the "easygoing waterside hangout" offers diners a mouthwatering selection of cocktails and snacks.
Another popular swimming spot for many in Amsterdam, the Marineterrein offers a safe space to cool off in the summer sun. While the area is not an official swimming spot, the quality of the water is meticulously monitored and checked. You can check online to see the water temperature and quality of the water on the Marineterrein website.
Hit the beach in Utrecht
Utrecht is one of the most beautiful cities in the country and unsurprisingly, the local beaches are no different! These are some of our favourites:
Strand Oog in Al (Soia)
At the edge of the city of Utrecht, you can find a little piece of (summer) heaven in Strand Oog in Al, or Soia. It’s the perfect place to lounge around, enjoying the captivating view of the canal, whilst sipping on a beverage of your choice. You can have lunch and dinner at the restaurant, and it’s even possible to make use of the barbecue (reservation required) to achieve that perfect summer feeling.
Do you practice yoga? How about doing some yoga whilst taking in the aforementioned awesome views Soia offers? This charming city beach offers yoga lessons every Saturday and Sunday! Besides yoga, you can also enjoy open-air film nights, beach club parties and music festivals at Strand Oog in Al.
Key West at Haarrijnse Plas
The Key West beach house in Utrecht has space for around 100 guests and boasts views over the wonderful Haarrijnse Plas. The beach house also offers the opportunity to reserve tables for events and parties, making Key West a great option if you’re celebrating a summer birthday!
The best of the rest: Beaches in Groningen, Alkmaar and Haarlem
Not all the fun has to happen in the big cities - some of the country's smaller cities have great beaches to offer as well! These quieter, more rural spots can give you a great opportunity to spend a little time in paradise, without having to travel too far away!
Stadsstrand Groningen - Groningen
The city beach in Groningen was opened in 2016 for a large health convention in the city. Initially, it was meant to be a temporary attraction; however, it was such a success that the municipality decided that the beach was there to stay!
Excellent decision, because Stadsstrand Groningen is the perfect place to take a refreshing dip in clean, natural water, if and when the Dutch sun finally decides to come out and play. What’s more, Stadsstrand Groningen features a bar where you can savour fresh smoothies, ice cream and other beach-worthy snacks.
Oh, and the views are out of this world, since DOT, the quirky UFO-shaped film and theatre hall, is right next to the beach.
Stadsstrand De Kade - Alkmaar
Ibiza or Stadsstrand De Kade in Alkmaar? This city beach gives off the chill beach vibes of the party island, whilst being in the city centre of Alkmaar. Not an easy feat to accomplish!
Is all that lounging on the homemade funky furniture making you hungry? The restaurant at Stadsstrand De Kade offers an all-day breakfast (YES), lunch, dinner and “borrel” snacks, with vegetarian and gluten-free options included. You can even Bring Your Own meat / veggies to put on the barbecue!
Stadsstrand de Oerkap - Haarlem
Whilst this city beach in Haarlem is not the biggest on the list, it makes up for its lack of space with cool beach vibes and a restaurant with a simple, yet tasty menu. You can enjoy delicious sandwiches until 5pm. After 5pm, De Oerkap serves a variety of homemade pizzas. To wash these down, the restaurant offers refreshing beers from Haarlem’s own Jopen brewery and lovely wines from Grape District.
Be sure to check Oerkap’s calendar, since they also host live theatre and music evenings.
Zandfoort aan de Eem - Amersfoort
Enjoy a relaxing holiday atmosphere in the middle of Amersfoort at the city beach Zandfoort aan de Eem. Located near the train station, Zandfoort aan de Eem is easily accessible and offers, besides a nice sandy beach, a restaurant which serves dishes from all over the world.
Zandfoort often hosts parties, festivals and other fun activities, including a language café where you can get together with other people to learn a new language whilst having a drink or two. What better way to finally learn Dutch, than in a relaxed, beach-y atmosphere?
Hit the beach!
Have you visited any of these city beaches? Feel we left a good one off the list? Let us know, and leave a comment!
Thumb: Shutterstock.com / Henk Osinga Photography