Dive in: our top 11 natural swimming spots in Amsterdam

July, 29th 2022

When the temperature rises in Amsterdam, the locals (a.k.a. Amsterdammers) swap their sun-drenched terraces for a refreshing, natural swimming spot.

Dive in: our top 11 natural swimming spots in Amsterdam

When the temperature rises in Amsterdam, the locals (a.k.a. Amsterdammers) swap their sun-drenched terraces for a refreshing, natural swimming spot. Forget the beach (and the traffic); Amsterdam has amazing places where you can swim and tan, so check out our guide to Amsterdam's best outdoor swimming spots before jumping into your swimsuit. These are our favourite public swimming spots for those hot summer days. Ready? Let’s dive in!

 

1. Het Nieuwe meer (‘The New Lake’)

Give the Dutch one sunbeam, and you will feast your eyes on flip-flops and locals hopping on boats. Chances are, the locals are cruising straight to the Nieuwe Meer, where you can find all kinds of beaches (and boat parties). Some beaches are so well hidden that you might end up having one all to yourself! You will relax in the middle of nature, and you won’t even realize you’re in Amsterdam!

 

2. The IJ river

The newest hotspot-slash-local-city-beach in Amsterdam: Vessel! This vibrant hangout in the Amsterdam Houthaven district offers a beautiful view over the IJ. Enjoy the sun-drenched terrace or throw out your towel on the quay. Dip your toes in the water, jump on your inflatable flamingo or go straight for a refreshing plunge in the IJ. Don't forget to look at Vessel's menu – it's full of delicious dishes to share! Grilled asparagus, burrata salad and sea bass ceviche, anyone?

 

3. Park Schinkeleilanden

An undiscovered swimming spot in the middle of the city: Park Schinkeleilanden. Next to the ‘Olympisch Stadion’ – and just around the corner of boutique hotel TWENTY EIGHT – is a green oasis where you can jump off the wooden jetties. Bring a picnic basket and roll out your towel on the green hill where some local residents are already sunbathing.

4. Amstel

As soon as the temperature rises, many locals go to the Amstel. This river meanders through the city and is the perfect place to enjoy the summer with your friends. Tip: there’s a good swimming spot near café Hesp. Take a splash in the water, dry off at the quay and gaze at the passing boats. Order one of the countless delicious dishes at Bam Boa, such as the teriyaki roasted cauliflower and celery truffle croquettes.

 

5. Marineterrein

The Marineterrein offers the public another place to chill. There’s a restaurant, a small park, and - of course - water access. The inner harbour is perfect for swimming (or tanning); it's a place where you have the freedom to jump in safely. Not a daredevil? No worries, there are steps on the jetties so you can get used to the temperature of the water.

 

6. Swimming with a unique view (read: elephants!)

Elephants? Alright - we’ve got your attention. You can swim in Amsterdam while looking at a zoo's elephant and giraffe enclosure! Right next to Artis, at the Entrepotdok in Amsterdam, you can splash into the water from the jetty.

 

7. ’t Twiske

Want to explore Amsterdam? Check out ‘t Twiske! This beautiful nature reserve in Amsterdam-Noord definitely deserves a spot on your bucket list! So hop on a city bike and start this cool cycling route to 't Twiske. During the trip, you will find relaxing beaches, 7 swimming spots, Scottish Highlanders and many tasty food stops!

 

8. Erasmuspark

Ready to take a plunge? Go to the Erasmusgracht (at the corner of Erasmuspark) in the Amsterdam Oud-West district. This park is loved by the young locals and families who love to take a splash in the natural water. There's a small boardwalk with ladder access into the canal and a grassy bank that catches the sun until the late afternoon. Sounds good, right?

 

9. Het Amsterdamse Bos

Longing for that feeling of escaping the hustle and bustle of city life? Hop on your bike (with a cool box filled with delicious Dutch snacks) and go to one of the swimming spots in the ‘Amsterdamse Bos’. The most famous swimming spot? That’s ‘Kano’, where you can rent pedal boats and canoes. Ideal for a fun summer day!

 

10. Zentuin on Prinseneiland

On hot summer days, head to the ‘Zentuin’ (Zen Garden) at the end of Bickersgracht. Relax in the grass and take a plunge to cool off. In this undiscovered part of Amsterdam, you’ll immediately feel completely zen. Promised.

 

11. Bogor Garden

Do you want to discover Amsterdam-Oost? Go to the Bogortuin, an urban beach on Java Eiland. This (unofficial) swimming spot became increasingly popular with a young crowd. The perfect spot for sunbathing and swimming on a hot day.

 

Good to know: Water quality can vary with all outdoor swimming spots. Check for warnings and updates on the Dutch ‘swimming water website’, including a map with all the official swimming locations.

 

>> Ready to discover Amsterdam? These are the best activities during summer.