Swimming Amsterdam

Awesome Amsterdam: Swimming in and around Amsterdam

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Summer is finally here but is it hot enough for a swim? Here are some hot spots where you can swim in style in Amsterdam.

While technically you can swim in Amsterdam's lovely canals, nobody would probably recommend it. There are quite a few bicycles, trash and other household items floating around in there, not to mention the canal boats that might run you down.

If you are crazy enough to brave Amsterdam's canals, you can do so in style. You can join Amsterdam City Swim in September 2015. The Queen did it, so can you.

Besides canals, there are a number of great areas to swim in and around Amsterdam.

Amsterdamse Bos

Amsterdamse Bos has several swimming areas, both official and unofficial, which you can check on their website:

  • Het Kleine Kinderbad and Grote Kinderbad are shallow swimming pools for the kiddies and you'll see lots of parents sunbathing on the surrounding grass.
  • Grote Vijver is a popular swimming spot in the forest. This large pond has easy entry from the shore and also a few bridges that the kids like to jump from.

Nieuwe Meer

The Nieuwe Meer is a big lake next to Amsterdamse Bos. There are two official swimming areas where you can enter the water from the shore or if you're lucky and have a boat you can anchor and swim in the middle of the lake. Oeverlanden is on the west side of the lake and has three swimming beaches. It is reachable by public transport. Noordoever is the other swimming location on the lake, a bit to the north of Oeverlanden.

Stenen Hoofd

There are several spots in and around the IJ where you can take a dip. Many head to Stenen Hoofd and jump into the water from the high wall. What a thrill! Grab a snack at La Tete or bring along a picnic.

De Sloterplas

De Sloterplas is located in Nieuw West and is a large park surrounding a lake with a separated area used as a swimming pond. Bicycle or jog around the lake circuit and then take a refreshing dip.


Take your boat up the Amstel for a quiet escape from Amsterdam's busy canals. Just after passing the A10 ring you will reach the quiet part of the river where lots of people swim from their boats. Access from the shore is not as easy here but there are a few spots to swim if you can arrange to jump off one of the private boat docks. On a sunny day you will see many people relaxing on blankets by the river, soaking up the rays.


A popular beach close to Amsterdam is located on the manmade IJburg island just to the northeast of central station. Blijburg is a cool city beach where you can swim in the IJ and hang out at the ramshackle cafe. Many festivals and events are held here, and on summer evenings there is often music and a bonfire. Blijburg is reachable by bicycle or tram. Or you can camp nearby at Urban Campsite.

Diemerpark Beach

Diemerpark is located in the east side of Amsterdam. There is a sheltered swimming beach along the northern side between the park and Haveneiland.

Het Twiske

Take the ferry and a nice bicycle ride through Noord to Het Twiske. There are 10 official swimming locations in this large recreation area. Check out the Twiske website for more information and swimming locations. Bring a picnic and spend the day relaxing in this wonderful large park.

Other Spots

Some other spots we've spotted people swimming in the city includes Hannekes Boom, Amsterdam Roest (they have a rope swing), De Ceuvel, around Prinseneiland, and nearly everywhere the water looks decent. In addition to swimming in fresh water around Amsterdam, you can also take the train or a leisurely bicycle ride to the beach at Zandvoort or Bloemendaal and swim in the North Sea.

Water quality

For more information on water quality and swimming locations visit the zwemwater.nl website.

Happy swimming!


Reprinted with permission from Awesome Amsterdam

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