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The words “Amsterdam” and “beach” may not be two words you think of together. But the beach is a quick day trip from Amsterdam! The Netherlands is known for being cloudy and rainy. Believe it or not, though, that isn’t always the case. Some days are actually sunny and hot! Those of us who live here cherish these days. So, throw on your swimsuit and hat, don’t forget the sunscreen (I’m in love with this one!) and let’s head to the beach!
Sunshine makes us all a bit happier it seems. Stress melts away as the warmth of the sun’s rays hit any skin it can get to. When in Amsterdam, the immediate thing we think of is that we need to get on a boat. Floating along the canals in a small boat is one fabulous way to enjoy a long summer day. If you’re in an already-been-there-done-that kind of mood, then getting outside the city and exploring something new is definitely the way to go!
And while I am head-over-heels in love with the canals, the canalhouses, and the houseboats, I can’t think of a better thing to do on a sunny day than spend it at the beach. Can you?
How to get to the beach from Amsterdam
From Amsterdam Centraal Station, it’s about a 30-minute train ride that drops you so close to the beach that you can hear it.
I just need to say that it took me far too long to discover this beachy town called Zandvoort. It’s so exciting to have a beach so close! If you are looking for beaches near Amsterdam, this is it. Some people call it the Amsterdam Beach, and while it’s not in Amsterdam, it’s so close that I can understand why people would call it that.
In the US, I lived about a 6-hour drive from the closest beach, and now, living in Amsterdam, I have one 30 minutes away. Seriously, how crazy is that?!
Zandvoort is common knowledge for the locals. But even being a popular spot on a summery day, it’s not crowded as I’m used to in Virginia. There’s space for everyone!
Putting my toes in the cool water while they sunk into the sand was pure bliss. I’ve always been a bit of a water baby. I can’t remember there ever being a time when I didn’t know how to swim or want to be near or in the water. Laying on my beach towel on the sand with the sound of the waves crashing and the feel of the mist as the wind blows is all part of the magic of the beach. It’s the perfect place to unwind.
For a more adventurous afternoon…
If you’re not feeling like lounging all day by the beach (I’m sure there, then rent a bike and explore the nearby dunes in the Zuid-Kennemerland National Park. I got my bike from Behind the Beach and it even fit me! I’m Miss Shorty…so I’m always impressed when a bike isn’t too tall for me in Holland. Isn’t the cute little basket on the front so handy? I tossed my Pacsafe backpack in it because it was making my back too hot. Oh, the real-life problems!
Cycling through this landscape made me feel like I was a world away from the “big city” of Amsterdam. It was an escape to a quiet place with some pretty amazing scenery. I love the canals and the houses of Amsterdam, but sometimes it’s nice to just be out in nature, you know?
I can’t even believe that we saw a BUFFALO. Yes. That’s right. It was hanging out by the watering hole and we just admired its size and stature…and total coolness to stand there munching on grass while we took photos. That’s a cool buffalo right there.
Of course, you can always *start* your day with a nice bike ride and end it at the beach. That’s completely acceptable. I promise you, there are enough hours in a day to explore AND be a beach bum.
That’s a full day outside of Amsterdam!
By the time you ride around, sit in the sun, get splashing around, dry off, sun some more, and eat a few things, you’ll be ready to rest up for your next day full of adventure. There are a bunch of day trips so close to my favorite place (Amsterdam, if you haven’t been paying attention!) if you’re looking to have a varied Dutch experience. There are always amazing things to do in Amsterdam as well in case you haven’t done those yet!
Enjoy Amsterdam, enjoy Holland, and enjoy all the Netherlands has to offer! Where is your favorite place to base yourself for day trips? We’re going to start writing more about these kinds of places around Europe and would love to hear your thoughts.
Wishing you love and travels!
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