As summer approaches, several urban beaches around Amsterdam open for the season. Many of these sandy refuges are located inside the city’s centre and run alongside its famous canal rings, whereas others look onto the river IJ or other larger bodies, placing them slightly further afield, but yet still well within cycling distance from inner Amsterdam.
Although Roest is open all year round, it becomes particular popular during summertime, partly due to its canal side beach terrace. This awesome hangout is surrounded by old industrial buildings and includes an adult-sized jungle-gym. Besides these already impressive attractions, Roest is also among the few bars in Amsterdam that stocks Club Maté.
📍 Roest, Jacob Bontiusplaats 1, Amsterdam, +31 20 308 0283
Despite its many competitors, Pllek might be the coolest restaurant and bar in Amsterdam-Noord. From a distance Pllek resembles a large collection of shipping containers, and blends in perfectly with NDSM-werf’s industrial surroundings. A golden riverside beach is hidden behind this metal façade, complete with deck-chairs, picnics tables and ultra-comfy beanbags. It is always worth checking out Pllek’s website before heading over the IJ, as they often organise open-air film nights.
📍 Pllek, Tt. Neveritaweg 59, Amsterdam, +31 20 290 0020
Blijburg aan Zee
As Amsterdam’s newest neighbourhood, Ijburg, is built on a string of artificial islands, it is completely surrounded by water. The northern coastline of this archipelago curves into a long, sandy peninsula called Blijburg aan Zee, which contains several summer-orientated amenities such as a chilled out beach bar and a surfing centre.
Although there are several large bodies of water in Amsterdamse Bos, Nieuwe Meer is likely the best spot inside the park for summer excursions. The southern banks of this huge lake are lined with sandy grassland and small dunes, making it perfect for quite afternoons in the sun. For more exciting or athletic waterside activities, visitors can head over to Amsterdamse Bos’ numerous boating centers.
Gaasperplas was purposely designed by Amsterdam’s municipality to accommodate water-based sports and features several boating facilities. Although most of the lake is surrounded by grassy fields, there is a sheltered, public beach on its northern shore. Accessing the lake is exceptionally easy, thanks to a nearby metro station that bears the same name.
Het Stonen Hoofd
As Het Stonen Hoofd is around 600 meters away from Central Station, it is undoubtedly the most central urban beach in Amsterdam. This rocky peninsula juts into the River IJ and looks directly onto Amsterdam’s northern shoreline. Over the past few years the beach has become synonymous with Pluk de Nacht — a large outdoor film festival takes place on Het Stonen Hoofd every August.