Editor:  De Redactie • Publication:  01 January 2018



Outdoor Swimming in Amsterdam

Come summer, this city built on water provides some exceptional opportunities for an alfresco dip. Read on for your complete attraction guide to Amsterdam’s 10 best outdoor swimming pools and spots to dip your toes in (a safe distance from the tour boats and clog-shaped pedalos). Dive in!

Amsterdamse Bos

Amsterdam’s biggest landscape park is three times bigger than Central Park, it attracts 6 million visitors a year, and has several excellent spots for swimming. There are spots for kids to paddle around safely while parents lounge around on the grass. Amsterdamse Bos also has several low-hanging bridges for older kids (and the young at heart) to practise their diving skills. The options for food and drink range from pancakes at Boerderij Meerzicht to a meal with a view, at De Veranda.

Nieuwe Meer

Next to Amsterdamse Bos lies a large lake with two official swimming areas. Easily accessible by public transport or bicycle, you will find a beach and several private coves along the edges of the lake. The spot is also known for its nudist beach, its gay cruising area, and its Highland cattle.


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 dip in the river is a good break on a cycle ride to Ouderkerk aan de Amstel too.


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.


The beautifully spacious Sloterpark is a park in Amsterdam’s Nieuw West with a large lake (Sloterplas) in the middle. Locals flock to its urban beach for picnics, family outings and games of volleyball. If you prefer a dash of chlorine in your swimming water, the Sloterparkbad is only a minute away. Drop by at the nearby Hotel Buiten afterwards for a glass of rosé on the terrace.


We have the construction of the Bijlmermeer to thank for the charming Gaasperplas recreational area. It was created from the sand extraction required for construction of the tower blocks there. The exquisite nature reserve has a wide beach and a spacious lawn to spread your towel. Best of all, it can be easily accessed by Metro.

Blijburg aan Zee

Blijburg aan Zee is possibly the most happening place to swim in Amsterdam. This beachy escape in the eastern part of IJburg is popular all year around. After sundown, the live music and bonfire will keep you entertained. And if you still can’t bring yourself to leave, there’s even a campsite to pitch your tent.


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