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Urban Beaches in Amsterdam

Discover Sandy Spots to Relax During Summer in the City

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Every summer these urban spaces in Amsterdam turn into sandy city "beaches." Find out where you can evoke a seaside spirit on your visit here.

Blijburg aan Zee

The sandy beach at Blijburg in Amsterdam
© Blijburg aan Zee

This is the only true beach in Amsterdam. People actually swim off the sandy oasis, as it sits in the deep water known as the IJsselmeer east of the city. There's always something going on, from DJs and live bands to Sunday brunch and kids' events, so check the program on the website. The food gets a thumbs-up for vegetarian and organic fare. You'll surely feel transported to another place on a visit to Blijburg!

Location: Bert Haanstrakade 2004 (Strandpaviljoen on IJburg)
Open in 2010: June 1 through September; Wednesday - Saturday from 12 noon, Sunday from 10 a.m. Closing times vary
How to Get There: Tram 26 from Centraal Station to the end point, IJburg, then walk toward the water (look for the flags)

Strand Zuid

Find a lounge chair in the sun and sand at Strand Zuid
© Strand Zuid
In an unlikely locale behind a convention center hides a hot spot for summer lounging in Amsterdam. Strand Zuid ("Beach South") could be called the South Beach of this city, and not just because of the similar name. Beautiful people are common here; this is the Old South neighborhood, widely considered Amsterdam's most affluent. Part restaurant and part sandy strip on a canal (no swimming), you'll see sun-worshippers sipping cocktails in bathing suits and after-work locals eating lunch in business suits.

Location: Europaplein 22
Open in 2010: April 24 through September; daily 10 a.m. - 12 midnight
How to Get There: Tram 4 to Europaplein (located on the water behind the RAI convention center)

BovenNEMO

The views from BovenNEMO are breathtaking
© 2009 Shannon McAllister, licensed to About.com
BovenNEMO ("Above NEMO") is not so much a beach as Amsterdam's biggest roof terrace, with some sand pits and deck chairs added for that summer-fun feeling. Located atop the NEMO science center -- the sea-green, ship-shaped building is impossible to miss, just east of Centraal Station -- entrance to the deck is free, and so is the spectacular view. The "Splashing Water Wonder" play area and kid-friendly food like hot dogs and ice cream make BovenNEMO popular with families, but it's just as enjoyable for young singles. There's plenty of space for everyone.

Location: Oosterdok 2
Open in 2010: June 1 - September 1; daily 12 noon - 7 p.m. (July and August until 9 p.m.)
How to Get There: Walk from Centraal Station (follow the signs for Oosterdok)
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