Mokum's finest

You can dive into Amsterdam's open waters at these spots

Open water swimming is popular in Amsterdam. The water beckons at many points in the city, not only at official swimming locations like Nieuwe Meer and Gaasperplas.

Het Parool en translation: Rohan Minogue
A summer night along the river Amstel  Beeld Mats van Soolingen
A summer night along the river AmstelBeeld Mats van Soolingen

Amsterdam is a city on the water. So, it's not surprising that on hot days there is plenty of swimming and splashing in Amsterdam's waters. Not interested in outdoor pools? Then there are more than enough places where you can dive into nature. We'll show you the best spots in the city for taking the plunge. Take care: there is always the risk of blue algae on the lakes. Keep an eye on in for up-to-date information on water quality.

1. Amstel, Zuideinde Weesperzijde

You can simply jump into the Amstel from the Berlagebrug Rowing Centre. You’ll need to watch out for the boats, but there is space to sunbathe. It's easy to get into the water on the long strip next to the Café Hesp terrace as well.

2. Sloterplas

The south-western bank of Sloterplas has gone through a metamorphosis. You can simply walk into the water using the new steps. The beach on the northern bank is to be widened from July to make room for food trucks.

Urban beach at Sloterplas  Beeld Dingena Mol
Urban beach at SloterplasBeeld Dingena Mol

3. Diemerpark

Twice the size of Vondelpark. The park’s small beach can be found along the eastern side.

4. Gaasperpark

Gaasperpark: take the metro from the centre and you’re there in a trice. This is open water swimming with a touch of luxury: showers, toilets, sunning lawn, a long beach and catering facilities. There is a children’s pond, as well as a beach.

5. Marineterrein

The construction of a floating boardwalk has screened off the harbour of the Marineterrein for swimmers. While it is not an official bathing spot yet, it is the intention it will be.

6. Bogortuin

Large grassy area on Java-eiland next to the Verbindingsdam. Jump from high up into the water from the quay or make use of the wide terrace-like stairway. An added attraction: swim out to the mooring piles in the water, climb up to sunbathe before swimming back to your towel.

7. Borneokade

You can jump into the Entrepothaven from a pier, but at your own risk. The pier is often crowded with sun-worshipping locals. There are no facilities, but drinks can be bought at the Oceaan café across the way.

8. Amstelkwartier

You can get into the water using the steps in the new Amstelkwartier residential area. You can relax on the adjacent grass, and this spot is easy to reach by bicycle or public transport.

9. Schinkeleilanden

Behind the Olympic Stadium lies a green oasis. A huge grassy hill where you can picnic and sunbathe. You can also swim - from one of the wooden piers, in the Olympiakanaal or the Schinkel. But watch yourself there, because rather a lot of boats pass by.

10. Nieuwe Meer

Swim in clean water with a view out over the skyline of the Zuidas. Various small beaches, some more crowded than others. You can while away the time on the Noordoever and the Oeverlanden.

11. ‘t Twiske

This nature conservation area north of Amsterdam has as many as seven bathing spots and little beaches. Easily reachable by bicycle, especially for people from the north of the city.

12. Ouderkerkerplas

Quite a bike ride, but lovely. A sandy beach as well as a grassy area. Over recent years, the quality of the water has not always been the best. But a close watch is being kept on the water. Check out for up-to-date information.

13. Hoge Dijk

Peaceful recreational area between the AMC and Abcoude. Large lake with a beach and marked-off swimming section. There is also a ‘play ditch’ for small children - a shallow pond with a little beach.

14. Amsterdamse Bos

There is a play area on the banks of the Grote Vijver (Big Pond) surrounded by woodland with tall trees. The pond is suitable for older children, as its depth varies from one to one and a half metres. You can spend the whole afternoon drifting about. Canoes and paddleboats can be rented on the western side of the pond.

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