Amsterdam Camping: Sleep even cheaper in a tent!

Posted in: Amsterdam Hotel


Lakes of fun at Amsterdam's Bos campground.
Lakes of fun at Amsterdam's Bos campground.

Travelers who prefer a tent to a hotel room are in luck when visiting green, camping-friendly Amsterdam. Cheap, clean, safe, and relaxing, the city’s campsites serve as a haven for those who wish to indulge in Amsterdam’s city life by day, but retreat to a peaceful, natural setting by night.

Here are my top four picks for pitching a tent in Amsterdam:

Camping Zeeburg
Zuider Ijdijk 20
+(31)(0) 20 6944430

Situated just east of Amsterdam, Zeeburg (“Seacastle”) is unique for its beachy location on the nearby island of Ijmeer. Camping Zeeburg is open year-round and serves as a trailhead for a number of hike and bike routes.

Facilities: Supermarket (with fresh baked goods), sanitary facilities, bar, restaurant, washer/dryer facilities, phone booth, bike rental, canoe rental, pool, internet, night security, and BBQs allowed.

Perks: During the high season, the campsite offers a range of daily activities and excursions (including a trip to the petting zoo for the kiddies).

Cost: From €6,50 per person per night. Two or four person furnished (bunk bed , chairs, table, heating) cabins or wagonettes (with small private veranda) are also available.  Extra charge for parking.

To Amsterdam: Trams 7, 14, 26 and bus 37 run frequently and are a 10-15 minute ride from the campground to the heart of Amsterdam. There is also a nightbus 359 which runs at night. By bike it will take 20 minutes to reach the city center.

Ready to canoe at Bos Campground.

Ready to canoe at Bos Campground.

Camping Het Amsterdamse Bos
Kleine Noorddijk 1
+(31)(0) 20 6416868

Located inside Amsterdam’s largest protected park, Amsterdamse Bos sits peacefully within 900 acres of natural lakes, canals, and greenery just south of the city. Open year-round.

Facilities: Camping shop with fresh baked rolls, guest kitchen, dining room, lockers, washer, dryer, canoe rental, and BBQs allowed.

Perks: A natural playground for families, the park has unlimited recreational possibilities: canoe and kayak rentals, picnic areas, cafes, and even a woodsy section where buffalo roam!

Cost: From € 5 per person. A variety of cabins and hostel rooms are also available to rent. Parking is free.

To Amsterdam: Bus 172 and 171 runs daily to Amsterdam Central Station, and bus 271 runs through the night. Bus 199 heads from Schipol Airport directly to the campground. Metro 51 stops at Amstelveen, plus a 15-minute walk to the campsite. Biking from the city center takes about 30 minutes.

Meeuwenlaan 138
+(31)(0) 20 6368855

Nestled between 62 acres of woodlands and small fishing harbors to the north of Amsterdam, Vliegenbos is a blend of parks and forests, just a stone’s throw away from the city center. The campsite is seasonal, open from early April through late September.

Facilities: Camping shop, sanitary facilities, lockers, dishwasher, bar, restaurant, washer/dryer, phone booth, bike rental, canoe rental, internet, night security, and BBQs allowed. No dogs.

Perks: Affordable “Dirk van de Broek” supermarket is a short walk away. Nearby parks offer tennis courts, swimming pool, sport fields, and more.

Cost: From €8.30 for a one-person tent. Extra charge for parking.

To Amsterdam: Bus 32 and 33 run daily and are direct to Central Station, and bus 361 runs through the night. By bike, a five-minute ride and a quick trip on the ferry will bring campers to the North end of Central Station.

Gaasper Camping
Loosdrechtdreef 7
+(31)(0) 20 6967326

Located in southeast Amsterdam, Gaasper is Amsterdam’s largest campsite, offering more than 400 plots in scenic spots, including lakes, parks, and woods. Gaasper is open annually from March 15 to November 1.

Facilities: Supermarket, dishwasher, bar, restaurant, phone booth, night security, and BBQs allowed.

Perks: The restaurant provides a cafeteria-style food selection and outdoor terrace.

Cost: From € 5 per person. Parking fees apply.

To Amsterdam: Central Amsterdam is about 20 minutes away via public transportation. Bus 53 runs daily to Amsterdam’s Central Station, as well as Metro 53 and night buses 355 and 357 (weekends) to Gaasperplas Station. A bike ride to the center takes about 20 minutes.

About the author

About the author: Audrey Sykes hopped across the pond from the US eight years ago for a Masters degree in global journalism. Since then, she’s lived all over Europe, reporting and editing for music sites, snowboard mags, and travel media. She’s also the Amsterdam author for Party Earth, a guide to nightlife across Europe.

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7 thoughts on “Amsterdam Camping: Sleep even cheaper in a tent!”

  1. Me and my 13 friends hired a 6-person bungalow and an 8-person chalet between 24.06 – 27.06.2011. We paid a full price for both accommodations, which we left tidy. We hardly spent any time at the camping as most of the time we were out. According to the rules of the camping the check out should happen before 11 am. 10 of my friends were leaving on Monday 27th at 8.30 am and me with my boyfriend and 1 friend were planning to leave before 11 am.

    When we went to the reception at 8.30 I kindly asked the man at the reception to swap the documents for the bungalow. I explained him that 4 people from bungalow are leaving now (one of them had her driving licence in the reception) and 2 are leaving later. Therefore I offered to leave my passport for another 2 hours so my friend who was leaving at that time could take her driving licence. Meantime other friends from the chalet were gathering outside and the person who left the document for the chalet was still inside the chalet and was planning to leave with us before 11.

    When I asked if I could swap the documents for the bungalow the owner suddenly changed his polite behaviour and started shouting at me and counting the people gathering outside. I explained him that 4 of them are from the bungalow and 7 are from the chalet and they are leaving now. He even didn’t want to listen to me and started shouting racist comments into my face such as: “you stupid Polish”, “you Polish idiot”. I kindly asked him to calm down and explained that 11 people outside are not from the 6-person bungalow but he wouldn’t listen. He kept screaming at us and gesticulating with hands, I was so afraid that he would hit me! He screamed: “I am calling the police”. My question was why if it was the owner who was brutal and harassing us, we were calm and did nothing wrong. I told him: “I want you to call the police” as I knew that we did nothing wrong and the police would help us, but he didn’t call. He kept screaming: “get out of my camping now!!”. I was still wearing my pyjamas, I didn’t have any breakfast and a shower as I planed to leave in 2 hours time.

    Please bear in mind that we didn’t visit a private house where the owner could kick us out. We visited a public camping and paid for the accommodation for 14 people in a bungalow and in a chalet so we were guests. The staff should look after us, as this is their job! Instead of that 2 hours before the check out when we only kindly asked to swap the documents the owner harassed us with racist comments, kicked us out of the camping and for the money we paid I wasn’t even allowed to have a shower and breakfast before leaving. I was given 30 seconds to pack up my clothes. What is more the owner wouldn’t stop shouting like he was in a madness, he was screaming to us: “shout up” every time I wanted to ask him why or what has happened that he treated us like that. I told him that he behaves like Hitler treating us like that and he did a Hey Hitler arm with a smile and pride on his face!

  2. there was (2006) and probably still is a sporting goods store roughly between and across the canal from the Rijkmuseam and Heiniken brewery. Also the flea market at Waterlooplien and the Albert Kuyp market may be places to check. Success!

  3. I think camping at Amsterdamse Bos is the best choice. The park has so many wonderful sights itself – the goat farm complete with cheese shop and other fun dairy products, several cafes and beer terraces, and endless miles of bike paths and walking trails. Plus you have several options to get into town as Audrey mentions.

    Great list!


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