Amsterdam: Two beachside locales for end-of-summer fun

Posted in: Amsterdam Sights

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Zandvoort aan Zee beach in Amsterdam
Sunset at Zandvoort beach. Photos by Audrey Sykes.

As summer rolls away in Amsterdam and fall brings in cooler temps, locals still flock to the beaches for one last hurrah. Luckily, the fun cafés, clubs and bars along the beaches of Zandvoort and IJburg throw grand finale parties until the last week of September.

Zandvoort Beach in Amsterdam

The scene at Zandvoort

Getting to a beach in Holland is a breeze, and time spent on the sleepy shores can be a relaxing alternative to a bustling day in the center of the city. Locals head to sandy venues in September not only because it’s prime mussel season, but also for the last taste of summertime fun.

Here are two top picks worth a visit:

Zandvoort aan Zee/Blomendaal aan Zee
Getting there: 30-minute direct train from Amsterdam Centraal
Venue: Woodstock 69

The Zandvoort and Blomendaal beaches make up a stretch of coastline dotted with cafés, fried fish stands and beachgoers. At the end of the boardwalk is Woodstock 69, a party house decorated like a hippie-style Caribbean tiki lounge. The vibe is relaxing by day and upbeat by night.

Seaside at Zandvoort beach in Amsterdam

Seaside at Zandvoort

During the day, the spot is a café with decently priced meals and snacks. From Indonesian sate to fresh local seafood, plates cover all the bases at reasonable prices. While the sun is still up, you can also take a surfing or kite boarding lesson (or head over to one of Woodstock 69’s massage corners). By night, live music and parties take over.

The crowd at Woodstock is friendly, and all types of visitors are welcome. Local jam bands and reggae acts drift in on weekends and keep the place hot and happy. Cover charges hover at about €5 when it’s a party, but strolling in during the day is free.

Ijburg
Getting there: From Amsterdam Centraal, take tram 26 to Ruisrietstraat
Venue: Blijburg

Located in the residential neighborhood of IJburg on the east side of town, Blijburg is Amsterdam’s city beach. It’s a man-made oasis which locals can bike to when it’s time to cool off. The fresh water is murky but cool, the sand is semi-synthetic but soft, and the café is rustic but pleasant.

Blijburg beach in Amsterdam

Hanging out at Blijburg beach. Photo by El Cabron.

Blijburg is a hot spot on summer days, and at times it can be tough to find a place to perch. The café boasts a selection of tapas, sizable sandwiches, pizzas and tasty barbeque meats.

When the evening rolls around and families pack up, the place adapts to the 20- to 30-somethings drinking beers in their beachwear. From funky jazz nights to theater, Blijburg provides solid entertainment options, and it’s a mere stone’s throw away from the city!

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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