Swimming in Amsterdam

Places to go swimming in Amsterdam

Summer is FINALLY here! Feel like going for a swim? Here are some spots around Amsterdam where you can take a dip!


While technically you can swim in Amsterdam’s lovely canals, we wouldn’t really recommend it. There are quite a few bicycles, trash and other household items floating around in there, not to mention the canal boats that might run you down. But if you are crazy enough to brave the canals, do so in style!

If you really want to swim in the canals, you could also join Amsterdam City Swim in September! The Queen did it, so can you.

Amsterdamse Bos

Amsterdamse Bos has several swimming areas, both official and unofficial. Check their website for specific location information.

Het Kleine Kinderbad and Grote Kinderbad are shallow swimming pools for the kiddies and you’ll see lots of parents sunbathing on the surrounding grass. Grote Vijver is a popular swimming spot in the forest. This large pond has easy entry from the shore and also a few bridges that the kids like to jump from.

After your swim go have a goat milk ice cream at the Geitenboerderij!

Places to go swimming in Amsterdam: amsterdamse bos

Nieuwe Meer

The Nieuwe Meer is a big lake next to Amsterdamse Bos. There are two official swimming areas where you can enter the water from the shore or if you’re lucky and have a boat you can anchor and swim in the middle of the lake. Oeverlanden is on the west side of the lake and has three swimming beaches. It is reachable by public transport. Noordoever is the other swimming location on the lake, a bit to the north of Oeverlanden.

Stenen Hoofd

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 one of the nearby cafes or better yet bring a picnic.

Places to go swimming in Amsterdam: stenen hoofd

De Sloterplas

De Sloterplas is located in Nieuw West and is a large park surrounding a lake with a separated area used as a swimming pond. Bicycle or jog around the lake circuit and then take a refreshing dip.


Take your boat or bike 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.


A popular beach close to Amsterdam is located on the manmade IJburg island just to the northeast of central station. Blijburg is a cool city beach where you can swim in the IJ and hang out at the ramshackle cafe. Many festivals and events are held here, and on summer evenings there is often music and a bonfire. Blijburg is reachable by bicycle or tram. Or you can camp nearby at Urban Campsite!

Diemerpark Beach

Diemerpark is located on the east side of Amsterdam. There is a sheltered swimming beach along the northern side between the park and Haveneiland. If you head out here, bring a picnic or make a stop at ‘t Nieuwe Diep for refreshments.

Places to go swimming in Amsterdam: Twiske

Het Twiske

Take the ferry and a nice bicycle ride through Noord to Het Twiske. There are 10 official swimming locations in this large recreation area. Check out the Twiske website for more information and swimming locations. Bring a picnic and spend the day relaxing in this wonderful large park.


Some other spots we’ve spotted people swimming in the city includes Hannekes Boom, Amsterdam Roest (they have a rope swing!), De Ceuvel, around Prinseneiland, and nearly everywhere the water looks decent!

You can also head to Noord and leap from a bridge near De Krijtmolen windmill or go for a dip in the IJ at Schellingwouderpark.

In addition to swimming in fresh water around Amsterdam, you can also take the train or a long bicycle ride to the beach at Zandvoort or Bloemendaal and swim in the North Sea. Happy swimming!

For more information on water quality and swimming locations visit the zwemwater.nl website.

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Places to go swimming in Amsterdam


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