If you’re looking for an amazing European getaway, look no further than Zandvoort. With its stunning beaches, quaint village, and delicious food, Zandvoort beach is a must-see destination on your next trip to the Netherlands.
When you hear of Holland, you probably think of cheese, windmills, and maybe even bicycles. Fair enough, North Holland has a wide variety of each of those items. But you shouldn’t forget that this part of the Netherlands also has a stunning coastline with white sand beaches.
Zandvoort is a charming seaside town just outside of Amsterdam. With its long and expansive beach, rich history, and picturesque views of the North Sea, Zandvoort is a delightful place to visit if you’re looking for a getaway or day trip from Amsterdam.
The good news is that you can have it all, even if your idea of Amsterdam includes nothing to do with the beach! You may enjoy all of Holland’s cultural riches while still enjoying a day trip to Zandvoort Beach (or Zandvoort aan Zee) from Amsterdam Central Station in under 30 minutes.
Prepare your trip carefully so that you don’t miss out on any of the interesting things to see and do while visiting Zandvoort.
Table of Contents
- Fun & Best Things to do in Zandvoort, Netherlands
- 1. Visit the beach
- 2. Stroll through the old town
- 3. Visit the Circuit Park Zandvoort
- 4. Hit the beach clubs
- 5. Go surfing
- 6. Learn more at Zandvoort Museum
- 7. Go cycling amid stunning natural surroundings
- 8. Explore Kennemerland National Park
- 9. Have a picnic at the Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen
- 10. Grab lunch with a view at Buitenplaats Plantage
- 11. Still hungry? Enjoy one of the many other great restaurants!
- 12. Go horseback riding
- How to Get to Zandvoort from Amsterdam
- Final Thoughts
- What is Zandvoort famous for?
- Can you swim in Zandvoort?
- Is Zandvoort worth visiting?
Fun & Best Things to do in Zandvoort, Netherlands
Here are the best things to do in Zandvoort:
1. Visit the beach
Zandvoort’s beach is one of the best in the Netherlands and is the town’s main attraction. It’s the perfect place for a relaxing day by the sea in summer. Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy the stunning views of the North Sea. This long sandy beach offers a ton of things on its own and has helped Zandvoort become a very popular beach resort town after at one time being known as a small fishing village.
Now some warning, be careful when you go for a dip in the North Sea. The water temperature is typically only comfortable enough for swimming during the warmer months of the year (June-September). Near Zandvoort Beach, there will be flags indicating whether or not visitors are permitted to enter the water.
When you see an orange windsock, it means you can go swimming without risk. The presence of a yellow flag indicates that there is some risk, whereas the presence of a red flag implies that you should not enter.
Another thing to be careful of is the local sea life. Although the North Sea is generally safe and clean, there is a lot of jellyfish there. Despite being harmless, they can have quite itchy stings. Although there isn’t truly a “jellyfish season,” keep an eye out for easterly winds.
At such time, there is a considerably greater likelihood that you will see jellyfish close to the coast. On such occasions, a large number of them were already stranded on the shore. Use that as a cue to stroll down the beach pavilion or play some beach volleyball rather than go swimming.
The other thing I’d be wary of is where the nudist beaches begin and end – dress appropriately!
See Related: Best Beaches in the Netherlands to Visit
2. Stroll through the old town
Zandvoort is a charming Dutch coastal town with a long history. The first people settled here around the 12th Century. Recently, it has grown into a popular destination for travelers looking for a seaside resort getaway.
Today, it is the perfect place to explore on foot. Start at the main square, then wander through the narrow streets and admire the Dutch architecture.
Be sure to pop into the shops and try some of the delicious local food. As you walk, keep an eye out for historical landmarks like an old windmill.
See Related: Best & Most Beautiful Cities in Europe to Visit
3. Visit the Circuit Park Zandvoort
Circuit Park Zandvoort is a world-famous race track in the Netherlands that has hosted Formula One races for decades. The track is home to some of the most famous drivers in the world, and it draws huge crowds each year.
If you’re a fan of motorsports, you’ll love Circuit Park Zandvoort. You can take a tour of the track, then watch the cars zoom around at breakneck speeds. The track is also home to a museum, which features exhibits on the history of the sport.
The circuit has even made a comeback due to its proximity to Amsterdam and given the rise of Max Verstappen (the Dutch Formula One driver who won Red Bull Racing’s first victory on home soil at the 2017 Grand Prix). Circuit Park Zandvoort is a must-visit for any fan of motorsports.
4. Hit the beach clubs
If you feel like sitting at one of the beach clubs, then Ubuntu is a great option. The classic red-orange umbrellas of Ubuntu Beach Club make it simple to identify the club. It is one of Zandvoort’s most charming beach clubs and is open all year.
Although there are many outside seats, you’d be astonished at how quickly they become full on a beautiful day. But if the weather changes, don’t worry, there is also plenty of room inside the beach pavilions as well. Take a seat and enjoy a meal or drink.
Another option is Hippie fish. Now the name may sound funny, but this relatively new club is amazing and is open year-round. There is always something on the menu that you will enjoy no matter when you go up to this beach club.
From 11 am on, lunch is already served, and snacks and small meals are served all day. Considering this is a popular club, you might need to reserve a table. However, there are also renting beach beds available if you prefer spending the day near the shore.
If you want to experience the best of Zandvoort nightlife, head to the Azzurro Beach Club. This popular club is located right on the beach, and it’s the perfect place to dance the night away.
If you like the party scene, you may want to consider Bloemendaal aan Zee which is considered a more young, party-friendly beach with plenty of beach bars and clubs to visit.
See Related: Best Day Trips from Amsterdam, Netherlands
5. Go surfing
Alternatively, if you are into a few water sports, then you can go surfing. Now for those who aren’t blessed with this art, they can take a surf lesson at Surfana or First Wave.
You will be able to find the former at the beach club Noosa. The club has an Australian vibe and is even named after a town in Australia. According to them, their sole focus is surfing and good food.
See Related: Best Things to Do in Alkmaar, Netherlands
6. Learn more at Zandvoort Museum
The Zandvoort Museum is a great place to learn about the town’s history, but it can be a little tough to navigate if you don’t know where to start. Zandvoort’s past is represented by over 4,000 objects, but there are no signs inside the museum directing you to specific exhibits.
Additionally, there are no labels on display cases or wall plaques explaining the significance of each item. However, once you get used to the layout of the space, you’ll be able to appreciate all of the fascinating items in the collection.
Zandvoort Museum is free to enter and open every day from 10 am to 5 pm. It’s a great place to spend an afternoon if you’re interested in learning about Zandvoort’s past.
See Related: Famous Buildings in Amsterdam to Visit
7. Go cycling amid stunning natural surroundings
Cycling is a great way to see the sights of Zandvoort. You can rent a bike from one of the local bike shops, or even from the regional tourism bureau. There are many maps available that show recommended cycling routes around town.
Cycling is a great way to get some exercise while you enjoy the fresh air and beautiful scenery. It is also a great way to explore the area and see things you wouldn’t be able to see from a car or bus.
See Related: Tips for Riding a Bike in Amsterdam
8. Explore Kennemerland National Park
Kennemerland National Park is one of The Netherlands’ most beautiful national parks and it’s definitely worth a visit if you’re looking for a taste of the great outdoors.
The park is home to many different bird species, red deer, roe deer, and bunnies which you can discover by taking a bike tour or going for a walk along with one of the many pathways.
Kennemerland National Park is located in North Holland and it’s one of the largest national parks in the Netherlands – so there’s plenty of space to explore.
There are hiking trails that lead through grasslands and forests or along beaches, and you can also take part in some of their unique activities like cycling or horseback riding along these trails.
9. Have a picnic at the Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen
If you still haven’t had your fill of nature and are thinking of day trips from Zandvoort, consider the Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen.
Amsterdam’s Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen is a stunning nature reserve that offers plenty of outdoor activities for visitors to enjoy. The park is hugely popular with cyclists, hikers, and horse riders, and it’s also a great place to see some spectacular wildlife.
Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen is home to a variety of animals, including deer, foxes, rabbits, and several species of birds. If you’re feeling energetic, there are plenty of paths for you to explore on foot or by bike. There are also opportunities for picnics if you get hungry along the way. The reserve plays an important role in supplying Amsterdam with drinking water, as the coastal dunes help to filter rainwater.
So when you’re planning your trip to Amsterdam, be sure to include Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen on your itinerary.
See Related: Best Things to do in Leiden, Netherlands
10. Grab lunch with a view at Buitenplaats Plantage
Buitenplaats Plantage is another amazing place to visit near Zandvoort. You can easily drive, bike, or take public transport there.
Buitenplaats Plantage is a lovely, chilled, and trendy location because instead of fast food, “slow food” is the foundation of this business – judging by the decor, time seems to have stopped there as well! Local ingredients are used exclusively in the creation of menus.
The inside is glammed up, while the outside has a vintage festival atmosphere. During the tulip season, Buitenplaats Plantage faces the tulip fields, making it an ideal location for a drink or lunch.
See Related: Most Beautiful Villages in the Netherlands
11. Still hungry? Enjoy one of the many other great restaurants!
Zandvoort is home to many restaurants with superb food, so be sure to have dinner at one while you’re in town. From traditional Dutch cuisine to international fare, you’re sure to find something to your taste. Now you know almost all the important stuff, let us now talk a little about the foods in the area.
You might want to sample some of the typical foods found in the coastal regions of the Netherlands. Dutch herring is one of those quintessential snacks; it’s typically served raw. It is available both on its own and as a sandwich with pickles and onions.
Kibbeling, my personal favorite seashore snack, is another choice. It consists of battered and fried fish chunks with a garlic sauce Then there are poffertjes; miniature pancake puffs that are often served as a dessert or snack. They’re usually dusted with powdered sugar and served with butter and syrup.
Another popular dish in Zandvoort is mussels, which are typically eaten with leeks, onions, and dipping sauce. A side of crispy fries is frequently provided with each of these dishes (and mayonnaise). Don’t worry; there will be lots of ice cream choices nearby to help you end your dinner with a treat, such IJssalon Ci Vediamo.
See Related: Best Tourists Destinations in the World
12. Go horseback riding
Horseback riding is a great way to see the beautiful scenery of Zandvoort. There are several stables in the area, so you can easily find a place to rent a horse. Just be sure to wear comfortable shoes.
There are several stables in the area, so you can easily find a place to ride a horse or go on a horseback riding tour.
Good news! Horse riding is also a great workout!
How to Get to Zandvoort from Amsterdam
So let’s start with how you are going to go to the Zandvoort beach. It normally only takes you 30 minutes to arrive at Zandvoort aan Zee if you’re traveling from Amsterdam Central Station.
You should reach the beach in under an hour, even if you start off on the outskirts of Amsterdam. Although there is a train line from Amsterdam to Zandvoort aan Zee, you can alternatively travel to Haarlem to change trains before continuing to Zandvoort.
The direct train makes additional stops in Amsterdam Sloterdijk and Haarlem en route to its destination in Zandvoort aan Zee. Well, to prepare for your trip, you might find it beneficial to download the NS-app (local rail information) or the 9292 apps (Dutch public transportation timetables).
We hope you’ve gotten some helpful insight into the most exciting things to do in Zandvoort, Netherlands. Regardless of your personal travel style and interests, we know you can find an amazing experience when you visit Zandvoort. So pack your bags, get ready for a great time, and make sure you let us know about your own adventures when you get back.
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What is Zandvoort famous for?
Zandvoort is known for its beautiful beaches and dunes, as well as the famous Zandvoort Circuit, making it an essential destination. The popular seaside resort “Seaside Pearl” in Zandvoort honors its name.
Can you swim in Zandvoort?
Yes, you can swim in Zandvoort. The beach is located on the Zandvoort peninsula and it is kept clean to ensure that you can enjoy a good day along the North Sea coast.
Just make sure you check the temperature of the water. This sea can get incredibly cold.
Is Zandvoort worth visiting?
Yes, Zandvoort is well worth visiting. It’s a charming little town on the coast with a lot of history and beautiful scenery.
There are plenty of great Zandvoort attractions to keep you busy, from beaches to restaurants (the food here is amazing) to shopping. Plus, it’s close to Amsterdam so you can easily visit both towns on the same trip.