12 Fun & Best Things to Do in Zandvoort, Netherlands

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Zandvoort, Netherlands

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 items. But it would be best if you didn’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 has nothing to do with the beach! You may enjoy all of Holland’s cultural riches while enjoying a day trip to Zandvoort Beach (or Zandvoort aan Zee) from Amsterdam Central Station in under 30 minutes.

Prepare your trip carefully so you don’t miss out on any interesting things to see and do while visiting Zandvoort.

Things to Do in Zandvoort, Netherlands

Here are the best things to do in Zandvoort:

1. Visit the beach

Zandvoort 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 summer day by the sea.

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 being known as a small fishing village at one time.

Now, here’s some warning: Be careful when you dip into the North Sea. The water temperature is typically only comfortable for swimming during the warmer months (June-September). Near Zandvoort Beach, flags will indicate whether visitors can enter the water.

When you see an orange windsock, you can swim 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, many jellyfish exist. Despite being harmless, they can have quite itchy stings. Although there isn’t truly a “jellyfish season,” watch for easterly winds.

At such time, there is a considerably greater likelihood that you will see jellyfish close to the coast. On such occasions, many of them were already stranded on the shore.

Use that as a cue to stroll down the beach pavilion or play beach volleyball rather than swim. 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 Old Town Architecture

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 delicious local food. As you walk, watch for historical landmarks like an old windmill.

See Related: Most Beautiful Cities in Europe to Visit

3. Visit the Circuit Park Zandvoort

Circuit Park Zandvoort Aerial View
image by dronepicr is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Address: Burgemeester van Alphenstraat 108, 2041 KP Zandvoort, Netherlands

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 motorsports fan, you’ll love Circuit Park Zandvoort. You can tour the track and watch the cars zoom around at breakneck speeds. The track is also home to a museum, which features exhibits on the sport’s history.

The circuit has even made a comeback due to its proximity to Amsterdam and 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.

If you’re looking for Zandvoort’s hotels near the park, you can book and get deals on Booking.com.

4. Hit the beach clubs

Ubuntu Beach Entrance
image by Inge K/TripAdvisor

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, 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. 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 a.m. 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, beach beds are also 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 on the beach and is 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: Day Trips from Amsterdam, Netherlands

5. Go surfing

Noosa Beach View
image by Sabine S/TripAdvisor

Alternatively, you can go surfing if you are into a few water sports. 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: Things to Do in Alkmaar, Netherlands

6. Learn more at Zandvoort Museum

Zandvoort Museum Building
image by Alwin Nagel is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Address: Swaluëstraat 1, 2042 KA Zandvoort, Netherlands

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. Over 4,000 objects represent Zandvoort’s past, 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 space layout, you’ll be able to appreciate all of the fascinating items in the collection.

Zandvoort Museum is free to enter and open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 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

Biking in Zandvoort

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 exercise while enjoying the fresh air and beautiful scenery. It is also a great way to explore the area and see things you couldn’t see from a car or bus.

See Related: Tips for Riding a Bike in Amsterdam

8. Explore Kennemerland National Park

Kennemerland National Park Aerial View
image by dronepicr is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Address: Vogelweg, 2051 EC Bloemendaal, Netherlands

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, including red deer, roe deer, and bunnies, which you can discover by taking a bike tour or going for a walk along one of the many pathways.

Kennemerland National Park is located in North Holland and is one of the Netherlands’s largest national parks – 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.

See Related: 2 Days in Amsterdam Itinerary

9. Have a picnic at the Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen

Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen Trail

Address: Duizendmeterweg, Bentveld, Netherlands

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 with plenty of outdoor activities for visitors. 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: Things to Do in Leiden, Netherlands

10. Grab lunch with a view at Buitenplaats Plantage

Buitenplaats Plantage Interior
image by Remi goes great places/TripAdvisor

Address: Vogelenzangseweg 49A, 2114 BB Vogelenzang, Netherlands

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!

Dutch Herring

Zandvoort is home to many restaurants with superb food, so be sure to have dinner at one while in town. From traditional Dutch cuisine to international fare, you’re sure to find something to your taste. Now that you know almost all the important stuff, let us 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 independently and as a sandwich with pickles and onions.

Kibbeling, my 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 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, typically eaten with leeks, onions, and dipping sauce. A side of crispy fries is frequently provided with 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 as IJssalon Ci Vediamo.

See Related: Best Tourists Destinations in the World

12. Go horseback riding

Horseback Riding in Zandvoort
image by JBopreis/TripAdvisor

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!

See Related: What to Eat in Amsterdam

How to Get to Zandvoort from Amsterdam

Zandvoort Beach is the closest beach to Amsterdam. It is located approximately 25 kilometers west of Amsterdam and is easily accessible by train or car. With its long stretch of sandy beach and lively atmosphere, Zandvoort is a popular destination for both locals and tourists.

So let’s start with how you will go to the Zandvoort beach. It normally only takes 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 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. You might find downloading the NS-app (local rail information) or the 9292 apps (Dutch public transportation timetables) beneficial to prepare for your trip.

See Related: Things to Do in Haarlem

Places to Stay in Zandvoort

1. Beachhouse Hotel Top Recommendation

Beachhouse Hotel is a family-run hotel with a friendly atmosphere and very comfortable rooms. All the rooms have private bath, toilet, cable TV, air conditioning and telephone. The hotel is situated at the beach in Zandvoort, only 5 minutes walk from the beach and 10 minutes from Zandvoort city center.

2. Hotel Faber

Hotel Faber is a modern hotel, located in the city of Zandvoort. The hotel has a free Wi-Fi access throughout the hotel and offers spacious rooms with wooden floors and modern furniture. All rooms are equipped with air conditioning, a TV, a telephone and free toiletries.

3. Hotel Paradis

Hotel Paradis is located in the popular seaside town of Zandvoort, near Zandvoort beach and only a five-minute walk from the train station. It offers free WiFi access throughout. The bright rooms at Hotel Paradis are decorated with light pastel colours and have tiled floors. They feature a seating area and a flat-screen TV. You will find an electric kettle and a fridge in the room.

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FAQ

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 is kept clean to ensure 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 much 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.

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Kyle Kroeger
WRITTEN BY

Kyle Kroeger

Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of ViaTravelers.com. He is a full-time traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started ViaTravelers.com to help travelers experience a fully immersive cultural experience as he did initially living in Italy. He's a converted finance nerd and Excel jockey turned world wanderer (and may try to get lost on purpose). After visiting 12 countries and 13 national parks in a year, he was devoted to creating and telling stories like he'd heard.

Plus, after spending more time on airplanes and packing, he's learned some incredible travel hacks over time as he earned over 1 million Chase Ultimate Rewards points in under a year, helping him maximize experiences as much as possible to discover the true meaning of travel.

He loves listening to local stories from around the world and sharing his experiences traveling the globe. He loves travel so much that he moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Amsterdam with his small family to travel Europe full-time. Read more about his portfolio of work.

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