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Amsterdam: Swimming and Lakes Guide

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Amsterdam is city of canals. It looks like you can practically take a swim in any of them While Technically you could swim in any one of Amsterdam’s lovely canals, it is really not recommended, tempting as it may be.  A swim in the canals can be suite dangerous. The overall water quality is fine, and you wouldn’t get poisoned, there are quite a few bicycles, trash and various other household items on the bottom of the canals. There is also a real danger of canal boats that might run you down.

If a swim in the canals is still irresistible for you, then you can join the Amsterdam City Swim un September. This is an annual tradition, eve the Queen partakes in it.

In the meantime, there are a lot of nice places to go for a swim in Amsterdam.  We will give you a few to choose from.

The Amsterdamse Bos is a huge park and recreational area on the edges of the City. There is a long canal in the park and it has several swimming areas, both official and unofficial.  Besides the canal there are other spots for swimming in the Amsterdam Bos.

If you are traveling with your family then you should check out the Het Kleine Kinderbad and Grote Kinderbad. These are shallow swimming pools for kids. Many parents bring there kids here, so they can relax in the sun while the kids have fun.

Grote Vijver is also a popular swimming spot in the forest. Basically this is a large pond. There is a nice entry point made, that makes it easy to come in from the shore, and there are a few bridges that the youngsters like to jupm from.

The next place that offers a great opportunity for a nice swim is thr Nieuwe meer. It is a big lake and it is located right next to the Amsterdamse Bos.  There are two official swimming areas on the lake banks, but far most the best experience is when you have a boat so you can anchor it somewhere in the middle of the lake, far away from the crowd and jump in for a swim from there.  On the west side of the lake is the Oeverlanden.  The Oeverlanden has three swimming beaches. The other location on the lake which is nice for swimming is the Noordoever. It is located a bit north from the Oeverlanden. All of these locations are reachable by public transport or you can take a longer bike ride, if you are up for it.

Around the Île or Amsteram Island there are several spots where you can take a dip or go for a swim.  One of the favorite ones is the Stenen Hoofd.  One of the most fun things to do here is to jump into the water straight from the wall. Most people bring along a picnic, and make a whole day out of it.

Also a nice place for a swim is De Sloterplas.  This is also a large park with a lake in the middle.  There are separated areas that are used for swimming. It is always nice to go for a light swim after jogging or riding a bike.

One of the best things to do is to take a boat up the Amstel. It offers a great escape from the busy canals in Amsterdam.  There are plenty of quiet places on the river where you can anchor  you boat and jump in the water for a nice swim.  Unfortunately there are not many places here to access the river from the shore. There are many private docks do, so if you can arrange with the owners to use them for swimming purposes, you are good to go.

There is one popular beach close to Amsterdam and it is called Blijburg. It is located on manmade  burg island, northeast of the central station.  This has become one of the cool city beaches, where you can swim.  This is not just a place for swimming. Many events and festivals are held here, and on most of the summer evenings there is music and bonfire, and you can end up staying here for longer than you have hoped.

Some other places to go swimming in Amsterdam are the Diemerpark Beach and Het tiske. Diemepark beach is on east side of the city and to reach Het Tiske you can take the ferry or go by bike through Noord.

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