Best beaches in the Netherlands: the ultimate guide to Dutch beaches

Seas the day πŸ˜‰πŸŒŠ

The sun might be shy here, but nothing beats a summer day at one of the best beaches in the Netherlands with sea, sand, and a cold drink in hand. 🍹

Are you ready to head to one of the Netherlands’ beautiful beaches but not sure which one to visit? Well, that’s why we’re here. πŸ˜‰

Whether you live in the north or the south of the lowlands, a gorgeous beach is never too far away. Our list of the best beaches in the Netherlands will get you all set for a hot summer!

Best beaches in Noord-Holland: to each their own

The province of Noord Holland has a beach for every occasion β€” whether you’re looking for a nature getaway, a romantic escape, or just a nice place to spend the afternoon with your family.

1. Zandvoort aan Zee: Amsterdammers’ escape

If you consider yourself a true Amsterdammer, then Zandvoort aan Zee will not be new to you. This popular sunbathing spot is located 30 kilometres outside of Amsterdam, making it the closest beach to the Dutch capital.

Enjoy beautiful sunsets at the Zandvoort aan Zee beach β€” right outside Amsterdam. Image: Unsplash

Its convenient location makes it the perfect place to venture to if you need a break from the busy city life.

This long and lovely sandy beach in the Netherlands is part of the Zuid-Kennemerland National Park, known for its magical combination of impressive dunes and peaceful forests.

What more do you need for a perfect day to unwind?

2. Paal 29: the hidden beach

In any good beach guide, you want to find some spots that only a few people know about. Paal 29 β€” a true hidden gem β€” is one of them (and so are the next three beaches on this list). 🀫

Rolling down the sand dune is just one of the highlights of Paal 29. Image: Iulia Romaniuc/Supplied

You can reach this secret beach through the Schoorlse Duinen at the end of a 1.5-hour hike or by bike from Amsterdam. However, the cycle is somewhat uphill, so don’t expect a leisurely ride.

READ MORE | The 10 best hikes in and near Utrecht to bask in Dutch nature

Fortunately, there is a beach club at Paal 29, which means you don’t have to drag a picnic with you over the dunes (unless you want to go full-Dutch mode, of course).

3. Camperduin: a historical site

Camperduin is truly special. As the name already suggests, this beach is surrounded by dunes.

While this is not that unusual for a Dutch beach, what makes the Camperduin dunes special is that they shelter an artificially created lagoon β€” how perfect is that for an afternoon swim? 🏊

The place also has real historical value. The Battle of Camperdown, where the Dutch lost a naval battle to the British, took place here in 1797. Best not to rub it in the local Dutchies’ faces, though. πŸ˜‰

4. Bloemendaal aan Zee: dunes for days

Bloemendaal aan Zee is one of the most popular beaches in the Netherlands, and for good reason.

Like the other beaches on the list, it’s surrounded by nature. The Kennemerduinen are especially beautiful to walk through.

What a sight for sore eyes! Image: Fabimaru/Wikimedia/CC4.0

And just like all the other good Dutch beaches, Bloemendaal aan Zee is lined with cafΓ©s serving delicious snacks and drinks (bitterballen and biertjes, anyone?), so you won’t be starving as you chill in the sand.

5. Petten aan Zee: a romantic escape

If you’re planning a romantic evening at the beach, we can recommend Petten aan Zee.

An hour away from Amsterdam, its panoramic dunes are the perfect spot to watch the sun go down β€” it even has benches ideally placed for sunset viewing.

READ MORE | 19 best day trips from Amsterdam: the ultimate travel guide

Petten is also great for swimming and easily accessible by public transport or car (with free parking!)

6. Sint Maartenszee: a quiet place

Petten and Sint Maartenszee are the perfect pair if you fancy a double-beach day. Located just five kilometres down from Petten, Sint Maartenszee is easily reached by bike.

READ MORE | The 18 most magnificent lakes in the Netherlands (near Amsterdam and beyond)

It’s a beautiful rustic spot, ideal for children with a playground to enjoy. You can also rent a sunbed or a windscreen from one of the beach clubs dotted along this beautiful coastline.

7. Egmond aan Zee: an underrated spot

Situated in the northwest of Noord Holland, Egmond aan Zee has one of the most beautiful beaches in the Netherlands.

The old fishing village and the local lighthouse are popular spots to visit, and the local beach is wonderfully quiet.

Does it get any more peaceful? I don’t think so. Image: Depositphotos

If you’re looking for a place to walk along gorgeous dunes, go for a peaceful swim, watch the sunset, or even spot some wild horses, then this is it. 🐎

8. Texel: the Netherlands’ own island beach

If you’re in the mood for a mini holiday, this one is for you. The island of Texel is located just off the coast of Noord-Holland (near Den Helder) and is pretty cheap to get to by ferry.

READ MORE | Exploring Dutch islands: a guide to visiting Texel

While the island itself is not that big, I can testify that there is a lot to explore β€” whether it’s the quintessentially Dutch beaches, picturesque dunes, hills where Scottish highland cows graze, or the popular lighthouse that you occasionally see on Instagram.

Texel’s iconic lighthouse just makes for the most photogenic monument! Image: Unsplash

If you get tired, there are plenty of restaurants where you can relax and replenish your energy. However, Texel is quite windy, so don’t forget to bring your kite for extra adventure (and a windbreaker)!

Whether you’re looking for a place bustling with nightlife or a more laid-back beach, the options in the province of Zuid-Holland are endless. What are some of the top Dutch beach spots out here?

9. Scheveningen: the classic spot

Scheveningen is by far the most popular beach in the Netherlands. No wonder β€” the beach is HUGE.

It has gorgeously fine sand, countless beach bars (who can say no to an ice-cold cocktail on a hot summer’s day?), shops, restaurants, a gaming arcade, a pier, you name it!

A tried and tested fan favourite! Image: Depositphotos

Scheveningen is the place to visit regardless of the season, as there are plenty of things to do in spring, summer, autumn, and winter.

READ MORE | 18 unmissable things to do in Scheveningen: A local’s guide

Think of the New Year’s bonfires or the famous Nieuwjaarsduik, where thousands of people throw themselves into the cold waters of the North Sea to welcome the new year.

10. Zuiderstrand: Scheveningen’s southern counterpart

This beautiful stretch of sand is technically attached to Scheveningen, but it couldn’t feel more different.

READ MORE | 7 things you didn’t know about the Hague

Far less crowded, Zuiderstrand is framed by the Westduinpark β€” a nature reserve full of dunes, beautiful plants, and tiny hills to walk over (we are in the Netherlands, after all).

The dunes of Zuiderstrand. Image: Charlotte Baart/Supplied

There are a few beach clubs, though not nearly as many as at Scheveningen. Zuiderstrand is the perfect place for a relaxing day: bring your book, some sunglasses, and your wallet for the bitterballen cravings when they inevitably come.

11. Hoek van Holland: Rotterdammers’ favourite

Hoek van Holland is a beach that every Rottedammer knows. It’s located a quick 30-minute journey outside the city, and you can easily get here by car or metro (or by bike if you’re feeling brave on a sunny day).

At Hoek van Holland, you can even rent one of these charming “strandhuisjes” (little beach houses). Perfect for a weekend away! 😍 Image: Jana VondrÑčkovΓ‘/Supplied

The “Hook of Holland” is home to numerous beach bars, restaurants, and hotels and a place that no water sports enthusiast should miss. It’s the perfect spot if you want to go somewhere resembling Scheveningen without the hoards of tourists.

READ MORE | 9 unique places to spend the night in the Netherlands

On top of that, this lovely beach in the Netherlands offers countless opportunities for exciting hikes and walks in its surroundings.

12. Wassenaar: between Leiden and The Hague

The Wassenaar beach is a lovely, soft-sanded, eight-kilometre stretch of land between The Hague and Leiden. Surrounded by dunes and lovely nature paths, it has a similar vibe to the laid-back Zuiderstrand.

This is a great Dutch beach for anyone living in Leiden. It can be reached by car in less than 20 minutes (or 40 minutes by bike, if you’re up for it).

READ MORE | The best photo spots in Leiden

You can enjoy a walk, run, or bike ride through the dunes and dip in the sea to cool down afterwards. Sheer bliss!

13. Noordwijk: dunes and tulip fields

Noordwijk Beach is located close to the popular tulip fields of Keukenhof, which I love to visit in spring.

It has many beach clubs, several of which are open all year round. Noordwijk is the perfect place to have a drink and a snack while looking out to sea, whether it’s summer or winter.

There are plenty of beach activities as well, such as rafting, canoeing, and kite-flying. And the best part? Dogs are welcome here, too! However, do check where and in what season your four-legged friends have to be on a leash.

Preschooler girl having fun on the sand beach at sea coast in Noordwijk, one of the best beaches in the Netherlands.
Young or old, human or dog β€” everyone loves Noordwijk! Image: Depositphotos

14. Katwijk: the cleanest beach in the country

Katwijk Beach is another beautifully sandy beach in the Netherlands. Its two-kilometre boulevard is lined with shops, bars, and restaurants.

The 17th-century lighthouse and the charm of the former fishing village will really take you back in time. Katwijk offers a wide range of water sports, and there is ample space to enjoy a sunbath or a nice walk along the beach.

Walking with a horse  near the sea on the sand beach , Katwijk, Netherlands
You might even see the occasional horse here! Image: Depositphotos

The beach is very popular with tourists, and it’s certainly somewhere you should go if you happen to be in the area. It was once even voted the cleanest beach in Zuid-Holland, plus it’s dog-friendly.

Best beaches in Zeeland: for tropical feels

The province of Zeeland is a summer paradise and hosts some of the best beaches in the Netherlands. Located in the southwest of the country, the province is home to a number of charming beach villages that always leave me wanting more.

15. Domburg beach: a vintage beach spot

If you’re off to Zeeland for your holidays, then this Dutch beach is something you shouldn’t miss. As one of the oldest beach resorts in Zeeland, it’s a beautiful place for a long beach walk.

Domburg Beach at sunset, one of the best beaches in the Netherlands
The perfect place to catch a stunning sunset (and get that Instagram photo! πŸ“Έ). Image: Depositphotos

There are many different options for water sports enthusiasts here and, of course, multiple bars and restaurants. If you’ve had enough sand for the day, head over to the cute village and explore its unique charm.

16. Oostkapelle beach: a peaceful getaway

It’s nice, it’s big, and there is plenty of room for everyone: Oostkapelle Beach. 🌊

Perfect for those seeking some peace and quiet, this oasis is not accessible by car, so you must walk or cycle through a forest to get there.

Sounds like the perfect nature adventure, right? Well, it gets even better: the northern part of this beach is actually a nudist beach. Can’t be bothered with sandy swimming trunks? Geen probleem, just take ’em off! πŸ˜‰

17. Berkenbosch beach: a true nature escape

If you want a slightly more natural beach (as in, not surrounded by buildings and restaurants), Berkenbosch may be the best beach in the Netherlands for you.

READ MORE | 5 Dutch nature reserves to stretch your legs and enjoy the sights

This lovely sandy beach is quieter yet still very popular. It is the perfect place for a nice walk or a sunbathing session away from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

18. Cadzand: Middelburg’s very own beach

There’s something very human about wanting to visit places that are “the most” anything, and honestly, that’s one of the reasons why we’d recommend visiting Cadzand in Middelburg.

It’s the southernmost beach in the Netherlands, and apart from that, it’s just a lovely place to visit.

And, of course, some lush green dunes. 🌱 Image: Marc Ryckaert/Wikimedia Commons/CC 3.0

Stroll around the city centre of Middelburg itself, head out to Cadzand to enjoy some fresh seafood for lunch, and chill on the beach until the sun sets β€” a day well spent if you ask us.

Best beaches on the Wadden Islands: in pristine conditions

Friesland is a province we don’t talk about a lot. However, it’s a place in the Netherlands you shouldn’t overlook. The Wadden Islands offer some of the most beautiful nature spots in the country.

19. Ameland: sandy dunes and windy skies

The beautiful beach of Ameland is very similar to the one in Texel β€” long and lined with beach houses and dunes.

Similar to Texel, it’s also very windy, which makes it the perfect place to bring your kite. Additionally, if you’re into sports, a rugby festival is held here every June!

The windy beach of Ameland β€” stunning! Image: Unsplash

20. Schiermonnikoog: the widest beach in Europe

The beach of Schiermonnikoog doesn’t just have a funny-sounding name, nor is it just one of the best beaches in the Netherlands; it’s also one of the widest beaches in all of Europe!

How is that for a bucket list experience? The vast beach is ideal for windsurfing, and as a bonus, it’s also one of the cleanest beaches in the Netherlands!

READ MORE | Wadlopen in 2023: your guide to mudflat walking in the Netherlands

It’s also perfectly suited for children who aren’t super confident sea swimmers yet β€” the waters here are perfectly shallow and clear.

So, what are you waiting for? Grab your flip flops, sunscreen, and a lekker snack and off you go! Your nearest Dutch dream beach might be just a quick bike ride away.

What are your favourite beaches in the Netherlands? Do you have more suggestions for beaches that we should add to the list? Let us know in the comments below!

Best beaches in the Netherlands: frequently asked questions

Now that you know where to find the best beaches in the Netherlands, here is a quick overview of some of the most pressing questions and answers.

πŸ• Can I take my dog to a Dutch beach?

πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘¦ Are beaches in the Netherlands overcrowded?

🌱 Are there nudist beaches in the Netherlands?

πŸ‘™ Are you allowed to sunbathe topless in the Netherlands?

Feature Image:Unsplash
Emma Brown
Emma Brown
A familiar face at DutchRevew. Emma arrived in Holland in 2016 for a few weeks, fell in love with the place and never left. Here she rekindled her love of writing and travelling. Now you'll find her eating stroopwafels in the DutchReview office since 2017.

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What do you think?

  1. Castricum aan zee I am missing on this list. This is my favorite one. It have nice beach, bars and there is a great atmosphere.


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