Amsterdam For Beach Bums

August 21, 2014
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Sean Jendlin

Beaches in Amsterdam? Are you high?

No, I haven’t been partaking in any of the city’s cafés. This Dutch capital really does have plenty of places for hitting the water (which are particularly enjoyable after you’ve worked up a sweat biking around the city). So bring your swimsuit — we’re going to Amsterdam!

Water is everywhere in Amsterdam — all clean, deep, and boat friendly; you just need to know where to find it. And for those who like water nearby but something a little stronger in their glass, Amsterdam even boasts its fair share of beach bars. A far cry from Caribbean swim-ups, these three bars are stylish, innovative, and popular with Amsterdam’s urban beach bum scene.



Roest has been around for a few years now, and even in bad weather, you’ll find great art and music programs… as well as an incredible bar. The whole Roest complex is reclaimed from Amsterdam’s train and airplane factories, a cool environment to suit the city’s beachfront vibe. It’s easily accessible by the #22 bus followed by a five-minute walk.


Pllek, built from reclaimed rail cars, is another bar-beach situated amongst the revitalized waterfront of the North Harbour. For over a decade, the NDSM Wharf has been the place to go, where festivals and art happen in Amsterdam North. Pllek is just another example of this area’s vibrancy and utter defiance of the small, cosy bar environment of the old city. One of the easiest beaches to get to, Pllek can be reached from Central Station via free ferry; then just follow the signs.

De Ceuvel

De Ceuvel

De Ceuvel is, in my opinion, the top pick here. Only a month old, it has already made a huge impact on the city — and is memorable for everyone who goes. The bar calls itself an on-land harbour and has the world certification for sustainable and unique reclaimed industrial landscapes in Europe. This isn’t just a bar on the waterways, but a whole new way of using brown space in urban planning. You need to make an effort to get here, with bicycle being the easiest option. But once you’re there, you’ll be rewarded with local flavour.