Party Earth Review After being destroyed in World War II, the lazy beach town of Zandvoort aan Zee slowly rose in both population and popularity to eventually become a favorite spot for Amsterdammers searching for the closest beach getaway... ... read full review
Bloemendaal, The Netherlands –
After being destroyed in World War II, the lazy beach town of Zandvoort aan Zee slowly rose in both population and popularity to eventually become a favorite spot for Amsterdammers searching for the closest beach getaway.
A quick 25-minute train ride from Amsterdam Centraal lands beachgoers just a short flip-flop shuffle away from the sandy boardwalk, tiki bars, and long coastline full of sunbathers.
Although most of the buildings along the beach are rather bland vacation rentals built in the 1950s, the scenery across the boardwalk changes to a hip and low-key environment.
With all the local surf shops offering lessons in surfing, kitesurfing, and skimboarding, Zandvoort beach offers action-packed days in the sun. Land lovers pass the time with volleyball and Frisbee games, while those who prefer to just lounge around spend the day on beach chairs soaking their feet in deep puddles along the shore.
The North Sea isn’t the warmest body of water, though in the summer the temperature is bearable enough for a refreshing dip in a bathing suit rather than a wetsuit.
The coast is also lined with numerous cafés with umbrella-shaded terraces, making Zandvoort the perfect spot for watching the sunset from the comfort of a friendly pub or bar.
Needless to say, the beach attracts all kinds of people who come to escape the frenzy of Amsterdam and enjoy the slower pace of Zandvoort.
Beach bums, surfers, and sunbathers of all types and ages. Mostly locals, though the Dutch coastline is also a popular spot for German vacationers.
Most bars play low-key beachy tunes.
The many bars, cafés, and restaurants along the coast offer a wide range of menus, prices, and scenes, from Australian pubs and Latin beach bars to sandwich stands and seafood restaurants.
Appetizers average €7 and entrées €15 at the cafés. Sandwiches and fish dishes €4–€7 at the beach stands. Beer €2–€3, wine €3, cocktails and mixed drinks €7.
Summer days are most lively, though the cafés and walks along the shore are popular on sunny days any time of the year.
Skyline (Boulevard Barnaart 12a, www.skyline13.nl) is an Aussie bar popular with local surfers, while Mango’s Beach Bar (Boulevard Barnaart 15, www.mangosbeachbar.nl) offers a stylish Latin and Cuban theme and amazing cocktails.
Bruxelles Aan Zee (Strandtent nr.14, www.bruxellesaanzee.nl) is a restaurant known for good deals on fresh seafood appetizers. There are also numerous portable stands selling fried fish and sandwiches along the boardwalk.
A few boutique shops and fresh seafood and Italian restaurants can be found downtown, while just behind the boardwalk is a Dirk supermarket.