People in Holland love cycling and Zandvoort Netherlands is a great place to cycle around. Zandvoort is a well-known beach destination and a part of the Amsterdam beaches. Due to its distance from the capital city, it is also known as the beach of Amsterdam.
Some of the biggest highlights of Zandvoort is the Zandvoort F1, Zuid-Kennermerland National Park and the Dutch dunes. Not to mention its clean and pristine beaches where you can indulge in some uninterrupted sunbathing, relax to your heart’s content, and enjoy fun activities with the entire family.
The town’s history dates back to the 1100’s – a time when the people here largely depended on fishing for their livelihood. By the 19th century, however, Zandvoort slowly began to transition into a seaside beach resort, and in 1881, when the Zandvoort railway station became operational, the town’s beach tourism received a further boost.
Today, this popular beach destination attracts tourists not just from the Netherlands but also from in and around Europe. Since there is no dearth of things to do in Zandvoort, the town is a preferred destination for solo travellers, as well as small and large families.
⇒ I recommend the Beach Club Tien if you are looking for a nice place for lunch and wine, directly on the beach.
A popular day trip from Amsterdam
Located less than 30 minutes by train from Amsterdam, Zandvoort is a popular day trip. During the summer season, it is a great place for a weekend with its colourful beach clubs, beach bars, and restaurants. Here you can savour delicious food and drinks while sitting and admiring the changing colours of the magnificent sea.
Zandvoort is still the only resort in the Netherlands with a direct train almost to the beach (150 meters) and only 10 minutes from Haarlem.
⇒ Thinking of doing an Amsterdam to Rotterdam day trip? Then here is a great read on suggestions top things to do while there.
Bike rentals in Zandvoort ( Fietsverhuur )
There are plenty off places to hire a bike to go cycling in Zandvoort and are reasonably priced. It really depends on what you are looking for, price and how long you want it for. The best bit is that bike rentals are cheap and the quality is good.
We used Behind the beach bike rentals that were located in the centre of Zandvoort. We hired the standard Dutch bike with the basket at the front for two days. It was great for putting my reusable drink bottle and day backpack in while cycling around.
Reviews for Behind the beach bike rentals are available on TripAdvisor
- Zandvoort tourist information centre, also do bike hire to the public
Taking your bicycle on the train from Amsterdam to Zandvoort
If you want to take your own bicycle on the train to Zandvoort, you can do so. Non folded bikes are allowed to be taken on the train outside of rush hour. However, you will need to purchase a special Bicycle Day Ticket.
Folding Bikes are allowed to be taken on the train anytime, as long as it is folded up. You don’t need to purchase a special Bicycle ticket because they are considered luggage and can be taken free of charge at any time.
A similar rule applies in England in regards to bikes on trains.
Zandvoort Race Track (Zandvoort f1)
Participate in the World Bicycle Relief for charity, cycling around the Zandvoort f1 ( Zandvoort Formula One) track. Or simply take a pleasant cycle to the Zandvoort race track for a meal and drink at Bernie’s. Where you can take in the views over the racing pit and track.
The Circuit Zandvoort is a famous racing track in the beach town of Zandvoort, popular for the Zandvoort f1. Since its opening in 1948, several Formula 1 Grand Prix races have been held here. Throughout the year, a number of public racing events are organised which are quite popular with race drivers and racing enthusiasts alike.
Situated just ten minutes away from the Zandvoort railway station, the Circuit Zandvoort is well connected by bus, train and cycling. For those self-driving, there’s parking space available too. Known for its technical passages, fast turns, and sloping dunes, the track is also available on hire.
- Address: Burgemeester van Alphenstraat 108, 2041 KP Zandvoort, Netherlands
Cycling Zandvoort for Charity
The World Bicycle Relief is held once a year for charity by Cycling Zandvoort. It is considered to be a unique experience, to ride on the asphalt with your friends, while raising money. It is an event that specialises in bicycle distribution programs to eliminate poverty in developing countries. Remember to attach your GoPro for all those action shots while cycling around the track.
⇒ Please note that due to the developments surrounding the coronavirus, the World Bicycle Relief has been cancelled for 2020.
Cycle to Zandvoort race track
Take a pleasant and relaxing cycle to the Zandvoort race track for a meal and drink at Bernie’s. Where you can take in the action and views over the racing pit and track. The restaurant and bar are open all year round to the public for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Located at the end of the pit building at Circuit Zandvoort, Bernie’s is an escape from the busy paddock.
Opening hours: Restaurant opened for breakfast, lunch and dinner
⇒ Make sure that have the right camera for taking all those amazing action shots.
Cycle through Zuid-Kennemerland National Park (Dunes)
Zuid-Kennermerland National Park is a Dutch national park that covers 3,800 hectares, which attracts over 2 million visitors a year. Apart from the beach, the National Park is one of the top things to do at Zandvoort Netherlands. There is no better way to explore the gorgeous interiors of the Zuid-Kennermerland National Park than by cycling, where you can see different types of bird species, deer, as well as highland cattle. If you are lucky enough, you will even get the chance to see the Wisent (The European bison).
Get yourself a cycling route map from the visitors centre located at the Koevlak entrance. Then make your way along the paved paths through the stunning landscape at your own pace. Head towards the purposely built viewpoint over the lake, where you can watch the wisent come to drink. If it is nice weather, take a picnic lunch and enjoy on route.
Stopping on the way is fun too as you savour mouth-watering snacks or sit at the picnic tables for some lunch along the path. All while taking in the rest of the wildlife and experience this beautiful National Park. It is also possible to do a cycling tour in Zuid-Kennermerland National Park with a guide.
⇒ Make sure to have the correct travel insurance before venturing to the Netherlands. You can compare insurance for FREE and check what is included.
- Dogs are only allowed at the entrance called ´Wurmenveld´ and along the path called the ´Visserspad´
- Entrance to this area is free
- Viewpoint has been built near the lake where the wisent come to drink.
- Address for the visitors centre: Zeeweg 12, 2051 EC Overveen
Cycle around the Dutch Dunes
Another great place to cycle around is the Dutch dunes, located in Zuid-Kennermerland National Park, along the coast behind the beach. They are an important part of the Dutch landscape, as they not only offer protection during storms but creates a barrier against the rising North Sea. It’s here that you’ll find several paved bike paths with some a little more challenging than others.
⇒ Do you love cheese? How about a day trip from Amsterdam to Edam Netherlands, A village Preserved in time
Related outdoor things to do in Zandvoort Amsterdam
Bunkers in the dunes
While cycling around the dunes, check out the bunkers that were used as defence lines during WWII. They are surrounded by beautiful flora and fauna and wildlife in the park. What’s interesting about these dunes is that they also provide Amsterdam’s drinking water. If you want to know more about the area, you can take a walking tour and learn the history.
After you’ve finished your cycle, head to the beach and cycle along the boulevard back to the train station and town. Along the way, you can stop at one of the many Zandvoort beach bars. You can take a cycling tour with a professional guide to the dunes for half a day.
- If you want to just visit the Zuid-Kennermerland National Park and the dunes. It is also a great day trip from Amsterdam just on its own.
Amsterdam by train to Zandvoort
Netherlands has a good train system, which makes getting from A to B easy and frequent, especially from the capital. Getting the train from Amsterdam to Zandvoort should take around 25 minutes direct. The train station in Zandvoort is only a short 5-10 minutes walk away from the beach.
⇒ Thinking of taking other popular day trips from Amsterdam, how about getting a Holland Pass.
You can purchase a one away ticket from Amsterdam to Zandvoort or get an OV-Chipcard which is the better option. It works the same as an oyster card in London in which all you need to do is top it up as you use it. The best bit is that you can use it in Amsterdam, Zandvoort and around the Netherlands. It should work out cheaper than buying two one-way tickets and it will also save you time.
Apart from the OV-Chipcard, you can also purchase a pass to travel without limits across the region of Amsterdam. Valid on all public transportation including buses, ferries, subway, trains and trams.
Here are some good suggestions for day backpacks for cycling, and wearing on the train.
Other activities and sites in Zandvoort
Apart from cycling and visiting Zandvoort beach, here are some other top things to do.
- Zandvoorts Museum – Displays an exhibition that shows the history of Zandvoort.
- Linnaeushof – play structures & a water park
- Brederode Castle – Brederode Castle, also called the Ruins of Brederode
- Bunker Museum IJmuiden – The bunkers served as living quarters (12 men and 2 officers) During the war
- Zwembad Center Parcs Park Zandvoort – Indoor pool that transforms into an Aqua Cinema and waterpark.
- Haarlem – Take a bike hire through the charming village, which is less than a 10 minute train ride away.
⇒ If you are looking for places to visit while in Amsterdam, take a look at getting a multi-pass. You can purchase it for one day or multi days and you will obtain free entrances and discounts.
Tips before visiting Zandvoort
- Currency; The currency used at Netherlands beaches is Euro’s.
- Zandvoort hotels; I stayed at the waterfront Center Parcs Strandhotel. As Zandvoort is a place to visit near Amsterdam by train, it is very popular on weekends. Best to book your hotel in advance.
- Activities; Take advantage of all these other great things from Amsterdam
- Non-stop Wifi; Keep updated and share your activities with WiFi access in Europe.
- Holland uses European adaptors
- A popular day trip from Amsterdam is Edam or even Rotterdam
- The Zandvoort tourism office located in town is a great place for getting maps and information.
Have you been to Zandvoort or to any other Amsterdam beaches? Please feel free to share your experience in the comments below or if you know any other places to see while in the area?
Disclaimer: Even though I was invited by the I amsterdam All views are my own and based on my own experience.