The Netherlands has over 500 km of beaches and more than 50 beach resorts. With so many beaches and beach resorts, it is hard for foreign visitors to select the perfect beach for their families.
So let me help you find that perfect beach in The Netherlands because I took my family to as many different Dutch beaches as possible. I also set up a survey filled out by hundreds of Dutch people to get a good overview of the best beaches in The Netherlands.
I created a selection of the 25 best beaches in The Netherlands, suggested by locals. I described the beach resorts’ facilities in detail, added helpful links, and provided an overview of tourist attractions in and around each beach resort.
What Are The 25 Best Beaches In The Netherlands?
You can find an overview of the 25 best beaches in The Netherlands below, arranged from the south to the north.
Hoek van Holland
Katwijk aan zee
Noordwijk aan zee
Castricum aan zee
Egmond aan zee
Bergen aan zee
Map Of 25 Best Beaches In The Netherlands
You can use the map below to find the locations of the 25 best beaches in the Netherlands.
Click in the upper right corner to enlarge the map.
Click on a beach resort to access the Google Maps pictures and get a first impression of the beach and beach resort.
What Kind Of Beach Are You Looking For?
Beaches and beach resorts in The Netherlands come in different sorts and sizes, as are people going to the beach. Some people like beach resorts with many cool beach clubs, while others are looking for a quiet beach with as few people as possible. In addition, families with young children are often looking for a relatively quiet beach with many facilities for children in the neighborhood.
Bergen aan Zee
Bergen aan Zee
Hoek van Holland
The 5 Most Popular Beaches In The Netherlands
Popular beaches have plenty of beach clubs and other facilities for tourists.These popular beach resorts usually score high in the coolest beach clubs and places. On the other hand, these beach resorts are also crowded and sometimes very crowded.
The 5 most popular beaches in The Netherlands are
Hoek van Holland
Scheveningen is the most crowded beach resort in the Netherlands and is almost impossible to reach by car on a sunny day. Kijkduin is the smaller version of Scheveningen and an excellent alternative because there are still plenty of beach clubs.
Zandvoort is a trendy beach because its train station is near the beach and can easily be reached. Bloemendaal is a beach for all the cool people from Amsterdam, some form of Amsterdam Beach. Hoek van Holland will become Rotterdam Beach now that the high-speed metro line from Rotterdam is finished with a metro station next to the beach.
If you are looking for a quiet beach, you can best stay away from the larger cities in the middle of the country. Quiet beaches in The Netherlands are located on the Wadden Islands or in the upper part of Noord-Holland.
8 quiet beaches in The Netherlands are:
Bergen aan Zee
These beaches are quiet because it takes a lot of traveling to get there. Therefore, the Dutch are not going there for just one day at the beach. In addition, the little villages in Noord-Holland are also relatively quiet beach resorts.
5 Child-Friendly Beaches In The Netherlands
If you are looking for child-friendly beaches, you can best look for the quiet beaches in South- and Noord-Holland. There are many vacation resorts in Noord-Holland near the beaches, which is a good sign that these beach resorts are well-suited for family vacations. In addition, there are many amusement parks near the beaches in Zuid-Holland, perfect for families with children.
The 5 most child-friendly beaches in The Netherlands are:
Bergen aan Zee
Look below for extensive descriptions of these beach resorts.
The 7 Best Beaches in Zeeland
Zeeland has the most hours of sunshine in all of the Netherlands, and some of the most popular beaches in the Netherlands are in Zeeland. From Noord-Brabant and Limburg, the beaches in Zeeland are easily accessible. Driving along the A58, which runs deep into Zeeland, is best.
Cadzand-Bad is the country’s most southern beach resort, located almost at the border with Belgium,, and the sunniest beach resort in The Netherlands. Beach Club Dok 14 in Cadzand-bad won the best beach club award in 2019.
Zoutelande, like Westkappele and Oostkappelle, always scores high in rankings of the best beach resorts because that part of the island of Walcheren has this unique vacation feeling. You can drive from village to village and see only happy people on vacation.
3 & 4. Westkapelle & Oostkapelle
We will discuss these two beach resorts together as they are located close to each other on the west coast of the island of Walcheren. Like Zoutelande, these small, charming villages also provide a unique vacation feeling. The Zuiderduin Beach Hotel in Westkapelle is ideally located, about 50 meters from the beach, and it has its own beach club.
This region between Westkapelle and Oostkapelle has the most sunshine hours in the country and the highest average temperature, but not the highest maximum temperature since the sea wind is always refreshing.
In other words, this region in Zeeland has the best climate in The Netherlands, which makes it ideal for beach vacations. Therefore, it should be no surprise that all beaches in Zeeland score very high in the popularity contests among the best Dutch beaches and beach resorts.
Vrouwenpolder is an unusual beach resort between the sea and a lake (Veerse Meer). That provides options for combining a beach vacation with other water activities like sailing or windsurfing on a relatively calm lake. The more exciting watersports, like kitesurfing, are still done on the sea.
This video has won the 2019 drone award and made Vrouwenpolder known as “kitesurf heaven“….! I love this video because it provides a fantastic impression of the more spectacular activities in Zeeland.
Vrouwenpolder lies next to the Oosterscheldekering, the country’s most extended storm surge barrier (9 km) and a must-see on your bucket list in Zeeland.6. Renesse
Renesse is a beach resort known as a campsite for youngsters where parties occur every night. Therefore, Renesse has a reputation as the ultimate party beach resort. If you have to believe all the stories, almost everyone in The Netherlands spent a vacation in Renesse as a teenager and tremendously enjoyed that first vacation without their parents.
Of course, there is another side to it, and the municipality is doing everything possible to improve Renesse’s image as a family beach resort. And to be fair, the teenagers’ parties almost always occur on the camping ground. But it will take a long time before we consider Renesse a regular family beach resort.
Renesse is a seaside resort known as a campground for teenagers, camping Duin en Strand, where a big party goes on every night. If all the stories are to be believed, almost every Dutchman spent a vacation in Renesse as a teenager and immensely enjoyed that first vacation without their parents.
The municipality of Renesse is doing everything to improve the image of Renesse as a family seaside resort. And to be honest, the party of the teenagers only takes place at the youth camping site itself. Other holidaymakers in Renesse are hardly bothered by this.
Ouddorp also lies between the sea and a lake, in this case, the Grevelingenmeer. This location provides an excellent opportunity to combine a beach vacation with other watersports, although the kite surfers will be mostly at sea.
There are plenty of facilities in and around Ouddorp for visitors. Ouddorp is a very highly regarded beach resort. Unsurprisingly, many vacation parks and hotels can be found here. The resorts Ouddorp Duin and Strandpark Duynhille are even located against the North Sea beach, as is the Fletcher Hotel Duinzicht.
I like the beach and lake combination because they provide something for everybody. You can keep even teenagers happy if they can sail or surf all day long and combine that with chilling on the beach the next day.
What Else Is There To Do In Zeeland?
Visit the Deltawerken
Day trips to charming cities like Middelburg, Domburg, Vlissingen, and Veere
Hoek van Holland is an up-and-coming beach resort that nicely developed over the last few years. Its location is more isolated than other beach resorts, but the recent developments have been promising. The number of facilities for tourists has increased significantly.
A new metro line runs from Rotterdam to the Harbour of Hoek van Holland. Work has now started to extend that metro line to the beach of Hoek van Holland and will be finished in the summer of 2022. This extension will transform Hoek van Holland into Rotterdam Beach.
The tourist facilities in Hoek van Holland have expanded considerably in recent years, and there is now a lovely boulevard. It is now possible to rent beach houses in Hoek van Holland (Beach Villa’s Hoek van Holland).
These beach houses are fantastic because you will live on the beach. Furthermore, the beaches in The Netherlands face the west, so sunsets can be spectacularly beautiful and enjoyed from these beach houses.
Hoek van Holland’s beach is just above the river leading to the harbor of Rotterdam from the North Sea. Therefore, you can regularly see enormous sea ships passing by on their way to and from Rotterdam’s port.
Kijkduin is located just below The Hague and is a miniature version of Scheveningen with plenty of tourist facilities but without mass tourism. Kijkduin is an ideal beach for families with young children. Although it is a large beach and attracts many people, the masses of tourists are heading toward Scheveningen.
Kijkduin is an ideal beach resort for families with young children, and there is a very child-friendly family vacation resort in Kijkduin (Vakantiecentrum Kijkduinpark), close to the beach. In addition, very cool beach houses are also available in Kijkduin for the ultimate beach vacation.
Renovating the boulevard in Kijkduin made Kijkduin a much more attractive beach resort. Kijkduin is a lovely beach resort if you want to visit a beach near The Hague and avoid the mass tourism of Scheveningen. Come early in the morning if you want a good parking spot. If you come later in the day, it will be a long walk to the beach.
South of Kijkduin is a beautiful dune region leading to the so-called sand motor, an innovation to strengthen the coastline by adding sand to the coast using the natural flow. It is a walk of about 30 minutes from Kijkduin, and there are a few excellent, quiet beach clubs there.
Scheveningen is seen by the Dutch as the ultimate beach resort in the Netherlands. I lived ± 200 m from Scheveningen beach, and I can assure you from personal experience that Scheveningen is the most crowded beach in the Netherlands.
If you want to go to Scheveningen beach, be prepared to pay a small fortune for parking. It helps if you also come early in the morning on sunny days to find a parking spot. I highly recommend coming to Scheveningen by public transportation.
There is, of course, a reason why Scheveningen is so popular. The reason is that Scheveningen has the largest number of facilities of any beach resort in The Netherlands. In addition, Scheveningen has a beautiful wide beach with a very long boulevard with all kinds of shops and restaurants. The Pier of Scheveningen stretches into the sea, waiting for your visit.
The Kurhaus is a monumental building next to the beach that you will also want to explore a bit further by having a drink over there. Right across the street from the Kurhaus are a cinema and a casino. As I said, no other beach resort in The Netherlands has these facilities. That is why Scheveningen will remain the most popular beach resort in The Netherlands in the foreseeable future.
11. Katwijk aan Zee
Katwijk aan Zee is a small beach resort north of The Hague. Katwijk is one of those small fisherman villages that discovered, almost by accident, that tourism is a more attractive source of income than fishing. Katwijk has plenty of beach facilities nowadays, but the fisherman’s village’s atmosphere is still present in Katwijk.
Katwijk aan Zee is not the most exciting beach resort but is well suited for younger families. The Duinrell Attraction Park, with its spectacular tropical indoor swimming pool, is nearby. Visits to Madurodam are also guaranteed success with young children.
12. Noordwijk aan Zee
Noordwijk Aan Zee is a well-known seaside resort located just north of Katwijk. Like Katwijk, Noordwijk is one of those fisherman’s villages turned into a beach resort. Noordwijk has a vast beach of no less than 8.1 kilometers, ensuring you can find quiet spots on the edges. There are no less than 14 campsites and vacation parks in the region, which is usually a good sign of the attractiveness of a beach resort for vacations.
Noordwijk is so close to Katwijk that the recommendations for sightseeing are the same, with one exception. Noordwijk lies on the south edge of the Bollenstreek, with plenty of flowers in springtime. Therefore, I highly recommend a “tulip tour” to watch springtime’s many colorful fields with flowers.
Zandvoort is marketing itself as Amsterdam Beach, which is very smart. They have a point because the train from Amsterdam takes only 30 minutes to get you to Zandvoort, and the train station is next to the beach.So if you visit Amsterdam and want to spend a day at the beach, Zandvoort will be your destination of choice.
Just be aware that these trains to and from Zandvoort will be very crowded on sunny days.
Zandvoort is one of the most relaxed beach resorts in the Netherlands and is very popular among the young and hip or those who still want to feel young and hip. There are about 35 beach clubs in Zandvoort, some of which rank very high on the yearly national hit list of places to be and the coolest beach clubs.
Zandvoort is an excellent beach resort for the young (at heart). Zandvoort is very different from the many family beach resorts along the coast and a perfect beach resort for the young.
Bloemendaal is located just above Zandvoort and, therefore, also close to Amsterdam. It must be the Amsterdam influence because Bloemendaal is also a beach resort for the young and hip. Bloemendaal also has many beach clubs, and some of these clubs are also high-ranking in the yearly elections of the coolest beach club. The beach parties will probably be an essential factor in those elections.
Bloemendaal cannot be reached by train quickly, and you must go by car. Therefore, you will find a subtly different audience on this beach than on the beaches in Zandvoort. Bloemendaal is a beach resort for the young who want fun and parties. Families with young children should find their place under the sun somewhere else.
15. Castricum aan Zee
Castricum aan Zee is different from other beach resorts in the Netherlands because it is not a beach resort. The village is not near the dunes but a few kilometers from the sea. Next to the sea is only a large parking place which will be overloaded with cars on hot and sunny days.
You can also come by train to Castricum train station. Busses will go back and forth to the seaside (about a 5 km drive). This train is a direct train to Amsterdam and is also very convenient the other way around to spend a day in Amsterdam if you are vacationing in Castricum.
There are a few beach clubs near the parking place, which will be the most crowded. So if you are looking for more personal space, you must use the ultimate Dutch solution and hop on your bike to create distance between you and the other visitors.
The dunes south of Castricum (Noord-Hollands Duinreservaat) are magnificent and worth exploring.
16. Egmond aan Zee
Like most other beach resorts in Noord-Holland, Egmond Aan Zee is another charming small village near the sea. With beautiful beaches, dunes, and enough facilities to cater to tourists, nothing is missing here for a successful beach vacation, and there is no need to change anything. The fresh air and proximity of the sea will make you feel completely refreshed when you return home.
Egmond is close to Alkmaar, but the natural attractions of this beach resort are the dunes around Egmond aan Zee, which make this part of the country so beloved.
17. Bergen aan Zee
Bergen aan Zee lies at the border of one of the most beautiful dune areas of The Netherlands, de Schoorlse Duinen. At their broadest, the dunes are here 5 km wide, which is quite wide for dunes. The Schoorlse Duinen is one of the most beautiful regions in The Netherlands, and if you intend to visit Bergen, make sure you also see these dunes.
Schoorl lies on the north side of this region, and its beach cannot be reached by car. That is a great advantage because the beach will be much quieter. Don’t worry; your bike will get you to the beach, no matter what.
Bergen is a charming small village and has the reputation of an artistic town. Between 1910-1950, a group of painters lived in Bergen, and their style of painting is known as Bergense School“. Nowadays, there is still a large number of galleries in Bergen.
Bergen aan Zee’s major attraction is the (quiet) beach, which is next to the Dunes of Schoorl. Bergen aan Zee also has a sea aquarium with fish from all over the world, an attraction the children will probably like very much.
Bergen aan Zee offers a wide range of hotels and resorts (overview) because it is one of the best beach resorts in The Netherlands.
Petten is an interesting beach resort because it is very new as a beach resort. The beach and dunes at Petten were artificially created to strengthen this coast. These artificial beaches and dunes were created in 2016, so Petten is the new kid on the block as a beach resort.
They have been very efficient in Petten and divided the beach into three parts: families, beach houses, and boats. They have three beach clubs over there, and I am unsure if they have also been allocated to different groups. Let’s hope not because this will make a day at the beach too efficient.
You can check out what this looks like if you climb the highest dune in Petten, giving you an excellent overview of this new beach. Furthermore, to understand why this project was needed to protect against the sea, visit the information center “sand against the sea” in Petten.
19. St. Maartenszee
The official website of St Maartenszee promotes itself as the best-hidden piece of beach in the Netherlands. I disagree because many have discovered St. Maartenszee, given this area’s many vacation resorts, hotels, and camping sites. Instead, St. Maartenszee should have described itself as a beautiful vacation resort with a relatively quiet beach and plenty of regional facilities for a great family vacation.
The number of visitors on the beach in St. Maartenszee is nowhere near what you will find on the beach in Scheveningen. But, for example, there are only two beach clubs at St. Maartenszee compared to about 100 beach clubs in Scheveningen, so no worries……!
Our favorite thing to do in the area in springtime is watch the flowers because St. Maartenszee is right in the middle of vast tulip fields, and you should try out one of the tulip tours in the area. We also advise exploring the area south of St. Maartenszee in the direction of Petten and Camperduin, which has become a beautiful area. Don’t forget to climb the high “lookout dune” in the area in Petten when you drive by to enjoy the view.
Juliandorp is a village with many vacation resorts and accommodations in and around the town. Julianadorp is an ideal vacation resort for families with young children, with the right balance between facilities for families and rest and recreation for those needing personal space.
Like in many other areas in The Netherlands, you should bring your bike with you or rent a bike because it will allow you to explore the region in more detail.
We love that Julianadorp is close to large areas with flowers in springtime, and “tulip tours” by bike are our favorite means of enjoying the flowers. Later in the year, we advise visiting the surrounding villages and exploring the dunes by bike in both directions because this is a beautiful part of the country.
Of all the Wadden islands, Texel comes closest to what we nowadays consider a “regular beach resort” with all kinds of tourist facilities and attractions in the region. Fortunately, there is still enough of that special feeling of the Wadden Islands because some parts of Texel, like the natural park de Slufter, are famous for the many birds in this area. Vacation ResortSluftervallei is located next to this beautiful area. The most beautifully located hotel on Texel is Grand Hotel Opduin.
Watching seals in Ecomare is yet another attraction, and there are plenty of opportunities for sightseeing in any of the small villages on the island.
For those who feel inclined, you can play a round of golf on Texel and even jump out of a plane with a parachute if that is your way of relaxing….!
Texel can also (relatively) easily be reached by boat, although you must be aware of the long drive to get to Den Helder to the ferry to Texel.
Remember that it takes quite a bit of traveling (in Dutch terms) to get to the Wadden islands. However, the bonus you get for this long trip is the quietest beaches in the country.
Vlieland is small and stunningly beautiful, like Schiermonnikoog. Vlieland is an exquisite example of a Wadden island and proudly shows the Dutch Wadden area’s natural beauty. The beaches are phenomenal and quiet.
Vlieland is fantastic for a sunny weekend on the beach, and you will come back totally refreshed. However, if you intend to stay longer, explore the island by bike because cars are prohibited.
The Vlieduyn resort is a cozy apartment complex 200 meters from the beach for those who want to discover the beautiful Vlieland from comfortable apartments. Strandhotel Seeduyn is located on the North Sea beach, with a chance of beautiful sunsets.
Another bucket list item (at least on Vlieland!) is the Vliehors Express, a tour over the western part of the island, nicknamed the Sahara of the north, with an almost guaranteed possibility to watch seals and plenty of birds. But, of course, the bird lovers among you will never want to leave Vlieland again.
Terschelling is a well-balanced mixture of vast white sandy beaches, beautiful dunes with incomparable heathlands, lost forests, and plenty of facilities for today’s pampered tourists. The drawback is that too many people have discovered that Terschelling is a stunningly beautiful island.
There are many vacation parks and campsites on Terschelling, including Camping Appelhof, where teenagers try to find out if they have the energy level to party every night when they have the first week of vacation without their parents. Fortunately, Terschelling is large enough to give these teenagers a place to have fun without disturbing families with younger children.
Taken together, Terschelling has it all. The only drawback of Terschelling is its popularity. If you can, try to go in the spring or after the school holidays because it is superb……!
Ameland is the favorite island for family vacations, and it has cherished that reputation. For the more suspicious of you, including myself, it may look like a brilliant marketing concept because Ameland has targeted the huge family market with precisely the right proposition; Ameland is a quiet family vacation with enough things to do for younger children.
There is no hassle with teenagers who want to party because there is no possibility to party on Ameland. A party on Ameland is eating pancakes and ice cream as dessert. Nothing wrong with that, but important to know before you come to Ameland.
The island of Schiermonnikoog has a national park status, which should tell you something. Shiermonnikoog is as pristine as you can get it in the Netherlands, and its natural beauty is overwhelming. You should only come to Schiermonnikoog if you like to hear the sound of the wind and the birds because it is not a party island, not in any way.
It is a big plus that you cannot bring your car to the island as a visitor because it brings a very relaxed atmosphere. Like many other beaches in the Netherlands, Schiermonnikoog claims to be the widest and cleanest.
Size seems to matter regarding beaches because many beach resorts claim to have the country’s widest beaches. However, Schiermonnikoog does not need such a claim because it is already stunningly beautiful.
Vacation Resort Vitamaris offers modern, comfortable apartments in a beautiful location to explore Schiermonnikoog.
This map shows the total number of hours of sun in 2019 in different regions of The Netherlands. The coastal area gets the most sunshine in the country, an extra 100-200 hours per year more sun than the rest of The Netherlands.
In the southwest corner of the country, Zeeland has the most sunshine hours in the entire country. Therefore, it is no surprise that some of the most popular beaches in The Netherlands are in Zeeland.
3 Often-Asked Questions About Beaches In The Netherlands
There are several other points about Dutch beaches that you need to consider. Foreign visitors often ask the following questions about Dutch beaches.
Can I Bring My Dog To A Dutch Beach?
Many dog lovers will wonder if taking their dog to a beach in the Netherlands is allowed.
Dogs are often, but not always, allowed on beaches in The Netherlands. You should check out the website of the municipality of that beach to be sure if you can take your dog.
There are specific time slots during the day or the year (winter) that dogs are allowed while they are prohibited outside these slots.
Is Topless Sunbathing Allowed On Dutch Beaches?
That is another sensitive question often asked by foreign visitors.
You are allowed to sunbathe topless in The Netherlands. However, hardly anyone does that anymore because pictures of you are easily made and can appear on social media instantaneously.
Are There Nudist Beaches In The Netherlands?
That is a logical follow-up question.
There are many nudist beaches in The Netherlands. In addition, many larger beach resorts have a separate beach part reserved for the nudist beach. A complete overview of nudist beaches in The Netherlands is provided on naaktstrandje.nl.
It is challenging for foreigners to decide which zoo in The Netherlands to visit because there are many Dutch zoos. I have lived in the Netherlands my entire life and visited many Dutch zoos with my...