Swimming in Amsterdam


The place to Swim in Amsterdam

There are many locations the place you’ll be able to swim in Amsterdam.

June, 2021 Amsterdam Weather Forecast: Sunny and heat summer season climate.

Good climate for picnics within the park and a refreshing dive or swim.

Fortuitously, Amsterdam has many public indoor- and outside swimming swimming pools, formally permitted pure spots, and a very good variety of ‘wild swimming’ areas.

Swimming and COVID-19

Whereas Coronavirus lockdown measures in Amsterdam and the remainder of the Netherlands are more and more stress-free, some basic rules of conduct stay in drive.

Whether or not you swim at an indoor swimming pool, or an outdoor swimming spot, at all times hold a distance of at the least 1,5 metres (5 toes) between your self and non-family members.

June, 2021: Swimming swimming pools are open once more, however there are caps on the variety of guests. Be aware that you need to reserve a go to forward of time. Contact the pool of your alternative (see the map beneath) for particulars.

Map of Swimming areas in Amsterdam

Select your swimming gap proper right here:

Blue = indoor and outside swimming swimming pools
Inexperienced = official and unofficial open water swimming spots


Click on on every icon for extra data.

Amsterdam is usually referred to as the “Venice of the North.” No surprise. At least 24% of the town consists of water: two rivers, 165 canals, and several other lakes.

The biggest our bodies of water are the river IJ, the pure lake Nieuwe Meer, and the man-made lakes Sloterplas and Gaasperplas.

1 in 3 Amsterdammers swims in open water
1 in 20 Amsterdammers swims within the canals

Greatest identified, in fact, are the canals.

However you can not — or at the least mustn’t — simply swim anyplace you need.

Our map reveals the situation of swimming pools (blue icons) and of nature swimming spots (inexperienced icons) — each official and unofficial.

Official and Unofficial Swimming Spots

Borneokade, Amsterdam

Unofficial swimming spot at Borneokade, Amsterdam. © Thomas Schlijper. Utilized by permission

Every of the twelve provinces of the Netherlands publishes an annual checklist of officially-approved swimming spots.

Between Might 1 and October 1 the standard of the water at these swimming holes is checked weekly by native water boards and by Rijkswaterstaat, the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Surroundings.

Hygiene and security alongside the waterside is taken under consideration as effectively.

Official spots are typically well-maintained. Some have amenities equivalent to public bathrooms or snack bars.

Indicators inform guests of guidelines, attainable hazards, and the standard degree of the water — which usually ranges between good and glorious.

If well being dangers come up, such because the presence of blue-green algae, indicators will go up as effectively.

Unofficial swimming areas aren’t regularly checked for water high quality, hazards (e.g. deep water, contaminated soil), and different points.

Outside Swimming: Well being Dangers and Security Ideas

Swimming in open floor water, whether or not in permitted or unapproved areas, is at all times at your personal danger.

In case you get your toes caught up in a discarded bike, fall ailing because of the presence of algae, or get injured in some other method (e.g. by glass on the seashore), you’re by yourself. (Trace: this isn’t America; you’ll be able to’t sue to your coronary heart’s content material.)

Swimming in Amsterdam

Unofficial swimming spot within the busy river IJ

When swimming at nature spots, attempt to not ingest any water with a view to forestall stomach- and intestinal issues, or worse.

If there may be boat visitors, steer clear of it.

The water could also be very deep even whereas it’s comparatively shallow close to the wall, and the temperature of the water might sharply differ in locations. Be cautious of under-cooling and cramp.

It might be a good suggestion to put on water sneakers.

Bathe as quickly as attainable after swimming.

Briefly: use your widespread sense.

Swimming within the Canals

Swim within the canals throughout the annual Amsterdam Metropolis Swim

On heat days a number of vacationers and locals alike suppose it’s a good suggestion to swim within the canals of Amsterdam.

It isn’t (albeit with a couple of exceptions: see the map).

The ambition of Waternet, Amsterdam’s water authority, is to sometime have the water within the canals clear sufficient for individuals to swim in.

That stated, whereas formally the canals aren’t designated as swimming water, there may be now a yearly Amsterdam City Swim occasion — organized as a fundraiser for analysis into underexposed illnesses equivalent to Lou Gehrig’s Illness (ALS).

The standard of the water has certainly improved fairly a bit lately — due partially to a venture to connect all of the city’s 3000+ houseboats to the sewer lines.

That venture was accomplished in 2018. Nonetheless, that doesn’t imply the canals are freed from effluent and different wastewater. Sewage traces can and do break, and generally they overflow when there’s a sudden deluge of rain.

Prinsengracht canal in Amsterdam

Some canals, such because the Prinsengracht, are just too busy for individuals to soundly swim in.

If that isn’t sufficient to dissuade you from diving right into a canal, take into account this: Yearly the town fishes between 12,000 and 15,000 bicycles from the canals.

It’s simple to get your toes tangled in discarded bikes, buying carts, and whatnot.

Many even have a number of boat visitors, making swimming there unsafe.

It’s not that individuals don’t swim within the canals in any respect. All through the town there are small jetties from which you’ll be able to simply enter and exit the water — and many individuals do.

Nobody appears ready to say whether or not or not it’s unlawful to take action (presumably since no person needs to be held liable if one thing unhealthy occurs).

Amsterdam canal swimming

In July 2010 soccer followers lined the canals to have a good time the Dutch Nationwide Soccer staff after it completed in second place within the World Cup soccer event. This man took an impromptu swim — with cops wanting on (and laughing)

Waternet merely says “You can’t swim within the canals.” However in actuality there are specific spots (e.g. Borneokade and Bogortuin) the place a more-or-less official blind eye is turned.

It’s actually unlawful to leap off bridges. Then once more… that is Amsterdam:

Avenue photographer Thomas Schlijper captured these youngsters having fun with the water on the junction of Prinsengracht and Reguliersgracht.

Extra official ‘unofficial’ swimming spots coming quickly?

There may be an growing demand for brand spanking new, ‘unofficial’ swimming spots within the metropolis. The Metropolis Council intends to quickly designate a number of such open water areas.

Doing so is feasible largely as a result of the standard of the water within the canals has by no means been nearly as good as it’s now.

Rivers, Channels, Bridges and Different Off-Restrict Spots

Swimming in rivers and channels is forbidden and life-threatening. So says Rijkswaterstaat, a part of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Surroundings accountable for Holland’s waterways.

river swimming

In most rivers swimming is prohibited as a result of it’s harmful

Rijkswaterstaat, whose officers patrol the waters in yellow boats sporting the letters RWS, is allowed to problem fines of €140 per particular person.

The Guidelines

It’s forbidden to swim

  • within the visitors lanes on the rivers
  • in channels
  • close to mooring spots (even when no ships are presently moored there)
  • close to bridges, sluices, weirs or floating demarcation traces
  • close to ferries and their routes
  • in and round harbors

Additionally it is unlawful to leap or dive off bridges and sluices. Jumpers can simply get injured, for example by waterlogged items of wooden that float just under the floor.

Some bridges, significantly in waterways near the river IJ, carry dutch-language indicators stating that swimming within the space is forbidden.

You’ll see such indicators close to sluices as effectively. The signage makes reference to “BPR” which stands for Binnenvaartpolitiereglement — Inland Waterways Police Laws.

Rivers and Channels: Particular Risks

  • Swimmers are ‘invisible’ to captain and crew of cargo ships. And even when they have been to identify you, there’s no method for the ship to make an emergency cease or an evading maneuver
  • The undercurrent of passing ships can suck swimmers beneath the water
  • Passing ships can create vital waves, robust and excessive sufficient to scrub away kids enjoying close to the water’s edge
  • The present in rivers will be unpredictable and may, for example, be considerably greater simply exterior cribs
  • Swimmers caught in altering currents and wildly completely different water depths can undergo cramps and undercooling

Yes, you can drink the water from the canals

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