Into the woods: Summer campsites
It’s summertime: ditch the B&B and make your bed under the stars at one of Amsterdam’s best camping grounds.
Camping in Amsterdam
Amsterdam’s canal belt is particularly lovely in the summer sunshine, but sometimes a little green escape is just what the doctor ordered. Whether you’re a fan of caravan camping (a favourite Dutch pastime), looking for some bungalow adventure, or plan on roughing it with a traditional tent experience, you don’t need to venture far to leave the city behind and breathe in fresh forest air.
Nestled in the up and coming Amsterdam Noord area, Camping Vliegenbos is a quick journey from Central Station. If sleeping on the ground isn’t your style, try their Camping Hotel. It features a communal hangout area complete with cooking facilities where you can socialise before snuggling up in a real bed.
Paddle or pedal your way to the IJ Meer any time of year and you’ll find the secluded Camping Zeeburg. This communal-style campsite offers tent plots, caravan spots and lakeside bungalows, within close proximity to the city centre via tram 26. Visitors of all ages will enjoy parties, live music, swimming and family fun. There’s even a petting zoo for the little ones.
If your idea of a city escape involves a sun-soaked afternoon complete with water sports and 166 hectares of grassy meadows, then venture southeast with metro 53 for a back-to-nature experience at Gaasperplas. Modern amenities like laundry, showers, a convenience store and free Wi-Fi are also available for those who aren’t ready to completely disconnect. For Amsterdam local Amanda Perino, ‘Camping at Gaasperplas was a kooky experience and a fun way to save money on accommodations while participating in a summer course at the Van Gogh museum.’
If you’re willing to venture further, trek out to the seaside at Camping Bakkum for campfires, surfing, rafting and more. However, if you’re a city dweller at heart who wants to sleep under the stars without leaving the ring, get to know your neighbours with fun activities while communing with nature at some of the city’s best parks during Buurt Camping (21-23 July).
Ready to trade the bustle of the city for chirping birds and tree -lined bike paths? Grab your compass (or iPhone) and choose your own adventure. Just remember to say a little prayer for sunshine… because it is still summer in the Netherlands after all.
Text: Lily Heaton for A-Mag Amsterdam Magazine July–August 2017