Zandvoort#22 in Best Things To Do in Amsterdam
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You probably knew about Amsterdam's canals, but what about its beach? Just about 20 miles west of the city center is a place called Zandvoort, a strip of sand that borders the North Sea. Experts say Zandvoort is at its best in the summertime, though recent visitors say a trip here in the offseason is also worthwhile since it lacks the summertime crowds.
Along with its wide shoreline, Zandvoort also boasts a variety of trendy beach clubs, including the popular Tijn Akersloot and Safari Lounge. When you've had your fill of the beach, explore the town – a recommendation from past visitors.
You can take a 30-minute train ride directly from Amsterdam's Centraal station; during other seasons, you'll need to transfer (change at Haarlem for Zandvoort aan Zee).
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Located southwest of the city center, the 116-acre Vondelpark is the favorite leafy retreat of just about everyone. Not only is it the largest city park in Amsterdam, it's also one of the most revered in all of the Netherlands. Most recent travelers said they enjoyed people-watching and picnicking at the park, but other reviewers recommend avoiding a late-night visit as the park can be a little frightening once the sun sets. During the day, though, the park is filled with couples, families and friends, and is definitely worth a visit.
Ponds, fields and playgrounds are connected by winding paths, which also run by an open-air theater, a rollerblade rental, a rose garden, several cafes and a range of statues and sculptures. Open dawn to dusk, you can take trams 1, 2 or 5 to the Leidseplein, and you'll have just a quick two-minute walk to reach the park's entrance. The park is free to visit.
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