Zandvoort is as famous and crowded as beach resorts get in the Netherlands. That is - in summer, when the weather is nice, Dutch and German visitors flock to the sandy beaches of this otherwise rather small town and dozens of beach pavilions along the long boulevard cater to their needs. By November, all pavilions have to be closed and mostly removed until Mid-February, changing the face of the Zandvoort boulevard completely.
Apart from beach life, Zandvoort is known for the Circuit Park Zandvoort, the main car racing circuit in the country. Although the last Formula 1 Dutch Grand Prix was held in 1985, the circuit still has a range of other races to offer for racing fans.
The whole west coast of the Netherlands is a single long beach. The nearest stretch to Amsterdam is Zandvoort—27 minutes by train from Amsterdam Centraal, every 30 minutes. In summer there are extra trains, change trains at Haarlem. Zandvoort is very crowded on warm days in summer: parts of the beach attract the in-crowd, others the somewhat less so.
On hot summer days, traffic jams in the directions of all major Dutch beach destinations are common - and Zandvoort is no exception. On such days, consider using the train instead of a car. On other days, driving in is easy enough. The N201 is the main road in, connecting Zandvoort to the nearby city of Haarlem and, slightly further, Amsterdam.
Trains run every half hour from Amsterdam and Haarlem, with extra trains in high season and on very hot (and thus busy) days. From Amsterdam, it's easy to connect to countless destinations in the country and abroad. Station Zandvoort aan Zee is less than a 10 minute walk from the beach.
Bike lanes are readily available, and there are plenty of biking and hiking routes connecting Zandvoort to other beach resorts along the coast as well as to cities and villages in the region.
Zandvoort is a small place, so you can get around walking or rent a bike from one of the many bike rental stores in Zandvoort.
The nearest bike rental store to the train station is Zilt at Sea. Zilt at Sea is also a few steps from the beach.
- 1 [dead link]Zilt at Sea Bike Rentals in Zandvoort (Rent a bike in Zandvoort at Zilt at Sea), Passage 33, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Rents bikes of all kinds, including electrical bikes, mountainbikes, tandems, scooters and children's bikes. You can also rent a locker, take a shower, and buy beach accessories.
The circuit in Zandvoort, from 1952 until 1985 Zandvoort was one of the circuits that organized the Formula 1.
Crowds flock here to find a spot on the sand and enjoy the sun and the sea. Sunbathing, swimming, beach walks and of course casual drinks in one of the many beach side bars is the core of all activity here.
- Zizo Sushi Lounge, Burgemeester van Fenemaplein 2. The sushi and sashimi in this restaurant get raving reviews, and they serve a nice range of cocktails too. Staff is friendly and the atmosphere is modern but cosy. €25.
- Strandpaviljoen Havana aan Zee, Boulevard Paulus Loot 1c (Last beach pavilion on the Paulus Loot boulevard, south beach). A pleasant beach pavilion with a classic menu and a good chef in the kitchen. There are sandwiches, pizzas and salads for lunch and a regularly changing menu for diner, with lots of fish options. When it's too chilly to sit on the outdoor terrace, try to get a table at the window with views of the sea for the best experience. In season, it's usually open all day and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. In the evenings it's a good spot for late drink. Keep in mind that this place, like most beach pavilions, is closed from mid-October to mid-February and has flexible opening hours when the weather is bad. Call ahead to be sure.