Amsterdam,Holland Habitation,Netherlands,Sights,Travel

A Day at the Beach: Blijburg

Something I have discovered since living in the Netherlands: the Dutch are very innovative and very good at creating something out of nothing! Case in point: Blijburg Beach.

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IJburg is an island neighbourhood in Amsterdam but what’s interesting about it is that it is completely man-made! IJburg was built on artificial islands in the IJ lake. Mostly a residential area IJburg also features a man-made beach: “Fabulous Blijburg”!

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A lot of buildings are still under construction, a pavilion is being built which will have two different restaurants, a terrace and space for events; as well as a chapel for weddings! At the moment there is a small cafe and shop, plus toilets, but it will be interesting to see what it looks like when the new buildings are finished.

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The cafe features snacks such as burgers and nachos as well as drinks and ice-creams. I love the seats made out of dinghies cut in half!

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Already the beach is very popular with Amsterdammers, being one of only three city beaches that don’t require a trek to the North Sea coastline to get some sand, sun and water. Of course it’s not quite the same as an Australian beach (I’m a little biased!), there are no waves but it’s definitely a great place for families and especially small children.

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Who’s up for a game of beach volleyball?!

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Not only are there regular events at the beach-site (such as a regular car-boot sale, live music and parties), but there has also just been (it finishes today) a very interesting accommodation/art installation event (an Art-Sleep-Experience) called the ‘Urban Campsite’.

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In what looks like a sand crater was a series of art installations that also doubled as accommodation – you could book through AirBnB to sleep overnight in your choice of a variety of strange installation sleeping ‘pods’.

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It was a very surreal-looking place! With all the amenities of a normal campsite such as toilets, showers, a cooking space as well as a cafe; this would definitely be an interesting and unique place to spend the night! So many of the sleeping-installations looked like some sort of spaceship, especially in the landscape of bright sand.

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How cool is it?! Most of the pods sleep only two adults, while others (such as the strange-shaped one below) can sleep up to four adults, or two adults and two children.

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If you walked up the steps on the side of the crater behind the white ‘pod’ (below) you were also treated to a nice view of the surrounding lake and a hammock (sort of).

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The view looking back into the camp-site crater.

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How about that sculpture in the middle? It reminds me of something out of ‘Mad Max,’ and is a functioning sculpture of toilets, showers, composting tanks and septic tanks. Pipes from the showers take the run-off to the little garden behind the showers as well. Like I said, pretty ingenious.

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If you are in Amsterdam and want to visit Blijburg you can catch a tram, bike or drive, although parking cars does cost a bit (motorbikes, scooters and bicycles are free). Tram 26 from Centraal Station departs for the beach every ten minutes and it is a ten-minute walk from the station at IJburg. Incidentally tram 26 allows non-foldup bikes too. If you would like to read some more about the urban camp-site check out the website here. It was only running at Blijburg during June, July and August, but I have an inkling there might be similar events in the future. The beach website also has information on cafe opening times and events, have a look at that here. Until next time, here’s a sneak peak of something else you might even see there; amphibious vehicles!

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a day at Blijburg Beach

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