Sports & Activities

Amsterdam is a great place to find many sporting activities, both to participate in and to watch. Because it is cold for half of the year, when spring comes and it is comfortable to be out without a jacket, the parks are immediately full of people playing games or enjoying the sun and warm weather. However, there are still many activities available during the winter months. The summer is rarely too hot to be outdoors - the only problem could be a very wet spring or summer. Still, when the sun is shining, people are out. One activity that goes on all around the year, rain or shine, is cycling. People in Amsterdam will ride a bike in all kinds of weather, holding an umbrella if necessary. Almost every sport you can imagine is available in Amsterdam, especially anything to do with water. Public swimming pools generally open in May, and boating, either through the canals as a sightseeing activity or in the Amsterdamse Bos as a sporting activity is also very popular. With the sea only an hour or so away, activities such as surfing and diving are accessible, with guides and instructors if you need them. Sports teams follow the same schedules as teams around the world and the range of sports is amazingly broad. One of the great things about a transient city is that people are always dropping out because they need to move, so there is always a need for new blood on most teams. If you are an enthusiast of sports, you’ll most likely find it in Amsterdam.

Even with football, one of the most popular sports in Amsterdam, there are teams to play in and ways to get involved either in a team focused on tournament play or teams that are just out to break a sweat before having a few beers. Exotic games like American football, baseball and hashing are also found in Amsterdam with a smaller, but no less enthusiastic crowd.

Sports clubs can be found all around the city. They generally offer fitness room and facilities for indoor running as well as classes. Some have swimming pools and squash. Gyms are usually very friendly when dealing with expats. Some even have special deals geared to the temporary nature of expat life. Shop around for the gym that suits you as they vary greatly in price, location and offerings. A good thing to have when researching activities on the Internet is a good English-Dutch dictionary. A word as simple as “boxing” is “boksen” in Dutch. Finding your particular activity will be simpler, and will increase your options if you can look for it in Dutch. Instructors and staff are almost always able to speak English. The expat community, especially the English speaking expat community, is huge in Amsterdam. It’s been here for a long time, hundreds of years, so there are many clubs and organisations that are well-established and welcoming to new members. Of course there is cross over in both directions with Dutch people involved in English speaking groups and English speaking people involved in Dutch organisations. Figure out what you’d like to do in Amsterdam and get out and do it. It will broaden your view of this beautiful city, help you explore new places and make it feel more like home.

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