There are just two campsites close to Amsterdam, so you’d do well to be organized and book at least a few weeks ahead, particularly for a weekend. Since the global recession struck a couple of years ago, it’s the first time in many years that both campsites have been forced to regularly turn people away during the peak summer months. Both sites claim to cater for a mix of customers, but from personal experience the majority tend to be younger Dutch teenagers in large groups or backpackers. The staff does try and take this into account and keep the families apart.
Of Amsterdam’s two campsites, this is the closest s to the City Centre. Located around two kilometres from Amsterdam’s Central Station, it can be reached by busses 32 or 33 which run all day until around midnight. Alternatively, by taking the free ferry which runs day and night from behind central station, it’s about a 20 minute walk.
They offer places for camper vans and tents and they also have a number of small wooden huts with two sets of bunk beds and one large hut for groups. There is a small store offering the normal campsite fair and a restaurant offering a basic range of fast food and sandwiches.
Unaccompanied teenagers from the age of 16 are allowed.
This site is located around 15 minutes bus journey from Amsterdam’s Central station, or a 1 hour walk. It’s in a picturesque location on a small Island in the IJmeer. However it is close to quite a busy road, so you will hear some traffic in the distance.
They offer places for tents and campers and also have very cute wagonnettes. These are cosy ‘wagons on wheels’ equipped with bunk beds, table, chairs, electricity points and heater with private thermostat. Bedding is included. Each wagonette has its private little covered veranda, so you can sit outside – even when it rains.
A great and cheap alternative to a hostel or hotel is choosing to stay in one of their cabins. These offer a simple, clean and cosy space with bunk beds, table, chairs, electricity points, and central heating and bed linen included.
While it’s not so close to the city, there is a lot to do in the neighbourhood, including some good restaurants, such as Pompstation, kayak rental, and Blijburg beach. It’s also an excellent starting point for bike tours in the Waterland above Amsterdam.
Oh, and they’re open all year if you dare to battle with freezing Dutch winters!