Zandvoort - Won't be going back
One of the great things about this forum is that you can be honest about your thoughts, and is going to be a first for me… a negative review. However remember just because I didn’t like it, doesn’t mean you won’t.
What’s in Zandvoort: Water, sand, litter, hotels and too many people (mostly tourists and teens). What’s missing? Personality! It looks like any other beach in the world.
It could be a nice day trip, it you normally don’t have access to a beach. However as a place to stay, I would have to rate it very low. Locals have told me there are other beach areas that are much nicer, but I didn’t have time to check them out.
The train station its self was the most interesting thing I saw. From there it’s an easy 5 minutes walk to the beach, just go straight until you hit sand.
Once you step off the train, you will quickly pick up on the sweet smell of the sea. The beach is nice, lots of sand and the water is peaceful. It’s just looking past all of those people! The picture here was shot 7pm in late May, which isn’t even peek time or season.
Another thing I noticed was the amount of litter on the ground. The Netherlands as a rule is a very clean country, however here food, food containers, bottles, cans, and general trash were all about the train station and beach areas.
I haven’t had time to research the history, however many of the buildings in the train station area were relatively new. This normally translates into one of two groups, new development or post war reconstruction. My bet is on the latter. Unlike other parts of the county were even the newer construction has personality. These builds were very bland as well as were the hotel buildings.
There did appear to be a fair amount of places to eat, the sidewalk menus showed that prices were about normal for the country. I did try to eat at the Café Hollandia. After sitting for almost 10 minutes, the server finely came by. When I asked for a menu, he was quick to say they didn’t serve food! Now it’s just my thoughts, but a ‘Café ‘should serve something to eat.
If you come for a day trip, make sure you know the train schedule. This was the first train station where the sign next to the track DID NOT change to current information. It appeared to have been stuck with the information of 3 trains ago.
I tried to leave just after 7pm, only to find the train was full! No place to sit. Of all of those people 75% were teens. Don’t get me wrong I like youth, but you can have too much of a good thing. It was so bad, that the train personal gave a statement over the load speaker (that I could hardly hear over the youth. It is common practice for them to give announcements in Dutch and English, this time they didn’t. So I had to ask someone to translate. The announcement was that the other train would be going to the same stop, and asked for people to go to the second train. I did.
The train pulled out, and I thought we would be in Haarlem in a few minutes. No such luck, about half way we stopped and parked for what felt like forever. Nothing compares with sitting on a stopped train, with the sun beating down through the window, no air conditioning with a bunch of ripe people. Once we arrived at Haarlem, the largest part of this group (from both trains) all headed for the Amsterdam train. Standing room only and there wasn’t much of that left… as for me. I went got something to drink, and waited for the next train.