Safe swimming in nature

When the weather heats up, people head for the beach, natural pools and ponds for recreation and to cool off. The Hague and its surroundings have a number of lovely outdoor swimming locations. Have a look where you can swim safely.

On the zwemwater.nl website and app you will find a map with all of the natural swimming locations in the Netherlands. If the government issues a negative swimming advisory due to health risks, for example because of blue-green algae or jellyfish, it will be posted on the website and in the app.

The website also provides tips on safe swimming and health risks.

Swimming in the sea

Swimming in the sea can be a wonderful experience, but it also has its dangers. The water currents, tidal currents and wind are often unpredictable. Crowded beaches in the summer make it tough to keep an eye on swimmers and children. During the beach season the life guards from The Hague Rescue Brigade (www.hvrb.nl) give visitors advice and help along the coast of Kijkduin and Scheveningen.

Tips from the Rescue Brigade

  • Keep a distance of at least 30 metres from the rock barriers.
  • Always keep an eye on children and never go into the water alone.
  • Do not go too far into the sea (keep the water at hip level).
  • Pick out a fixed point on the coast.
  • Do not swim against the current but let yourself be carried diagonally back to the coast.
  • Do not use any flotation devices if there is an offshore breeze.
  • Give children a wristband with a telephone number, or write it on their hand.
  • Always follow the instructions of the Rescue Brigade.

    Latest information

    For your own safety, always check the latest swimming safety conditions along the coast. This can be done in different ways:

    • the flags on the beach: a red flag means that swimming is not advised. A yellow flag means that swimming can be dangerous.
    • the website of the Reddingsbrigade and WestText (teletekst) pages 154 and 155 of Omroep West.
    Kijkduin beach (Photo: Jurriaan Brobbel)
    Kijkduin beach (Photo: Jurriaan Brobbel)

    Other water

    In the Madestein recreational area you will find large and small recreational lakes and ponds with various beaches, sunbathing areas and playgrounds. The water quality in these lakes and ponds is regularly tested on safety levels.

    It is not advisable to swim in other kinds of bodies of natural water in The Hague. These waters are not tested on quality or on their danger to swimmers. If you would like to swim at your own risk, exercise caution. Pay attention to boats, do not jump from high embankments or bridges and stay away from water in which you see dead fish and/or water birds floating.

    More information

    Are you planning to go swimming? Always first check the website or the app.

    • Website: www.zwemwater.nl.
    • Download the Zwemwater app in the App Store or through Google Play. 
    • Do you have questions or complaints? Call the swimming water hotline: 0800 - 9036.
    Also see: Swimming and swimming pools

    Published: 8 June 2018Modified: 22 July 2019