Swimming lessons in The Hague

Swimming instruction is given in The Hague's swimming pools. Read what you should think about when choosing swimming lessons.

The Hague is a city by the sea and has many canals, waterways and ponds. With water all around, learning to swim is in no way a luxury but an absolute necessity. The Hague has a large selection of swimming lessons for children and adults.

The rules for swimming lessons have been made more stringent due to the coronavirus. You can find these rules on the page Swimming lessons during the coronavirus crisis.
Children taking swimming lessons
Children taking swimming lessons

Choosing swimming lessons

When looking for swimming lessons you can look at the location of the swimming pool, day and time the swimming lessons are given, how long 1 swimming lesson lasts, the size of the group, the method of instruction, the length of the waiting list, the age the child can start and the price.

Ask around

It can at first appear quite challenging to find the right swimming lessons for your child. The more affordable courses have long waiting lists. The best way to find a good swimming class is to ask around. Most classes will be given in Dutch with a few words of English thrown in. But you'll soon see that learning to swim is a matter of practice makes perfect.

When to start with swimming lessons

The swimming lessons at the municipality are for children aged 6 to 16 years. You can register your child as of 5 years. Would you like your child to start learning to swim earlier? Some swimming schools will take children at 4 or 5 years.

To get your child used to water, you can go together to:

School swimming

Many primary school children take swimming lessons through their school in groep 5 (and sometimes also in groep 6). Nevertheless it is better not to wait for this and to start swimming lessons at an earlier age. The number of hours of instruction that they get during school swimming is not enough for your child to get the ABC certificates.

Would you like to learn more? Look at School swimming.

Where to take swimming lessons

You can find a large selection of swimming lessons at the municipality's 6 swimming pools. You can choose from swimming lessons at the municipality or at 1 of the swimming clubs (zwemverenigingen).

Non municipal swimming pools

Swimming lessons are also given in other swimming pools (for example, a swimming pool in a nursing home or fitness club). Look at the websites of the private swimming clubs and schools:

With a disability

Are you or your child unable to take part in the available swimming lessons because of a disability? Look at what is provided in the neighbourhood on www.unieksporten.nl.

Waiting times

There is often no space in the swimming lesson right away. After registering, you or your child will be placed on a waiting list.

There is a 6 month to 1.5 year wait for swimming lessons at the municipality for the A swimming certificate. The wait is less for the lessons for the B and C swimming certificates.

For information on how long you have to wait for lessons at the swimming clubs and schools visit their websites.

Swimming certificates

In the Netherlands there are 3 big organisations which provide swimming certificates. The municipality works with the Zwem-ABC method from the Nationale Raad Zwemveiligheid (NRZ).

The NRZ has formulated a number of criteria for certification and safeguards the quality of NRZ certificates through checks and support. The 2 other organisations are:


The rates for swimming lessons at the municipality can be found under Rates for The Hague’s swimming pools. The rates for swimming lessons at the swimming clubs can be found on the websites of the clubs.

The total costs depend on the number of swimming lessons needed to earn the swimming certificates. This differs per person.

    Swimming lessons at the municipality

    You can find more information on swimming lessons at the municipality under Swimming lessons at the municipality.

    Also see Swimming lessons

    Published: 27 June 2016Modified: 20 July 2021