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Boating & Sailing -- Sailboats, kayaks, and canoes can be rented on the Sloterplas Lake from Watersportcentrum De Duikelaar, Noordzijde 41 (tel 06/8146-6991; www.deduikelaar.nl). From mid-March to mid-October, you can go to the Loosdrecht lakes, southeast of Amsterdam, to rent sailing equipment from Ottenhome, Zuwe 20, 1241 NC Kortenhoef (tel 035/582-3331; www.ottenhome.nl). Canoes can be rented in Amsterdamse Bos, south of the city, for use in the park lakes.

Cycling -- Amsterdam is flat, flat, flat, but you take your life in your hands trying to ride a bike in the center of the city—local cyclists take no prisoners. Luckily there are plenty of options for enjoying a less frenetic bike ride. You can cycle along the canals; follow the path of the River Amstel south to Amstelpark and out to the photogenic village of Ouderkerk aan de Amstel; head into the forest park of Amsterdamse Bos. Or venture further afield to the UNESCO-listed Amsterdam Stelling; this former defense line is 10km (8 miles) out of the city and gives 135km (85 miles) of scenic cycling past nature reserves and waterways. MacBike (www.macbike.nl; tel. 020/620-0985) is the best-known bicycle rental company. You’ll need passport ID and a 50 deposit per bike (cash or credit card). Rates (excluding insurance) are 7.50€ for 3 hours and 9.75€ for 1 day for a pedal-brake bike, 11€ and  14.75€ respectively for a bike with a handbrake. MacBike is open daily 9am to 6pm. A range of bikes is available, including tandems, six-speed touring bikes, and smaller ones for kids. There are five MacBike rental outlets (same web details)—on Waterlooplein, Stationsplein outside Centraal Station, Oosterdokskade 63A Weteringschans 2 at Leidseplein, and Overtoom 45 at Vondelpark.

Golf -- Among public courses in or near Amsterdam are: 9-hole Golfbaan Sloten, Sloterweg 1045 (www.golfbaansloten.nl; tel. 020/614-2402); 18-hole Waterlandse Golf Club, Buikslotermeerdijk 141 (www.waterlandsegolfclub.nl; tel. 020/636-1010); and Golfbaan Spaarnwoude, Het Hoge Land 2, 1981 Velsen-Zuid (www.golfbaanspaarnwoude.nl; tel. 023/538-5599).

Horseback Riding -- If you want to experience the magical forest park of Amsterdam Bos by horseback, Manege Nieuw Amstelland, Jan Tooropplantsoen 17 (www.manegenieuwamstelland.nl; tel. 020/643-2468) offers lessons.

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Ice-Skating -- If temperatures drop low enough for long enough in winter, the canals of Amsterdam become sparkling highways through the city and the Dutch get their skates on. Classical music plays over the ice and kiosks are set up to dispense warming liqueurs. There are very few places that rent out skates, however. One that does is Jaap Eden IJsbanen, Radioweg 64 (tel 0900/724-2287; www.jaapeden.nl); you can rent skates here from November to February.

Jogging -- The two main jogging areas are Vondelpark in the center city and Amsterdamse Bos on the southern edge of the city. You can run along the Amstel River. If you choose to run along the canals, watch out for uneven cobbles, loose paving stones, and dog poop.

Roller Blading -- You can hire blades from De Skate Dokter, Jan van Galenstraat 161 (www.skatedokter.nl; tel. 020/260-0055)  and then join the hundreds of skaters who skate on Amsterdam’s regular—and free—Friday Night Skate (www.fridaynightskate.com). This event begins at 8:30pm, weather permitting. Meet at 8pm in summer and 8:15pm in winter outside the VondelCS cultural center in the Vondelpark, and take a circular route of around 20km (12 1/2 miles) through the city. It’s a sensible idea to wear a helmet and knee protection.

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Swimming -- Amsterdam’s state-of-the-art swimming facility is Het Marnix, Marnixplein 1 (tel 020/524-6000; www.hetmarnix.nl), which has two heated pools along with a fitness center and spa, and a cafe-restaurant. The Zuiderbad, Hobbemastraat 26 (tel 020/252-1390), is a handsome, refurbished place close to the Rijksmuseum and built in 1911; it even has times set aside for those who like to swim in their birthday suit. De Mirandabad, De Mirandalaan 9 (tel 020/252-4444), features an indoor pool with wave machines, slides, and other amusements, and an outdoor pool that’s open May to September.

Tennis -- Find indoor courts at Frans Otten Stadion, IJsbaanpad 43 (tel 020/662-8767; www.fransottenstadion.nl), close to the Olympic Stadium. For indoor and outdoor courts, try Sportcentrum Amstelpark, Koenenkade 8, Amsterdamse Bos (tel 020/301-0700; www.amstelpark.nl), which has 32 courts.

Amsterdam’s Beaches

Amsterdam has no natural beaches of its own, so it decided to create some. Sloterpark, in the western part of the city, is home to a large lake (Sloterpas) with a man-made beach; it’s a popular family-friendly spot that’s ideal for picnicking and swimming and is open year-round. From the center, it’s a half-hour ride on Tram 13 and admission is free. Perched on a lake just to the south of the city center, Strandzuid at Europaplein 22 (www.strand-zuid.nl; tel. 020/639-2589) is an urban beach complex attracting a sophisticated clientele. Its small beach is surrounded by a restaurant, chill-out lounge, and cocktail bar all connected by a series of wooden boardwalks. It’s open from May to October. Another option is Pllek, a hip bar with a sandy beach set on the banks of the River IJ in NDSM Wharf.

 

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Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.