Take a break in and around the VU!

It’s no surprise that everyone knows breaks (in moderation) help foster effective studying. Lucky for us here at the VU, we have lots of options in and around campus for a fun, productive break. Studies show that taking a break positive effect your attention level, something we all could use some help with when hitting the books! 
Join us reading about some of our favorite spots and why they are so nice for breaks!


Swimming is a great way to stretch out and clear your head. Here in the Netherlands, we are surrounded by water and that includes swimming pools! The municipality is responsible for multiple pools around the city and one that is just a 10-minute bike ride from the VU is De Mirandabad, just around the corner from station RAI. As a student, you can get a special discount on passes making this a low-cost break. This is also a nice idea because you can kill two birds with one stone by crossing the gym and break off your list with this sporty activity. Try to avoid peak hours so you can really use this break as a mind-clearing activity.

Pro-Tip: if you go with friends, make sure to enjoy the water slide or wave pool!

VU Sports Center

In the same sporty spirit, the VU sports center is another great way to stay active for a break. This is a super convenient option as there is a sports center on both the VU campus and Uilenstede Campus. With the “all in” student membership, you have access to all the classes they offer as well! How nice would it be to have a break doing some yoga to recenter in between studying for that tricky resit? Also, if you are worried about getting sweaty before returning to studying, don’t worry! Maybe just stick to a few minutes on the treadmill or rowing machine. When you work out, you increase your energy and concentration, making this an ideal study break.

Botanical Garden Zuidas

Fancy some fresh air and an oasis that makes you forget you are in the busy and bustling Amsterdam? Check out the botanical garden in the Zuidas! The botanical garden has over 6,000 species and various climates to experience. What better break than to enjoy watching cacti in a warm greenhouse! Being in the plants and greenery is a great way to have a break that doesn’t require that much energy on your part, especially if you have been studying hard that day.

Rather spend the money on a cup of coffee? That is no problem with this break because it is open for free to the public!

The Basket

Want to have a snack during your study break? Stop by The Basket on the campus-square for a snack and break! This central location even has spots to sit outside if the sun is out. Their full menu includes everything you could want like our Dutch favorite Bitterballen. This is a great break to take with friends and grab a table to break and chat for a minute. The Basket is right in the center of campus next to the volleyball court!

The Beatrix Park

Just 5 minutes biking from uni, you can find the spacious and quiet Beatrix park. This park has trails for bikes and walkers so you can get some fresh air and clear your head during your break. Being in nature is such a nice study break because it allows you to be uninterrupted by emails, calls, etc.. Additionally, there is a nice little lake which is super relaxing to sit by for a picnic lunch break in the spring! Need a coffee to increase your energy before getting back to the books? Stop at the cafe in Beatrixpark for a hot cup-of-joe to change it up from our favorite coffee corner at the main building of the VU.

Want to find out more about how to effectively study and boost your productivity… when you aren’t enjoying one of these amazing break ideas obviously? Check out our blog with tips to boost your productivity and concentration.