Amsterdam is home to many excellent shops, fine restaurants and bustling city streets. Those who have yet to visit the city may be surprised to learn that Amsterdam is also home to 30 different parks. The city’s most famous park – Vondelpark – encompasses 48 hectares. These tranquil parks give city goers and tourists a place to escape and enjoy some peace and quiet.
Picnicking in the Park
When the sun is bright and the outdoor terraces are full, picnicking in the park is a great alternative. Many restaurants and cafes offer special picnic lunches and snacks to enjoy in one of the city’s many picturesque parks. Even if you can grab a spot on the terrace, a picnic in the park is still something every tourist should experience.
Naturally, many local cultural events take place in the city’s parks. De Parade is a traveling carnival-style festival that is hosted in the Martin Luther King Park. The Amsterdam Roots Festival is held in Oosterpark in July. Open-air theatre performances can be enjoyed in Vondelpark and Amsterdamse Bos.
Parks and Botanical Gardens
Hortus Botanicus is one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world and was established in 1683. It originally began as a medicinal herb garden, but became a part of the University of Amsterdam in 1877. There are thousands of plants with more than 4,000 different species in the many gardens and greenhouses on site.
Vondelpark is the largest park in Amsterdam and the most famous park in the country. It sees more than 8 million visitors each year and is the perfect place to enjoy an afternoon jog. The park features an open-air theatre where guests can enjoy live performances.
This park is ideal for a day of family fun. Amstelpark features a playground, minifootball, minigolf and pony rides. Be sure to see its famous rose garden and the Rieker windmill, which was built in 1636.
Amsterdamse Bos is a must-see for nature lovers. The park sits 4 meters below sea level and features marshy nature reserves known as Nieuwe Meer. Rowing competitions take place in the Bosbaan, which flows directly through the park. The park features more than 150 different types of trees, both foreign and native, and plenty of colorful birds. A pancake house and goat farm can be found onsite.
With 30 different parks to explore, Amsterdam offers tourists a place to enjoy a little peace and serenity during their hectic travels. No matter what time of year you visit the city, at least one of its local parks is sure to have an exciting event planned. Be sure to check the park’s event schedule beforehand to plan your stay accordingly.