Amsterdam is blessed with many green spaces and quiet oases. What is your favorite Amsterdam park? Here are a few of ours.
THE 7 BEST PARKS IN AMSTERDAM
Vondelpark is undeniably Amsterdam’s favorite park. With its proximity to the center of the city, it is a favorite spot for both locals and tourists to go when the weather is sunny. On a beautiful day you’ll find thousands of people sprawled on the grass, relaxing with a bottle of wine or enjoying a picnic with friends.
Vondelpark is also a popular bicycle thoroughfare, although technically cycling is not even allowed in the park. The area near the former EYE Museum is also a spot where rollerbladers gather to practice tricks. It’s a fun sight to see.
In the summer don’t miss the Vondelpark Open Air Theater. This free event series runs from June to September and showcases local and visiting talent. Performances include all kinds of music as well as dance and theater. For something different be sure to check out the Vondelbunker too.
In the colder months Vondelpark is a lovely place to go for a quiet walk with a friend or your dog. It is also a popular park for runners with lots of jogging paths. In the spring you’ll be treated to blooming bulbs of tulips, daffodils and narcissus. Vondelpark is lovely year-round! READ MORE>>
A newer Amsterdam park, Westerpark used to be the property of the Wester Gasfabriek, a coal-fired gas power plant. After its closure in the late 1960s, the area lay derelict for years and became a not-so-nice place to be. In the 1990s squatters and artists moved in, followed by the city of Amsterdam. They decided to clean up the pollution and make a lovely park on the property, and they did an amazing job! The redevelopment has given the area a great gentrification boost and brought a lot of life to the neighborhood.
Westerpark has it all! Green nature space, jogging and cycling paths, places to BBQ and even fountains for the kids to splash in! And of course Westerpark would not be complete without the Westergasterrein. These buildings were part of the old gas company and have been refurbished as restaurants, cafes, theaters, festival venues and offices.
We especially love that Westergasfabriek B V, the company that manages the buildings at Westerpark, does their best to be as sustainable as they can be.
Some of our favorite places and secret spots in Westerpark are:
- Pacific Parc: drink, dance or dine at the popular Pacific Parc with their huge terrace
- Espressofabriek: some of the best coffee in town
- De Bakkerswinkel: a great spot for breakfast, brunch, lunch and high tea
- Go see a film at Het Ketelhuis
- Westergasterras: a cafe with an inviting terrace, salsa dance nights are held here in summer
- Buurtboerderij Ons Genoegen: an amazing city farm and garden
- Stay overnight in a unique place: Het Leidinghuis
- Check out the Bijen Paleis (bee palace)
- Het Brettenpad nature path
- Have some craft beer at Brouwerij Troost
- Mossel & Gin is the place to go for mussels and G&Ts
- A cozy winebar nestled in the park is Wester Wijnfabriek
Many amazing festivals happen in Westerpark including:
Originally built for the 1972 Floriade, Amstelpark is different from most of the other Amsterdam parks. This park has several areas which were planted with horticultural specimens. Walk through the park and check out the “Dahliarama,” an area with dahlias and other flowers or the “Rhododendron Valley” with more than 8000 rhododendrons. Be sure not to miss the “Butterfly Garden” with plants that are useful to these lovely creatures.
In addition to the wide range of plants in the park you will also find peacocks and llamas, artwork, a mini train from the time of the Floriade, and a few nice cafes.
Check out the foodie festival Taste of Amsterdam that happens at Amstelpark in the summer. The Pure Markt also takes place on the second Sunday of the month at Amstelpark in the spring, summer and fall.
Erasmuspark is a smaller park in the west of Amsterdam but it is a very welcome spot of green in the city. There are always plenty of people walking their dogs and playing with their kids in Erasmuspark. Go there in spring to catch the pink blooms of the cherry blossoms.
We like to stop in at Terrasmus, the cafe near the playground at Erasmuspark. Their fresh juices are delicious!
A beautiful ecological park in the Oost, Frankendael provides habitat for many types of plants, animals and insects in its small space. Wander the park’s trails to enjoy the hidden niches and quiet places.
Also be sure to check out the two gourmet restaurants located within the park, Merkelbach and Restaurant De Kas. Both are lovely and quite different. Merkelbach is located in an old mansion, while De Kas is in an old greenhouse. De Kas and Merkelbach are known as sustainable food gastronomic hotspots.
Once a month in the spring through fall you will also find the Pure Markt at Frankendael. This fun food market is one not to miss!
Beatrixpark is located in Amsterdam Zuid and is a great place to walk with or without your puppy. There are lots of winding trails to get lost on. We enjoy looking at the trees in this park. Many of them are labeled with their scientific and common names and it is fun to observe the different varieties. Many of the trees were planted as a part of the Floriade 1972, as in Amstelpark. Download the map and list from Vrienden van het Beatrixpark.
In the summer grab an ice cream at De Ystuin. The Pure Markt also takes place here in the summer about once a month.
On the edge of Beatrixpark you’ll find StrandZuid, a sandy beach and waterside cafe open in the summer months. You can also go for some roasted meat at Roast Room. We also like to visit Hakata Senpachi for their tasty ramen on the weekends.
This park in Amsterdam Noord was formerly called Florapark. Take a wander through the trees and grassy lawns and grab a spot for a quiet picnic along the waterways.
In the summer months we love to visit the Noorderparkbar. This super cute shack is constructed entirely of items that were donated or found on Marktplaats. Cool! Sit in the shade and enjoy some drinks and snacks.
Next door you’ll find the Noorderparkkamer, a community center with different events most of the year round. Sometimes you’ll also find concerts, performances, festivals and other events, especially in the summer.
BONUS: Amsterdamse Bos
Bonus number 8 is one of our favorites! Amsterdamse Bos is technically located in Amstelveen but it is one of the nicest and largest parks in the Amsterdam area. Read more about Amsterdamse Bos here.
We hope you enjoyed this list of our favorite parks in Amsterdam! Is there a park that you love? Please let us know! Find us on social media and share your photos.
If you’re looking for more greenery, check out the Hortus Botanicus too.
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