If you are lucky enough to have good weather in Amsterdam and are looking for a relaxing break from sightseeing, shopping or clubbing you should really go for one of the many parks in Amsterdam. There are multiple public parks in the city, where you can enjoy the weather. You can lay down, play a ball game and enjoy the weather. If you’re running low on budget you can also have a cheap meal in the parks from of a picnic or barbecue.
The Vondelpark is the most popular parks in Amsterdam both for locals as for tourists. It is situated in the center of the city near Leidse Square and the Museum district and stretches out to the western part of the city. Due to its popularity the Vondelpark does get crowded on sunny days. It’s an excellent place to simply sit and watch people pass by. Furthermore in the park you’ll find:
- Restaurants and cafés:
- Blue Tea House: in the middle of the park enjoy a coffee and a snack.
- Vondelpark3: serves meals all day long. Feel welcome to pass by for either breakfast, lunch or dinner.
- De Vondeltuin: excellent hang out for youngsters for a cocktail, chat and barbecue food. Occasionally organizes silent disco party’s.
- Groot Melkhuis: grab a quick meal or a drink while the children enjoy the big playground.
- Playgrounds for children
- An open-air theatre: regular concerts during the summer months free of charge.
- Designated barbecue area’s.
Because of it’s popularity the Vondelpark becomes crowded on sunny days. Sometimes to such an extent that it gets difficult to find an appropriate spot to sit.
How to get to the Vondelpark
The Vondelpark has multiple entrances. From Leidse square the main entrance is within 5-minute reach, between Leidse square and the Rijksmuseum. From Museum Square the fastest way to enter the park is via a side entrance at the “Van Baerlestraat”. By public transport the park can be reached by travelling to Leidse square or Museum square.
In the western part of Amsterdam you’ll find the the vibrant Westerpark. It’s home to multiple bars restaurants and Westergasfabriek venue, where big dance events are being organized. It is usually less crowded than the Vondelpark so you’ll find more space for ball games and activities such as skating. There’s also a paddling pool to cool down when it gets really warm. In the summer months the Westerpark is also used to house cultural events.
How to get to the Westerpark
When facing central station the Westerpark is on your left hand side. By foot you should be able to reach the Westerpark with 15 to 20 minutes. By bike you’ll only need 5 minutes. The route is basically a straight line towards the Haarlemmer square. From there you just need to cross the water and you’re right at the Westerpark.
By public transport
From Central Station take bus 18, 21 or 22 and get off at ‘Haarlemmerplein’. When travelling from any other part of the city please check out the advice on our public transport page.
If you’re looking for a bit more nature and space than you’ll find in a city park, you should definitely go and check out the Amsterdam forest. This park is situated in just outside the city in the south. It will take you only 30 minutes by public transport to get there, but you’ll feel like you left the city way behind. You could easily spend a day here walking, having a picnic and a swim. In addition to the regular things to do in a park the Amsterdam forest offers lots of attractions to keep you occupied! These attractions include:
- An outdoor swimming pool
- The Fun forest; for those who love climbing.
- Boat rental; explore the lake!
- Open air theater
- Wellness centre
- Miniport; rent cool small boats for the kids to sail
- Excursions booked from the visitors centre
All in all the Amsterdam forrest is very nice place to spend the day. There’s more than enough to do for both adults and children. So if the weather is good and you’d like to spend a day outdoors, this is the place to do it.
For more information also check out the Amsterdam forrest website.
How to get to the Amsterdam forest
The Amsterdam forest is situated between Amstelveen and Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. You could go there by bike, which will take you approximately half an hour from Dam Square, from the museum district it will only take you 15 minutes. Just keep cycling south and follow the signs to Amstelveen.
By public transport
You can also get there by public transport. From Amsterdam Central Station there are several bus lines heading to Amstelveen. These buses stop at the stop “Van Nijenrodeweg/Amstelveenseweg”, from there it’s only a 5 minute walk. Secondly you can also take a tram or subway to the VU medical centre, from there it will take you 15 minutes to walk to the Amsterdam forrest or you can get on one of the buses to the “Van Nijenrodeweg/Amstelveenseweg”.
- By bus: 170, 172 and 174 hop off at the stop “Van Nijenrodeweg/Amstelveenseweg”.
- By tram: 5, 16 and 24 hop off at “VU medical centre”.
- By subway: 51 hop off at “De Boelelaan/VU”.