Parks in Amsterdam to Visit

By Keith Jenkins

Amsterdam is famous the world over for its beautiful canals and museums. However, did you know that there are also many parks in Amsterdam which locals and visitors alike can enjoy? The most famous Amsterdam park is undoubtedly Vondelpark. This iconic park is located at the edge of the historic city centre and is popular as a green haven for joggers and cyclists, but also for picnics, concerts and festivals. A bit farther afield, you’ll find more pockets, and even expanses, of soothing greenery. Here are some of my favourite parks in Amsterdam for you to enjoy:

parks to visit in amsterdam
Egyptian geese in Vondelpark

Beautiful parks in Amsterdam


This iconic park needs no introduction. In 1864, a group of citizens banded together to create a park. Opened in 1865, Vondelpark encompasses 47 hectares of greenery, flower gardens and lakes. Originally named ‘Nieuwe Park’ (New Park), it was later renamed Vondelpark after the 17th century poet, Joost van den Vondel.

best parks in amsterdam to visit

There’s an open-air theatre, various cafés and many open spaces for sports, picnics or suntanning. Look for the beautiful works of art scattered across the park, such as the sculpture by Picasso, a gift from the famous artist to the city. Vondelpark (map) is also the go-to place for joggers and cyclists.

where to jog in amsterdam
Joggers in Vondelpark

These days, Vondelpark attracts more than 10 million visitors each year. It’s busiest during King’s Day on 27th April every year. On this day, the entire park turns into a giant flea market or garage sale!

kings day vondelpark amsterdam
King’s Day in Vondelpark


My favourite park in Amsterdam, the Amstelpark (map) was built to host the Floriade gardening exhibition in 1972. After the exhibition, the park became one of the biggest urban green spaces in Amsterdam. The park also has its own train line which runs in a loop around the park.

amsterdam nature

There are numerous sections worthy of a visit, including the Rhododendron Valley, with about 140 species of rhododendrons (visit in April and May to see the stunning blooms).

rhododendrons amsterdam
Rhododendron Valley in Amstelpark

There’s also a lovely Japanese Garden. Just outside the park stands the 17th century Riekermolen (windmill). These days, it’s a private residence so feel free to take a photo but please refrain from entering the premises.

Riekermolen windmill

The Amstelpark is bordered by the Amstel River, making it an attractive option to wander along the river. The path along the river is also one of our favourite cycling routes in Amsterdam.

Walk or cycle along the Amstel River


The Oosterpark, opened in 1891, was the first large public park created by the municipality. Designed to reflect an English garden, the park (map) features an elongated lake surrounded by trees and grassy fields. It’s also home to the National Slavery Monument and the annual Keti Koti festival (every year on 1st July), which commemorates the abolition of slavery in The Netherlands in 1863.

Oosterpark (image by E.Andor/Wikimedia Commons)

Park Frankendael

This relatively small 6-hectare park was a former country estate. The mansion, Huis Frankendael, was built in the 17th century and is now a national monument that’s used for events.

Huis Frankendael (image by MSchapink/Wikimedia Commons)

The park (map) itself is an oasis of greenery, with nature and cultivation at its core. There are grassy fields, marshes and ornamental gardens to enjoy. You’ll also find the organic vegetable gardens of De Kas, a Michelin-star restaurant specialised in fresh, locally-grown produce.

Vegetable gardens of De Kas restaurant

In the summer months, the park hosts the Pure Markt (last Sunday of each month), a market dedicated to sustainable food and products. Read more about eco-friendly things to do in Amsterdam.

Pure Markt at Park Frakendael


In Amsterdam’s northwestern edges lies Westerpark (map), a popular park especially in the summer months. Located adjacent to the Westergasfabriek, a sprawling cultural complex, the Westerpark is a beautiful park for a stroll and a picnic.

Westerpark (image by RCE/Wikimedia Commons)

Visitors also come here to visit the numerous summer festivals and markets, as well as the Fabrique des Lumières, a multimedia art exhibition.

Multimedia art exhibition at Fabrique des Lumieres

Also nearby is the Spaarndammerbuurt (Spaarndammer neighbourhood) with its historic Amsterdam School architecture. If you’re a fan of urban architecture, don’t miss a stroll around this neighbourhood.

Amsterdam School architecture in the Spaarndammerbuurt

Amsterdamse Bos

The Amsterdamse Bos (map) is one of the largest urban parks in Europe. Its 1,000 hectares makes it 3 times larger than Central Park in New York, and encompasses forests, lakes, marshes and grasslands. It’s one of the most popular parks in Amsterdam, attracting 6 million people a year.

Amsterdamse Bos

The cherry blossoms are a big attraction in spring, whilst during the summer months, there are numerous cultural events to enjoy.

amsterdamse bos blossoms
Spring blossoms at the Amsterdamse Bos

Bird watchers will delight at the opportunity to spot buntings, warblers, kingfishers, hawks and other birdlife. There are also Scottish Highlander cows and other fauna to be seen in this sprawling park southwest of the city.

Read more about Amsterdam on Sustainable Cities.


Keith Jenkins is the Founder and Publisher of the award-winning Velvet Escape luxury travel blog. Based in Amsterdam, Keith has visited more than 80 countries across six continents in search of the best travel experiences. He often writes about his love for art/design, history, architecture, nature and food/wines.

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