Would you like to avoid the crowds in Amsterdam for a little while? You might want to check out one of these awesome parks in Amsterdam.
Why should you visit the parks in Amsterdam?
Because they are the perfect place to relax of course! That does not necessarily have to be on the grass (although it is advisable to bring a picnic blanket in the summer), as almost every park has a restaurant or a café with a terrace. Some of the parks in Amsterdam are quite large, and those are perfect for a long walk on a sunny afternoon.
I’ve lived in Amsterdam for almost twelve years and therefore visited almost all the parks in the city. But which ones are really worth checking out? In this article, I’ll share my favorite parks in Amsterdam. And yes, there are many more!
The Vondelpark is probably the most famous park in this list of awesome parks in Amsterdam. It’s also the most crowded. The park is pretty big and is located very close to the city center, near the Leidseplein. There are many lawns to lay down your picnic blanket, and there are also a couple of cool places to go for a drink. You’ll also find some playgrounds and a couple of beautifully landscaped gardens, like the rose garden in the center of the park.
You can spot a couple of pretty statues in the park, like the Vondelmonument (a statue of the poet Joost van den Vondel) and a statue made by Pablo Picasso. The park is also popular with runners, one round in the park is approximately four kilometers.
Tip from a local The park is very crowded near the entrance that is close to the city center. If you walk further into the park, it gets quieter.
Food & drinks Best places to get a drink are VondelCS and the Blauwe Theehuis.
Located in the middle of a neighborhood called De Pijp is the Sarphatipark. It’s small and gorgeous. The park has an English landscape style, with a large pond and several winding paths around it. In the middle of the park, you can see the Sarphatimonument, which is a statue of Samuel Sarphati. He initiated the construction of the park.
Tip from a local In the northeast corner of the park you can find a hidden viewpoint. This is an area with a constructed wetland and it’s pretty cool to see.
Food & drinks There are no facilities in the park itself, but right outside the park there are many awesome places. You can get great coffee at Scandinavian Embassy, get sweets at My Little Patisserie, or go to Coffee & Coconuts for lunch.
The Rembrandtpark is a large park in Amsterdam West. It will be less crowded in this park than the parks I mentioned before. It’s a great place for a picnic, but also great if you’d like to go for a run. There are a couple of cool pieces of art to be found in the park, like the two huge dogs guarding on a bridge in the middle of the park.
Tip from a local In the center of the park there’s a special place for kids called Bouwspeelplaats Het Landje. Kids can ride ponies or build huts here.
Food & drinks There are no facilities in the park, but there are a couple of cool places to go right outside of the park. Some of my favorites are BARTACK (at the Postjesweg) and Floor 17 (the roof terrace of the Leonardo Hotel Amsterdam).
Westerpark is one of the hottest parks in Amsterdam. In the center of the park, you’ll find the Westergasfabriek (Western Gas Factory), where old factories are converted to television studios, awesome restaurants, event venues and you can even find a cinema in the park. Around this area, there are many lawns for picnicking, and trails for biking and hiking.
Tip from a local Het Westerpark is een van de weinige parken waar je nog mag barbecueën in Amsterdam. Dus neem die vooral mee op mooie dagen en hou je aan de regels.
Food & drinks There are many great places for food and drinks in the park. Go to Pacific Amsterdam for late-night drinks and dancing, Brouwerij Troost Westergas for a beer, or to De Bakkerswinkel for a delicious high tea.
The Amstelpark is located in Amsterdam-Zuid, in the southern part of Amsterdam. Part of the park was founded in the 17th century when it belonged to an estate called Amstelrust. The rest of the park was constructed for the Floriade (an international exhibition that is held in The Netherlands every 10 years) in 1972.
It’s one of the best parks to explore because there are many hidden small gardens. For example, you can find a Japanese Garden and a rhododendron valley. There are also some cool statues and other art constructions to be found in the park. When you travel to Amsterdam with kids, this is the place to go. There’s a small train, you can play minigolf and there is also a maze.
Tip from a local Five of the park entrances are an art installation. It’s cool to discover them all.
Food & drinks In the park you’ll find a restaurant, a cafeteria, and an ice-cream parlor.
Close to Amstelpark, you’ll find another beautiful park: the Beatrixpark. This park is also located in the southern part of Amsterdam, between Station Rai and Station Zuid. It’s a park filled with winding paths, ponds, and cute bridges. There’s also a wading pool, where kids can cool down on hot summer days.
Tip from a local Check out the area called Artsenijhof. This is a herb garden filled with hundreds of medicinal herbs.
Food & drinks Restaurant As is a great place for dinner, but you can also go for drinks at Strandzuid at the waterfront.
Oosterpark is a large park in the eastern part of Amsterdam. Besides great places to relax, you can also find some interesting monuments in the park. Like the impressive National Monument of the history of slavery and De schreeuw in memory of the murdered filmmaker Theo van Gogh. Sometimes, the park hosts fun festivals like Roots Open Air and Appelsap.
Tip from a local In the middle of the park you’ll find a gorgeous historic bandstand. Sometimes you might even see a performance here.
Horeca There’s a cafeteria in the park, but there are also great places to be found right outside the park, like Bar Bukowski.
The Oosterpark is part of this great historic self-guided walking tour in Amsterdam.
Park Frankendael is also located in the eastern part of Amsterdam, and it’s part of the estate of Frankendael. It is an extraordinary park, filled with aquatic garden features, an awesome playground, and allotment gardens. In the park, you’ll find one of the nicest restaurants in Amsterdam: De Kas. This a greenhouse where you eat what the harvest that day.
Tip from a local Every last Sunday of the month, there’s a market where local entrepreneurs sell fresh food & drinks.
Horeca Besides De Kas, there’s also a nice coffeehouse in the park and if you like to have a fancy dinner, you can eat at the Frankendael estate.
To be completely honest, the Amsterdamse Bos (Amsterdam Forest) is officially not located in Amsterdam, but in Amstelveen. Nevertheless, I would include this park in this list of most awesome parks in Amsterdam, because it’s a lot of fun and a perfect place to escape from the crowds in Amsterdam. The park is enormous (rent a bike to get around) and you can easily spend a full day in the park. There are many trails for hiking and cycling, but you can also rent a pedal boat.
Bezoektip During the summer months, you can visit the Amsterdamse Bostheater for fun performances and concerts.
Food & drinks In the park, you’ll find many cafeterias and restaurants. I would recommend Grand Café De Bosbaan, from here you’ll have a great view of the Bosbaan, a rowing lake.
Sloterpark & Sloterplas
The Sloterpark is a large park in Nieuw-West and surrounds the Sloterplas (a lake). There are many great areas in the park for a picnic and you can also go for a swim in the lake. The park has a couple of cool statues and artworks, like the enormous Groot Landschap at the eastern part of the lake.
Tip from a local A walking tour around the lake is a must. It will take you about 1.5 hours (it’s 7 kilometers).
Food & drinks Around the park, there are some places to get food and drinks (especially in the area of the Osdorpplein). My favorite place is Hotel Buiten, right next to the beach.
Park Schinkeleilanden is one of the most hidden parks in Amsterdam and is located near the Olympic Stadion in the Southern part of Amsterdam. This is one of the newest parks in Amsterdam and was constructed between 2005 and 2010. The park consists of a couple of islands and every island has its own character. A great place to explore, especially on warm days.
Tip from a local There’s a really cool cycle track that runs along the park, where you follow a historic tramway.
Food & drinks The park is really small, so there are no facilities. But if you go to the Stadionplein (near the Olympic Stadion), you’ll find many cool places to get food and drinks. Check out De Drie Graefjes for a delicious lunch. If you like to get some really fancy pics for Instagram, you should check out Mama Kelly in the Olympic Stadion. Everything in this restaurant is pink!
Park de Oeverlanden
The last park on this list with awesome parks in Amsterdam is a park that many people (not even locals) know: Park de Oeverlanden. It’s a large recreation area and a nature reserve along the water. There are some small beaches and it’s a perfect place for a hot day. There are also many great trails for hiking or cycling in the park.
Tip from a local I love chilling at the terrace of Paviljoen Aquarius. Frome here, you’ll have a great waterfront view and you can also take a ferry to the Amsterdamse Bos.
Food & drinks Paviljoen Aquarius is the only place in the park to get food and drinks.
Map with the most awesome parks in Amsterdam
Tips for checking out the parks in Amsterdam
Some extra tips if you like to explore the beautiful parks in Amsterdam:
- Take your own picnic blanket, food, and drinks and you’ll have a great afternoon. All of these parks have lawns where you can put down a picnic blanket.
- Throw away your garbage in one of the garbage cans in the park. Are they full? Take your garbage with you.
- Unfortunately, barbecuing is forbidden in most of the parks in Amsterdam. Right now, you can only take a barbecue to the Westerpark and the Erasmuspark.
- Feeding ducks is not allowed in every park, because they’ll get sick (and it also attacks rats, yikes!)
- Most parks are easily accessible by public transport. Check the website of the GVB for the current timetable.
As a local, these are my favorite parks in Amsterdam! Which park is your favorite?
Extra tip for a visit to Amsterdam
Do you want to see all of Amsterdam for a great discount? Get the I Amsterdam City Card. The I Amsterdam City Card is your ticket to a more affordable, action-packed trip to Amsterdam. It provides free entry to the city’s top attractions, unlimited travel on public transport, a free canal cruise, and significant discounts and giveaways.
Do you still need to book accommodation? On Booking.com you will find an overview of all available hotels, hostels, and apartments in Amsterdam with prices. These are a few recommendations:
- Volkshotel in Amsterdam East – cozy and hip hotel. On the seventh floor, you’ll find a restaurant with a panoramic view over Amsterdam. The Volkshotel is located near Park Frankendael and the Oosterpark.
- TSH Amsterdam West – beautifully decorated rooms and located between two of the largest parks in Amsterdam: the Rembrandtpark and the Sloterpark.
- WesterVilla in Amsterdam West – it feels a bit like you are sleeping in a castle here! The Westerpark is across the street.
Would you like to read more about Amsterdam or The Netherlands?
Check out these articles:
- Historic self-guided walking tour in Amsterdam
- Dutch National Park Zuid-Kennemerland: the ultimate guide – a great day trip from Amsterdam
- Hidden gems in The Netherlands: off the beaten track
Or order one of these travel guides for more inspiration:
This article was originally published in June 2020. Last update: March 2021.
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