9 must see parks in Amsterdam

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Arriving at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol? You're amongst many lucky travelers. Millions of people visit Amsterdam each year to see its historical attractions and amazing art, as well as the vibrancy and character of the town which has been preserved over the years, turning the entire city into a sort of living museum. It's the capital city of the Netherlands and is located on the west side of the country. As you walk throughout Amsterdam you'll pass over nearly 1,300 bridges and viaducts that connect close to 90 small islands separated by canals.

Between the canals and waterways of the city, you'll also spot public parks and green spaces that serve as places for the people of Amsterdam to meet up and enjoy some fresh air. Whether you've just arrived in town for a few days or have been here your entire life, here are a few of the best parks in Amsterdam that you'll definitely want to see. If you need a place to store your bags close to the park you can easily find bounce luggage storage in Amsterdam since we have convenient locations all over town.

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Park Frankendael

Head to the Oost part of the city to visit Park Frankendael, home to the last remaining 17th century home in the city. Surrounding it are well maintained grounds that span for 7 hectares, including two beautiful gardens. One of the park's most popular attractions is the botanical garden. It's home to over 500 species of trees and plants, some of which are quite rare.

You can enjoy nature in a variety of ways in Frankendael Park, either by walking around the paved paths, admiring the different plants in the gardens, strolling by the marsh or sunbathing on the grass. Occasionally the park is used as a venue for events, so check to see if anything is going on while you're here.

If you get hungry while you're in the park you can stop by the old greenhouse which has been converted into an organic restaurant, or the other eatery located on site. If you're visiting at the end of the month you definitely won't want to miss out on the organic market that is put on every last Sunday.


Located in the southern part of town is Amstelpark, an urban park that was constructed back in 1972 for the Floriade world garden fair. Today it's still home to beautiful and well maintained botanical gardens that you'll definitely want to see, as well as a stunning rhododendron valley with over 130 different species and a romantic rose garden. Although the gardens are well worth the visit, you'll find plenty of other activities for the entire family to enjoy here.

If you're interested in the park's history you'll want to check out the Rieker windmill that was constructed back in 1636, and the brass Rembrandt statue standing in the grounds as well. On site you'll find a super fun mini golf course that is perfect for a date, playing with friends, or a family outing. Kids will have a blast in the playground or playing mini-football, and pony rides are also offered in the park.

If you happen to stop by in the summertime you can take a ride on the small train, too. There's also a petting zoo and if you're up for the challenge you can try to find your way through the hedge labyrinth. An orangery and even a Japanese Garden are a few of the unmissable attractions, but if you're just looking for somewhere calm to relax you'll find plenty of spots by the Amstel River. Before leaving the park make sure that you stop by the Glazen Huis as well as the Papillon Gallery which both house some incredible art exhibitions.


Most tourists have already heard of Vondelpark, the most famous park in the city and one of its biggest at 47 hectares. It's home to serene lakes, a beautiful rose garden and old, ancient trees making it the perfect spot to take a walk. This beautiful green space is a pretty popular park so you'll probably find quite a few people enjoying the fresh air here, but luckily it's big enough that you can still find somewhere quiet to relax.

Vondelpark is also a popular destination for events and festivities, as well as free open air concerts and music festivals during the warmer months. The space is still as popular among locals and visitors alike during the winter when you can go ice skating on the lakes. Several bars and cafes can be found on the grounds as well so no need to worry if you've forgotten to pack a picnic.

Aside from the open air theatre, Vondelpark is known for being home to Picasso's fish sculpture and other statues, some of which have been around since the mid 19th century. Did you know that when this green space was opened back in 1865 it was called New Park? Its name was eventually changed to honor Joost van den Vondel, a famous playwright and poet.

Hortus Botanicus

Beginning as a medicinal herb garden back when it was first created in the 1600s, Hortus Botanicus has come a long way and is now a vast area in the famous Plantage district where you can go for a walk and to see an impressive collection of different plants. In total the space is home to more than 6,000 unique species and is actually one of the world's oldest botanical gardens.

Take your time walking through the garden and tropical greenhouses to see how many exotic flora you can spot. You'll absolutely want to check out the Tropical Butterfly House which houses hundreds of the colorful insects, and the Hortus Botanicus Museum has plenty of interesting displays that can teach you about the plants and species inside the park.

The on site cafe is the perfect spot to grab a snack or drink which you can enjoy while being surrounded by the lush greenery and flowers of one of the city's most beautiful parks.

Amsterdamse Bos

Amsterdamse Bos, also called Amsterdam Forest, is situated just outside of the city center and began as a way to reduce unemployment in Amsterdam back in the 1930s. It offers plenty of ways to be active, from exploring its many walking paths to renting out a pedal boat on the large lake. You'll also spot dog walkers and cyclists enjoying the open green spaces, and it's common to see rowing competitions going on in the Bosbaan canal that runs through the park.

The Amsterdam Forest is an important nature reserve with a large community of birds, plus more than 150 different types of foreign and national trees. It's a fantastic place to bring the kids who will love exploring the pancake house and the shallow swimming pools. They're favorite attractions will probably be the organic goat farm and petting zoo.

The Bosmuseum is a must-visit spot with fascinating exhibits about the local history of the park as well as the flora and fauna that can be found within it. This extensive park is also home to a playground, a maze, and a cinema, and you might spot some Scottish Highlanders cows walking through the green fields. If you enjoy camping then keep this place in mind, too since it offers gorgeous campsites.


Flevopark, situated in the eastern part of the city, is a civic park that can be enjoyed by anybody and everybody. Keep it in mind the next time that you're looking for something to do either by yourself, with friends, or as a family. To get started, you can go for a run or a peaceful stroll through the different walking paths.

Flevopark is also home to an outdoor swimming pool, so make sure that you pack a bathing suit. Tennis courts and soccer fields, as well as other sports areas, are available so if the weather is nice you can have a friendly game with other parkgoers. The park truly comes to life in the summertime when different activities and programs are organized.

Inside the park, you'll find picnic and barbecue areas and it's just an all-around lovely open green space for relaxing or being active. You'll also find a Jewish cemetery called Joodse Belgraafplaats Zeeburg inside the park plus Nieuwe Diep, a distillery and tasting room, in the heart of the green space.


This park offers a stunning open green space close to the Gaasperplas River. It has several playgrounds, tranquil ponds and lakes, charming gardens, and is easy to get to using the metro system. The next time you need somewhere to escape from the business of the city, keep Gaasperpark in mind.

Take your time exploring each of the walking paths and admiring the views from the lookout points before heading to the playgrounds and water slides. Swimming is available in the lake during the warmer months but each season has something to offer, like the colorful foliage of the trees in the fall and beautiful flowers in full bloom in the spring.

This park has something to occupy you for the whole afternoon and you can stay overnight in one of the campsites as well.

Nelson Mandela Park

Nelson Mandela Park used to go by the name of Bijlmer Park but it was changed in honor of the South African politician when the area was completely redesigned. It encompasses 6 hectares of space with sports fields and other facilities that are used by the community. Take your time walking and biking through the fields of trees and beautiful magnolia valley, and check out each of the three separate recreation zones as well.

The Sport and Game esplanade has everything that you need to play a variety of individual and team based games, and you'll find the Tribune esplanade overlooking the park's main field which is where events are often hosted. Finally, the Nature esplanade is located by the natural pond.

Among the colorful fields and water features you'll spot plenty of plants that attract butterflies, and if you want to see the entirety of the large park you can head to one of the lookout points. The popular skate park is a fun place to hang out as well.


Named after the Jewish doctor and urban planner Samuel Sarphati, Sarphatipark is one of the best parks in Amsterdam as well as one of the most popular. You can still find the monument dedicated to Samuel Sarphati, which has been around since the 19th century, inside the park.

Although it's a small park it's still a great place to go for a short walk, or even just to sit down and enjoy the sunshine. You'll sometimes see art exhibitions and concerts being put on in the open green spaces, and the banks of the waterways are perfect for setting down a blanket and having a picnic.

Sarphatipark takes inspiration from England's colorful and healthy gardens and today you'll find a gym and some playgrounds for everyone to enjoy. The space was known as Bollander Park back when it was under the rule of the Germans.

Amsterdam's beautiful parks

With historic monuments, calm waterways, charming gardens and large open spaces where you can play sports, the parks in Amsterdam are the ultimate place to have fun in the great outdoors. They serve as a place to be active but also to relax, do some thinking or clear your head. With more than 30 unique parks located all over the city it's easy to find somewhere to spend time in nature, so make sure that you check out at least a few of them while you're in the Netherlands.

Did you know that there are also some great beaches near the city? You can learn all about them and what each one offers in this useful guide on Beaches Near Amsterdam. The parks mentioned above have lots to offer for outdoor activities but if you want to challenge yourself, take a look at these Best Hikes in Amsterdam.

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