In Amsterdam, lovers of the outdoors are spoilt for choice with diverse parks. The city ranges from vast, open fields to quaint, secluded patches of nature. The Dutch hold their green spaces in high regard, reflected in the city’s numerous top-tier parks, each with distinctive appeal and characteristics.
Amsterdam has a diverse selection of parks, each with its own allure and distinct features, making them prime spots for sightseers. From sprawling expanses of greenery to charming miniature retreats, these parks stand as a testament to Amsterdam’s commitment to creating serene escapes within its urban tapestry.
In this guide, I will take you through the best parks in Amsterdam, drawing from my extensive experience exploring each one. I’ve lived in Amsterdam for multiple years and with a toddler, so parks have become a big part of my everyday life! These verdant sanctuaries are perfect for socializing with loved ones or enjoying a moment of solitude.
In Amsterdam’s parks, you’re guaranteed to find the perfect spot for relaxation and recreation, with options ranging from grand open spaces to cozy corners brimming with natural beauty.
What We Cover
- Best Parks in Amsterdam to Visit
- 1. Vondelpark
- 2. Amsterdamse Bos (Amsterdam Forest)
- 3. Beatrixpark
- 4. Sarphatipark
- 5. Rembrandtpark
- 6. Hortus Botanicus
- 7. Gaasperpark
- 8. Flevopark
- 9. Noorderpark
- 10. Westerpark
- 11. Oosterpark
- 12. Erasmuspark
- 13. Park Frankendael
- 14. Amstelpark
- How many public parks are in Amsterdam?
Best Parks in Amsterdam to Visit
Vondelpark is a stunning urban oasis nestled in the heart of the bustling city of Amsterdam. This popular park is part of Amsterdam-Zuid’s borough and between two other major tourist destinations: Leidseplein and Museumplein.
Located in the heart of the city, Vondelpark is one of the most popular parks in Amsterdam. This famous park is perfect for a stroll, a picnic, or relaxing in the sun. There are also several restaurants and cafes located within and around the park.
Vondelpark was first opened in 1865 and named New Park but was later renamed Vondelpark after the renowned poet, playwright, and all-around genius Joost van den Vondel. Check out a tour of the park via bicycle when I cycled through the park on a beautiful summer day.
This beautiful green space welcomes around 10 million visitors each year and offers travelers a variety of amenities, including free open-air concerts, playgrounds, food services, and much more.
2. Amsterdamse Bos (Amsterdam Forest)
Amsterdamse Bos is Amsterdam’s biggest park, and it’s actually a forest. This extensive park is packed with things to see and do.
One of my favorite things each year is visiting the cherry blossoms at the south end of a separate park, Bloesempark, which is technically Amstelveen. Then, there’s Bo’BAan row club, which hosts the World Rowing Championships every other year.
If you’re feeling active, you can swim in the large pond; if you’re lazy, you can catch a movie at the on-site cinema. Camping areas are also available for a night or two under the stars. And all of this is surrounded by beautiful forests and dazzling spring blossoms.
Just be careful if you see any Scottish Highlanders walking around – they’re known to be mischievous. To clarify, these are the resident, hairy cows, not a bunch of rowdy Scottish tourists!
And if you go near De Zeeweide, keep your eyes open for naturists. Amsterdamse Bos is a must-see for anyone visiting Amsterdam.
See Related: Things to Do in Rotterdam
Beatrixpark is a beautiful park located in the RAI area of Amsterdam. The park is named after Queen Beatrix, born in the nearby Royal Palace Amsterdam. Beatrixpark is a great place to spend a day if you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city center.
Plenty of trees and grassy areas to relax in and a large pond where you can go for a walk or sit and enjoy the scenery. The park also has a section dedicated to children, with a playground and a petting zoo.
If you’re interested in learning about the park’s history, several informative signs that explain its origins are scattered throughout. Beatrixpark is a great place to visit if you’re looking for a peaceful spot in Amsterdam.
See Related: Things to do in Haarlem
Sarphatipark is a beautiful green retreat in the heart of vibrant Amsterdam. As one of the most popular parks in the city, Sarphatipark was named in honor of celebrated Jewish doctor and Urban Planner Samuel Sarphati.
Inspired by the lush gardens in England, Sarphatipark was originally designed to house Holland’s central station. During German rule, it was known as Bollander Park. Today, this small but beloved park is a favorite among locals and visitors alike who want to enjoy a quick stroll or sit back and relax in its tranquil surroundings.
Additionally, Sarphatipark hosts a number of events throughout the year, including concerts and art exhibitions that draw large crowds from around the city.
See Related: Things Amsterdam is Famous For
Rembrandtpark, named after the famous Dutch artist Rembrandt van Rijn, is one of the most popular spots in Amsterdam, characterized by its sprawling open green spaces, tranquil ponds, and picturesque pathways.
Located right on the west side of Amsterdam, Rembrandtpark is easily accessible via public transportation and is a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of urban life.
Perhaps the best place in Rembrandtpark is the petting zoo, home to Amsterdam’s oldest animals. With everything from fluffy bunnies to lazy llamas, this zoo offers kids (and adults!) a unique opportunity to interact with animals in a safe and friendly environment.
Beyond that, Rembrandtpark boasts plenty of scenic ponds and peaceful walking paths for those seeking a quiet retreat from the day-to-day grind.
See Related: Best Museums in the Hague
6. Hortus Botanicus
Hortus Botanicus is a beautiful botanical garden in the Plantage area of Amsterdam. Hortus Botanicus was initially created as a medicinal herb garden in the 1600s; it houses over 6,000 different species of plants. Hortus Botanicus is a lovely place to walk through regardless of the weather, and there are several attractions within the garden itself.
One highlight is the Tropical Butterfly House, home to hundreds of brightly colored butterflies. The Hortus Botanicus Museum is also worth visiting, containing many botanical specimens and instruments. Lastly, don’t forget to stop by the café for a refreshing drink or bite to eat while surrounded by Hortus Botanicus’ stunning plants and flowers.
Gaasperpark is another beautiful green oasis located along the Gaasperplas River in Amsterdam. With its many gardens, lakes, and play areas, this urban park offers visitors a relaxing escape from the hustle and bustle of the central canal ring.
With easy access by the Metro, Gaasperpark is the perfect place for travelers to spend an afternoon or evening exploring its many attractions. Boasting picturesque walking paths and scenic lookout points, Gaasperpark has options to suit various interests.
Families will love spending time at the playgrounds and slides, while nature lovers can enjoy wandering among the flower gardens and admiring the verdant foliage.
For those looking to cool off during hotter months, Gaasperpark offers various opportunities to dip in one of its refreshing lakes or rivers. If you’re feeling adventurous or want to soak up the local culture, you can camp in Gaasperpark’s open-air campsites.
Flevopark is a large park located in the east of Amsterdam. This park is perfect for those who want to enjoy a variety of activities, such as swimming, tennis, and soccer.
The Flevopark also has a playground, BBQ area, and a variety of trails popular with runners. In addition, this park is home to the Joodse Belgraafplaats Zeeburg, a Jewish cemetery. During the summer, you can enjoy various activity programs and try the distilleries in Nieuwe Dieps’ idyllic setting.
See Related: Brussels vs. Amsterdam
Noorderpark offers a serene oasis amidst Amsterdam’s energetic pace, ideal for visitors seeking a moment of calm. This expansive green space is equipped with a mix of leisure facilities, such as meandering trails, children’s play areas, and a delightful area for water activities that promise to amuse youngsters.
The park’s strategic proximity to various public transport options ensures accessibility from any location in Amsterdam. Therefore, when planning your time or itinerary in the city, remember to carve out a day for the peaceful embrace of Noorderpark.
Westerpark is an urban public park located in the west of Amsterdam. This park is perfect for those who want to enjoy various activities. This famous park has a swimming pool, tennis courts, and a soccer field.
This green space is known for its scenic landscape and various recreational activities, making it a popular destination for tourists and locals.
Formerly an industrial site used to produce gas, Westerpark has become a thriving hub of cultural activity. For example, many art galleries, theaters, restaurants, an organic goat farm, and music venues can be found throughout Westerpark.
Additionally, the Westergasfabriek – or Westergas Factory – is a unique complex that houses creative enterprises and hosts events like art fairs and film screenings.
See Related: Best Time to Visit Amsterdam
Located east of Amsterdam, this large park is perfect for those who want to enjoy a long hike or bike ride. There are also several playgrounds and picnic areas located within the park, making it a great choice for families with children.
Known as a multicultural city in Amsterdam, this large park attracts a diverse community. Alongside open green space surrounded by lakes and rivers – a swimming pool for children and numerous walking trails – Oosterpark also hosts various festival weekends throughout the summer.
See Related: Things to Do in Alkmaar
Situated within the heart of Amsterdam lies the serene Erasmuspark, a testament to the legacy of the renowned Dutch scholar Desiderius Erasmus since the 1500s. Though modest, this quaint park boasts a unique layout with a collection of islets, creating a vast central lawn fringed by tranquil gardens and winding cobblestone walkways.
A delightful café in the park offers a cozy retreat for visitors seeking a quiet moment or those eager to engage in outdoor exercises. Erasmus Park is an idyllic sanctuary where one can stroll, run, or cycle along picturesque trails, offering a peaceful escape from the daily urban hustle.
13. Park Frankendael
Nestled to the east of Middenweg and just a stone’s throw from Oosterpark, the charming expanse of Park Frankendael awaits. Towering trees punctuate its open green spaces, while a tranquil pond, bordered by neatly manicured hedges, provides a focal point for relaxation.
Visitors can meander along the various walkways and over the quaint bridges that traverse the park, offering many vantage points to appreciate its natural beauty.
For those in pursuit of a serene spot to bask in the sun or immerse themselves in the local ambiance, Park Frankendael presents itself as a must-see haven in Amsterdam.
See Related: Best Coffeeshops in Amsterdam
When looking for a place to spend a fun, relaxing day with your family, there is no better choice than Amstelpark. Located along the banks of the picturesque Amstel River, this large green park is surrounded by a lush canopy of trees, offering plenty of shade on hot summer days.
At its south edge, you will find the Riekermolens, or Rieter Windmills, perfect for exploring and learning about local history. Additionally, the park features a beautiful rose garden, an orangery and even a Japanese garden to delight and amaze visitors.
If you’re looking for a great place to relax and enjoy nature in Amsterdam, check out these beautiful parks. Each park has something unique to offer visitors, from lovely ponds and gardens to interesting historical landmarks.
How many public parks are in Amsterdam?
Right now, there are around 30 public parks in Amsterdam.