This park is a natural beauty spot on the pretty Dutch face of Amsterdam. Having read an entire guidebook to the city in excited anticipation of my holiday, I’d already bookmarked it as a good place to head on a sunny day.
Designed in the ‘English style’ (our parks were all the rage in the 1900s) Vondelpark welcomes over 10 million visitors every year, both Dutch and tourists. The place is full of natural features, leafy trees, and still water, making it a perfect place to stop for a picnic, or better yet to cycle through. On the days we did rent bikes in the city, this was probably the most fun place to come – it’s away from the road, has lots of winding cycle routes, and bikes are actually given priority over pedestrians (which just tells you how many people cycle in the city).
Wildlife in the park is pretty similar to that in England too; with the weather on par with ours, you’ll find ducks, waterhens, and herons, as well as the odd feral parrot and squirrel. I have to say I felt a little Attenborough-esque when capturing that heron perching in the water!
I always like to include a green space as a stop when I’m visiting a city, as it’s usually light relief from busy attractions such as museums and shopping. Vondelpark is really well located for a stop off after the Rijksmuseum, or Van Gogh Museum (both in Museumplein) as well as a place to stroll to if you’re looking to stay central to the city. I’ve found a lot of people visit Amsterdam on long weekends, so it’s a great little extra to add to your jam-packed three or four days there.