1. It's pretty & huge! We visited Amsterdam in April, the height of the tulip season & blossom, so the park was filled with an abundance of colour and beautifully lined tulip displays. Other than the tulips, the park is a wonderful maze of open grass areas, gorgeous landscape gardens, mature trees, rivers, ponds, fountains, statues, a bandstand and many hidden and secluded corners. We explored the park without a map and I think this was the best way to do it, always finding unexpected scenes around each corner! The park is huge and despite going several times we only explored about half of the park.
2. Location. The park is south of the city centre and within walking distance or a quick tram ride. Looking at a map it's just outside the central hub of the city but Amsterdam is fairly small compared to other European cities and I walked too and from the park into the centre with the pushchair and it took about thirty minutes. The Museum Quarter with all of its famous sites including the Rijksmuseum, the Stedelijik and Van Gogh Museums are a short walk away.
5. Great for walking, cycling and jogging. The park is great for all paces. There is a path for those on foot alongside a smooth road with a combination of joggers and cyclists. If you're exploring Amsterdam on bike it's even easier and quicker to get around Vondelpark. We were on foot this time but if I ever return I'd love to hire a bike and cycle through the park.
6. Cafe and Restaurants. There are several cafes and restaurants dotted in and around the park including Groot Melkhuis located next to the children's playground, 't Blauwe Theehuis and De Vondeltuin. We had breakfast in our hotel before going to Vondelpark in the morning so didn't get to try out these cafes. Next time though I'd love to give them a try as their food looks great.
7. Picnic in the park. On a warm day, you couldn't find a better location to enjoy the sunshine and have a picnic in the park. There are so many nearby delis, take-aways and supermarkets offering pre-prepared food in Amsterdam that it's easy to buy food for a picnic or make your own in the park. It's also much cheaper than eating in one of the prime tourist spots like the nearby Museum Quarter. There are benches all around the park as well as countless attractive settings for your ideal spot.
8. Spotting wild parakeets. I'm sure the Dutch are used to seeing wild parakeets in Vondelpark but I couldn't quite believe my eyes when I first saw one. Actually I think I squealed out to my son and quickly got my camera out and snapped away. I've only seen such pretty and exotic birds in zoos or behind cages of some sort, a sad fact when you think about it, so it was lovely to get so close to these beautiful birds and see them roaming free throughout the park.
9. Open Air Theatre. Between June and September Vondelpark's Open Air Theatre holds it's summer festival with a number of diverse performances including children's displays, classical productions, contemporary concerts, stand-up comedy and festivals. Entry is free with welcome donations. Events are held on most weekends during the summer period.
10. Events & festivals. If you're not visiting in Summer, Vondelpark also holds several events throughout the year including the King's Day celebrations, Vondelpark Loop in January, Vondel Festival in June and antique markets. Have a search online to see what you can find before you go or ask at the tourist office when you arrive.
I hope I've given you some good reasons to visit Vondelpark. Writing this post has made me want to visit Amsterdam again very soon!
Have you been to What are your favourite parts?
Disclaimer: This post does not contain sponsored links, I'm writing about the park because I loved visiting :-)