When we were planning our trip to Amsterdam, spending an afternoon in Vondelpark was just a side note, something to do if we had extra time. Let me tell you, after the assault on the senses that was Albert Cuyp Market, Vondelpark was exactly what we needed!
At 120 acres in size, Vondelpark is Amsterdam’s largest public park. (It’s sort of like the Hyde Park of Amsterdam!) Although considerably smaller than its English counterpart, it’s a place for locals and tourists alike to rent bicycles and ride down the tree-lined paths without the threat of death that comes with biking on the streets of Amsterdam. (I kid, of course, but only a little bit.) Walkers and joggers can get their morning exercise in while also admiring the various pieces of art displayed in the park. Pablo Picasso’s sculpture, The Fish, is here, although we didn’t see it.
If you’re looking for something to do in Vondelpark that doesn’t involve exercise, in the summertime the Open Lucht Theater offers free open-air concerts and plays. (Really wish we’d been able to catch one of those!)
There are a few restaurants and cafes in Vondelpark, but if you’re looking for something quick and easy, you can’t miss the hot dog stands throughout the park. Look for the ones with unlimited extra toppings like crunchy chips (french fries). Those are the best!
There are also multiple ponds and lakes, some more secluded than others, that are perfect for picnics or relaxing by the water with a book.
Vondelpark gets its name from the imposing bronze monument commemorating Joost van den Vondel, the famous Dutch poet and playwright, located in the northern section of the park. When the statue was built two years after the park opened, locals started referring to the park as Vondel’s Park and the name sort of stuck.
From the area surrounding the statue, there is a great view of the main lake and plenty of opportunities for people-watching. With all the blooming flowers, it also turned out to be the ideal spot for a little mini photo shoot, so that’s exactly what we did. Then we sat down to rest our legs for a bit, and before we knew it a whole hour had passed us by!
Conveniently located south of the city center, Vondelpark is a beautiful sanctuary when you absolutely must escape the touristy atmosphere of the Museumplein. The park is just a few blocks from the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, and the Stedelijk Museum. It’s the perfect place to get a little fresh air and rest after walking through all those museums!
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