I stepped through the gates of Vondelpark early afternoon, spending a few hours on my own while my travel buddies Carolina and Leslie went to check out the Van Gogh museum which I’d been to on previous trips to the city. We were there for a long weekend girls getaway, where I hunted for street art, explored the Saturday farmers market in Jordaan and plenty of other fun things for other blog posts to come.
Like most city parks, it’s a space for both recreation and relaxation.
Couples sprawled out in the grass near one of the ponds; an elderly woman fed the ducks.
There were yoga groups and fencing classes and children running around enjoying the freedom of an open space. People sat along on benches reading the paper or a book.
Others ran along a pathway at the far edge of the park and a few just wandered slowly through, taking in the freshness of a late Spring day.
And there were, of course, plenty of bikes as one would expect in Amsterdam.
Flowers are in bloom in abundance that time of year and colourful gardens were dotted around the grounds of the park. My favorite feature is the bandstand, surrounded by a sea of tulips that reflect in the water that lies like a mirror around the base. I didn’t think of it at the time, but it would be a lovely place for a wedding (something I am now thinking of very often!)
There are water features throughout the park, some with fountains.
There’s also a few restaurants and cafes where you can stop and have a bite or a cup of coffee.
The best part of any city park, to me at least, is the escape from the noise, the smell of nature, wet soil, the sound of birds and the glimpses of wildlife.
If we had more time and all of us were there together, it would have been a great day and place for a picnic.
Vondelpark is definitely somewhere I’ll spend more time on the next visit. Another place I’d love to explore but haven’t yet is Amsterdamse Bos, the woodland park at the edge of the city. One for the list!
If you’ve been to Amsterdam, where are your favorite places to spend time? Any restaurant recommendations for the little black book of addresses?