Amsterdam has many public parks and gardens around the city from the hip and happening Vondelpark in the centre to the giant forested Amsterdamse Bos in the south.
Let's take a look at some of Amsterdam's public park highlights...
Vondelpark - The main park in the centre of Amsterdam which attracts some 10 million people (a mixed crowd of both locals and visitors) each year. Set over 47 hectares the park has large grass fields, landscaped gardens, 8 hectares of lakes, 4 restaurants, a bandstand and a summer open air theatre. The paved track circuit is 3.3km long - making it ideal for jogging, cycling and skating. Main entrance close to Leidseplein/Museumplein. More on Vondelpark
Rembrandtpark - Spacious park located in the multiethnic western district of Amsterdam. Named after famous city artist Rembrandt van Rijn. Split by the Postjes Weg road and surrounded by 1960s high rise flat blocks, the park is an oasis for locals. Particularly popular with families (including children's playgrounds and a petting zoo), dog walkers and joggers. Get there by trams 1/13/17.
Oosterpark - Large park located in Amsterdam's multicultural, working class eastern neighbourhood close to the Tropenmuseum. Has spacious grass fields, a small lake and some public sculptures including the National Slavery Monument and De Schreeuw (The Scream) memorial to Theo van Gogh. Take trams 3/7/9.
Museumplein- Officially a "square" rather than a park, this large grass space is bordered by the Rijksmuseum, van Gogh museum, Stedelijk museum and the Concertgebouw. A fine open area to lounge around and picnic on a sunny day. Museumplein has a large reflecting pond (ice rink in the winter), the well loved Iamsterdam sculpture, a basketball court and an underground Albert Heijn supermarket.
Sarphatipark - A small, intimate urban park located in the lovely De Pijp neighbourhood of the city. Park includes a large monument, dog free zone, table tennis tables and exercise area. Close to the Albert Cuyp market with many cafes/bars nearby. Just off Ceintuurbaan, served by trams 3/4/16/24.
Westerpark/Westergasfabriek - Westerpark is a small park in the north-west of the city just past the Haarlemmerpoort with grass areas, water and sculptures. The adjacent Westergasfabriek Culture Park (an old gasworks) has expanded the park area and its buildings are now used for various cultural events and festivals. Trams 3/10 terminate close by.
Flevopark - 15 hectare park in the eastern Indische Buurt district of the city. Includes a Jewish cemetery, outdoor swimming area, large lake with bird habitat areas, a gin distillery and tennis courts. Served by trams 7/14.
Beatrixpark - Quiet park located near Amsterdam Zuid and RAI areas named after Queen Beatrix. Attracts a more local crowd with large grassy areas, plenty of trees/hedges and a water channel circulating the park.
Wertheim park - A small park (0.75 hectares) named after Abraham Carel Wertheim (1832-1897), a local banker and philanthropist. Located in the Plantage district, a predominantly Jewish area of Amsterdam. The park is bounded by the Nieuwe Herengracht canal. Features of note are the 2 marble sphinxes at the entrance gate, a fountain and the city's Auschwitz memorial. Take trams 9/14. Not far from the Hortus Botanical Gardens and the Artis Zoo
Amstelpark - Park in the southern Buitenveldert area of Amsterdam and built as part of the 1972 Floriade horticultural expo. Has an extensive playground area for kids including a petting zoo, minigolf and small train ride. The park has an orangery, a rose garden, a rhododendron valley and the nearby Riekermolen windmill dating back to 1636. Plenty of sporting facilities on offer as well. 5-10 mins walk from Amsterdam RAI station.
Amsterdamse Bos - Just south of Amsterdam and bounded by Amstelveen is the huge Amsterdamse Bos (Amsterdam woods), nearly 1,000 hectares of wooded parkland which was planted between 1934 and 1967. It attracts 7 million visitors per year. There is a visitor's centre at the main entrance at Van Nijenrodeweg. Lots of activities possible including walking, cycling, rowing, nature spotting and a boat trip excursion. Children can enjoy paddling pools and a goat farm. On Sundays between April-October the museum tram line runs to the Bos. Trams 5/16/24 stop in the area.