1. Amsterdamse Bos (close to the street Amstelveenseweg)
This woodland park, which receives about 4.5 million visitors annually, is one of the best options if you're interested in recreation. In fact, it is Amsterdam's largest park. Amsterdamse Bos resulted from a project in the 1930s to create jobs in the city. Today, it features many bird species, as well as about 150 varieties of trees.
What are some of the top activities in Amsterdamse Bos? If you want to get some exercise, there are some swimming pools. You could boat across the Grote Vijver lake; or the Bosbaan, which competitors row across during various rowing contests throughout the year. If you want to take it easy, spend some time visiting the goat farm; or the Bosmuseum, which features various permanent and temporary exhibits. If you get hungry, enjoy some hotcakes at the pancake house in Amsterdamse Bos.
2. Beatrixpark (in Zuidas or "South Axis")
This is outstanding choice if you're looking for a small, clean and quaint park in Amsterdam. Beatrixpark is named after the Netherlands 'Queen Beatrix, who has ruled the country since 1980. Jakoba Mulder, one of the Netherlands' top landscape architects of the time, designed the park. Beatrixpark was built from the years 1936-1938. Originally, Beatrixpark was a "romantic park," though it was modernized following World War II. Although the park lost area due to the RAI congress center's construction, it gained additional space in 1993.
What are the features of Beatrixpark? The oldest section of the park is arguably the top one. Its English park-inspired ambiance includes a small lake and a scenic landscape. In the year 2005 Amsterdam put up a city monument in the old section of Beatrixpark. You can also find several small pavilions peppered throughout Beatrixpark. They were constructed during the 1972 Floriade, a Netherlands exhibition featuring flowers and gardening that occurs every ten years.
3. Vondelpark (in Oud-Zuid or "Old South")
What's so special about Vondelpark? Not only is it Amsterdam's largest park (covering 47 hectares or 120 acres), but it's also the most renowned park in the entire country. In fact, each year approximately eight million Dutch and foreign visitors enter Vondelpark. The park is named after Joost van den Vondel, the famous poet and playwright. Interestingly, only the park's members and invited guests could enter Vondelpark during its first years of operation.
Popular activities at Vondelpark include strolling, jogging and bicycling. Some of the top attractions in the park are an open-air theater (open from June-September), a film museum, and a playground. The triangular shape of the park features a pair of parallel bike lanes on both of the park's longer sides. You can also enjoy Vondelpark by simply taking in the sights of its charming greenery, ponds, and bridges. When you get hungry, visit one of the many "horeca" food-service facilities. Major renovations to the park lasted for over a decade, until the year 2010.