The gates of this famous park in Amsterdam open into a vastness that is approximately 47 hectares (120 acres) big, making it one of the largest urban parks in the city. It is 2 kilometers long and 500 meters wide.
Everything You Need to Know
Vondelpark is named after the famous Dutch playwright and poet of the 17th century — Joost van den Vondel. The city park is a favorite spot to choose for picnicking, roller skating, cycling, walking, jogging, and other forms of physical exercise for health enthusiasts or for simply lazing around. It is also a pet-friendly place where you can walk your dog, cat, etc.
Vondelpark is also home to many statues (including that of Joost van den Vondel) and monuments. It hosts events and festivals around the year like open-air concerts, theater performances, and art exhibitions.
A day spent in Vondelpark in Amsterdam can be filled with several activities like bird-watching; cycling (on hired bikes); jogging and walking safely along the tracks; indulging in photography; hanging around solo or with family and friends; sitting on the benches and watching the world go by; letting your kids play in the open grounds whilst the older boys enjoy a good match at tennis, basketball, soccer, and other outdoor sports.
There are several food vendors around the park from where you can purchase snacks and beverages for a thrilling picnic and simultaneously watch the open-air performances and concerts that take place at the park around the year.
Vondelpark is contoured into winding paths and dotted with manicured gardens with a variety of trees, flowers, vegetation, and living species. Natural waterways and ponds attract ducks, geese, and other types of waterfowl. Visitors also often spot other birds of prey, rabbits, and squirrels hopping around the premises offering a delightful sight. The park has several areas of dense vegetation and wooded areas that provide habitat for smaller animals like mice and hedgehogs. The spring and summer months are the best to spot other species like butterflies and other types of flying insects.
A tiny footbridge over a stream of water with fountains installed in them offers a pretty sight.
If you want to let your hair down in the calm of natural beauty and tranquil surroundings — away from the hustle and bustle of the city— then Vondelpark is the place to be.
Highlights You Can’t Miss
The following are some of the key areas of the park.
Landscapes and Gardens: Ponds, bridges, walkways, winding paths, and a beautiful rose garden have been installed at strategic places inside the park offering a stunning sight of the landscape. The entire layout and design of the park were influenced by the English landscape garden style.
Wildlife: Tourists and visitors can often spot swimming ducks, geese, and other waterfowl in the ponds and waterways. Since the park has a portion allotted to dense vegetation and wooded areas, it is also home to smaller animals like rabbits, squirrels, mice, and hedgehogs.
Sports Facilities: Vondelpark is so expansive that it has something of interest to offer to everyone and all age groups — small and older children, nature lovers, sports and fitness enthusiasts, art lovers, and more. It has dedicated tennis and basketball courts, a skating park, and a soccer field for passionate players. Joggers, cyclists, and walkers can also safely take the tracks for their activities.
Children’s Playground: Younger children can freely run about the playground that has swings, slides, see-saws, and climbing frames installed.
Outdoor Theater: The park has an open-air theater that hosts a variety of cultural events like dance performances, theater shows, and concerts for the audience around the year.
Eateries: You have the freedom to bring in your food from home, or you can buy snacks, meals, and beverages from the food vendors inside the premises.
Monuments and Artwork: The park has several statues (including the famous statue of Joost van den Vondel) and monuments and also features various artworks and sculptures.
Info on Timings and Tickets
The good news is Vondelpark is totally free for public access and requires no admission ticket. You are free to enter and leave the premises at any time of the day you want. It is open to the public all seven days a week.
Having said that, certain facilities and features within the park may have their specific operating hours, for example, the restaurants and cafes inside the premises may have their own business hours. The open theater operates only during the summer months and has its own schedule of events and ticket prices.
How to Reach
There are several ways to reach Vondelpark in Amsterdam depending on your starting point and choice of transport. Vondelpark is easily accessible by foot or bicycle from the city center. It is a cycle-friendly city and has many shops renting bicycle bikes.
Several tram and bus lines run near the park. Tram lines 1,2, and 5; and bus lines 197, 357, and 397. The closest tram stop to the park is Van Baerlestraat. Parking facilities are available in and around the park but they could be on the steeper side. It is more sustainable to explore the public modes of transport or to visit the park on foot or by bike.