By bike from the sports campsite to Vondel Park

By bike from the sports campsite to Vondel Park

Today we are going to the well-known Vondel Park in Amsterdam, which is located in the Oud-Zuid district and is a popular meeting place for everyone who wants to escape the hustle and bustle of the big city for a while or to relax from the stress of everyday life.

Here you can have picnics with family or friends, go jogging or simply enjoy a few relaxing hours. There is also another special feature that is probably only conceivable in Amsterdam. But more on that later.

Along the canals and canals to Vondel Park

vondelpark amsterdam 01Our bike route initially takes us along the Albardagracht, which we have already used several times on the way to the city centre. At Kabouterhuis West we turn right and after about 150 meters into the “Jan de Louterpad”, a narrow cycle path along a probably unnamed canal, which we follow to Lake Sloterplas. Since we now have to cross the railway line and also an expressway on the way to Vondel Park, we use the Jan Evertsenstraat for about 600 meters until we reach Rembrandpark, which we cross and at the end over the Surinamiplein after about 9 kilometres to drive into Vondel Park, where we park our bikes first.

With its 47 hectares, Vondel Park is the largest park in Amsterdam and, with over 10 million visitors a year, also the most popular park and leisure facility. It was designed as a so-called English landscape garden with winding paths and ponds that are intended to create the ideal of a walk-in landscape painting. It is named after the Dutch writer Joost van den Vondel, whose monument was erected in 1867 in what was then called “Nieuwe Park” (New Park). But the residents of Amsterdam soon called the green space just Vondel Park. This name also became the official name in 1880.

vondelpark amsterdam 02Most visitors come to Vondel Park because of the extensive green spaces, which are also the real highlight: nowhere else in Amsterdam can you find more people just lying on the lawn, reading or sitting on their blanket and eating the picnic they have brought with them.

Meanwhile, the children play in the playgrounds, such as the water playground (children's pool) in summer, joggers do their laps on the numerous paths, walkers leisurely stroll through the park or cyclists cross the green area.

Food & Drink: Relaxed and satisfied

If you don't want to bring your own picnic and get hungry or thirsty, you can visit one of the park's popular cafes:

  • Like the great Groot Melkhuis (Big Milking House), where you can sit on a lovely terrace by the water.
  • Or the round 'T Blauwe Theehuis (Blue Tea House), a 1930s building with a large terrace where you can find snacks (like sandwiches and pizza), drinks and, above all, craft beer.
  • Or the beer garden at Vondeltuin, a bar right on the water that is particularly popular in summer.

vondelpark amsterdam 04Over time, Vondel Park increasingly became a stage for musicians, dancers and actors. Events take place almost all year round:

  • Especially on the well-known open-air stage (Openluchttheater), artists from a wide variety of genres regularly perform during the summer months (May to August): from (live) music to theatre to comedy and cabaret, there is a wide range of free performances.
  • Another institution in Amsterdam is the “Friday Night Skate” which starts every Friday evening in Vondel Park. If you have your inline skates with you, you can come to the round bench at the Roemer Visscherstraat entrance; it starts at 8:30 p.m.
  • On King's Day (Koningsdag), the Dutch national holiday, there is a huge children's flea market in the park.

Picasso's sculpture of a bird was erected to mark Vondel park’s 100th birthday.

vondelpark amsterdam 05We use the bikes again to explore further highlights in the Vondel Park:

  • Many different types of roses are planted in the rose garden. The hexagonal beds are protected by small hedges, so you can stroll wonderfully and enjoy the blooming roses over the hedges. This is particularly worthwhile between mid-May and the end of June when the roses are in bloom.
  • The Vondel Park pavilion is an impressive Neo-Renaissance building. For a long time, it was a place of art and a popular meeting place for the local artist scene. From 1972 to 2012 the building was home to the Netherlands Film Museum.
  • The Kinderkookkafé is located on the edge of the Vondel Park, it is a children's kitchen with its own vegetable garden, terrace and playground where children can cook and serve their food.
  • Figure découpée: Pablo Picasso's sculpture is a two-dimensional (i.e. flat) bird. It was erected in 1965 for the park's 100th anniversary.

In the evening behind the bushes

On warm nights, very special sporting exercises can sometimes be observed behind bushes. Anyone who has always wanted to have fun in the great outdoors with their partner has been able to do so legally in Vondel Park since 2008. Exception: You are not allowed to go near children's playgrounds. In addition, all waste generated must be carefully disposed of, so there has to be a lot of order.

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Life | Outdoors