From the tulip-rich gardens of Keukenhof to the deep-forest trails of Amsterdamse Bos, there are plenty of places to escape the urban buzz of Amsterdam. Here are our top picks of parks and gardens around the capital, including options for trips outside the city.
Located around an hour outside Amsterdam, Keukenhof’s 79-acre (32-hectare) flower gardens only open to the public for two months a year, making the park a must-see for springtime visitors. Garden tours typically cover admission and private transfers, while some include additional stops in the rural villages of Marken, Volendam, or the Zaanse Schans.
This English-style municipal park in the heart of Amsterdam is a favorite among locals and visitors alike, with many summer days happily spent lounging on lake-side lawns or soaking up sounds from the open-air stage. Its 111 acres (45 hectares) are most easily explored by bike, though much can be learned about the city on a guided stroll along its shady avenues.
Amsterdam Forest (Amsterdamse Bos)
Home to a petting zoo, botanical garden, and several outdoor trails, Amsterdamse Bos is a haven for nature lovers of any age, located on the city’s most southerly border. Explore the meadows and forests that make up the 2,471-acre (1,000-hectare) park on a hiking or biking tour, or while away an afternoon with boat rental or a picnic on the man-made lake.
Northeast of the capital, Flevoland province boasts one of Europe’s most unspoiled nature reserves. An early example of rewilding, the 13,840-acre (5,600-hectare) man-made marsh was left to its own devices for 40 years and is now home to wild birds, ponies, and Heck cattle. Join a tour with round-trip transfer to access the out-of-town location with ease.
With two historic gardens and a grand manor house, this 17th-century estate has become something of a cultural hub in Amsterdam’s southeast, drawing hip locals with craft markets, contemporary exhibitions, and modern restaurants. Join a free tour to learn more about the unique landmark, or spend a day catching rays on the sun-soaked lawns.
Marking the center of the eponymous neighborhood, Westerpark is one of the city’s liveliest cultural hubs, and its convenient location on most hop-on-hop-off-bus routes makes it a top spot to wind down after a busy day of sightseeing. Developed on the site of a former gasworks, industrial architecture has been repurposed into skate-friendly spaces, paddling pools, and dining terraces, while wide lawns and tree-lined trails retain an urban-oasis feel.