Amsterdam: parks and gardens

Rijksmuseum and I Amsterdam sign from Museumplein

Amsterdam might be most famous for its canals, but it also has some very attractive parks, gardens and other open spaces.


At the head of Museumplein lies the Rijksmusuem and the iconic I Amsterdam sign which everyone wants to be photographed with – except us,  we didn’t bother waiting! Down the side are Amsterdam’s other top art museums (Van Gogh Museum and Stedlijk Musuem) with the Concertgebouw at the far end of its grassy expanse.

When we visited, there was also an exhibition of model canal houses. One of the examples below is the KLM building, significant because that airline gives out small blue and white china houses filled with Dutch gin to its business class passengers. As John often uses KLM to fly to China we have an excellent collection at home. The other example is Coster Diamonds, the only model where the real building can be seen behind it (on the right).


Vondelpark is very close to Museumplein, and is a great place to relax by its ponds, have a meal on a pretty terrace, or admire this proud Mama Duck and her brood of eight.

Hortus Botanicus

The Botanical Garden dates from 1638 and is the only space in this post that you have to pay to get into (9.50 Euros). NB, the flamingos are not in the garden but on the nearby Artisplein.



Begijnhof is  an enclosed 14th century courtyard of tiny houses and gardens. It was originally home to the Beguines, a Roman Catholic order of unmarried or widowed women who lived a religious vows without taking monastic vows. The last one died in 1971.


Westerpark is slightly out of the centre so maybe more popular with locals than tourists. We enjoyed a wander round – it has some quirky sculptures.

This is the second of four thematic posts about Amsterdam – see also Canals, Decorative Buildings and Museums.

65 thoughts on “Amsterdam: parks and gardens

  1. humanoidgirl August 17, 2018 / 21:27

    Great article and great pictures, it really makes me want to visit Amsterdam ! Thank you for the trip 😉


  2. Lisa Dorenfest August 13, 2018 / 10:29

    Flamingos in Amsterdam? Who would have thought? And that trip to Westpark looks well worth it. The statues are magnificent there.


  3. myplaidheart August 12, 2018 / 17:56

    I enjoyed the little tour. I always enjoy the places off the tourist path.


  4. BeckyB August 11, 2018 / 10:20

    Wonderful to see another side to this city, must visit again soon.


  5. Dr Sock August 9, 2018 / 21:46

    Those are quirky sculptures – quite charming.



  6. Jessica (Diverting Journeys) August 8, 2018 / 14:22

    China gin houses! Wow, business class is even fancier than I was imagining! I don’t think I’m ever going to move beyond the last row of economy, right by the toilets, which is always where I seem to get stuck. Looks like a fun exhibition though!


  7. the eternal traveller August 7, 2018 / 21:32

    We always enjoy variety when we travel and your list of parks and gardens is a great resource for the future. I never thought of flamingos being there though.


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