The extensive lawns of Museumplein provide plenty of space to laze in the sun or to do some sporting activities. During the winter, the square springs into festive action when the iconic ice-skating rink and various stalls serving warm food and drinks are set up. Surrounding the square, the various museums are home to not only art but some delightful gardens. Take a stroll through the Rijksmuseum Gardens each summer to admire their free outdoor sculpture exhibition. Or, find a spot to escape the hustle and bustle in the surprising design garden of the Moco Museum.
As the city's most famous and largest park, Vondelpark is a popular spot to relax or participate in various outdoor sports. There is something for everyone and plenty of undiscovered corners to find if you’re seeking some tranquillity. Bring your own picnic or visit one of the various pavilions or cafes, admire stunning outdoor sculptures, fountains and rose gardens or enjoy performances in the open-air theatre. Amongst the playgrounds and paddling pools, kids will also find tons of opportunities to burn off steam.
Schinkeleilanden Park is located along the banks of the Schinkel and connects Vondelpark to the Amsterdamse Bos. Spread across the various islands, you’ll find various recreational activities, including on Tennis Island and Football Island. Meanwhile, Natuureiland is all about preserving local ecology, and you’ll find all different kinds of birds and wildlife species there. Parkeiland is where you can sunbathe, relax and take a brisk dip in the water.
Located on the southern edge of Amsterdam, Amstelpark is an expansive park filled with many flower gardens and recreational areas. It's a popular spot for families thanks to the mini-train, various playgrounds, a hedge maze, mini-golf course and a petting zoo. At its southern end, you’ll find the Riekermolen (Rieter windmill), and within the grounds, an orangery, rose garden and even a Japanese garden. There is also an on-site gallery with two exhibition spaces: the Glazen Huis (the glass house) and the Orangerie.
The delightful Beatrixpark is tucked away behind the Zuidas business district. This green expanse offers plenty of space for children to play, including a paddling pool to splash in during the warmer months. More of a dog person? There are also plenty of open areas for our four-legged friends to romp around.
Along the Amstel
Amsterdam Zuid is flanked by the broad Amstel River, which winds its way South into some spectacular green countryside. There’s an excellent Amstel River cycle route which passes the ornamental gardens and allotments of Tuinpark Amstelglorie, then heads along the Duivendrecht polder in the direction of the historic village Ouderkerk aan de Amstel. The Amstel is also an excellent spot for rowing, boating or trying your hand at Supping and canoeing.
Only a few steps from the Rijksmuseum, Zuiderbad is a stunning art-deco poo, built in 1912. It was one of the first pools to have central heating and electric lighting and was considered far ahead of its time. Now, it's a nostalgic place to take a dip as you soak up the impressive decor and architectural details. Further afield, De Mirandabad is a subtropical swimming pool complex with a beach, palm trees, several indoor and outdoor pools, and wave machines. Other amenities include squash courts, a solarium, and a restaurant.