What are your favourite green escapes in Amsterdam?
I love to go for a walk in the Erasmus Park, which is near my house. There is a flower garden designed and planted by artist Elspeth Diederix, called the Miracle Garden. There is always something in bloom and it’s a great place to relax and enjoy the beauty of flowers.
What tips do you have for adding a bit of green to your home (or even hotel room)?
Let yourself be inspired by nature and plants, see which plants you are attracted to and do a bit of research! To keep your plants happy it’s important to know what kind of light they need and how often to water them. Look up this basic information and you can enjoy your green friend for a much longer time.
Do you have any favourite green/lush/sustainable:
Hotel Jakarta is my favourite green hotel in Amsterdam. It has a subtropical garden, designed together with the Hortus Botanicus. And you don’t have to book a room to enjoy the plants. They have a restaurant and bar as well.
Bar Botanique is a lovely bar and restaurant, with a tropical vibe and huge plants.
For the best falafel and beer I go to Bar Kauffmann. And luckily they like plants just as much as I do!
Where do you go to buy plants and flowers in Amsterdam?
My favorite plant store is Wildernis on the Bilderdijkstraat. It’s not a big shop, but they have so many different plants, you can browse for an hour and still see a plant tucked in a corner you hadn’t spotted before.
How can visitors enjoy the greenest trip to Amsterdam possible?
A green day out in Amsterdam would take you to a plant shop like Wildernis or De Balkonie for inspiration and a new plant for your home. After that, a stroll through the Hortus Botanicus and their beautiful three-climate greenhouse to give you the feeling you’ve just been to the jungle and back. Follow that with a drink at Bar Botanique, just walking distance from the Hortus. If you want more plant shopping, check out De Plantenmarkt at the Albert Cuyp Market or Chris Bloemsierkunst with a sometimes surprising collection of plants. Dining and sleeping at Hotel Jakarta would be the perfect end to the day.
What’s your favourite kid-friendly green space, petting zoo or playground in Amsterdam?
Amsterdamse Bos (Amsterdam’s forest)t is great for kids. If the weather is good, you can take a swim in one of the two free swimming pools or the lake, take a canoe trip or go for a picnic. And go for goat-milk ice cream at the petting zoo, it’s the best.
What green trends are on the rise right now?
I notice people are more and more fascinated by taking care of house plants. They enjoy the magic of a new leaf unfurling and feel proud if their plant is growing well or a cutting is making new roots. I think this is very important and makes us more aware of our surroundings. Apart from this overall green trend, I see people on the hunt for the most unique plants that are often hard to find and sometimes very expensive. And while I do love these unique plants, I will always value the most basic plant just as much!
What’s Amsterdam’s best-kept secret?
The Hortus Botanicus is not the only botanical garden in Amsterdam. If you are willing to travel a bit further to the south of Amsterdam, you can visit the Zuidas Botanical Garden. It’s part of the university. They have the best cacti collection, where you can look around for hours and spot the weirdest cacti of all.
Where do you go to clear your head?
I have a garden plot just outside of Amsterdam, and the bike ride to get there takes me through a lovely stretch of nature. It runs from Westerpark all the way west to Halfweg. It’s called the Brettenpad and though it runs parallel to a motorway, it feels like a getaway to nature.
Do you have a favourite street/ corner/ building?
I love places where you don’t feel like you’re in the city. There are a lot of garden parks in and around the city with the cutest tiny houses and tiny gardens, where you are welcome to take a stroll. Behind Westerpark for example, you can walk through garden park “Nut en Genoegen”, the entrance is near the train track. It’s lovely to look at all the gardens and see what people are growing.
What’s your favourite thing to do in Amsterdam during summer?
Meet up with friends and find a spot to picnic and swim. There are many places in Amsterdam where you can take a dive. Just take a bike ride next to the Amstel river and search for the perfect spot.
What’s your favourite day trip outside of Amsterdam?
Visit the Hoge Veluwe and the Kröller-Müller Museum. I love parking the car at the edge of the park and riding around the nature reserve on one of the free bikes during a visit to the museum.
Do you have any other suggestions, tips or thoughts to add?
In July and August, Amsterdam’s streets are filled with hollyhocks, which even grow between the pavement of the streets. I always love to look for these kinds of guerilla flowers and enjoy nature in the city.