Nature and active in Oost
Amongst the play areas and lush parks, greenery is to be found everywhere in Amsterdam-Oost. Take a paddle board along the River Amstel, relax by the water in Flevopark or test your balance with an adventure sport like windsurfing or rock climbing. Here’s our roundup of the best spots to get active and outdoors in Oost.
From cultural festivals such as Keti Koti to picnic opportunities overlooking the water, Oosterpark offers something for everyone. Perhaps one of the city’s most stunning parks, this beautiful green space has a paddling pool for children to splash in, plenty of areas for sporty activities (like rollerblading and jogging) and various outdoor sculptures to admire. There’s even a bandstand where dance classes take place, and it is one of the few parks in Amsterdam where you can still barbecue, making it an excellent option for warm summer evenings.
In the 17th and 18th centuries, dozens of imposing summer residences owned by wealthy Amsterdammers lined the streets of Amsterdam Oost. Today, only Huize Frankendael remains. The large garden around Huize Frankendael was partly opened up as a pleasure garden in the 19th century and was later used as a city nursery. Today Park Frankendael is a popular neighbourhood hangout and the art and culture garden of Oost. Within the park, you’ll find Restaurant De Kas situated within a giant greenhouse which sources ingredients from its very own kitchen garden.
Surrounded by vast swathes of water, the unique location of Flevopark makes it the ideal location to spot wildlife and fascinating plant species. Strolling through this lush green area, you’ll see sights you don't often encounter in Amsterdam, including rare birds like the kingfisher who lives by the lake near Distillerij 't Nieuwe Diep. It's the ideal spot for dog-walking, picnicking and sunbathing along with the trendy residents of Amsterdam Oost. Looking for even more adventure? Flevopark also boasts a delightful open-air swimming pool, Flevoparkbad, and the largest adventure playground in Amsterdam: Jeugdland.
Along the Amstel
Amsterdam-Oost 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. Check out the rental centres at Kano & Sup Amsterdam and SUP rental. One of the numerous rowing clubs in Amsterdam is The Berlagebrug Rowing Center, directly on the River Amstel which offers classes, private lessons and tours.
Within easy reach of the city centre and Amsterdam-Oost, IJburg is a watersports paradise. Surfcenter IJburg offers windsurf classes for all levels, including those who have never stepped onto a board and those who want to train to be an instructor. All equipment is provided, and Blijburg Beach, where the clubhouse is situated, is the perfect spot to hang loose and watch that glorious Dutch sunset.
Ultimate frisbee is one of the fastest-growing team sports in the world; a fun an accessible game where points are scored by throwing the frisbee to a team member in the end zone. Amsterdam is getting in on the fun, with more and more ultimate frisbee fans in town. Amsterdam Ultimate Club in Oost is one of the main clubs in town and their outdoor training sessions take place at Sportpark Drieburg. Of course, you can also read up on the rules online, grab a frisbee from a toy shop and head to the nearest park with a bunch of friends.
Jaap Eden Ice Rink
The colossal Jaap Eden skating rink, open from October to March, is the go-to spot for amateurs and pros alike to develop their skills. Budding speedskaters can make use of the 400-metre track, which allows you to glide through quite a few laps in your own lane without having to swerve for children. But don’t worry, if you haven’t nailed your double axels yet, there’s an indoor rink and a beginners corner. Jaap is the home turf of the Amstel Tijgers, so be sure to check the schedule for ice hockey matches, discos and a variety of other public activities.
De Vergulden Eenhoorn
If you’re looking for more gentle exercise, perhaps the kind you can do with a glass of wine in hand, look no further than De Vergulden Eenhoorn. This historic country pub conceals one of Amsterdam’s best-kept secrets: its very own jeu de boules pitch. If a quick round of petanque is still too much exertion for you, why not lounge around in the deckchairs of the beautiful secluded garden as drinks and snacks are brought to you?