The Vondelpark is the most famous city park in the Netherlands. The park is located in the heart of Amsterdam and is a popular destination for both locals and tourists. It opened in 1865 and has been a national monument since 1996. The Vondelpark attracts 10 million visitors annually, making it the largest and most famous municipal park in the city. This 45-hectare green oasis features a renowned open-air theater, numerous children’s play areas, and several cafes and restaurants, ensuring a constant flow of visitors throughout the year. It is beloved by both residents and visitors alike.This nature park is the largest city park in Amsterdam. It is free to enter. Visit the famous open-air theater where you can enjoy music, theater, and dance performances from May to September.
History of the Vondelpark
The Vondelpark was opened in 1865 as a fashionable recreational space for the middle class of Amsterdam. It was designed by landscape architect Jan David Zocher. Originally called the “Nieuwe Park” (New Park), it was officially renamed Vondelpark in 1880, after the unveiling of the statue of the 17th-century Dutch poet Joost van den Vondel, located in the park.
Zocher designed the Vondelpark in the popular English landscape style, creating an idyllic natural landscape with long paths, lakes, and greenery. Over the years, the park was expanded, including the addition of the music pavilion and the Pavilion around 1970. In 1953, the park was donated to the city of Amsterdam.
Things to do in Vondelpark
The Vondelpark is a green oasis in the city where you can enjoy peace and tranquility. It also offers great opportunities for sports activities. There are ample paths for jogging and walking, as well as a synthetic turf field for football.
For children there are several playgrounds and a small pool open from May to September. Throughout the year, the Vondelpark hosts various events. In the summer, you can visit the Openluchttheater (Open Air Theater) for free concerts and performances. Additionally, the park is home to several cafes and restaurants.
Vondelpark Openluchttheater is a highlight within the Vondelpark, offering a unique and vibrant cultural experience. From May to September, this open-air theater hosts a diverse program of performances, including music, theater, dance, and comedy.
The theater showcases both established artists and emerging talent, providing a platform for creativity and entertainment. With its picturesque setting and free admission, Vondelpark Openluchttheater is a beloved gathering place for locals and visitors alike, offering unforgettable moments of artistic expression amidst the natural beauty of the park.
Food and Drinks at Vondelpark
The park is home to several popular cafes, including the picturesque Groot Melkhuis with its waterside terrace, the modernist Blauwe Theehuis from the 1930s that resembles a flying saucer, and the Vondeltuin, which features a beer garden and is particularly popular in the summer. The beautiful 19th-century Pavilion in the northwest corner of the park housed the Filmmuseum from 1975 until 2011 when it moved to EYE Amsterdam in the north of the city. Today, you can find the elegant restaurant Vondelpark3 in the iconic pavilion.
Events in the Vondelpark
The Vondelpark hosts sports and cultural events throughout the year. From May to September, the renowned Openluchttheater offers a free program of cabaret, theater, live music, and comedy shows.
Every Friday night, the park also hosts the Friday Night Skate, where people gather on their roller skates and take a tour through the city. On King’s Day the Vondelpark transforms into a massive children’s flea market, where kids sell unwanted toys and clothing or showcase their musical talents.
The park is centrally located in Amsterdam, bordered by the vibrant nightlife of Leidse square to the north and the cultural hub of Museumplein to the south. Combine a leisurely stroll through the Vondelpark with a visit to the Netherlands’ most famous museum, the Rijksmuseum.
The Vondelpark is not just a green space; it’s a gathering place for people of all ages to enjoy nature, engage in various activities, and experience the vibrant culture of Amsterdam. Whether you’re seeking a peaceful retreat, a place to exercise, or a venue for entertainment, the Vondelpark offers something for everyone. Visit this iconic park and immerse yourself in the beauty and energy that it has to offer.