Life can be pretty non-stop and taking some time out to appreciate the slower, calmer aspects of life can really improve people’s mental health. However, it’s not always easy when you live in a city to find a quiet place, to read a book, or take a stroll. Amsterdam is not your average city, though, and there are little oases everywhere, green spaces hidden amidst the concrete and cars. Here are our favourites.
1. Begijnhof Garden
Beginjhof is a beautiful, enclosed garden near Spui Square. It was originally home to the Beguinage, a group of women who have devoted themselves to God. The city’s oldest house is located within the garden, built in 1465 and it’s so peaceful here. Currently, only residents and those who attend church here are allowed in the square, but the website will be updated once it’s open to tourists.
2. Hortus Botanicus
📍Plantage Middenlaan 2a, 1018 DD
Amsterdam’s botanical gardens are breathtakingly beautiful, and wandering around them makes for a fantastic, relaxing afternoon. Every part of the botanical gardens is back open now, so it’s the perfect time to pay a visit! Check out the website to see more about De Hortus.
3. Dignita Hoftuin
📍Nieuwe Herengracht 18a, 1018 DP
This lovely brunch cafe has huge windows looking out over a courtyard filled with luscious trees and foliage. Even on a wet day you can sit by the window at this cafe and watch the rainfall outside. It’s the perfect place to escape city life from within the city whilst eating some delicious, healthy food. Check out their website to read the menu.
4. Distilleerderij ‘t Nieuwe Diep
If you’re looking to relax with something stronger than a cup of coffee, you can head to Distilleerderij ‘t Nieuwe Diep in Flevopark and enjoy some expertly brewed beer amidst the trees, looking out over the beautiful lake. What could be better than that? Visit the website for more information on the brewery.
Vondelpark in Amsterdam Zuid offers 120 acres of space to stroll around. In the centre of the park is a beautiful pond and look out for the 3 statues stationed around the park. Particularly impressive amongst these statues is The Fish, by Pablo Picasso. Wide paths make for a brilliant place to distance from others and take in this amazing park with ease.
Rembrandtpark is situated in the area of Nieuw-West, named after the 17th-century painter Rembrandt. It’s a brilliant place for a stroll amongst the trees and, if you’re lucky, you might even see some little bats, including the endangered pond bat.
📍Karthuizersstraat 21-131, 1015 LP
Karthuizerhof is another of Amsterdam’s little squares surrounded by houses, known as ‘hofjes’. It’s a hidden gem, built in 1650 to house widows with children, and it’s a lovely place to relax amongst some beautifully kept foliage.
Oosterpark is another urban park, built on the site of an old cemetery. It’s a stunning park with some wonderful statues and, as is the case across Amsterdam, there’s a lovely body of water to sit by and relax. The National Slavery Monument was built here, to commemorate the end of slavery in the Netherlands.
9. Natuurtuin Slatuinen
📍Slatuinenweg 45, 1057 KB
Everybody should know about this incredible garden but not many people do, and it’s the perfect place to escape city life for an hour or two. Plenty of birds live here and you can hear them singing as you stroll around the place, which is such a relaxing sound. It’s only open between 10 am and 4 pm on a Thursday and 3 pm – 4 pm on a Sunday, but it’s well worth visiting when you can.
You don’t have to travel far to find paradise in Amsterdam, just head to Prinseneiland, which isn’t far from De Wallen. There you will find beautiful palm trees and benches from which to admire them.