Vondelpark in Amsterdam is a favourite summer haunt of locals and tourists alike. They spread out their picnic blanket, open their bottle of viña ducaro tinto (a nice way of saying red wine) and unwrap their crispy brown rolls sprinkled with sunflower seeds and indulge. Vondelpark is also paradise for joggers, inline skaters and cyclists.
Vondelpark on a Summer’s Day
Vondelpark close to Leidseplein and Museumplein is hundreds of acres of green lawns sprinkled with colourful flowers, meandering footpaths and rose gardens. Geese and duck wonder about and flocks of resident parrots keep the crowds entertained. Joggers, kite-flyers, sun-bathers, Frisbee-throwers, cyclists and dog-walkers come to the park on sunny summer days.
Vondelpark is named after Joost van den Vondel, 16th century Dutch poet and playwright, the Dutch answer to William Shakespeare. During the summer, the park hosts free musical performances in the open-air theatre, ranging from dance and cabaret to classical music and pop groups. They take place at the small amphitheater and the music pavilion on an island near the centre of the park.
Plenty of playgrounds make Vondelpark a delight for families with children. The young ones love the petting zoo, home to goats and sheep. Teenagers, but also fathers and mothers, can rent inline skates and gloves and other protecting gear near the Amstelveenseweg entrance at the south-western side of the park.
Blue Tea House in Vondelpark
Blue Tea House
If you have not brought your own picnic ‘t Ronde Blauwe Theehuis, the Round Blue Tea House, serves light snacks impossible to resist. How about goat cheese, with walnuts, honey and crispy lollo rosso or apple-cinnamon muffin washed down with fresh mint tea? ‘t Ronde Blauwe Theehuis was built in the 1930s and looks like a flying saucer.
Vondelpark is open every day of the year and the best thing of all: it is FREE!
Photo credit Wikimedia Commons & ‘t Blauwe Theehuis