Parks & beaches

Of typically English design, with its sprawling manicured lawns, ponds and shady nooks and crannies, Amsterdam's largest park stretches over 48ha between Leidseplein and Museumplein, right in the middle of the city centre. A slew of outdoor concerts are offered here in summer. Moreover, visitors can still admire the on-site Hollandsche Manege (Dutch Stables), which housed the Royal Riding School when the park was first created.

Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam
Plantage Middenlaan 2a, tel. 31 (0) 20-625-9021,
Among the oldest in Europe, Amsterdam's botanical gardens harbour more than 4,000 species of plants. A veritable oasis in the heart of the city, the Hortus Botanicus is lush with trees and flowers from the world over. Its palm greenhouse is especially popular with visitors.

Plantage Kerklaan 38-40, tel. 31 (0) 20-523-3400,
A zoo-cum-botanical garden, Artis is certainly worth a visit. It features a huge tropical greenhouse which even houses a few carnivorous plants!

Stationsweg 166a, tel. 31 (0) 252-465-555,
Located outside Amsterdam, this spectacular English-style park was designed in 1830 by a German landscape architect. Criss-crossed by paths, the 30ha park features thousands of flowers and magnificent fields of tulips bursting with colour in the springtime, for which the Keukenhof is famous.