Amsterdam is lovely but she can be a bit busy and hectic sometimes. Time to clear your head? These 5 nature spots in and around Amsterdam are just what you need!
Tuinen van West
Situated in Amsterdam New West, this area is easily overlooked by many people. Little do they know it’s a great place to walk and relax. You can find fields of open gras but you can also find the “Volkstuinen” here. These are little garden-houses people can buy and relax at when they want to escape the city and don’t own a garden. You may have heard of the escape room? Yep, also located around here plus you can also find one of my all time favorite secret spots in the Tuinen van West named Cantina (header photo). www.tuinenvanwest.info
If you don’t live in Amsterdam West, there is little chance that you have been here. It’s the park next to my house and I only realized it was so amazing a few years ago when I moved to the area. The park is around 6km long if you walk all around the lake. Sloterpark features a man-made beach and several water sports can be practiced here. There is a lot of development going on right now which means the council is really doing their best in make this area as attractive as possible. Hotel Buiten, a community restaurant with activities, will be finished in a few months and Paviljoen Van Eesterenmuseum is opening this fall, as well as a small coffee house across the Meer & Vaart theater. Sloterplas also has many natural swimming spots that are surrounded by trees, many bunnies sand many runners use this park for a “rondje Sloterplas”.
This green area is also located in Zaandam, just outside Amsterdam. I knew it was there but never went until last year and I was pleasantly surprised. The area is a staggering 650 hectare of green & waterland. You can also swim in natural water and there are several small man-made beaches. There are many relaxing activities such as playing golf, fishing, hike or enjoy a BBQ. Because it’s so secluded, there are a few dance/techno festivals that love using this space during summer. Parking cost €3,50 for the first 3 hours and you can only pay by card. www.twiske-waterland.nl
The waterlands in ‘T Twiske
In between Amsterdam, Haarlem and Hoofddorp you can find Spaarnwoude. It’s great for mountain biking, walking, cycling and there is a climb wall. It’s a great place for a children’s party or a BBQ with friends if you don’t feel like a busy park in Amsterdam. There are lot’s of things to do during summer for the young and old, so check the agenda! www.spaarnwoude.nl
Crowds at Awakenings Festival (source: Awakenings)
We’ve written about this area before but it’s well worth mentioning again. Right across from the famous Amsterdamse Bos, you can find the Oeverlanden. This area has stayed untouched so plants had a good change to grow in their natural habitat. During the summer you can participate in water sports such as flyboarding. Don’t be surprised if you see a herd of Scottish Highlanders grazing around, they maintain the natural balance in an ecologically responsible way. They won’t bother you unless you don’t bother them. No feeding and no padding! We walked for around and enjoyed the beautiful view of the Nieuwe Meer. The best other thing about this park is that you have plenty of secret swim and sunbathing spots. So you can get a tan without getting disturbed. www.oeverlanden.nl
What’s your favorite spot to escape the city?
More secret spots in Amsterdam? Click on the picture: