Just behind the freeway from the RAI congress and exhibition halls, twenty minutes walk from the Okura Hotel, a big park is located with several interesting gardens inside, various attractions for children, a café, a restaurant, two galleries and a mini-golf. The park has been established in 1972, as one of the sites of the second world garden fair – Floriade. Since the fair ended, the municipality strived to maintain some of it attractions, and today Amstelpark is on of the two most popular parks in Amsterdam.
The park and its area
Amstelpark is located along the river Amstel. If you exit the park through its back entry, direction Amsteldijk, you may see the flow of the river, a flat country landscape on another bank and you may walk right to a big, monumental Rieker windmill from 1636. Just behind the windmill, there is a small bronze monument of Rembrandt, who used to walk here out of Amsterdam along the river and make landscape drawings. Some of these views of Amstel river were later multiplied on his prints. You may decide to walk further along the river direction south, after about 30 minutes you will reach a small village called Oudekerk. It is worthy to visit, especially if you have never been in the country the Netherlands. Oudekerk will give you a good sense of the Dutch province – full of respect for local tradition, surrounded by water, very neat and friendly.
Despite an enormous loss of ca.30 percent of bigger trees because of the tree disease a decade ago, Amstelpark remains a beautiful park in its whole parts kept as a botanical garden. There are also several complete, rigorously maintained separate gardens, a rhododendron valley with 139 sorts of the plant (8000 bushes, some of them 4 meters high), the Rosarium (a rose garden), a Belgium cloister garden, a butterfly friendly garden and others. Regrettably, not much is left from the Japanese garden. An interesting small house imitates famous Dutch architect Rietveld style of architecture.
Attractions for children
Amstelpark is a wonderful place to visit with children. Directly at the Main Entry (Hoofdingang), you will see the station of a small train, which throughout the whole summer rides in the park. Behind the station, a small concrete bridge will lead you to a labyrinth. Its hedge maze is quite long (380 yards), but not very difficult – a great fun for kids. Going further left from the main entry, you will find more attractions for kids, such as a farm with sheep and goats, and a pony ride.
The feel: A big park with many attractions, quiet and well maintained. No bicycles, no loud radios, lanes are wide with a lot of space for a longer walk.
Address: Europaboulevard; 1083 HZ Amsterdam (Buitenveldert)
How to get there:
By bus - line 62, exit on a stop Weerdestein.
By car - from the ring A10 exit 109.