A Little Tip…The Parks of Amsterdam

The final installment of my tips for enjoying the best of Amsterdam is to take a break and relax. The city has a lot of green park space and it’s fairly tourist-free actually.

Food, Wine, and a Patch of Green Grass

Bike on the LakeRelaxing and taking it slow is supremo tops on the list for a lot of travelers making their way to Amsterdam – and in addition to allowing “coffee shop” purchases the city does not have the restrictive open container laws that are in effect in the United States.

That means that a top recommendation once you’re burnt out on the sightseeing is to stop by a market and pick up some treats for park consumption. One of the best parts of my visits to Amsterdam was getting out of the house once it started to get claustrophobic and heading to Vondel Park.

For visitors already renting a bike for traveling around the city, the trip to Vondel Park is a cinch – it’s extremely close to the Rijksmuseum and the whole museum complex. There is a delightful little bread shop and grocery store on Overtoom (on the left side of the street if coming from the train station side of town).  This street is just around the corner from Vondel Park and the bread shop has the freshest bread in the city according to my friends allowing me to house-sit.

Duck on the lake

Whenever I needed a break I would just peddle over to this small market, lock the bike up tight and go on a mini shopping indulgence. Though I could wander the shop for a very long time I instead Canal in Amsterdampicked out a loaf of bread, chose a temptingly expensive chunk of exotic cheese, grabbed a bottle of wine (H was with me for this) and headed lakeside at Vondel Park to people watch and relax.

I will warn that you have to hold a high tolerance for juveniles at some points in the day. The high schoolers frequently also sat by the lake and on the park benches laughing obnoxiously and a whole lot…if you get my drift.

But again, watching them was half of the fun because really, where else can you find that precise environment? Couples on spooning on the grass, ducks napping on the grass near the lake, a chill breeze in the air, and teenagers acting like…well…like teenagers.

All told I found it brilliant way to relax, read my book, and feel like I just might have found a little bit of the local flavor of Amsterdam.

Do know of a hidden spot in the city? Or did you find some favorite things to do?

Other tips and things to do in this “Amsterdam Like a Local” series:

Rent a Bike and Ride Around Amsterdam Like a Local

Visiting the Museums in Amsterdam

Shopping the Local Markets

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9 Responses to A Little Tip…The Parks of Amsterdam

  1. Dawna September 3, 2009 at 8:30 am #

    Hello…Checking in on you…I love amsterdam so much!!!!

    • Shannon September 5, 2009 at 11:17 am #

      Hey!! I am coming home in just a few weeks now :-( Yikes!! But it is good – I am ready to have a little bit of a rest! We will have to have a coffee date planned once I get back!

  2. Daniel September 1, 2009 at 10:38 pm #

    Twitter and the collective blogosphere are doggedly determined to make us visit Europe! Kathryn and I (wrongly—in retrospect) believed that we would ‘do Europe’ when we were ‘older’ when we wanted to travel ‘easier’. We;ve since been shown the error in our thinking and posts like these have swayed us the other way entirely!

    • Shannon September 5, 2009 at 11:16 am #

      Most excellent! I think that there is definitely some stuff worth seeing now :-) I mean, there is enough here that you can start now and still have a lot to see for decades. I have found though that Europe is a nice way to break up the travel in the more remote countries; it’s nice to have a break from it a bit while still traveling and seeing new things! :-) Can’t wait to see what your itinerary ends up looking like!

  3. Dave and Deb August 31, 2009 at 11:16 am #

    This is a great post. Full of useful information, a great read and nice shots. Now I am feeling like some wine!

    • Shannon September 1, 2009 at 11:36 am #

      Lol – hope you got that wine! Thanks for the Stumble – that sent a surprising # of peeps my way :-) Cheers!

    • Shannon September 1, 2009 at 11:36 am #

      Oh – and thanks for the kind words…thought I had that in there!

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