The most beautiful and less conventional parks in Amsterdam
The first time I went to Artis was wintertime. Dry leaves, empty, rainy, a bit sad, and the restaurant was closed. But the flamingos lining around a lake warmed my soul and it was exactly what I needed on that cold Sunday afternoon. Flamingos: I never thought I was going to find these animals so gracious in person. They live there. They cheer up and color the landscape throughout the whole year. They stay in this park, which is not the most visited in the city, precisely because it is not close to the city center. Also, because it is a small park. On warmer days, it is very nice to sit on one of the chairs outside the restaurant De Plantage and enjoy something: the menu is long and pleases everyone. Differently from the gastronomic services in the city, it is open until 1 am (I recommend to make a reservation).
Across the city, there is Rembrandtpark. Large and trimmed, it is quieter than the touristic Vondelpark. It is a good opportunity for those who like long walks or bike rides through inspiring landscapes. Do not miss the small fenced area that shelters some cute small animals, such as rabbits and goats, well taken care of and happy.
Further South we can find the low key Frankendael, which I met by chance when I was looking for the Market Pure Markt. This market changes location once a month. This park is much appreciated and taken care by families who live in the district and crowd it with pic-nics on weekends (they also maintain a community garden there). It has a great historic importance, with two old gardens and a house from the 18th century – the last remaining. It used to be a summer house for affluent citizens and marchants.
The idea here is not to diminish the greatness, importance and beauty of Vondelpark, but yet, to show that there are other beautiful options in the most beautiful city in the world.