Located around an hour outside Amsterdam, Keukenhof’s 79-acre (32-hectare) flower gardens only open to the public for two months a year, making the park a must-see for springtime visitors. Garden tours typically cover admission and private transfers, while some include additional stops in the rural villages of Marken, Volendam, or the Zaanse Schans.
This English-style municipal park in the heart of Amsterdam is a favorite among locals and visitors alike, with many summer days happily spent lounging on lake-side lawns or soaking up sounds from the open-air stage. Its 111 acres (45 hectares) are most easily explored by bike, though much can be learned about the city on a guided stroll along its shady avenues.
Amsterdam Forest (Amsterdamse Bos)
Home to a petting zoo, botanical garden, and several outdoor trails, Amsterdamse Bos is a haven for nature lovers of any age, located on the city’s most southerly border. Explore the meadows and forests that make up the 2,471-acre (1,000-hectare) park on a hiking or biking tour, or while away an afternoon with boat rental or a picnic on the man-made lake.
Northeast of the capital, Flevoland province boasts one of Europe’s most unspoiled nature reserves. An early example of rewilding, the 13,840-acre (5,600-hectare) man-made marsh was left to its own devices for 40 years and is now home to wild birds, ponies, and Heck cattle. Join a tour with round-trip transfer to access the out-of-town location with ease.
Marking the center of the eponymous neighborhood, Westerpark is one of the city’s liveliest cultural hubs, and its convenient location on most hop-on-hop-off-bus routes makes it a top spot to wind down after a busy day of sightseeing. Developed on the site of a former gasworks, industrial architecture has been repurposed into skate-friendly spaces, paddling pools, and dining terraces, while wide lawns and tree-lined trails retain an urban-oasis feel.