The Vondelpark Amsterdam's own 'Central Park'
Amsterdam Travel Blog› entry 1062 of 1090 › view all entries
The Vondel Park is with just 47 hectares (116 acres) only a little dot on the map compared to the 341-hectare (843-acre) sized Central Park, making it about 7 times as small. Considered in relative visitors, however, one could say that the Vondel Park is about three times more popular than Central Park. The Vondelpark gets 10 million visitors per year, Central Park 25 million. So: 73,314 visitors per hectare for Central Park and 212,766 visitors per hectare for the Vondel Park.
The park was established in 1864, making it actually five years younger than Central Park. Initially it was a private park accessible by invitation only, but after a year it became publicly accessible.
I had never been in the park. Quite a shame I thought. So, today would finally change that. I planned a walk through the park. Unfortunately the end of November is not the most attractive season to visit a park. No leaves, no flowers, fallen leaves are still rotting on the floor, and it is too early for a nice snowy and icy scenery.
At the park's entrance I already knew I was in the Netherlands. A huge set of patronizing signs told what could and mostly what could NOT be done in the park. Graffiti was also prominently present. I only hiked 4.6 kilometers (2.9 miles). And that was basically the whole park. Some highlights: nice old houses, fountains, the Blauwe Theehuis (Blue Tea house: a nice modernist tea pavilion), the old band stand, and, of course, Joost van den Vondel's statue.
I'll have to come back some day in summer to see the real face of the park. To be continued!
More pictures below!