The Vondelpark in Amsterdam
The most famous and largest park for young and old in Amsterdam is the Vondelpark. This park has its main entrance at the Max Euweplein and runs almost parallel to the Overtoom.
In 1865, the park designed by Jan David Zocher and Louis Paul Zocher opened its doors to the public under the name "The New Park". So you couldn't blame the founder for a lot of creativity, but it was a welcome addition for walkers.
Two years later the park was named after poet and playwright Joost van den Vondel and a similar statue was erected.
Hippies and parties in the Vondelpark of the 70ties
It was only in the 1950s that the Vondelpark became really popular among the population because of the many parties and music and theatre performances. Even today there are regular performances by popular and less popular music bands and theatre groups.
In the '70s the Vondelpark became a park for hippies and so-called happenings. Day and night the noisy partygoers continued to be a major nuisance for the local residents. For this reason, the park is now closed in the evenings.
To regulate the performances, the Open Air Theatre was founded in 1974. This is now the place where all musical and cultural events take place. Unfortunately, this theatre has been under severe financial stress since the Corona crisis and is not sure if it can remain open.
Eating and drinking in the Vondelpark
In the summer months, many local residents of Amsterdam decided to go out for a meal or a drink with friends somewhere in the grass when the weather is nice.
Barbecuing is not allowed, but you can bring your own food. For those who prefer to be served, there are also a few restaurants available.
The Vondelpark was also known for its film museum, but it moved to the IJ in 2013. Restaurant Vondelpark3 took its place.
Proeflokaal 't Blauwe Theehuis
In the middle of the Vondelpark is Proeflokaal 't Blauwe Theehuis (Tasting room Blue Teahouse). This authentic blue-white building dates from the thirties and was original, as the name suggests, a teahouse.
Nowadays you can enjoy good food and drink in Amsterdam's ambiance. The word tasting room has been added to 't Blauwe Theehuis because they have several special and local beers in their assortment. You don't have to taste them, but the beer lover will enjoy them.
Slightly to the south of the Proeflokaal 't Blauwe Theehuis is situated with a large terrace by the water Groot Melkhuis. Don't expect any delicacies or haute cuisine, because this restaurant is especially popular because of the adjoining playground.
Children can play while mum and dad can reminisce after a long walk along the Amsterdam canals.
Behind Groot Melkhuis is the oldest and most exclusive tennis club in Amsterdam: Lawn Tennis Club Festina. The waiting list to become a member of this club can be as long as 8 years after which you first have to appear before the balloting committee.
Perhaps the most loved and visited by locals is The Vondeltuin (Vondel Garden). Here too there is a playground for the children, but that is not the main reason why Amsterdammers like to come here.
The Vondeltuin is located right next to the southernmost entrance which can be reached from the Amstelveenseweg. People often have a drink there at the end of the day and if they want to eat afterward, they can choose to stay put or choose from one of the dozens of local restaurants on the Amstelveenseweg. They are less than 5 minutes' walk away.
Hotdogs for the quick bite
After a lovely walk, a hot dog may suffice until you are back in your hotel room to freshen up. Luckily there are several hotdog stalls here and there with fresh hotdogs and a refreshing drink. Just remember that you can get a delicious and healthy meal at a local restaurant for the same money.
Hiking or sports in the Vondelpark
Of course, you can go for a lovely walk or chill in the grass somewhere along the water. That is what the Vondelpark was originally intended for. Cycling, running, and roller skating are also permitted. However, you cannot enter the park by moped or car.
In the mornings, evenings, and weekends you will come across many yoga and running groups. If you want to join, all you have to do is ask.