- Backpackers / Students
- Families with teenagers
- Families with younger children
- First-time travellers
- Great views / scenery
- Live entertainment
- People watching
Amsterdam's main park is great for both chilling out and a stretch of the legs.
You might want to pop over to the Vondelpark for a dose of fresh air after tackling the big museums - the park is little more than a five-minute stroll from the Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum. If the weather's fine, you may be tempted to explore the city's largest green space more thoroughly: there are various gardens, and lots of ponds and lakes - I've often spotted herons on them. And on a warm summer's day, it can seem like half of Amsterdam is in the park, and that the Sixties never went away. Every blade of grass is covered with semi-naked Amsterdammers sunbathing, flinging Frisbees, strumming their guitars, knocking back cans of Heineken and smoking joints. In summer, there is also free entertainment in the open-air theatre (www.openluchttheater.nl).
I've recommended three unusual cafés in or near to the park: Vertigo, 't Blauwe Theehuis and Kinderkookkafé. The Vondeltuin café (www.vondeltuin.nl), on the park's south-west corner, rents out skates. Every Friday evening, weather permitting, experienced skaters congregate outside the EYE Film Institute Nederlands (formerly the Nederlands Filmmuseum) in the Vondelpark for a 20km tour of the city - see www.fridaynightskate.com for more infomation.