Short history of the Vondelpark
Located in Amsterdams South district, the Vondelpark appears to be an oasis of tranquility and classic beauty, surrounded by stately mansions. But looks can be deceiving: despite the 47
acreage, this old park is one of the most visited city parks in the world, with as many as 10 million visitors annually. People come to the park because of its unique atmosphere, but also to enjoy the diversity of its flora and fauna: the Vondelpark has 150 species of trees and a large number of avian species, to which the exotic green (and noisy) ring-necked parakeet is clearly the most notable recent inhabitant.
The history of the Vondelpark began in 1864. The park was laid out in the English landscape style based on a design by Jan David Zocher. Initially the park was called “the New Park”, but after a statue of poet Joost van den Vondel was placed in 1867, its popular name quickly became ‘Vondelpark’; from 1880 it has been the official name.
From landscape park to the modern Vondelpark
Initially, the visitor of the park was expected to have the impression of being in nature, which probably worked well, due to the amount of woody vegetation and the paths that weren’t paved yet. Since 1959, efforts have been made to adapt the park to the increasing number of visitors. The current layout has its origin in this period. A new rose garden and playgrounds appeared.
In one hundred years, the park has become a major attraction for all who visit Amsterdam. Besides the idyllic natural beauty, the visitors can enjoy numerous events (e.g. in the Vondelpark Open Air Theatre, where since the 1980s many theatre-, dance- and music events were held in the open air) and structures and buildings (such as the Vondelpark Pavilion). In 1999 the park has been renovated again.
Summer in the Vondelpark
If you’ve never taken a stroll in the Vondelpark on a hot summer day, make sure not to miss the next opportunity. You will experience an unforgettable spectacle, reminiscent of the 1960s and 70s, when hippie culture landed in the city park. Everywhere people are enjoying the atmosphere and there’s a lot of sports and games going on. However, big crowds also come with a risk: the park quickly gets polluted. The regulations for the protection of nature and tidiness are quite successful. In spite of the large amount of visitors, the Vondelpark is usually tidy.
How to get to the Vondelpark?
Would you like to visit the Vondelpark as part of a daytrip in Amsterdam? It’s very easy to get there! Of course there are bus- and tram-stops in the streets adjacent to the park offering an official entrance. These include all tram- and bus lines that go to the Leidseplein (around the corner from the main entrance of the Vondelpark) and tram line 2 even stops at several entrances.
Even better: a visit to the park as a stop on the Canal Bus tour boat! A pick up point is situated on the Leidsekade / Weteringschans, very close to the park entrance. You can step on a Canal Bus tour boat at different places and just step of the boat on the next stop. For people who want to really explore Amsterdam instead of just sail along, this is an ideal choice.