Fodor's Expert Review Amsterdamse Bos

Amsterdam Park/Playground
Free

A few miles south of the city, beyond Oud-Zuid and near Amstelveen, the largest of Amsterdam's parks covers 1,000 hectares (almost 2,500 acres) and incorporates 200 km (124 miles) of foot, bike, and bridle paths traversed by 116 bridges—67 of which designed in the early-20th-century Amsterdam School style, with characteristic redbrick and sculpted-stone detailing. The area was planted and constructed from 1934 onward, as a job-creation scheme under the motto "Five years' work for a thousand men," and it ended up providing jobs for 20,000 people during the Depression. There are wide recreational fields, a boating lake, the impressive Olympic Bosbaan rowing course (overlooked by the terraces of grand café De Bosbaan), and numerous playgrounds and wonderful water-play areas for toddlers.

One popular family attraction is the Geitenboerderij "De Ridammerhoeve" goat farm (Nieuwe Meerlaan 4, follow the blue signs past Boerderij Meerzicht020/645–5034www.geitenboerderij.nl)... READ MORE

A few miles south of the city, beyond Oud-Zuid and near Amstelveen, the largest of Amsterdam's parks covers 1,000 hectares (almost 2,500 acres) and incorporates 200 km (124 miles) of foot, bike, and bridle paths traversed by 116 bridges—67 of which designed in the early-20th-century Amsterdam School style, with characteristic redbrick and sculpted-stone detailing. The area was planted and constructed from 1934 onward, as a job-creation scheme under the motto "Five years' work for a thousand men," and it ended up providing jobs for 20,000 people during the Depression. There are wide recreational fields, a boating lake, the impressive Olympic Bosbaan rowing course (overlooked by the terraces of grand café De Bosbaan), and numerous playgrounds and wonderful water-play areas for toddlers.

One popular family attraction is the Geitenboerderij "De Ridammerhoeve" goat farm (Nieuwe Meerlaan 4, follow the blue signs past Boerderij Meerzicht020/645–5034www.geitenboerderij.nl) with a playground and lunchroom, a sunny terrace, and lots of chickens hopping about between the goats. Your kids can bottle-feed the four-legged kind and cuddle bleating babies in the barn. The creamy ice cream is made entirely of goat's milk, and homemade goat cheese is on sale—everything is organic.

It takes about 30 minutes by bike from the Vondelpark: exit through the southern exit of the park, take a left onto the Amstelveenseweg, and follow this busy road under the highway on the bicycle path until you reach De Boswinkel, the park visitor center, on the right. For public transport to the Amsterdamse Bos, Connexxion Bus Nos. 170 and 172 run from Centraal Station (Prins Hendrikplantsoen) to Van Nijenrodeweg, opposite the visitor center. The museum tram passes through on Sunday 11–5:30, Easter–October; get on at Haarlemmermeer Station. You can also rent bikes (020/644–5473) year-round at the entrance of the Amsterdamse Bos opposite the visitor center; maps, suggested routes, and signposting are plentiful throughout the park. For example, follow the signs to the Grote Vijver (Big Lake) to hire kayaks, paddleboats, and electric boats April–October (020/645–7831).

If you didn't pack your own lunch, Boerderij Meerzicht is a traditional Dutch pancake house, with a small deer zoo and playground for kids (Koenenkade 56 020/679–2744www.boerderijmeerzicht.nl).

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Park/Playground Family Forest Farm/Ranch Restaurant–Sight Green Pet Friendly Free

Quick Facts

Bosbaanweg 5
Amstelveen, North Holland  1182 AG, Netherlands

www.amsterdamsebos.nl

What’s Nearby