I wonder if in the Dutch schools poet Joost Vondel is still on the program?
He is not on the VT Amsterdam Travel Guide page where the "Red Light district" is Nr 1 on the "Things to do" list (I presume the reason is by the VT software, certainly not by travel editor Pieter Jan).
Poet and singer Jacques Brell in his song "Dans le port d'Amsterdam" did also visit the brothels of the Wallen.
Jacques Brell brings me back to Belgium where Dutch poet Joost van den Vondel (1587 -1679) was on the program of the Francophone schools. One should know that Belgian francophones have to study Dutch at school in order to make them more or less bilingual.
The odd thing is that Vondel was writing in Dutch from the 17 th. century!
"De wereld is wel schoon, en waerdigh om t'aenschouwen,
Maer 't reizen heeft wat in. de kosten vallen swaer.
Men magh den Oceaen niet al te veel betrouwen.
De Bergen rijzen steil. de bosschen zien te naer."
This poem is about travelling around the world. My translation:
The world is nice, and worthy to look at
But traveling has a point. The costs are heavy.
One should not trust the ocean too much.
Mountains rise steeply. The woods look too dark.
The result was that Francophones of Belgium knew something about Vondel and his time but did not really learn to speak daily Dutch (Flemish), a need for many careers. We use to say that Dutch is "la langue de Vondel"
The imposing statue is from 1867. He was born in Cologne, then lived in Antwerpen till his parents who were "Doopsgezinden" (Mennonites) did flee to Amsterdam. Later Vondel became Catholic. He is the greatest Dutch author.
The park was somewhat a deception because there were nearly no flowers although it was begin May. Probably the fault of the long winter but in the country, from my train, I saw many huge fields with flowers, late tulips and other flowers.
The park has several ponds because it was constructed in a dump area. The park is 2 m lower than the surrounding streets. After heavy rains whole parts cover with water. The ponds attract many birds.
What is certainly fine with this park is that everything is allowed. You can walk and lie down on the grass, cycle on the asphalt paths, make bbq on the stones put on the grass for that purpose. You can drink, eat, smoke and more.
If you want to know the detailed regulations of the Vondelpark look at "Beleidskader Gebruik Vondelpark" a 26 pages PDF document. You might learn that topless sunbathing is allowed, not nudism.
I've always love trees, plants and flowers. So, the next destination was Vondelpark. Located not so far from Rijksmuseum. In fact, we took a tram and stop somewhere near Rijksmuseum and walked to Vondelpark. It took about 15 minutes of walking, not so bad.
The place is big, I only saw not even a quarter of it...ha3. Too lazy to walk. There were people there, doing many activities. Some were exercising, jogging, seating by the lake, reading, talking and walking or even dog-walking. Our visit was quite early in the morning, I didn't see anybody picnicking...perhaps it was a bit early for that or maybe because I didn't see it all, ha3.
It's really green here. The trees, plants and flowers seemed so healthy and 'fat'. For example the yellow iris were big and tall, unlike mine planted at my tiny back yard garden are so slim. I think they love the weather. Anyway, I really think its a good spot for a picnic. Breakfast or lunch by the lake looking out to beautiful views, that would be a great day!
Vondel park is a lovely park very close to Leidseplein and Museumplein.
A few minutes walking and you will find yourself in a quiet area , green , beautiful.
Vondel park was first named Nieuwe Park and was opened in 1865.
I walked around the park a few times while visiting Amsterdam - try to "get lost" in the park , there are lovely places.
Very Close to vondel park , few minutes walking from Leidseplein you will find Vondel Church.
Vondel Church is a lovely neo-gothic church built in 1873 by Architect P.J.H. Cuypers.
These days the church is not a religious place , it is open for marriage.
If you are here for 3 or for days then i recommend visiting the Amsterdam Bos - which is further afield - and although man made it feels very very natural - great place for a cycle ride and a picnic.
However if you are her for a much shorter time then the Vondelpark can be a nice place - and although very busy at weekends - on a weekday it can be much quieter.
How quiet it is however does not only depebnd on people - some years ago some guy released a male and female Parrot and as a result there is now a colony of them - perhaps about 20.
They are extremely difficult to see because they are Green so you have more chance of seeing them in Winter like on the photograph. They are however very very noisy - especially when it is time for them to make love- and especially at night - so if enjoying a Beer in the little Bar in centre of Park - it can feel more like you are in the middle of a Troical Rainforrest or Jungle - then in the Centre of a City
The best place to be after a hard day of walkign through Amsterdam, visiting musea or when you had a happy night.
Dont miss the website, you will love it. From past, to present, to future.
The park is here since 1864 ! With 10 million visitors every year it's the most famous park of the Netherlands. The Vondelpark is named after a Dutch poet.
The largest park of the city, close to the Leidseplein and the big museums and by far the most popular with visitors and locals alike, especially during summer and on sunny winterdays. The park is always alive with skaters, joggers and all sorts of street performers. In the summer the Vondelpark open air theater stages regular performances. There are several bars in the park, all of course with their own outside terrace, and Vertigo also offers good food at reasonable prices. All in all a very pleasant place to spend a lazy sunny afternoon.
El parque más grande de la ciudad, cerca de la Leidseplein y de los museos grandes y con mucho el más popular entre los visitantes y lugareños por igual, especialmente durante el verano y en winterdays soleado. El parque está siempre viva con patinadores, corredores y todo tipo de artistas callejeros. En el verano el teatro al aire libre Vondelpark etapas actuaciones regulares. Hay varios bares en el parque, todo por supuesto con su terraza propia, y el vértigo también ofrece buena comida a precios razonables. En definitiva un lugar muy agradable para pasar una tarde de sol perezoso.
For some reasons, there are large Green Parrots flitting around the large Vondelpark all thru the year and are extremely fun to watch---also you can see herons, ducks and other water birds and many other species throughout this wonderful green space.
A'Dam has a great music scene, and in the summer, you can hear free music at the Vondelpark's open air theater-----I heard jazz, classical and a lovely girl named Nynke Laverman who was singing a kind of a Fado Portuguese style, who graciously signed autographed CDs after the show!
Check out Timeout or other local arts guides for specifics.....
The Vondelpark was first opened in 1865.....
It's the Central Park of Amsterdam. Beautiful landscape trees and birds surrounded with ponds. Dutch people likes to be out, bikers are everywhere... We were lucky to see a summer stage concert and have a beer :))
Everyone who goes to NYC goes to Central Park, and anyone who goes to Amsterdam should go to the Vondelpark. Large areas of grass next to lovely ponds and lots of trees are just part of this experience. It is a short walk from the Leidseplein area---there is a film museum and a couple of restaurants for chilling. They have free music every summer and also a skate-along on some friday nights. Joggers, birdwatchers, skaters, walkers and lovers all share this beautiful oasis in southern A'Dam.
This is a large park to the South West of the city. There are trams which go to the park.
There are small ponds, places for kids to play around.. greenery, gardens, eateries, etc etc.. Its basically a good place to spend some quiet time specially with a sunshine.
People can also cycle inside the park and ofcourse jog and walk.
Its clean and great place to spend an afternoon..
Could it be the coffee shops? The bike riding lifestyle? Or the brick roads of the city center? No one was running on the streets of Amsterdam. My 3 guide books say nothing on the subject of running. Our smashing hotel staff suggest running in Vondelpark, the largest park in Amsterdam.
I take an easy-to-manage tram to Vondlepark. At 8:30 am, the park is serene and verdant. Runners are doing their thing! A 4K asphalt bike route and a dirt path ring the park (with straightforward signs to guide me.) While running, I spot a tree full of green parrots! The grand Filmmuseum of Amsterdam (with requisite café) is located mid-park. Stately homes on tiny canals line the perimeter. Some vintage Clash and New Order feels right as I circle the park a few times.
The Dutch, the tallest people on earth, are invariably fit and great looking. We see few cars in the city and nonstop bikes. People of all ages and manners of dress ride them. The bikes are often decorated with Mexican oilcloth bike bags. The fashion: think Eileen Fisher goes Scandinavian hippie princess. Men and women wear messenger bags of smart design; a jewelry of sorts.
The bike riders are patient with Karen (quirky art teacher and treasured old friend) and I as we inadvertently step into the bike lane (watch out!!) People seem relaxed, open and friendly. In a country where tolerance prevails and people are directly connected to their environment, who needs to run and run? Very often, we spot men with their children. Is there a saner work/family dynamic here?
Coffee shops are not the totality of Amsterdam. In fact, the Dutch smoke less marijuana per capita then Americans. Coffee shops have a diverse vibe and clientele. Many are quite civilized and economical. Others are filled with exuberant kids with unfortunate tee shirts.
When it comes to getting around, Amsterdam is the great leveler. The city is not built on a grid. The canals ring the city in a mind boggling manner. On any given corner, people from all walks of life can be found scowling at their maps. The coffee shops cannot be helping this effort!
We visit the Van Gogh Museum. Only 1 wing of the Rijksmuseum is currently open due to renovation. We take in the spectacular Rembrandts, still lives and Vermeers. The fantastic modern art Stedelijk Museum is also currently closed for renovation. Some of its art can be found in the Van Gogh Museum.
We thoroughly enjoyed:
-The Museum of Bags and Purses/The Tassenmuseum–bags from the 1500’s to modern times. Words fail to describe these treasures!
-We caught Public Enemy at the opulent art deco Tuschinski Theatre.
-The Hermitage/Amsterdam, opened in 6/09, is an airy space filled with riches from the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. I was especially taken by the czarina dresses; sumptuous velvets with mirrors and to-die-for embroidery.
-The Amsterdam Public Library, the largest public library in Europe, was built in 2007 by Joe Coenen. This place defines visionary architecture.
-The markets- Albert Cuypmarkt, Westerstraat
-The FOAM contemporary photography museum
We relished the Netherland’s hearty bread, butter, cheeses and apple cake. Terrific Asian (Thai, Indonesian, Surinamese and Chinese) restaurants can be found everywhere. Most restaurants and stores do not accept credit cards.
Our magnificent hotel, the Grand Hotel Amrath, served for a decade as a major shipping office. It is replete with high ceilings, art nouveau décor, charming canal views, a fabulous pool and a FREE minibar every night! The staff is charming, friendly and quite literate (our young porter was fluent in 5 languages.) We purchased our rooms for $130.00 dollars per night via Hotwire. A recent NY Times column, Save or Splurge, Amsterdam on a $1000 Dollars a Day, recommended the Amrath! Could this trip get any better?
The Vondel park is 3.3km made up of tarmac cycle paths, rolling lawns, rose gardens and water. There is a large gazebo in a pond where they sometimes hold classical concerts. There is an open air theatre during the summer which hosts events 4 days a week. You can rent inline skates from the south side and cycle or skate on the tarmac. BBQ's and picnics are allowed providing you take your rubbish away with you. Dogs are allowed without a leash but their litter must also be cleared away. There is a paddling pool free of charge in the summer for the little ones.
The film museum is inside the park where you can take in a movie in an art deco theatre. There are 4 different areas to enjoy a drink or food except they appear to be rather on top of each other. I would suggest a cup of tea at the blue tea house or at the film museum.