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The Great Outdoors of Amsterdam

Mar 26, 2008
You can head out from behind the central station and follow the signs for Ransdorp, Zunderdorp, Schellingwould, and Durgerdam and you'll find yourself in no time, biking through green countryside.

Alternatively, if you follow the Amstel River out for around 40 minutes or so, you will not only have the joy of the river side bike ride but will also find yourself in the beautiful countryside surrounding the village of Oudekerk.

Within Amsterdam there are also several parks and gardens open to the public. In the old part of the city you will find the wonderful Vondelpark where locals and tourists a like enjoy the festive atmosphere in the summer. A little west of the vondelpark you will find the Rembrandpark where you will experience a far more laid back park; due to it's size it is generally quieter and a perfect location for a picnic or even just an afternoon walk. You will certainly find yourself at some point during your stay in Amsterdam at the Museumplein; more a green area than an actual park, the Museumplein is cornered in by the Rijksmuseum, the Concertgebouw, and the Van Gogh Museum. Again this is a perfect place for a picnic, or for a little relaxation in between museum hopping.

If you prefer more rugged parks than tailored parks you must check out the Amsterdamse Bos on the outskirts of the city. Here you will experience a much more forest-like park and can take your choice of walking, horse riding or canoeing! This is also the venue for several open air theatre events during the year. Other parks include the Westerpark, the Oosterpark, the Wertheimpark, and the Sarphatipark. The latter is a favorite sunbathing spot in the summer months.

The beach is also within throwing distance of Amsterdam. The nearest beach is Zandvoort which can be reached by train in 27 minutes. If you are not so concerned about the authenticity of the experience however, you can also check out the suburban beach in the suburb of IJburg. Take the 26 tram to the end you will see signs for this artificial beach called 'Blijburg'.

As a city Amsterdam is very easy to get around and so you don't really need to worry about staying close to a green area. There are in total over 400 hotels in the city, but none the less it is always worthwhile to book ahead especially in the summer. Every tier of accommodation is represented in Amsterdam and one can stay in a dorm in a hostel for around 15 Euros a night, or pay in excess of 400 Euros for a top hotel. For those looking for neither extreme however, you should expect to pay between 100 and 200 euros for a 3-4 star hotel. Prices can be very much inflated during holidays, sometimes as much as double the off-peak price.
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