The Netherlands

10 Exciting things to do in the Amsterdam Forest

Do you want to experience something else then the overcrowded tourist attractions of Amsterdam? Visit the Amsterdam Forest in The Netherlands! This park is a nice getaway and just located outside Amsterdam. It is a perfect place for a one-day visit and easy to reach by bicycle. The nature is beautiful and there are plenty of exciting things to do. In this post I share useful tips for visiting the forest and 10 exciting things to do in the Amsterdam forest. Enjoy!

Photo by Shaojie on Unsplash

Location and history

The Amsterdam Forest (in Dutch called ‘het Amsterdamse Bos’) is a large park just outside Amsterdam. It has been planned and arranged, so it contains some facilities like restaurants, expeditions, and sport facilities. The park is a very good mix of nature, recreation, and relaxation. It is also one of the biggest parks of Europe!

Tip: use the official map to navigate through the forest

Nature and wildlife

The nature of the Amsterdam Forest is beautiful and diverse. Next to the lakes, forest, and grassland, you can find plenty of wildlife. Try to spot the Scottish highlander cows, the marsh harrier, or one of the plenty bird species. I was lucky to spot some of the Scottish highlander cows!

Amsterdam Forest cows.JPG

How to travel to the Amsterdam Forest?

With bicycle

The best and most fun way to reach the Amsterdam Forest is by bicycle! The forest is less than four kilometers away from Amsterdam, so perfectly reachable by bicycle. The bicycle lanes are well-maintained and the route is beautiful.

With public transportation

You can also decide to travel with public transportation to the Amsterdam Forest. I recommend using 9292 for finding the most convenient way.

From Amsterdam Central Train Station you can for example take the GVB Metro 52 to subway station Amsterdam Zuid. From there, you can take a tram or bus to the Amsterdam Forest.

Tip: Buy your GVB Public Transportation Ticket online and enjoy unlimited access to all GVB public transport lines throughout the city.

With car

The park is also good accessible by car and parking is free.

Amsterdam Forest cycling.JPG

10 Exciting things to do in the Amsterdam forest

You can do a lot of fun things while visiting the forest. Here are my favorite things to do:

1. Have a picknick

It is a park, so how about a Picknick?! Cycle from Amsterdam to the Amsterdam Forest, bring some lunch, and enjoy the food while spending time in nature. Open fire is not allowed, but you can bring a barbecue grill if you like to.

2. Go horse riding

There is a really nice horse riding school located in the Amsterdam Forest, called de Amsterdamse Manege. Here, you can book a horse riding for inside the park.

3. Visit the goat farm

Ridammerhoeve is a goat farm situated in the middle of the forest. It is definitely fun to visit this farm and one of my favorite things to do in the Amsterdam Forest. They have a lot of goats, but also pigs and chickens. The entrance is free and there is a nice restaurant and shop where you can buy products, made on the farm, and their famous goat’s milk ice-cream! Definitely a must-visit!

Tip: you can buy some milk for only € 0,50 and feed young goats. Nice!

Goat farm.jpg

4. Spend some time at the Fun Forest

Here you can swing, climb, fall, and have fun with ropes, ladders, and bridges from tree to tree. There are nine exciting climbing courses. Admission fees (for three hours of climbing) range from €15.95 to €21.95. Visit the official website of the Fun Forest for more information.

5. Take a boat excursion

It is recommended to see the Amsterdam forest from the water. There are several boat excursion possibilities for groups and individuals. Most of the excursions take around one and half hours. They can be booked in the Visitors’ center.

6. Enjoy a swim

It is allowed to swim in every lake of the forest. There are also two outside paddling pools for young children.

Amsterdam Forest1.JPG

7. Go canoeing or sailing

There is plenty of water to be found in the Amsterdam Forest. You can rent a canoe or go sailing!

8. Try fishing

You can also go fishing, but remember that you need to have a permit. You can buy this at the ‘De Boswinkel’.

9. Enjoy one of the many events

In July and August, open-air theater is organized in the Amsterdam Forest. The area is also known for the World Rowing Championships, National Canoe Sprint Championships, Amsterdam Bos Festival, and jazz concerts. You can check the calendar to see if anything special is going on.

10. Make a quick stop at the visitors’ center

Here you can reserve a boat excursion, ask questions about the park or buy a map of the park.

Photo by subhashfcb on Unsplash

Places to eat in the Amsterdam Forest

There are plenty of restaurants in the Amsterdam Forest ranging from pancake restaurants or kiosks to grand-cafes. This website shows all the restaurants.

Recommended accommodation in the Amsterdam Forest

There are some really nice accommodations close to the Amsterdam Forest. If you like spending time in nature, I recommend booking a holiday cottage at Europarcs. If you like to get pampered, you can consider a stay at Hotel & Wellness Zuiver. Both places are beautifully situated and close to all the attractions of the forest. For a more budget-friendly accommodation I recommend staying at the Amsterdam Forest Hotel or in a hostel in Amsterdam itself. Some recommended hostels in Amsterdam are Via Amsterdam or Hostelle – a female only hostel Amsterdam.

I hope the above mentioned information helps you to better plan your trip to the Amsterdam Forest. If you have any questions about the information, feel free to leave a comment in the comment section below. Safe travels!

Author: Daphne

This article is part of the GPSmyCity iOS app. You can download it, read this article offline and obtain travel directions (by foot, car or bicycle) to the places mentioned in this article. Click here to download it.

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