Do you want to experience something else than 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 fun things to do! This post will describe 10 recreation activities and explain a bit about the forest and how to get there.
Location and history
The Amsterdam Forest (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! Click here to open a map of the Amsterdam Forest.
Nature and wildlife
The nature of the Amsterdam Forest is really 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! =)
Recreation – 10 activities
You can do a lot of fun things while visiting the Amsterdam Forest:
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. Horse riding
There are two horse riding schools located in the Amsterdam Forest, namely manege Nieuw Amstelland and de Amsterdamse Manege. At both schools, you can hire a horse for riding in the park.
3. Goat farm
Ridammerhoeve is a goat farm situated in the middle of the Amsterdam forest. It is definitely fun to visit this farm. They have a lot of goats, but also pigs and chickens. You can buy some milk for € 0,50 and feed young goats. Nice! 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!
4. 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.
5. Boat excursions
It is also nice to see the forest from the water. There are several possibilities for groups and individuals. Most of the excursions take around one and half hours. They can be booked in the Visitors’ center.
It is allowed to swim in every lake of the forest. There are also two outside paddling pools for young children.
7. Canoeing or sailing
There is plenty of water in Amsterdam Forest. You can rent a canoe or go sailing!
You can also go fishing in the Amsterdam Forest. However, you need a permit. You can buy this at the ‘De Boswinkel’.
In July and August, open-air theater will be organised. The Amsterdam Forest 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. Visitors’ center
Here you can reserve a boat excursion, ask questions about the park or buy a map of the park.
There are plenty of restaurants in the Amsterdam Forest ranging from pancake restaurants or kiosks to grand-cafes. This website shows all the restaurants of the Amsterdam Forest.
How to get there?
By bicycle! The Amsterdam Forest is less than four kilometers from Amsterdam and perfectly reachable by bicycle. The bicycle lanes are well-maintained and the route is beautiful. You can also decide to go by public transportation. From Amsterdam Central station you can take bus 170 or 172. The park is also good accessible by car and parking is free.
Did you ever visit the Amsterdam Forest? Did you like it?
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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