Thank you Erin for the name of this blogging series!
It’s finally time for the first post in my Amsterdam blogging series, called ‘Blogsterdam’. I was initially going to start of with something bookish, but then two weeks ago I thought:
So I grabbed my life essentials: food, water, my camera, my phone (because let’s face it even though I was in my own city the chance of getting lost was high and I would either need to look up directions or call for help), wallet and the Waterstones voucher one of my friends had given me for my birthday. BECAUSE ADVENTURES SHOULD END AT BOOKSTORES.
I set out not knowing where to go or where I’d end up (though I knew it was very likely it would be Waterstones haha), but I quickly decided to go to Westerpark. Westerpark as the name suggests is a park. Though Vondelpark is more popular, Westerpark is busier and busier every year, especially during all the festivals in spring and summer.
As you can see there’s a little lake, though this is not for swimming. Unless you’re a duck. There’s also a little playground here. Do beware of ducks. One time my friend and I were chased by an angry duck. We didn’t even do anything.
There are plenty of spots to sit and maybe have a picnic or just enjoy the weather, but the most popular spot is the hill with the canal.
As you can see in the first part of the canal you can play. Swimming is a bit impossible, as it isn’t very deep, but it’s fun for kids to play in and it’s nice to cool off a bit!
If you follow the path pictured above and then go right (there should be a sign) you’ll find a petting zoo after a few minutes of walking.
They also have canaries, but I failed to take a proper picture. I spend some time with them as I love canaries. I used to have one, but he passed away last fall :(
Entrance is free, so is petting the animals. Do keep in mind that feeding them is not allowed. You can purchase food inside and there’s a little playground. If you love animals and you’re at the park, I’d definitely recommend the petting zoo!
Across from the petting zoo there is the ‘waternatuurtuin’ (literally translated: water nature garden) which is really beautiful and pretty much deserted. If you want to enjoy some nature, go in here! I have to admit there were a few times that I thought I might be lost.
Some pretty flowers~
There are some benches in the garden so you can sit down and eat something, or catch your breath (yay hay fever).
I believe there are more exits, but I decided to take the first one I saw as I was afraid I’d get lost otherwise haha. I really do recommend going there if you love nature! Or if you want to try to go to Narnia through that tree.
After leaving the garden I ended up back at the hill and then I’m not sure which direction I took. I went a lot farther into the park then I ever went, which was fun (except I had trouble breathing, because YAY HAY FEVER). I saw more pretty nature!
Plot twist: that tree from earlier had actually brought me to Narnia (I WISH)
More ‘where am I’ photos
Meanwhile I needed to pee…
And I knew where I was again! (the petting zoo is to the right)
Directly across from the hill is the Westergasfabriek. Formally a factory it’s now used for events and as restaurants/cafes. Part of the Westergasfabriek is the Ketelhuis, which is a cinema.
SO! To sum up Westerpark:
- Beautiful Narnian-like nature
- Petting zoo
- I also passed a ‘bee palace’ but since I’m not really a fan of bees I stayed clear from it haha
- Festivals during spring and summer (do check the Internet to see if there’s anything going on)
- Other cultural events like a food market with food from all over the world (still need to go, but when I do I’ll post about it, because food)
- Shallow canal for kids to play in
- Free picnic blankets!
- And more!
I suggest looking up what else you can do (there’s a survival playground or something for kids as well for example), or maybe ask at a tourist information point.
I ended my adventure at my grandfathers where I could pee and relax a bit, and then I went to Waterstones to exchange my voucher and get ice cream at the Ice Bakery. Once I’ve tasted more of their food I might do a Blogsterdam post about them!
If you have any questions about the park, feel free to ask! I’m no expert, but I have been there often so I may be able to help. Have you ever been to Westerpark? Are you planning to? Let me know in the comments!