Summer is here and we’re yearning to get out of those uni buildings after class to sunbathe, picnic, and chill out with our friends. You can always find a spot around campus, but why miss out on the beautiful parks that Rotterdam has to offer? Here are 10 of them to get you started.
- Kralingse Bos: The biggest city park in Rotterdam – and pretty close to the university. It boasts a gorgeous lake, and was awarded the title Best Public Space in the Netherlands (2007). Lie back on the grass and watch the clouds drift by, or walk the paths and spot several species of birds among the trees.
- Vroesenpark: A real city park where young Rotterdam goes to enjoy the first rays of sun in the spring. Expect music, mini-barbecues, and bottles of wine, but also yoga, dancing, and a zoo just across from the park.
- The Park (the park at the Euromast): Restaurants in old townhouses, bars at the waterside, and trendy cafés all around. Have a picnic and admire the ancient trees (the oldest of which has a circumference of six metres) or enjoy one of the many public festivals that take place at the park.
- Schoonoord: A green jewel at the edge of The Park is Schoonoord. A historical, picturesque garden where you can spot chickens, fountains, and even a kingfisher that lives in one of the trees.
- Arboretum Trompenburg: Wander around this big botanical garden – just a few minutes away from the university – that has a vast collection of trees, shrubs, perennials, bulbs, and tubers. Admire the rich supply of greenery, or just to find some peace and quiet amid the buzz of the city.
- Dakpark (Rooftop Park): Yes, that’s right – an actual park on a roof. Classic Rotterdam. Sunbathe and barbecue nine metres above the ground, with a gorgeous view over the port and stunning sunsets in the background.
- Museumpark: Combine culture and nature at the Museumpark, which is surrounded by six of Rotterdam’s most remarkable museums. After visiting a new exhibition at the Kunsthal or the classics at Boijmans van Beuningen, take a stroll across the pedestrian bridge and through the well-tended orchard.
- The Island of Brienenoord: This nature island in the Maas originates from the 19th century and boasts forest, grasslands, open water, and pools. Don’t be scared when you run into some Scottish Highland cattle – they’re harmless.
- Hotel New York: It’s not really a park, but worth a visit nevertheless: for a stunning view of Rotterdam and that real cosmopolitan city feeling, sit back and relax on the couple of square metres of space next to the Hotel New York.
- The Island of Tiengemeten: Ok, it’s not technically Rotterdam. But if you really want to get away from the city and have some time to spare, be sure not to miss nature reserve Tiengemeten. An actual island where you can wander around in the wilderness and experience the real Dutch countryside. Tiengemeten is also home to beavers and bald eagles.