There’s nothing like going to the park when the weather is great. And it’s a great way to observe and meet the locals! Friends are taking a cozy stroll together, families bring the barbecue out or people are laying in the grass reading a book.
Our locals prefer parks that are less touristy. Here’s a list of less visited – a bit more hidden – parks in Europe that our Spotters love in 40+ European capitals. Enjoy!
Westerpark – Amsterdam
Despite being a rather popular choice, Westerpark is still quiet for Amsterdam standards. It’s a large, green area, dotted with ponds and trees, and some animals like ducks and geese. Despite its mildly tamed natural look, it includes a nice selection of bars, restaurants, cafes, and creative businesses as well. The park is part of the Westergas complex, a renovated former gasworks.
Come here early to enjoy nature and exercise – there’s an outdoor gym as well, so your options are not limited to running and cycling at all. Late afternoon or early evening, especially in summer, is when you’ll meet most people chilling after work. Often, there are events and activities going on as well!
Lipasmata of Drapetsona – Athens
Looking for a nice park in Athens? Cool, just head over to the industrial area. Nope, not joking! Lipasmata of Drapetsona is a former factory that has been transformed into a park, whose big perk is the view over the sea and the entrance of the port. It’s a very lively park, with several sports options, playgrounds, bars, and cafes. We really recommend you come here right before sunset, to enjoy the view of the sun disappearing into the sea.
“This park is something revolutionary for me: these neighborhoods of Piraeus where I grew up never had a park where people could enjoy their daily life, so somehow it is a bit like reclaiming the open space again! ” – says our Athens Spotter Marilena
Kopitareva Gradina – Belgrade
Kopitareva Gradina is probably the tiniest park of the series! Hidden in a quiet corner in downtown Belgrade, you’ll probably first notice the assortment of houses and buildings in the 20th-century architectural style. Then, you’ll realize they’re all crammed around the smallest garden!
It’s a very quiet place to get away from the traffic and city hustle, and for this reason, it’s often chosen by film crews to shoot movies. If you’re lucky, you might be able to see the making of a movie. Note: bring your own snack, because being such an off-the-beaten-path place, there are no cafes or bars around!
Spandauer Stadtwald – Berlin
At this place, you don’t just come to look at the trees. Spandauer Stadtwald is home to some of the wild animals roaming the forests around Berlin, such as deer and wild boars. Although the animals here are not just randomly walking around, you still have the feeling that you’re no longer in a big city. The tiny rivers complete the illusion of being in the unspoiled nature. Don’t be afraid to feed the animals, it’s not just a thing for children!
Monbijoupark – Bern
Literally the definition of a green oasis in the middle of the city. Monbijoupark can be easily reached by public transport, and it’s a veritable gem for chilling in nature. A very cool feature here is the public barbecue area (complete with picnic tables!) – just gather some friends, buy the necessary meat, and you’re all set up for a successful night.
Sandberg – Bratislava
Do you want to combine pretty views with some greenery and history? At Sandberg, you’ve got it all. The area became protected when some fossils of prehistoric sea animals were found here. Nowadays, it’s an area with plenty of animal life (including bugs so pack that mosquito spray) and perfect for a day off from the city life. If you’re in luck, you might even be able to spot the beginning of the Alps. Although the view of Bratislava itself is already a treat for the eyes.
Dudenpark – Brussels
When in Brussels, do not forget to stop by Dudenpark. It’s one of the oldest and hilliest parks in the city. From the highest side of the park, you should be able to get a panoramic view of Brussels. The northern part of the park connects with the Forest Park, which forms kind of a green bridge to the industrial part of the city. Over the winter period, you might want to come here for a bit of sleighing fun.
Parcul Carol – Bucharest
Parcul Carol is not just another park! Built in 1906 to mark the celebration of the then 40-year rule of King Carol, the park outlasted a monarchy and a communist dictatorship. It provides a very rich cultural offer, hosting the Roman Arenas (a concert venue), the Leonida Technical Museums, and the Mausoleum. A communist-era addition, it’s an imposing monument dedicated to the fallen soldiers who fought for their country. We recommend you come here for the panorama as well – as it’s one of the few places in town with a hill, it’s a great place to get a view of the city.
Nehru Part – Budapest
This is the only park in Budapest that’s alongside a river. The view is so beautiful, it’s hard to even leave the place. As our Spotter Zita says: ‘‘The Nehru-part is always full of relaxing people, children playing, cyclists, runners, and dogs. Walk around the beautiful, now awakening flowerbeds or look over the railing by the bank to check the water level and the lively wildlife of the river.”
Central Park(s) – Chisinau
Nope, no typo in the title. In Chisinau, there’s actually a big green area separated by the city’s main square, becoming then two Central Parks. Both parks host different monuments and sights to see, which make for a very nice stroll – combining nature with culture. Talking about nature, this park hosts more than 50 species of trees, some of which are ultra-centenaries. Quite an impressive variety for a city park! Besides that, it’s a very romantic park, especially at night, therefore well-known as a meeting spot for couples and re-named “park of the lovers” by locals.
Kongens Have – Copenhagen
Originally used as the king’s private garden, Kongens Have was opened to the public in the 1770s. It’s one of the most popular parks in Copenhagen and sees many visitors during the summer period. Thanks to its central location, many people stop by after work to enjoy a chill late afternoon with friends and mothers take a stroll with their children. During summer, the park is busy with events such as The Puppet Theater and Outdoor Cinema.
Phoenix Park – Dublin
Dublin may be one of the smallest capitals in Europe, but it hosts one of its biggest walled parks. Phoenix Park is such a nature’s paradise that even the deer have found a home here. It’s not guaranteed, but if you’re patient and lucky, you might spot them. Or be able to feed them. The best way to get around is probably by bike, whilst enjoying some of the rest of the city as well.
Jupiter Artland – Edinburgh
do you know what a sculpture garden is? If not, Jupiter Artland is the place to find out. One of Scotland’s most significant art organizations, it hosts several exhibitions all-year long over 100 acres of woodland. Their belief is that art is for everyone and this makes it a great place to immerse in nature and culture at the same time. What’s also remarkable is the effort the organization puts into taking care of the landscape and woodland: indeed, their development plan consists of increasing and maintaining the diversity of the environment.
Töölönlahti Bay – Helsinki
Looking for the most Finnish scenery right in the city center of Helsinki? Head over to Töölönlahti Bay! Plenty of green and water in summer, snowy in winter, this bay is a favorite one for locals to unwind and exercise. There’s a nice, well-lit, and always snow-free running track that makes this park very popular among joggers. However, it’s a very large area, with plenty of possibilities when it comes to what to do – including paddling and birdwatching! It’s also known for hosting some very pretty, historical wooden villas.
Ulus Park – Istanbul
You can’t find a better view of Istanbul’s Bosphorus than from the hilltops of Ulus Park. Besides offering a stunning view, the park also has a pathway where you can take magnificent pictures of the strait. When you’ve taken enough pictures, you can have a refreshing drink at the café situated on the top of the hill. If you are looking to have a nice meal in the evening, you should be sure to check out the restaurant Sunset, which serves delicious high-end food.
Druzhbi Narodiv Park – Kiyv
Lover of the outdoors, we really recommend you head over to Druzhbi Narodiv Park in Kyiv! It’s a huge park with plenty of options to explore – the most common is renting a bike, but you can drive a 4-wheeler or ride a horse as well. It’s also possible to bring a tent and spend the night here!
And if that’s not enough for your adventurous spirit, there’s an “extreme park” area as well, where you can test plenty of sports from minigolf to skydiving. Once you’re done with all the sports, you’ll be pleased to know that there are barbecue areas as well – just bring meat and beers!
Monsanto Green Lane – Lisbon
In Lisbon, there are a lot of hills and plenty of parks. What’s a bit more interesting is that they recently created a green corridor to connect all those hills – making it way easier to walk and cycle! The green lane is a very charming path connecting interesting parks, the Monsanto forest, and bringing you through the best panorama spots. We highly recommend including it in your sightseeing tour!
Park Gradaščica – Ljubljana
Differently from the more famous Tivoli park, Park Gradaščica is a quiet and charming gem on the banks of Gradaščica stream. You’ll mostly meet lone walkers and people playing frisbee or reading. Being close to the water makes it a lot less warm, and on top of that, at the end of the park, there’s a swimming pool. It’s the perfect green spot in summer!
Holland Park – London
The area of Holland Park boasts many draws, including a playing field for pick-up games of football or cricket, an ecology center, rugged woods for brisk jogs, and a hostel. The park even hosts opera performances in the summer! This is what Spotter Peter had to say about his favorite spot: ”My favorite part of the park is the peaceful Kyoto Garden, which is like a tiny pocket of Japan inside an English setting. When I first moved to London, my apartment was only minutes away. I would often spend time here to get away from the cramped space of my flat and the noise from my busy street.”
Tsaritsyno – Moscow
Park or open-air museum? Tsaritsyno definitely ticks both boxes. It hosts a palace complex, which is interesting for its architecture and temporary or permanent exhibitions. But parks will be parks, so you can also come here to relax under the trees in the grass. Or to make a little boat ride, or to have ice cream, or in the evening to watch the light show. I think you got it: there’s a lot to do and see at Tsaritsyno.
The Botanical Garden – Oslo
In the early days, Vikings made use of different fauna, flora, and rocks for their benefit. In The Botanical Garden, you can see which one they used. Established in 1814 and administrated by the University of Oslo, it is Norway’s oldest botanical garden, exhibiting more than 5500 different plants from all around the world. Our Spotter Eva visits it on a daily basis!
Bois de Boulogne – Paris
It might not have the best reputation, but Bois de Boulogne is definitely worth a visit. It’s 2.5 times bigger than one of the most famous parks in the world: Central Park in New York. It’s got some beautiful 19th-century landscaping, an area dedicated to Shakespeare, and the famous Foundation Louis Vuitton. Don’t miss out on the Parc de Bagatelle when you’re here. Located off the beaten tourist tracks, we find it to be one of the most romantic places in Paris. And that says a lot in the City of Love. Peacocks, flowers, and roses set the mood.
Njegošev Park – Podgorica
Njegošev Park is the perfect summer hideout. It offers its visitors the shade of lush vegetation, and the possibility to swim in the Morača, a cold mountain river. Once refreshed and ready to explore, you will find some more interesting features of this park, including the remains of a cemetery and some old statues.
Riegrovy Sady – Prague
Riegrovy Sady is located in a very nice neighborhood of Prague, according to our Spotter Katerina. On warm days, there is a large open-air self-service bar where you can have a drink or watch a sports game. One other thing that makes this park such a cool spot, is the view you get of the city. So if you have some free time, why not do as Katerina and sit down for a couple of hours, taking in the scene.
Taukbahçe – Prishtina
This park is perfect in every moment – quiet and peaceful early in the morning, vibrant and colorful in the afternoon. Taukbahçe park allows you to gather your thoughts, get away from the city, and breathe some fresh, clean air. The entrance begins with the “outdoor museum” of the abandoned amusement park – once a youthful scene and the main spot for a fun weekend.
Kronvalda Parks – Riga
If you’re looking for a park when you’re in Riga, then visit Kronvalda Parks. What makes this park special, it that it has the biggest fountain in Riga, and the widest variety of foreign tree species. Which makes it particularly interesting for dendrologists.
Parco degli Acquedotti – Rome
This is probably the most Roman park in Rome – its main feature are indeed ancient roman aqueducts! Parco degli Acquedotti is huge, so despite being popular among families especially on Sundays, it’s very easy to get some alone time. If it looks familiar even though you’ve never been to Rome, don’t worry – it’s normal! Being so peculiar and dramatic, this park appears in several famous movies, so you probably saw it at the cinema already.
The Memorial Park Vraca – Sarajevo
Not all parks should just be about having fun. This park truly has a historical meaning to it. The Memorial Park Vraca is dedicated to the World War II victims in Sarajevo. Several monuments throughout the park remind the visitor of this meaning, making it a humbling experience. The park suffered a lot during the war in Bosnia and it never really got restored, so pay attention whilst making your way around it.
The Park In Kapishtec – Skopje
Talk about going off-the-beaten-path: this park probably doesn’t even have a name, as our Spotter Jana reports. However, it’s a nice, cute park, very popular for all sorts of activities. It even has a dog playground and a parkour exercise station! If you’re not in the mood for sport – it’s still a great spot to chill and people-watch.
Military Academy Park – Sofia
The Military Academy Park still is a part of the Acadamy, but they opened up to the general public. Nature, the little pavilion, the open-air theater… It’s all there, but it’s still one of the more quiet parks in Sofia. Which is why you should definitely check it out. The military history hasn’t totally vanished yet, so there are a lot of rules to be respected, but it’s worth the effort.
Fredhällsparken – Stockholm
Normally, Fredhällsparken is simply a lush park that’s perfect for a picnic, and where you can make your dog run off-leash. However, if you happen to come here on a Sunday, you might see medieval knights fighting. They are members of the Stockholm Medieval Association, and even if you’re not into fights, it’s worth the sight for the costumes.
Lillepi Park – Tallin
Lovers of roller-skating and cyclists probably know that health tracks are a tricky subject – usually a nice concept, but mostly geared towards walkers. Lillepi Park in Tallin is different- they have a health track where is forbidden to walk, that is circular and offers some hills and turns to make it more fun. Have fun!
National Sport Park Resort – Tirana
“If Sunday was an advice it would be “have fun and relax”. And if Sunday was a place, it would be National Sport Park – Resort” says our Tirana spotter Marinela. Indeed, National Sport Park Resort is a huge area with plenty of activities to do – especially sports – surrounded by a quiet and green environment. And if that was not enough – there’s a restaurant and a bar to chill as well.
Donaupark – Vienna
Whether looking at Donaupark from a view or actually walking in it. One thing is sure: your eyes will be amazed. The colorful and arranged flowers make you feel like you’re lost in flower land. As our Spotter Linda wrote: ”the more often I visit this park, the more I like it. Especially in spring with many flowering cherry trees (part of 1,000 cherry trees Vienna received as a gift from Japan!) or in early summer with so many flowers in blossom! But also on snowy winter days, it has some flair!!”
Bernardinu sodai – Vilnius
This park can be found in the city of Vilnius. Located right in the city center, Bernardinu sodai is a popular hangout for both locals and tourists. Spotter Kamile paints a picture of a place where you can find anything you’re looking for. A lot of people can’t imagine a week passing by without visiting this park. You can come here to relax, have fun, and surround yourself with peaceful nature.
Park Skaryszewski – Warsaw
Park Skaryszewski was voted the third loveliest park in Europe. Reason enough for everyone to pay it a visit, right? Enter the park and you’re stepping into nature at its best. See if you can identify the 280 different tree species or spot a squirrel running by. There is a lake with an island as well as a number of rivers flowing through the park. Guests can also take a boat ride on the charming Oxbow lake.
Park Maksimir – Zagreb
Do you know that one place in your city in which everyone has at least one memory? That’s Park Maksimir in Zagreb. It opened in the 18th century, making it the first of the public parks in southeast Europe. What’s so special about the place you ask? Well, it’s got a lot of hidden gems inside its borders. Lakes, streams, chapels, and coffee places are just a start. If you’re in need of some peaceful nature, this is where you should go.
Frau Gerolds Garten – Zurich
Definitely more than just a garden – Frau Gerold Garten is an urban project hosting bars, restaurants, a shopping area and a garden for growing food. You definitely can’t get more “local” food than that! It’s a very interesting and populated place, a nice one to visit for a bit of a less touristy experience when it comes to taking a break from sightseeing.
More? We have local spots in 80+ cities!