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!
Vroesenpark – Rotterdam
Vroesenpark is the best option in Rotterdam if you’re searching for a crowded place where you can meet locals. The park offers a wide grass field where people often hang out on their picnic blankets or towels. If you’re done laying in the sun, in the middle of the park you can find Vroesenpaviljoen. This restaurant has fresh beverages, food, and some shade to cool off.
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.”
3.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 restaurant Sunset, which serves delicious high-end food.
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 is has the biggest fountain in Riga, and the widest variety of foreign tree species. Which makes it particularly interesting for dendrologists.
5.Kelvingrove Park – Glasgow
Created for the people of Glasgow during the Industrial Revolution, Kelvingrove Park certainly is one of those parks with a bit of historical past. Today, the park has a lot to offer, with the Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery being situated on its grounds. For the more active people amongst you, the park offers a number of tennis courts and a skateboarding area. And on those cold and rainy days, you can always stop by the café for a cup of hot coffee or tea.
6. 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.
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!!”
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.”
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.
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.
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.
Parque da Cidade – Porto
Who can resist a park at the seafront? Parque da Cidade in Porto is the largest park in Portugal and has a lot to offer in terms of what can be done at the park. You can walk, run, listen to some music, enjoy the sun… whatever your heart desires. You will also find a small forest, a farm with horses, and not to forget a fair trade shop among others. The park is used all year long and is a popular spot for runners to meet up.
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.
Parc de la Ciutadella – Barcelona
In the mood for a very animated park experience? At Parc de la Ciutadella, there’s always something going on. Be it yoga, African drummers or bubble makers: this is where you need to be. Go grab something to eat in the Born neighborhood and pack it as a picknick. When the sun’s out, you won’t regret it for a second.
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.
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.
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.
Bois de Boulogne
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.
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!
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.
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. This is why our Spotter Glenn likes the park: ‘‘In summer and winter alike, it’s possible to visit the various greenhouses that feature a variety of plants, including large lily pads, insect-eating plants and the fascinating Mimosa pudica (Sanseplante in Norwegian), a sensitive plant whose leaves curl together when touched. But the highlight of the day for kids is likely to be the butterflies flitting freely throughout one of the greenhouses.”
22. Kivernio – Thessaloniki
Known as Palataki amongst locals, Kivernio has one of the best views of the entire city. The Palataki building itself is an example of neo-classical architecture and it has been abandoned for quite some time now. You can approach them through the adjacent park or woods, but the actual property is only open during events. Nevertheless, enjoy the grass, the sea, the sun, and the views from here. The perfect spot to watch a romantic sunset.
Parco delle Rimembranze – Venice
Located far from all the tourist crowds, Parco delle Rimembranze is the green that’s lacking in the city center. It’s not the kind of place you have in mind when thinking of Venice. But that’s the beauty of it. The views from the park are breathtaking – just look at the Lido for example. Between the pine trees, there’s room for reading, picnicking, working out, sleeping… And the best of it all: you’re really amongst locals.
Park Maksimir – Zagreb
Do you know that one place in your city of 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.
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.
More? We have local spots in 80+ cities!