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The sun is shining in Amsterdam and the city wakes up from the long winter sleep. We’ve been waiting for this moment for a few long months, while dealing with grey skies, rain and heavy storms. Now it’s time to go outside and enjoy the spring flowers, the green leaves, the sun on our face. I have a few favourite places in the city, where I think you can see and feel the beauty of the spring the most, and I thought I’d share them with you.

The past weeks brought constant stress because of the situation in Europe, and I think the sunny days are a blessing, because we can use the beauty of nature to heal our souls a bit.

Westerpark

To enjoy the cherry blossom in the middle of the city, head to Westerpark. This is one of my favourite parks in spring. I enjoy going there in the morning to have my breakfast, accompanied by the green parrots filling their bellies with cherry flowers. I also like the place when it’s crowded: it’s nice to see people enjoying the beauty of nature, each in its own way (with the exception of the smelly barbecues!). To compete with the cherry blossom, there are a couple of magnolia blooming at the same time, and they are a splendid sight! Go for a picnic, take a book to read under the cherry trees, or plan a photo session; just don’t miss the cherry blossom time in Westerpark!

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Breakfast Westerpark
Magnolia Westerpark

Amsterdamse Bos

Another place where you can enjoy cherry blossom in Amsterdam is the beautiful forest right outside the city: Amsterdamse Bos (Amsterdam’s Forest). This is a gorgeous place for a walk in any season, but, in spring, it attracts many people during the Cherry Blossom Festival. There is a good-sized cherry orchard in Amsterdamse Bos, and it’s totally worth a visit!

Amsterdamse Bos Cherry Blossom
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Merkelbach Garden, Frankendael Park

I almost don’t want to mention this, as I would like to keep it as my secret place. Merkelbach restaurant at Huize Frankendael has a beautiful garden, with only a few tables outside. Their food is fresh and tasty (they have a herb garden as well) and the apple pie is delicious. Sitting there, hidden from the world, surrounded by flowers, statues and the old Japanese cherry trees will make you think you are somewhere else, in a French garden perhaps. Go there even if just for a coffee and appeltart, and you will thank me after.

Old japanese cherry tree
Merkelbach garden

Hortus Botanicus

One of the oldest botanical gardens in the world, Hortus Botanicus is a hidden gem in Amsterdam. It’s a lovely place for a walk among an abundance of plants, even at the beginning of the spring, when the city is not yet covered in green colour. The butterfly greenhouse is a bonus, as it’s the cafe where you can stop for a drink.

Spring at Hortus Botanicus

Rijksmuseum garden

If you find yourself visiting the big museums at Museumplein, or you are just passing by, a stop at the Rijksmuseum’s garden is a welcome break from the noise of the city. The entrance is free. The flower beds feature early spring flowers and, later, tulips and hyacinths. You can also check out my article about the gardens in Amsterdam and visit some of them.

Rijksmuseum garden

Vondelpark

A park that is more popular with tourists than with locals, Vondelpark is still a beautiful green space in the city centre. You could go there to admire the crocus field, the water fountains or for a picnic on the grass.

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Open-air restaurants along the canals

Any restaurant that catches your attention and has tables on the canal side is a good choice on a sunny spring day. You can relax watching the boats passing by, watching the urban water birds going about their day and soak up the vitamin D.

Terrace on the canal

Along the Amstel River to Ouderkerk aan de Amstel

If you’re a fan of bike rides, you could go along Amstel river toward the village of Ouderkerk aan de Amstel. The fresh air of the countryside, the wind in your hair, the spring flowers and farms you’ll see along the way will be worth the effort.

Along Amstel River

I hope I have inspired you to leave the house and leave your troubles behind for a few hours. Spring is here and it would be a pity not to welcome it in a suitable manner.

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  1. Cherry Blossom in Alkmaar | Amsterdamian - […] the beautiful show in Westerpark and Amsterdamse Bos, it’s time for Alkmaar to delight our eyes with the cherry…

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