Best City Parks in Europe
Europe is a green destination with thousands of parks and millions of trees, flowers, miles of green lawns waiting for you throughout the year. Do you want to get away from stress, want a pic-nic or for a family walk? Europe offers beautiful parks for your enjoyment.
1. El Retiro park
Madrid - Spain
El Retiro Park is part of the city´s historical heritage and botanical patrimony inherited from past centuries. Once a recreation area for the Royal Family, it has become a very popular park and is central to the city´s image.
The second part of the route takes us on a tour of the Buen Retiro Park. The first mention ever of this park goes back to the era of the Catholic Kings (‘Reyes Católicos’, who were Spain’s first kings after the Reconquest’s unification of all Spanish Provinces). Founders of the Jerónimos Monastery (Monasterio de los Jerónimos), a part of them were used as royal lodgings, called ‘the Quarters’, which made this area into the temporary royal household. Under Felipe II it became a place for taking a break from the court life. (©esmadrid.com).
Opening hours: Winter : 7am to 11pm / Summer: 7am to midnight.
Address: Parque del Buen Retiro 28009 Madrid (Metro line 2 Retiro Station).
2. The Hortillonages
Amiens - France
At the gateway to the city and Saint-Leu District, the Hortillonnages are an exceptional mosaic of floating gardens intersected by canals. Shaped by generations of market gardeners called “hortillons”, the site offers a unique landscape in France. The Hortillonnages are made up of a multitude of small cultivated plots surrounded by water, accessible only by "horn boat".
Discover them from April 1 to October 31.
Visit by boat: every day from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 1:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. in a traditional cornet boat.
Address: 54 Bd de Beauvillé, 80000 Amiens, France.
3. Parc des Buttes Chaumont
Paris - France
The Parc des Buttes-Chaumont is a public park situated in northeast of Paris, in the 19th arrondissement. Occupying 24.7 hectares (61 acres), it is the fifth-largest park in Paris, after the Bois de Vincennes, the Bois de Boulogne, the Parc de la Villette, and the Tuileries Garden. It was opened in 1867, late in the regime of Emperor Napoleon III, and was built by Jean-Charles Alphand, who created all the major parks of Napoleon III.
The park has 5.5 kilometres (3.4 miles) of roads and 2.2 kilometres (1.4 miles) of paths. The most famous feature of the park is the Temple de la Sibylle, inspired by the Temple of Vesta in Tivoli, Italy, perched at the top of a cliff fifty metres above the waters of the artificial lake. (©CC).
Opening hours: Summer: from 7am to 11pm / Winter: from 7am to 8pm.
Address: 1 rue Botzaris, 75019 Paris (Metro : 7, stop at Buttes Chaumont)
4. Nicolae Romanescu Park
Craiova - Romania
Considered one of the largest natural parks in Europe, “Nicolae Romanescu” Park is the oxygen storehouse of Craiova. It was designed by the French architect Édouard Redont at the beginning of the 20th century and was awarded the gold medal at the Paris Universal Exhibition in 1900. It occupies an area of about 100 hectares and is located in the southern part of Craiova, on the former promenade areas of the Bibescu Estate and Gardens. Ample reliefs, alleyways, springs, water mirrors, waterfalls, a charming castle, a suspended bridge, the hippodrome, velodrom, pier and zoo are all enclosed in the frenzied abundance of vegetation. More than 100 years after its inauguration, Nicolae Romanescu Park has regained its splendor by rehabilitating the Zoo, the Bibescu House and the Summer Theater - the largest open-air showroom in Craiova. Various cultural events are hosted here all summer long. A reference place of Craiova, the park provides visitors with all the ingredients required for a relaxing day in nature.
Opening hours: 24 hours a day.
Address: Bulevardul Nicolae Romanescu 1A, Craiova, Romania.
5. Hyde Park
London - England
Every year millions of Londoners and tourists visit Hyde Park, one of the capital's eight Royal Parks. Hyde Park covers 350 acres and is home to a number of famous landmarks including the Serpentine Lake, Speakers' Corner and the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain.
The park also offers various recreational activities including open water swimming, boating, cycling, tennis and horse riding. (©royalparks.org.uk).
Opening hours: 5 am until midnight.
Address: Hyde Park, London, W2 2UH (Metro: Knightsbridge Tube Station)
6. Park Maksimir
Zagreb - Croatia
Park Maksimir, which was originally formed on the outskirts of Zagreb at the end of 18 th and the first half of 19 th century, today is completely surrounded with town settlements. In this new surrounding Park Maksimir still represents a shelter for many plant and animal species, despite its small area of only 316 ha. Its value for the protection of endangered species connected to old hollows is significant because of preserved hundred-year-old oak forests. In Park Maksimir more than one hundred bird species are recorded.
Besides forests, in Park Maksimir we can find meadows, lakes and streams, which also represent important habitats for various plants and animal, and in that way contribute to its biological diversity. (©park-maksimir.hr).
Opening hours: from 9am to 8pm (Summer) and 4pm (winter).
Address: Maksimirski perivoj bb, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia.
7. Villa Borghese
Rome - Italy
Villa Borghese is a large landscape garden in the naturalistic English manner in Rome, containing a number of buildings, museums and attractions. It is the third largest public park in Rome (80 hectares or 148 acres) after the ones of the Villa Doria Pamphili and Villa Ada.
The gardens were developed for the Villa Borghese Pinciana ("Borghese villa on the Pincian Hill"), built by the architect Flaminio Ponzio, developing sketches by Scipione Borghese, who used it as a villa suburbana, a party villa, at the edge of Rome, and to house his art collection. The gardens as they are now were remade in the early nineteenth century. (©CC).
Opening hours: from dawn to dusk.
Address: Piazzale Flaminio, 00155 Rome, Italy.
8. Tiergarten Park
Berlin - Germany
What Central Park is to New Yorkers and Hyde Park to Londoners, the same holds true in regard to what Tiergarten - the green lung of the metropolis- represents to Berliners. Located in the centre of Berlin, next to attractions such as the Brandenburg Gate, it is even larger than the 210 hectares of Hyde Park.
At the end of the 17th century, Elector Friedrich III created from a former hunting preserve a "pleasure park for the people." Over the course of time, the park was redesigned according to several models – including a plan created by the famous landscape architect Peter Joseph Lenné who transformed Tierpark between 1833 and 1838 into an English style park. (©visitberlin.de).
Opening hours: Open every day, from dawn to dusk.
Address: Straße des 17. Juni 100, 10557 Berlin.
9. Phoenix Park
Dublin - Ireland
The Phoenix Park at 707 hectares (1752 acres) is one of the largest enclosed recreational spaces within any European capital city. The Phoenix Park was established in 1662 by one of Ireland’s most illustrious viceroys, James Butler, Duke of Ormond, on behalf of King Charles II. Conceived as a Royal deer park, it originally included the demesne of Kilmainham Priory south of the River Liffey, but with the building of the Royal Hospital at Kilmainham, which commenced in 1680, the Park was reduced to its present size, all of which is now north of the river. (©phoenixpark.ie).
Opening hours: open 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week, from 7am until 11pm.
Address: Phoenix Park, Dublin 8.
10. Englischer Garten
Munich - Germany
"The Englische Garten" (“English Garden”) is one of the largest urban parks in the world. The layout has undergone constant change throughout the centuries as new buildings and green spaces were added time and again.
It all started in 1789 when Elector Carl Theodor ordered that a public park be established along the Isar River. He put the project in the hands of the Briton Benjamin Thompson, who worked at the time for the Bavarian Army. The park was given the name Englische Garten because it was laid out in the style of an English country park. (©muenchen.de).
Opening hours: 24 hours a day.
Address: Englischer Garten 2, 80538 Munich.
Metro: Station Marienplatz
11. Crystal Palace Gardens
Porto - Portugal
The Romantic Gardens of Palácio de Cristal occupy an area of 8 hectares in Porto's centre and they were designed in the 19th century by the German landscape architect Émille David, in the context of constructing the building of Palácio de Cristal (Crystal Palace). Currently, the following still remain preserved in accordance with the original project: Jardim Émille David at the main entrance, Avenida das Tílias, the forest and the balconies' design over the river Douro. We can also contemplate magnificent panoramic views over the river and the city that the viewpoints in strategic places offer to us. It is to be noted that these gardens, making a good use of the botanic heritage and of the ludic-cultural dynamics, is home to an Environmental Education Centre. (©portoturismo.pt).
Opening hours: from 8am to 7pm.
Address: Rua D. Manuel II, Porto.
12. Park Güell
Barcelona - Spain
When Park Güell began to be built in 1900, Barcelona was a modern and cosmopolitan metropolis whose economy was based on the strength of its industry and which had over half a million inhabitants. Its walls had been knocked down nearly half a century earlier and the new city, the Eixample planned by engineer Ildefons Cerdà, had grown spectacularly from 1860 onwards, in what was the largest 19th century city development project in Europe. (©parkguell.cat).
Opening hours: Summer : 8 am until 21 pm / Winter : 8:30 am until 6pm.
Address: Carrer d'Olot, s/n, 08024 Barcelona.
13. City Park
Budapest - Hungary
City Park has the largest artificial ice surface in Europe, Városligeti Műjégpálya, and it's the centre of Hungarian bandy. City Park is home to the famous to one of the world famous Budapest spas, the Széchenyi.
The park used to host motorsport events in the 1950s. In 1985 despite the serious plans the city government decided against hosting the Hungarian Grand Prix races in the park. (©CC).
Opening hours: from 10 am until 5pm. Closed on Mondays.
Address: Budapest, Kós Károly sétány.
14. Garden of Mont des Arts
Brussels - Belgium
Mont des Arts was dreamed up by King Leopold II, who wanted to surround his palace with beautiful things and beautiful minds. Judge from the wealth of art on offer within a 300m radius: the Musée Magritte Museum, which displays the world’s biggest collection of works of art by the famous Belgian surrealist artist; the Royal Museums of Fine Arts, a meeting-place for visitors from all over the world, house more than 20 000 old and modern works of art; the Palais des Beaux-Arts - BOZAR - (Brussels’ concert hall and fine arts centre) organises events, exhibitions and festivals, and blends art from past and present. (©visitbrussels.be).
Opening hours: Open every day from dawn to dusk.
Address: Bd. de l’Empereur 4 - 1000 Brussels
Amsterdam - The Netherlands
The Vondelpark is Amsterdam's most popular park, attracting tourists, residents, and everyone in between. The park is home to a selection of restaurants and cafés, including the Blauwe Theehuis, Café Vertigo, and Groot Melkhuis. You’ll also find a skate rental shop, an open-air theatre and a rose garden with more than 70 types of roses in the park. The Vondelpark was designed by landscape architect L.D. Zocher and has been awarded national heritage status. (©Iamsterdam.com).
Opening hours: Always open
Address: Vondelpark 1071 AA Amsterdam.
16. Sempione Park
Milan - Italy
Parco Sempione ("Simplon Park") is a large city park in Milan, Italy. Established in 1888, it has an overall area of 386,000 m², and it is located in the historic centre of the city. It owes its name to Corso Sempione, a major thoroughfare of Milan, dating back to the Napoleonic Empire. The park is adjacent to the gardens of the Sforza Castle and to the Arch of Peace, two of the prominent landmarks of Milan. The very design of the park, due to architect Emilio Alemagna, was conceived with the intent of creating panoramic views encompassing both monuments. A third prominent monument of Parco Sempione is the Palazzo dell'Arte ("Palace of Art"), built in 1933 and designed by Giovanni Muzio, which currently houses the Triennale di Milano art expo. (©CC).
Opening hours: from 6am to 8pm
Address: Piazza Sempione, 20154 Milan, Italy
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