6 Relaxing European City Parks

By Sergio González | 10:05

Your city park in Amsterdam? Vondel’s Park

6 European urban parks to go zen. To get lost and switch off every device. To read and dream. To feel the awesome work of nature in autumn. To work out and leave stress behind. To get relaxed and connect again with yourself.

One of the greatest European cities for park lovers is Seville. Full of exuberant boulevards by the River Guadalquivir, it boasts several green spots that are all connected, sometimes making it hard to tell if you are still in the concrete jungle or the real one.

The most famous city park in Seville is ‘Parque de Maria Luisa’. Formerly the gardens of the magnificent Palace of San Telmo, it was donated by the Duchess of Montpensier to the city in 1893. It’s been a locals’ favorite since the great Plaza de España (Spain Square) was inaugurated in 1929.

City life in Milan is lively, sophisticated and so chic you need to see it with your own eyes. Sempione Park (Parco Sempione) is the place to get real again, at least as much as you can with the impressive views of the Sforza Castle from every corner of the park. It’s right at the very heart of the city, at the end of the shopping district, and large enough to let you run away from your crying credit card.

Maria Luisa Park in Seville, Spain

Don’t mind the weather, Berlin is a vibrant city meant to be lived outside. Get yourself some currywürst (local ‘hot dogs’) and a hot mulled wine to make it through the day and get lost in the sculptural Friedrichshain Park, the oldest city park in town and where to enjoy the best views of Berlin, with the exception of the Fernsehturm, the famous TV tower by Alexanderplatz.

Berlin can be overwhelming so you might seriously need some open spaces to balance the coolness out. Don’t leave Berlin and head to Tempelhof Park, built over the airport with the same name, and one of the largest city parks in the world. Still an ongoing project, the city officially opened the new park in 2010; its biking tracks and skating areas are already Berliners’ choice.

Now you are in Paris. You’ve been sightseeing all morning, waiting patiently in line like a good tourist, and you also happened to do some shopping before lunch, because you know, Paris. Before losing it to another exquisite Parisian server, get your cafe au lait to go and let the birds at Parc de Bagatelle to be the soundtrack of your trip. Built in less than three months out of a bet between the Queen Maria-Antoinette and the Count of Artois, this urban park holds a beautiful château and a lovely Rose Garden, but way fewer tourists than Bois de Boulogne Park or Les Tuileries.

Népliget is the largest city park in the monumental Budapest, full of statutes and architectonical jewels to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the union of the cities of Buda, Pest and Óbuda, which is kind of the fifth Beatle because we hardly ever the capital of Hungary was formed on three cities, not just two. This is the single and only urban three-way ever reported.

Chilling at the Japanase Garden in Budapest

However, the most relaxing city park in Budapest should be Margaret Island. Knowing that is a 2,5 km-long green space free of traffic in the middle of the Danube River is enough but it also boasts jogging facilities, thermal baths, restaurants and a musical fountain where people usually meet. The Japanese Garden and its cute turtles or the wildlife area attract families on the weekends.

There’s a park In Amsterdam that besides being huge and lovely, it’s perfect to chill and cycle. 47 ha (120 acres) of green lawn, open spaces and every sport facility and food stand you can imagine. Vondel’s Park, named after the Dutch play-writer, was an endeavor carried out by some worried citizens who in 1865 decided it was high time for the south of Amsterdam to boast a signature open city park like Central Park in NY or London’s Hyde Park.

Photo credit: Claudia Regina

Photo credit: Manuel Ramallo

Photo credit: Moyan Brenn

 

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