Visiting a city this summer? Be sure to make time to explore its central park. At Red Maps, we love highlighting of these invaluable urban treasures in our guides to get you on your way. Here's a selection of ten of the greatest parks in the world from Red Maps.
Located in Amsterdam’s Museumkwartier, Vondelpark is the perfect green space for a casual stroll or bike ride. It houses a large central pond, the open-air Openluchttheater, and sculptures by Picasso and Royer. Nearby are the Van Gogh Museum and the acoustically famous Concertgebeuw.
Bordered by the Reichstag, Brandenburg Gate, The Berlin Zoo and Potsdamer Platz are the Tiergarten’s magical forest-like acres. Within this park you’ll find long allees of trees, meandering paths, the Presidential Palace and the Academy of Arts. Don’t forget to have a beer at the picturesque lakeside biergarten.
Overlooking Lake Michigan is Chicago’s Grant Park with its art and entertainment area known as Millennium Park. There you’ll see artist Anish Kapoor’s selfie-ready mirrored sculpture called “Cloud Gate” a.k.a. “The Bean,” and the interactive Crown Fountain. Grant Park is also home to the venerable Art Institute of Chicago, as well as the historic and sprawling Buckingham Fountain.
Hyde Park is arguably London’s most famous Royal Park. It spans from Kensington Palace to Mayfair and the grounds of Green Park and Buckingham Palace. It contains a number of historical statues that include the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain and the Victorian period’s Prince Albert Memorial. Along its wide-open paths are a Rose Garden, and the Serpentine Galleries, which showcase contemporary art and architecture.
LOS ANGELES - Griffith Park
Griffith Park is the largest urban park in North America. It is home of the famous Griffith Park Observatory, The LA Zoo, the Greek Theatre, and the iconic Hollywood Sign. The park is filled with hiking trails, equestrian paths, and offers you the most incredible views of the surrounding Los Angeles.
Opening off the Plaza de Independencia through the monumental Puerta de Alcalá is Madrid’s elegant Parque del Retiro. Originally a royal hunting ground, the park contains a large boating lake, formal gardens, and the historic Palacio de Velázquez which hosts rotating exhibitions of modern art. There’s also the lakeside Palacio de Cristal - whose design based on London’s famed Crystal Palace.
Through Milan’s Arch of Peace is Parco Sempione, the city’s central park which offers views of the expansive, Sforzesco Castle with its fortress walls and clock tower. The park features sculptures by Barzaghi, Chirico, and Burri. As you walk along the wide paths lined with mature trees, you’ll find the city aquarium, the Civic Arena and the exhibition hall called the La Triennale di Milano.
New York City’s Central Park is an international landmark. It is home to the Central Park Zoo, Wollman Ice Skating Rink, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Its famously well-done landscapes by Olmstead offer you endless opportunities for walking, biking, jogging or contemplating. Amongst the park’s sylvan lakes and ponds are statues and sculptures including Cleopatra’s Needle, José de Creeft’s “Alice in Wonderland,” and quiet spaces such as John Lennon’s Memorial and Strawberry Fields. Don’t forget the hilltop Belvedere Castle, The Swedish Cottage, and the carousel.
Jardin des Tuileries is central Paris’s garden and a perfect way to enjoy the outdoors after touring the adjacent Louvre Museum. The park has walking paths laid out on an axis, of course. As you walk the gravel paths you’ll see a number architectural and outdoor works of art including Antoine Coysevox’s Statue of Renommée, and the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel. Later, definitely take a ride on the ferris wheel, and in the winter, try the ice-skating rink.
San Francisco’s expansive and rolling Golden Gate Park is home to some of the city’s finest museums including the De Young, and the Renzo Piano-designed California Academy of Arts and Sciences with its aquarium and planetarium. For a nice stroll, try the Conservatory of Flowers, the Botanical Gardens or the Japanese Tea Garden. In the summer of 2017, the park will offer horseback riding.
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