April 27, 2010
...Amsterdam is one of the most Fido-loving cities in the world. Luckily, it’s also one of the easiest to navigate with a four-legged friend. A walk in this charming capital wends past picturesque canals, through lively neighborhood markets and into Fido-friendly shops, cafes, restaurants and beyond.
But it’s the many public parks that make this pocket-size city especially Fido-friendly. There are more than 30 to choose from, and most allow dogs of all sizes. Below are top recommendations on where to spend the day outdoors with your trusty companion:
The largest park in the city and easily the most popular (it attracts more than 10 million visitors each year). It is conveniently located near the major museums and the popular Leidseplein area. The park offers 120 acres of open green space, small lakes and an outdoor theater with free concerts during the summertime. There are several cafes and restaurants within the park, including a lovely open-air Fido-friendly terrace at the Filmmuseum. It can get a bit over-crowded during the summer, which makes it a great choice for people-watching but not for a quiet day with Fido. The main entrance is located between Leidseplein and Museumplein. Trams 1, 2, 3, 5 and 12 stop near the park.
A smaller neighborhood park that satisfies pets with a large duck pond and plenty of green grass. It displays many interesting sculptures, memorials and monuments along the pathways. This park is an excellent option if you are looking to soak up some local culture while also spending time outdoors with Fido, and it’s located in the eastern side of Amsterdam. Trams 3, 7, 9, 10 and 14 stop near the park.
To really escape from the city while remaining within its borders, a visit to Flevopark is a must. The park is only a 15-minute tram ride from the city center, but it offers peace and tranquility not found anywhere else in Amsterdam. This under-rated park is comprised of open green fields, trails through forests, a fitness trail and even a dog beach during the summer. It’s the best park in Amsterdam for those seeking to take a break from the urban landscape, and it’s located in the eastern side of Amsterdam. Trams 7 and 14 go to Flevopark.
As its name suggests, this park is located on the western side of the city. This part of Amsterdam is a busy residential area. The land used to belong to a now-defunct gas factory and most buildings still remain, adding an intriguing architectural quality the other parks lack. The park is now the site of many cultural activities including art exhibitions, large music festivals and performances in its theater and cinema. It has an excellent combination of cultural activities and outdoor fun. It’s located on the western side of Amsterdam, and Bus 21 goes to Westergasterrein.
Leashed dogs are welcome. The park is within easy reach of Amsterdam and offers a great retreat from the city.
All of Amsterdam’s parks are best enjoyed during the spring and summer months when the weather warms up and the days are longer. Most parks are open from sunrise to sunset (which can be as late as 11PM in June). While there are leash laws in the city, these are usually ignored in practice, and it is common to see dogs running around without their humans.
Everyone knows the numerous and interesting reasons that Amsterdam is a unique European city. Let it now be known that another reason on the list is that Fido can romp freely due to all of these friendly parks.
✔ Health certificate (with USDA/APHIS endorsement).
✔Rabies vaccination at least 21 days prior to arrival. A blood test may also be required.
✔Electronic microchip. Note: Airlines and states may have additional requirements
Amsterdam Visitor's Information
If planning on traveling around Europe, it is advised to get an EU pet passport from any approved vet upon arrival. Leashed dogs are permitted on all forms of public transport for free. This includes the trams, buses and metro. Leashed dogs are allowed on board all trains. If the dog is not in a carrier or crate, a 3 day ticket needs to be purchased.
10 Things Fido Might Say in Amsterdam
- Two Great Danes in the Red Light District: “Honestly honey, that Poodle is just an old high school friend.”
- Papillion: “Van Gogh museum? Have you seen what he does to ears?”
- Two Rottweilers in a bar: “I’ve been on so many blind dates, I oughta get a free dog!”
- One Airedale to another in a vet’s office: “Frankly, I support bacteria. It’s the only culture some folks have.”
- At customs: “No, no, it’s Spinone like the breed, not spumoni like the dessert!”
- One Japanese Chin to another: “Did you pack the camera?”
- Cairn Terrier while looking at the famous Amsterdam canals: “We’re not in Kansas anymore!”
- Sussex Spaniel to his significant other in a designer boutique: “The way you spend money, the Royal Palace won’t be the only thing that’s baroque!”
- Group of Border Collies in Vondelpark: “Last one to herd 10 tourists is a rotten egg!”
- Pharaoh Hound puppy to German Shepherd Dog walking through a street market: “Have you seen my mummy?”
See Full Story at Issue 043.