Anyone who spends time in a big city knows that every so often an escape is necessary. A good city park is a quick and easy break from the fast-paced stress of a busy metropolis, even if it's only for a quick walk in the morning or an hour in the afternoon after exploring a new city. Some parks focus on nature and open green spaces, and others put more of an emphasis on art, history, and culture. Either way, they're a much-needed break from the urban jungle.
Englischer Garten, or the English Garden, is located in Munich and is one of the largest city parks in Europe. Large oak and maples cover the grounds; joggers, walkers, and cyclists enjoy the paths and trails that weave throughout these woods. The center of the park is home to Kleinhesseloher See, a lake with three small islands to explore. There's also an Asian-themed Biergarten from the 18th century, a small Greek temple, and a Japanese tea house next to a sweet little duck pond.
Keukenhof in Lisse in the Netherlands is considered the world's largest flower garden, and may also be the most beautiful city park in the world. The gardens are open in the spring when more than 7 million bulbs bloom, making these gardens one of the most vibrant displays of tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths anywhere in the world. There are a few food pavilions in the park, too, where visitors can enjoy coffee, tea, and snacks while walking the grounds.
Mount Royal Park in Montreal was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the architect behind Central Park in New York City. This area was once a small active volcano, which gives the park a few modest peaks where to catch some great views of the Montreal skyline. The park is full of historic sites, scenic areas, and trails to explore; it's also the home of Beaver Lake, a popular place for rowboats and paddleboats in the summer and ice skating in the winter.
Perth's Kings Park is one of the largest city parks in the world and sees more than 6 million visitors every year. The park overlooks Perth City from the other side of the Swan River and is a great place to get a good view of the skyline. In addition to playgrounds, trails, and grassy lawns for picnicking and outdoor concerts, the park also includes untamed bushland popular with joggers. King's Park has a lot of cool things to see, including a 750-year old Boab tree, the DNA Tower, and a mix of local flora and wildflowers native to Australia.
Stadtpark in Vienna has an interesting history. The medieval walls surrounding the city weren't taken down until the late 19th century. Once they were gone, there was plenty of vast open space to fill. Enter Stadtpark—the park features flower beds, thickets, and statues dedicated to artists and musicians, the most famous begin a gilded sculpture of Johann Strauss. Stroll along the Wien River that cuts through the park and enjoy the view from the pedestrian bridge. Then stop by the largest building in the park, the Kursalon, which hosts Stauss and Mozart concerts even today.
Ibirapuera in São Paulo is said to be the most visited park in South America, with more than 14 million visitors a year. This park features large, open green spaces and leisure areas for jogging, walking, and relaxing as well as playgrounds and areas for skateboarding and slacklining. There are many popular attractions here, too, including the Japanese Pavilion, the Museum of Modern Art, Afro-Brazil Museum, and Biennial Pavilion, home of São Paulo Fashion Week.
Designed by Antoni Gaudí, Park Güell in Barcelona was originally meant to be a private residential park for 60 single-family homes. The plan was unsuccessful, and the city took over the park in 1923. While the design remains unfinished, it is still one of Gaudi's best works. Everywhere you look, there's something fun and colorful to experience, including quilts made of ceramic tiles, a twisted iron gazebo, and a smiling dragon. A never-ending stone bench surrounds the entire park with colorful ceramic inlays, a perfect spot to sit down and soak up the art.
Vondelpark sits in the South district of Amsterdam on the border of the West district. Historically, the park is known as a place that brings together people from all walks of life. While Vondelpark has plenty of green and open spaces for escaping urban life, its main focus has always been art and music. One of its most attractions is the Vondelpark Open Air Theater. In the spring and summer, the theater hosts a variety of festivals as well as dance, comedy, music, and children's theater performances.
The best place to escape the bustle of downtown Tokyo is Yoyogi Park. This park is known for its gorgeous surroundings, especially in the fall when the gingko trees change color. In addition to exploring the lawns, forests, and ponds, visitors to Yoyogi Park also enjoy the many events it hosts in its festival events square. Something is going on nearly every weekend, from dance troupe performances to various festivals and musicians.
Stanley Park is the largest park in Vancouver and is known as an oasis in the middle of this urban hot spot. This park is great for city dwellers who love exploring the outdoors. It has mountains, beaches, forests, and trails to explore throughout. In Stanley Park, you can visit the largest aquarium in Canada, check out the famous landmarks and gardens, or spot the local wildlife in the wetlands, bogs, and rocky shores.