For those of you who don’t know it, Vondelpark is the most famous park in the Netherlands. It is located in the center of Amsterdam and it is open since 1865. Vondelpark is the ideal place to go for a cycle, a run, a walk, do a picnic and basically enjoy the very few sunny days we get in Amsterdam. So, the big question tourist who wants to enjoy the park as is, can I drink in Vondelpark?
Yes, Vondelpark is a public space but it is allowed to do picnics, eat, smoke weed and drink alcohol there, at any time of the day, as long as it is not disrespectful to others. In the park, you will also be able to find bars and cafes where you can consume food and drinks of any sort.
On a sunny day, it will be very hard to find a free spot in the park to sit and enjoy a beer or a glass of wine because it will be full of Amsterdammers and tourists doing the same. It is definitely a very Dutch experience you have to experience once in a lifetime, one of those life little pleasures. However, NOT in all public spaces in the Netherlands, you are allowed to drink alcohol. Learn more about it with this article!
Drinking in Vondelpark
First of all, no matter how old you are, what is your gender, your ethnicity or religion, you are not going to be judged by drinking alcohol in the Netherlands. Therefore, it is not really a problem if you decide to drink in a public space and even less in Vondelpark where everybody does it.
Secondly, the rules that apply to Vondelpark don’t actually apply to the rest of the public spaces in Amsterdam. Here there is a list of places where you are allowed and where you are NOT allowed to drink in public:
- Rembrandtpark: like all the parks in the Netherlands, as long as you keep it calm and don’t disturb others, there is no reason why you cannot consume whatever it is that you like.
- Canals: very popular locations such as Spui and Rembrandtplein and all the canals in the centre are not a good idea because technically it is not allowed to drink in public. It is a very subjective idea but then again, choose a rather quiet canal and you can sit there, on a bridge or wherever you want and enjoy.
- Street: you are not allowed to drink while walking or in big streets, yet, if you take a chair to your doorstep and sit with a beer to talk to your friends or neighbour nobody will tell you anything.
- Hotels and Hostels: unless told the opposite, you are allowed to bring alcoholic drinks to your hotel if not provided by them.
- Stores: completely forbidden.
- Bars and Restaurants: at any given time of the day, if they offer it on their menu.
Alcohol Consumption: Important to Know
Vondelpark is an exception to the rule like most parks in the Netherlands, but the law says that it is forbidden to consume or walk, in possession of open alcohol in the middle of a public area. The fine if police find you in possession of alcohol that is being consumed is 90 euros. In the case of underage consumers, depending on the age, it can be from 45-90 euros.
However, if you are next to a pub, bar, restaurant, etc, you are allowed to be holding open alcohol in your hands in the street. In general, I explained in “What time can you drink alcohol in the Netherlands” that Duch citizens are very tolerant and as long as you don’t disturb anyone they are not extremely firm with the law. Like weed is not completely legal, drinking alcohol in public spaces is not technically legal but it is not reinforced by the authorities. All in all, what it is important to know is that drinking in parks is more than fine.
Alcohol Consumption: Vondelpark
Here is where you can buy alcohol if you are planning on enjoying a sunny day in Voldelpark:
- Supermarket: there are a couple of AH around Vondelpark, the two closest ones to the doors are the one in Museumplein and the one in Overtoom. These two are open from 8 am until 10 pm. If you go there you will only be able to find wine, beer and cider but the upside is that you can also grab some snacks for a picnic.
- Gall and Gall: if you want something stronger than just beer you can go to the one in Van Baerlestraat 85, 1071 AS. It is the closest one to Vondelpark if you want to find stronger spirits.
- Groot Melkhuis: it is one of the two bar-restaurants you can find in Vondelpark. It is in the middle of the park and it is the biggest one. They have not only space indoors but a nice terrace next to a canal. They offer some spirits and a menu of beers that you can check here.
- De Vondeltuin: this is my favourite of the two of them. They only offer some snacks and most drinks, including cocktails. It is a really nice environment created out of wood and recycled pieces. A little small so get there early enough not to miss your spot. Find more about them, click here.
Unlike other countries, parks in the Netherlands are always open. They are not properly illuminated and you probably don’t want to go for a walk at midnight, but if you want to stay a little late at night there, bring some candles and make a little setting for a gathering, party or a date with some wine, you are allowed to. Unless specified for any reason, it is open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.
P.S. I would also like to add a couple of side notes: people under 18 years old are not allowed to buy or consume alcohol, not in Vondelpark nor in any public space (read more about this here) and you should clean after yourself (there are always extra containers on a sunny day so look for them).