Iconic City Parks around the world
Surrounded by skyscrapers around, on traffic and crowded roads, sometimes all you want to do is some peace. Fortunately, many of the world's busiest urban areas also have beautiful lush green spaces. While some simply provide a tranquil oasis in the middle of an urban jungle, others offer museums, world-class events and more. From the world's largest flower garden in the Netherlands to the colorful architectural icons in Spain, here are the 10 best city parks in the world.
1 Park Guel, Barcelona
The UNESCO-listed park Guele is one of Barcelona's icons. Designed by renowned architect Antony Gowdy, the park is full of creative modernist works inspired by his passion for natural forms. It is one of the major attractions of the city and attracts around four million visitors every year. The entrance to the park consists of two story halls leading to the central plaque and the famous lizard fountain. Head to the terraced area at the top of the park, for amazing views of Barcelona. The mosaic seats are adorned with multi-colored tiles, giving you not only room to rest your feet - but also an ideal photo opportunity.
2 Ibirapura, Sao Paulo
Located in the center of São Paulo, Ibirapura is the center of the city's cultural life. The park was designed by landscape architect Roberto Burley Marx and modernist Oscar Niemeyer. First opened to the public in 1954 to celebrate the city's 400th anniversary, it is now the city's most famous attraction. Located a total of two square kilometers, Ibirapura has a beautiful landscape of fountains, lakes and monuments. It also includes a series of museums, the Japanese Pavilion and the venue for the famous Biennale - São Paulo Fashion Week. During the weekend, visitors can enjoy live music shows in many of the park's performance venues.
3 National Park, Athens
Located right next to the Greek Parliament, the national park provides an ideal refuge from the heat and traffic of Athens. Built by order of the first queen of Greece, Queen Amalia, the park has about 519 different plant species. Whenever there are many Greeks, agronomists responsible for planting the first garden import a wide variety of species from all over the world. Explore the narrow maze of paths, small lakes and the park of delightful pergolas. There is a playground, café and pond for tucks, ducks and turtles among the trees. On the east side you can also find employees traditionally identified as Evzones by traditionally dressed Greek soldiers.
4 Keukenhof, Lise
Located in Lisse, the Netherlands, Keukenhof is renowned as the world's largest flower garden. More than seven million tulips, daffodils and hyacinths display a 32-hectare garden colorful and fragrant every year. However, as they bloom in spring, the gardens are only open from late March to late May. The garden also offers 30 flower and plant shows, unique art and exhibitions such as Tulip Mania at the Juliana Pavilion. A great day for all the family, children can enjoy a treasure hunt, maze and playground with a zip line.
5 Lampini Park, Bangkok
The first public park in Bangkok, Lumpini was named in Nepal's birthplace of Buddha. With shady paths, lush green lawns and a large lake, the park is an escape from the urban noise of the city. Children can go to the playgrounds or the couple can ride a romantic paddle boat. Dangerous monitor lizards also roam the park, giving you a chance to meet local wildlife. If you are an early bird, the best time to visit the park is before 7 am. At this time the air is fresh, and you can see Thai-Chinese practicing Tai Chi. Alternatively, travel on cooler evenings when the park rejoins and aerobic classes are going on technical beats.
6 Hibiya Park, Tokyo
Located in the center of Tokyo, Osia Park is the first Western-style park in Japan. The 16-hectare grounds have some 3,100 trees and 10,000-square-meter green lawns and beautiful flower beds. Numerous restaurants and tennis courts as well as two outdoor music venews host weekend events and festivals. One of the scenic spots of the park is the magnificent fountain. A symbol of Hibia Park, the fountain is 30 meters wide and has a 12-meter-high water jet at its center. Autumn is a particularly lovely time for a walk, as the leaves of the tree turn beautiful shades of red, orange and yellow.
7 Central Park, New York
Possibly one of the most famous parks in the world, Central Park is the symbol of New York City with the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty. Not only was Central Park the first public park in the US, but it also became the most visited with more than 25 million visitors each year. Situated in the middle of bustling Manhattan, Central Park's 843 acres of land are littered with lush green meadows and lavish fountains, monuments and bridges with vast waters. Liking locals and tourists alike, the park's recreational facilities range from skating and cycling to climbing and rowing. You can easily spend the whole day, exploring Central Park, looking at the iconic skyline of New York.
8 Hyde Park, London
One of London's eight Royal Parks, Hyde Park offers both world-class events and a peaceful place to relax. Set along the Serpentine, the park covers 350 acres and includes about 4,000 trees, a meadow and ornamental flower gardens. Famous monuments include the Diana Memorial Fountain, the famous Achilles Statue and the Serpentine Bridge. The park truly offers something for everyone. You can go swimming, boating and horse riding or just enjoy the fresh air with many other walkers, joggers and cyclists. The two lakeside restaurants serve everything from a cup of coffee to a 3-course meal. The park also has a long history as a site of protest. If you arrive on Sunday morning, be sure to visit Speaker's Corner - where people from all walks of life come to share their thoughts with the world. Alternatively, travel from November to January for the huge Winter Wonderland Christmas market.
9 Hong Kong Park
One of the most unusual parks in the world, Hong Kong Park blends modern design with the natural environment. Covering an area of over 8-hectares, the park uses flowing water in the form of waterfalls, ponds and fountains to add to its various features. With mountains on one side and skyscrapers on the other, it is also a great vantage point for some striking pictures of Hong Kong. One of the main attractions of the park is Edward Youde Aviary. Designed to emulate tropical rainforest environments, the aviary has more than 150 different bird species. And with an area of 3,000 square meters - it is one of the largest aviaries in the world.
10 Stanley Park, Vancouver
Vancouver's largest and most beloved green urban location, Stanley Park attracts about 8 million visitors each year. Ideally located on a peninsula in downtown Vancouver, this 400-hectare park has walking and biking trails, an ancient beach with beautiful beaches and nearly 500,000 trees. The park's famous seawall is well worth visiting. The 8.8-kilometer walk offers spectacular views of the Northwest Mountains, the city of Vancouver and the Lions Gate Bridge. Interesting sites also include the sculpture of Girl in a wetsuit and the 32 million year old Sewash Rock. The park is also strongly linked to the culture of the First Nation - one of Canada's tribal groups. Parts of the park were previously home to a First Nations village and traditional totem poles can be found at Brockton Point on the eastern side of the park.