Living in the city can be great. I know because I live in one. But sometimes the concrete, the crowds, the pollution, and the inability to walk around barefoot still get to me. There’s something about being in nature (or at least near a tree and some grass) that relaxes you. When you’re stressed from the bustle or worn down from looking at gray all the time, there’s nothing like stillness and chlorophyll to block out everything else.
City planners knew this, and that’s why cities have parks. Here’s a look at some of the 24 best urban parks in the world. Be sure to stop by one of these if you’re traveling. There are plenty of other amazing parks in the world, but here are some of our favorites (in no particular order):
Parc de Montjuic, Barcelona, Spain
Named for supposedly serving as a site of a Jewish cemetery in the Middle Ages, this park features panoramas of the city, the Catalan Art Museum, and this majestic fountain. A lot of art and architecture can be found in other areas of the park as well. It was also one of the main sites of the 1992 Olympics.
Millennium Park, Chicago, IL, USA
This park is known for soaring, modern sculptures and architecture, most notably the reflective Cloud Gate (known to the locals as “The Bean”). The park is free to enter, and features many art and architectural installations.
Central Park, New York, NY, USA
Central Park is the most famous of New York City’s parks, and spans more than 50 blocks in the middle of Manhattan. It features regular events year round, including theater and music, a zoo, and several kinds of landscapes. It also neighbors the Museum of Natural History and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and has plenty of ducks to feed.
Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs, CO, USA
This park features all kinds of wildlife and vegetation, as well as some incredible rock formations. This huge park is free and open to the public, with attractions for everyone. It also has wheelchair accessible trails.
Kings Park and Botanic Garden, Perth, Australia
Located on Mount Eliza, this park is a huge area of unspoiled bushland, and home to 300 native plant species and 80 native species of birds. The park’s design allows the natural habitat to thrive, but people are welcome to come and observe.
High Line, New York, NY, USA
Balboa Park features architecture right out of historical Spain, and that’s not all. It’s also home to the city’s famous zoo, as well as museums and theaters.
Bryant Park, New York, NY, USA
It’s not the city’s largest park, but it’s located near Times Square. The park is also a center of cultural activities. It’s home to classes and performances, as well as the New York Public Library.
Vigeland Park, Oslo, Norway
This is part park and part sculpture garden. The sculptures here were created by the park’s namesake, Gustav Vigeland. The park’s sculptures were his life’s work.
Vondelpark, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
This park was a favorite escape in Amsterdam since 1865. The park, named for 17th century author Joost van den Vondel, features a rose garden with more than 70 types of roses. It also houses an open theater hosting musical performances year round.
I don’t know about you, but now I’m feeling the need to get out of my office. Bryant Park, here I come!
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