Five city parks to visit
Is it…it might just be…fingers crossed…we’re cautiously optimistic that spring is finally in the air. Which is great news for travellers as it’s a fab time to start to venture out and about to enjoy the milder weather, the flowers coming into bloom, the blossom on the trees and the birds flitting about building their nests.
All this and more can be seen in city parks: areas of green that provide a sanctuary of enriching activities in the hustle and bustle of an urban sprawl. So if you fancy a city trip that allows you to take in the glories of the season, the Flexicover team has found five city parks that are perfect places for grabbing a coffee, finding a bench and watching the world go by.
Parc Guell, Barcelona, Spain
Taking inspiration from the English city parks, which is why it's kept a semi-English spelling, Parc Guell is top of the pile for many reasons, but mostly it's because it was created from the brilliant mind of Antoni Gaudi, the artist-architect also responsible for the Sagrada Familia. With his trademark flair and innovative style, he employed a steep hill to build a peaceful sanctuary for Barcelonans between 1900 and 1914. It's a bit of a walk to the top and a steep one at that. But once there, you can rest and admire the beautiful views of the Catalonian capital and most importantly, Gaudi's handiwork, found on the mosaiced terrace and serpentine benches.
Phoenix Park, Dublin, Ireland
In the northwest part of the city, taking up almost a full quadrant, lies the enormous Phoenix Park, officially Europe’s biggest city park. With 1,752 acres to explore, it’s a good idea to use some form of transport to get you to the park and back to ensure you keep your energy levels high so you can fully enjoy your time there. From the flower garden to the picnic area to the cricket pitch, each section adds a little enjoyment to an amble. You’ll certainly come across the magnificent residence of the American ambassador (its enviable location showing the close Irish-American relationship) and the Áras an Uachtaráin, the impressive home of the President of Ireland Michael D Higgins. If you’re lucky, you’ll spot deer – there’s plenty around, as the green was originally created as a royal deer park.
Hibiya Park, Tokyo, Japan
As quirky as the rest of Tokyo, Hibiya Park is a characterful park which boasts flowerbeds in bloom all year around and delicate sakura trees, making it an oasis of nature within this intense metropolis. Stroll around the 40 acres to admire the horticulture, and the statues nestled within. Most are given as gifts by other nations, as the park is located by the country’s government offices. This also means the park is popular for protests, though you’re much more likely to see runners and locals admiring the impressive water fountain.
Englischer Garden, Munich, Germany
Walk just a few minutes from Marienplatz in Munich and you’ll enter an entirely different world. Gone is the Bavarian charm and gothic buildings of the town square. Instead, the Englischer Garden is a peaceful area of international appeal. In addition to the layout mimicking an English country garden, there’s a Greek temple, a Chinese pagoda and a Japanese teahouse located on an island in the lake. The different areas of green cater for activities from football to nude bathing. Just to place it in Germany there’s a number of beer gardens too which are busy all year around, and especially during Oktoberfest.
Villa Doria Pamphili, Rome, Italy
As you’d expect from the finest example of an Italian park, Villa Dori Pamphili is a delight of landscaped beauty and elaborate architecture, all maintained meticulously. Originally belonging to a noble family with their house – or casino - the central focus of the grounds, the park became public in 1972, when it was to make it the largest park in Rome. In addition to the well-kept greenery, water features and a smattering of statues, the park has space enough for open air shows during warmer weather – check local guides to see the programme for the coming months.
So wherever you’re travelling to this year it’s good to know that Flexicover Travel Insurance is committed to providing you with the highest level of cover to ensure you are safe and secure 24 hours a day when away. .