Extending south from Amsterdam’s city centre, Amstelveen is a suburban municipality in the Netherlands’ capital. It is named after the River Amstel and its surrounding moor, with the word “veen” translating as “fen”. Once an important livestock and turf farming area, Amstelveen now features landscaped green spaces and modern art museums.
Things to do in Amstelveen
In the heart of Amstelveen is the Cobra Museum of Modern Art, which is named after a movement led by young, progressive artists in the wake of World War II. It occupies a light-filled building designed by Wim Quist and houses a collection originally established by J. Karel P. van Stuijvenberg. In addition to works by Lucebert and Corneille, the museum features an entrance fountain made by Karel Appel.
Nearby is the Museum Jan, which is named after the industrialist who established its collection, Jan van der Togt. While it showcases paintings and sculptures by modern artists, the museum is most notable for its glass artwork. Czech glass artists such as Vaclav Sigler and Ales Vasicek are represented in the gallery spaces and touring exhibitions are presented throughout the year.
Occupying the north-west corner of Amstelveen is the Het Amsterdamse Bos, a sprawling park established in the 1930s that has served as a recreational hub ever since. It encompasses several lakes and streams where you can swim, kayak and canoe, as well as an open-air theatre that hosts performances during the summer months. Scottish Highland cattle roam the meadows and there’s a dairy goat farm with a petting zoo.
Getting around Amstelveen
Amstelveen is around 15 minutes’ drive from the centre of Amsterdam and 10 minutes from Schiphol Amsterdam Airport, which has flights to destinations across the globe. Both trams and buses travel throughout the city, connecting most of its attractions.