When you think of a park you probably think of grassy tree-lined venues sprinkled with sports fields, outdoor theaters, picnic areas, and swing sets for the children. You most likely visualize these parks in suburban settings, far from the hustle and bustle of any city.
Believe it or not, parks are popping up in major metropolitan cities all over the world. If we can’t go to the park, we may as well bring the parks to us. Some of the largest parks in the world can be found intertwined with urban life. Check out some of our favorites:
Fairmount Park – Philadelphia, PA
Fairmount Park in Pennsylvania is owned by the city of Philadelphia and spans an incredible 9,200 acres. Fairmount Park spans across quite a few communities and includes several smaller neighborhood parks, but the largest single section of park land covers 4,400 acres along the Schuylkill River. Believe it or not, Fairmount Park is almost 200 years older than Central Park in New York.
Chapultepec Park – Mexico
Chapultepec Park in Mexico is a 2,000 acre park and is also known for being one of the largest urban parks in North America. The park is more than trees and grassy knolls, housing a theme park, a zoo, and two lakes. History lovers will be surprised to find over a dozen museums, restaurants, and hotels in Chapultepec Park as well!
Silesian Culture and Recreation Park – Katowice, Poland
Checking in at well over 2,000 acres as well is the Silesian Culture and Recreation Park in Katowice, Poland – also known as the Viovodship Culture and Recreation Park, depending on who you ask. The park features a zoological garden, planetarium, swimming complex, sports stadium, and more. Perhaps the most impressive attraction at this park is the incredible rose garden, the largest in the country, housing more than 30,000 incredible roses from dozens of varieties.
Metropolitan Park of Santiago – Santiago, Chile
The Metropolitan Park of Santiago in Chile is also commonly referred to as San Cristobal Hill. At just under 1,800 acres, the park is full of gardens, hiking and biking trails, and outdoor sports fields. Those not as enamored by the outdoors will enjoy exploring the zoo, dining in an international restaurant, or even relaxing in the park pool. You’re guaranteed to find something to entertain everyone when you visit San Cristobal Hill.
Phoenix Park – Dublin, Ireland
Believe it or not, Phoenix Park in Dublin, Ireland is also considered one of the largest urban parks in the world. The park is completely enclosed and is known for being the location of the home of the president of Ireland. The park clocks in at just under 1,800 acres and is notably larger than the infamous Hyde Park in London.
Central Park – New York City, NY
Central Park in New York City, New York spans over 843 acres and sits smack in the middle of Manhattan. Park attractions include the Central Park Zoo and Wildlife Center, an incredible lake, a concert arena, and two full-service restaurants. Visitors will be astounded by the unique landscaping and architectural work throughout the entire park. No trip through NYC is complete without at least a stop in Central Park.
Golden Gate Park – San Francisco, California
The Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, California spans over 1,017 acres of ground. While it’s not the largest of all of the urban parks, it is one of the most visited, with almost 15 million people stopping by each year on their way to other San Francisco tourist sites. The park features the Japanese Tea Garden, AIDS Memorial Grove, and a Conservatory of Flowers, amongst many other attractions.
Lincoln Park – Chicago, Illinois
No, we’re not talking about the rock band! Lincoln Park in Chicago, Illinois is the largest urban public park in the city of Chicago. The 1,200 acre park faces Lake Michigan and houses dozens of baseball fields, basketball courts, and volleyball courts. Lincoln Park is also home to a large conservatory, a nature museum, and even a fitness center!
Parks are an incredible place to relax, enjoy nature, or simply get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. We’ve seen concerts in Central Park and had picnic lunches at Fairmont Park. Each and every one of these incredible parks provides dozens of entertainment options as well as opportunities to get together with your family and friends for a picnic or sports day.
You don’t have to travel far from the city to discover the true beauty of a park. While it may seem like major cities completely overwhelmed our landscapes, a few true gems managed to survive. We hope you enjoy visiting these urban parks as much as we did!