City life can be pretty hectic with all the bustle, concrete walls, crowds and roaring traffic. That's why many of the world's busiest urban jungles also contain pretty green spaces where city dwellers can come and breathe. Here are five of the world's best city parks:
Hibiya Park, Tokyo
Japan's first Western-style park is located just in the heart of Tokyo. Built on 16-hectare land, Hibiya Park has 3,100 trees, 10,000 square metres of green lawns and flower beds. The symbol of Hibiya Park is a 30-metres wide giant fountain with a 12-metre high water jet at its centre. The park has two outdoor music venues that host weekend events and festivals, alongside several restaurants and a tennis court.
Central Park, New York
Central park is the first public park in the USA and it's also the most visited – with over 25 million visitors each year. This 843 acres' park is set in the midst of bustling Manhattan and filled with fountains, monuments and bridges, alongside green meadows and sprawling waters. The park also has recreational facilities - from skating and cycling to climbing and rowing.
Hyde Park, London
Hyde is one of London's eight Royal Parks. Set along the serpentine, the 350 acres park contains around 4000 trees, a meadow and ornamental flower gardens. It has some famous monuments like the Diana Memorial Fountain, famous Achilles Statue and the Serpentine Bridge. One can enjoy swimming, boating and horse riding or simply enjoy the fresh air alongside the many other walkers, joggers and cyclists. Two lakeside restaurants also offer everything from a cup of coffee to a three-course meal.
Lumphini Park, Bangkok
The first public park in Bangkok, Lumpini, was named after Buddha's place of birth in Nepal. Shady paths, green lawns and a large lake - the park is the perfect escape from the city's urban noise. Kids can take to the playgrounds or couples can take a romantic paddle boat ride. Enormous monitor lizards also roam the park, giving you the chance to meet the local wildlife. People even practise tai chi or aerobic exercise.
Ibirapuera, São Paulo
Ibirapuera park was designed by landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx and modernist Oscar Niemeyer. First opened to the public in 1954 to celebrate the city's 400th anniversary, it's now the centre of São Paulo's cultural life. Covering a total of two square kilometres, Ibirapuera features a beautiful landscape of fountains, lakes and monuments. It also contains a series of museums, the Japanese Pavilion and renowned Bienal – the venue for São Paulo Fashion Week. During the weekends, visitors can also enjoy live music shows in the park's many performance spaces.