Amsterdam is everything but a boring city! All year round, exciting events are organised (check out the homepage for the latest news). Here you can find the yearly returning events:
National Tulip Day is yearly event in January. It is the official start of the tulip season. On the Dam square an immense tulip garden of 200.000 tulips is created by Tulip growers. The great thing about this garden is that people are allowed to pick these tulips for free.
February is just a boring month in Amsterdam. People are waiting for spring to arrive.
March starts getting better.
King’s Day is a national holiday, celebrated yearly on April 27th. This day we celebrate the birth of our king Willem-Alexander. In Amsterdam, this means that 800.000 people are celebrating this event together in the streets. You will find markets, music and food on the streets all over our city. Also, people tend to dress up in orange clothes. So if you are planning to celebrate with us: don’t forget your orange details. More information: www.iamsterdam.com
May 5th is the day that the German army capitulated (in 1945) and is our National Liberation Day. There are many festivities in the whole country (14 Liberation Festivals). In Amsterdam Liberation Day is closed with a free open-air concert on the Amstel River. Various artists perform and there is a different orchestra every year. Members of our royal family attain the concert and, like many citizens do, they traditionally arrive by boat. You can watch the whole concert from the quay or standing on a bridge. You can enjoy the music, the atmosphere and the beautiful view on the illuminated Amstel River. The concert starts at 9pm. More details: www.4en5mei.nl
In May you can visit the Food festival ‘Rollende keukens‘. The Westerpark transforms itself into one big outdoor restaurant. There are dozens of food trucks with a big variety of food: from vegan to burgers, from waffles to deep fried insects. Entrance is free and if you want you can just bring your own drinks. More information: www.rollendekeukens.amsterdam
Each year, from April to July, the exhibition of the World Press Photo can be visited at de Nieuwe Kerk on the Damsquare. It is an annual photo contest that rewards photographers for the best journalistic picture of the past year and as you can imagine, the pictures are very impressive and emotional. More information: http://www.worldpressphoto.org
Vondelpark Open Air Theatre can be visited yearly from May until September. During these months you can listen to live music (classical, jazz, fado), participate in several dance workshops (salsa, bachata, Argentinean tango), watch movies in open-air or attend a cabaret performance. The best thing about this: it is all FOR FREE! Voluntary donations are very appreciated though… If you want you can even bring your own drinks, but there is an open-air bar as well. More information: http://www.openluchttheater.nl (website is in Dutch)
June is the month of the food festivals in Amsterdam. Throughout the whole spring / summer you can find food festivals in the city, but June is the peak month. Some weekends there are three food festivals organised at the same time. Check out my homepage for the latest details.
IDFA is the international documentary festival that takes place every year in November. However, in summer, at Pakhuis de Zwijger you can see a few of the documentaries for free in the open-air cinema. More information: www.dezwijger.nl
Starting the last week of July, the Gay Pride is one of the nicest events that occur yearly in Amsterdam. It is a week full of debates and parties and attracts several hundred-thousands visitors from all over the world. The absolute highlight of this week (the first Saturday, beginning of August) is the Canal Parade when 75 beautifully decorated boats sail through the Amsterdam Canals. More information: www.amsterdamgaypride.nl
We ‘Amsterdammers‘ (people that live in Amsterdam) just love De Parade. It is a theatre festival that travels through The Netherlands. It consists of colourful tents, restaurants (really good food!), bars and terraces. It is an experience for everyone: during the day you will find families with kids, during the evening young people will come to meet up and enjoy good food, go to a theatre play or dance performance and end the night drinking wine on a terrace. More information: www.deparade.nl
Every year in August you can listen to classical music, completely free of charge, at Prinsengrachtconcert. The canal will look like a carpet of boats in which people are enjoying this intimate concert. You will also see people sitting in the windows of their houses or stand on the quay. Bring a bottle of wine and glasses and enjoy this brilliant event! http://www.prinsengrachtconcert.nl
Uitmarkt is the official start of the new cultural season. It is a three-day festival where the best in music, art, theatre, dance, opera, literature etc is showcased and it is all free! More information: www.uitmarkt.nl
One weekend in September, the history of the neighbourhood De Jordaan is celebrated. There are different stages where you can listen to typical Dutch folk music. No need to buy tickets as the event is free of charge.
http://www.jordaanfestival.nl, for the exact location, click here
Every year in September the Dam tot Damloop is organised. The distance of this run is 10 English Mile (16,1km) and what makes this run so special is that the start and finish are located in two different cities (Amsterdam and Zaandam). I did this run twice and the whole run is just an amazing atmosphere! You will start with a unique pass through the Ijtunnel and during the whole run you will here music and pass through very cute neighbourhoods where people will cheer you up and will give you water all along the way. Only 50.000 runners are able to participate so if you want to join, please check this website frequently: www.damloop.nl
The TCS Amsterdam Marathon is held anually in mid-October. This event draws elite runners from all over the world. The course starts from the city’s famous Olympic Stadium and passes many of Amsterdam’s most notable landmarks and attractions while making its way back to the stadium via the east of the city. For more information and latest news: http://www.tcsamsterdammarathon.nl/en/
Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) is the biggest club festival in the world for the whole spectrum of electronic dance. During five days it features 2.000 DJ’s in 80 different locations throughout the whole city. It is yearly visited by 350.000 electronic music lovers from all over the world. http://www.amsterdam-dance-event.nl/live/
Every year in November, Amsterdam transforms itself to the international documentary capital of the world. This event, IDFA (International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam), welcomes some 2.500 international documentary professionals in Amsterdam during eleven days of films, industry events, panel discussions and much more. – See more at: www.idfa.nl
One Saturday night in November, all museums in the city are opened until 2 am. It becomes a festivity with art, drinking, dancing eating etc. The Museum Night attracts about 26.000 visitors every year. One ticket gives you entrance to basically all (more than 50) museums. For more information: www.museumnacht.nl
During winter time, our capital is transformed into the capital of lights during a couple of weeks. This Amsterdam Light Festival usually starts at the end of November and ends half January. Light artists from all over the world show there work in the streets and canals. There walking tours and tours by boat available. See more at: www.amsterdamlightfestival.com