Top 10 Things to do in Amsterdam in December

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Top 10 Things to do in Amsterdam in December 2018

Keep up to date with what’s going on in Amsterdam each and every month. The city always has something fun going on whether it’s gallery exhibitions, quirky events or pop-ups! We will be keeping this page updated so you can see what’s on when you’re in the Dutch capital...


December 2018

Pure Winter Market

Sunday 19th and Sunday 23rd December

This popular winter market in Amsterdam has announced its dates for December which will be Sunday 19th (Amstelpark) and Sunday 23rd (Frankendael). There will be over 90 vendors selling a variety of sustainable, organic and artisanal products. You’ll find plenty of delicious food as well as Christmas gifts and wintery treats!

Ice*Amsterdam (pictured)

From 17th November - 3rd February

It’s starting to feel like the festive season with Amsterdam’s best ice rink opening its doors in November. Get your skates on and hit the spectacular ice rink on Museumplein in the shadow of the Rijksmuseum. Open 17 Nov 2018 until 3 Feb 2019.

Christmas tree on Dam Square

8th December lights turn on

The elaborate 20m tree on Dam Square is truly impressive. Towering high, this tree has been decorated by 40,000 LED Christmas lights. That’s 4000 METRES. Aka the size of the some of the world’s highest mountaintops. The lights are turned on the 8th December 2018.

New Year’s Eve

31st December

Planning on celebrating New Year’s Eve in Amsterdam? Well, good choice. The city is hosting some of the best parties in Europe. The official countdown to the New Year will take place at Kop van Java where the sky will light up with fireworks. DJs will be playing from 11pm. Beer tents and DJs will get you in the mood for the biggest countdown in Amsterdam and set you up for the best NYE ever. Then head to party at Belushi’s bar and enter 2019 with good vibes!

Christmas Markets

Get festive at Amsterdam’s Christmas markets where you will be sure to feel the cosy, warm and happy vibes of Christmas. There are several brilliant Christmas markets taking place in and around Amsterdam for 2019. Check them out.

5 Best Christmas Markets in Europe

Amsterdam Light Festival

Until 20th January

You’ll definitely want to take photos if you’re in Amsterdam during the Light Festival where you can witness 35 illuminated artwork creations in all their glory dotted around the city and its canals. A spectacular Amsterdam where you’ll get to experience it in a whole new light. To experience the festival in the best way possible, there are two specific routes you can take to follow the trail of lights. One perfect vantage point is from the water with a Canal cruise, and the other is back on solid land at the Marineterrein Amsterdam.

Where to watch the Premiere League

You’ll want an awesome venue to watch your team play in the Premier League. Head to Belushi’s sports bar in the heart of Amsterdam for the best atmosphere, cheap drink deals and full live coverage of every single game in the tournament. Belushi’s also serves up the best pre-game grub from wings, nachos, badass burgers and other tasty bar snacks.

Find out more

Amsterdam Winter Paradise

21st - 30th December

From 21st - 30th December, The RAI in Amsterdam will transform into a beautiful winter wonderland for you to enjoy and have some fun with your friends. This delightful Christmas event is not just a market, but a whole festive experience including ice skating (with 2 huge ice rinks this year), amazing views of the city from a ferris wheel, bonfires and snow sledding.

Christmas shopping

Get some Christmas shopping done in Amsterdam amongst the twinkling fairy lights and extravagant window displays. The Nine Streets Christmas Lights are beautiful, Nine Streets (Negen Straatjes) is the place to head for your Christmas shopping. This is the prime shopping spot in Amsterdam where boutiques and clothing shops line the city’s 3 main canals.


November 2018

Museum Night Amsterdam

Saturday 3rd November

The Museum Night Amsterdam is an evening event that culture vultures have all been waiting for. Taking place on the first Saturday in November every year, around 50 museums in the city open their doors after dark from 19:00 to 02:00, with special events, workshops and tasty food. It’s an opportunity to see some of the most famous museums in Amsterdam in a whole new light including the Rijksmuseum, the Anne Frank House and Artis Aquarium. €19.95 for a ticket for access to all participating museums.

Find out more

Affordable Art Fair

1st - 4th November

The Affordable Art Fair located at the Kromhouthal is perfect if you’re an art fan on the hunt for a beautiful piece of art that won’t break the bank. With over 1000 pieces of contemporary art to fall in love with as well as refreshments and workshops to enjoy, if you have always wanted to buy a fantastic art piece, this event is for you. Browse paintings, prints, photographs and sculptures from local, regional and international galleries, all priced between €100 – €6,000.

Entry from €7.50

Find out more

Turn on the Lights

15th November

Amsterdam lights up for the festive season. The free event on Amsterdam’s Dam Square sees the illumination of hundreds of thousands of energy-efficient LED lights on the outside of the of the luxury department store, the Bijenkorf. Watch the lights switch on on the 15th November, accompanied by a firework display.

Amsterdam Art Weekend

22nd - 25th November

All things arty comes to Amsterdam in November for the Amsterdam Art Weekend. From 22nd - 25th November you can enjoy over 100 exhibitions, performances, tours and screenings spread across 50 of the city’s contemporary art spaces.

See what’s on

Sinterklaas arrives in Amsterdam

18th November

Sinterklaas aka Saint Nicholas comes to Amsterdam in mid-November with a horse parade going through the city. When Sinterklaas arrives, it officially marks the start of the festive season. This much-loves Dutch character look a lot like Father Christmas bringing presents and special treats for the children. Sinterklaas travels all the way from his home in Spain to come to Amsterdam where he stays until early December.

Find out more

Where to watch the Premiere League

You’ll want an awesome venue to watch your team play in the Premier League. Head to Belushi’s sports bar in the heart of Amsterdam for the best atmosphere, cheap drink deals and full live coverage of every single game in the tournament. Belushi’s also serves up the best pre-game grub from wings, nachos, badass burgers and other tasty bar snacks.

Find out more

Free things to do

There are plenty of free things to do in Amsterdam so save some euros and follow our tips on how to boss the city on a budget. From free museums, attractions and beautiful green spaces, the best things in life really are free...

Check out the Best Free Things To Do in Amsterdam

Welcome to the Future Festival

Saturday November 24th

An epic indoor techno and house festival in Amsterdam that takes place on over 3 stages. Welcome to the Future Festival is the perfect event for house heads that starts at 12am and ends at 2am. The line up includes some of the hottest DJs including Nastia, Pig & Dan, Wesley Roberts, Space and Time + more. The early bird and regular tickets have sold out but latecomer tickets are still available at €42.75.

Find out more

Movember Run Amsterdam

November 24th

The Movember Run raises money for prostate and testicular cancer research. Taking place on 24th November, watch participants take to the streets to help the cause. Better yet, join the race to raise awareness if you’re feeling up to running 5k. The theme is Wild Wild West so expect runners to be rockin’ up as cowboys and cowgirls. Show them your support and watch the race!

Find out more

Ice*Amsterdam

From 17th November - 3rd February

It’s starting to feel like the festive season with Amsterdam’s best ice rink opening its doors in November. Get your skates on and hit the spectacular ice rink on Museumplein in the shadow of the Rijksmuseum. Open 17 Nov 2018 until 3 Feb 2019.


October 2018

AMF Amsterdam

20th October

One of the EDM lovers. The AMF Festival is an electronic dance music celebration in Amsterdam and this year has some of the world’s hottest DJ’s taking to the indoor stage. David Guetta, Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike will all be headlining. Regular tickets are €69.

Find out more

Halloween

Wednesday 31st October

It’s the spookiest month of the year and in Amsterdam there are plenty of thrilling haunts to get you into the Halloween mood. The city plays host to countless Halloween parties but the best (and messiest) one has to be at Belushi’s. The bar always throws a killer theme each year, so keep an eye out on the website when more information is released.

If you want to get some real scares, head to the Amsterdam Dungeon. This scary attraction takes you on a journey underground - and it is not for the faint hearted. This Halloween is darker, scarier and more extreme than ever.

Or take the Amsterdam Ghost Walk to learn more about Amsterdam’s haunted past.

Find out more

Camera Japan

4th - 7th October

Anime fans are in for a treat. The Camera Japan festival celebrates exciting and unusual Japanese film and it’s coming to Amsterdam for its 13th edition this October. There will be over 40 screenings, representing the best in Japanese filmmaking at the Kriterion and Eye Filmmuseum. See the full programme breakdown here to see what’s on. Entry to the venues is free but you have to buy tickets to see a movie.

Find out more

Where to watch the Premiere League

You’ll want an awesome venue to watch your team play in the Premier League. Head to Belushi’s sports bar in the heart of Amsterdam for the best atmosphere, cheap drink deals and full live coverage of every single game in the tournament. Belushi’s also serves up the best pre-game grub from wings, nachos, badass burgers and other tasty bar snacks.

Find out more

TCS Amsterdam Marathon

Sunday October 21st

The Amsterdam Marathon arrives to the city on October 21st where thousands of runners take part in the race. If you’re going to be in the city during the marathon, you’re bound to see the sea of runners at some point.

Find out more

Amsterdam Dance Event

17th - 21st October

One of the world’s biggest electronic music events. For 5 days, Amsterdam sees over 2500 artists from all over the world performing in 140 of the best clubs in Amsterdam. While the festival is essentially a massive techno party, The Amsterdam Dance Event also consists of conferences during the day. You can buy tickets to both the conferences and club nights on the website.

Find out more 

Read My World

This literature festival is not one to miss if you’re a bookworm. More than 70 journalists, writers, poets and artists from The Netherlands and Turkey will be there to celebrate the contemporary voices and faces of literature and the arts over a 5 day period. See the full programme on the website.

Find out more

IGPOTY 2018 at Hortus Botanicus

Until 31st October

The Amsterdam Botanical Gardens (Hortus Botanicus) has something special on for the autumn months. Check out the  IGPOTY exhibition - an international garden, plant and flower photography exhibition held in the gardens. IGPOTY is the world’s first and only competition specialising in garden and plant photography.

Find out more

Amsterdam City Walk

20th October

In support of the marathon runners, why not take part in the Amsterdam City Walk. This a wonderful opportunity to see the best of Amsterdam on foot. There are different walks to choose from depending on how far you want to walk; 12k, 18k, 21k and so on. Each of the different routes takes you through beautiful parts of the city.

Find out more

Free things to do

There are plenty of free things to do in Amsterdam so save some euros and follow our tips on how to boss the city on a budget. From free museums, attractions and beautiful green spaces, the best things in life really are free...

Find out more


September 2018

City Swim & Dam tot Damloop (pictured)

9th September

Every September, the Amsterdam City Swim takes place where 3000 brave swimmers, including kids, take to the city’s canals to raise funds for ALS (motor neurone disease). Go out in to the city and support the swimmers from Amsterdam’s bridges and along the canals. The City Swim takes place on September 9th and you can catch the participants in several locations in the city water including the River Amstel and Keizersgracht.

Find out more

Open Monuments Day

8th and 9th September

For two days only, about 4000 of the city’s most famous monuments open their doors for Open Monuments Day. Celebrate the rich culture of the Dutch capital and visit important buildings, monuments and private homes, all free of charge during this festival. You can explore their remarkable interiors and learn the history that comes with the fascinating buildings that make up Amsterdam’s cultural landscape.

Find out more

Amsterdam Fringe Festival

6th -16th September

The Amsterdam Fringe Festival is one of September’s highlights where the city comes to life in celebration of performing arts. As summer comes to an end, the entire city turns into a stage where you can catch theatre productions, plays, quirky choreography and all kinds of entertainment delivered from the most talented in the business across several venues in Amsterdam. You can buy tickets for the shows or even catch free street performances around the city.

Find out more

Where to watch the Premiere League

With the football season back in full swing, you’ll want an awesome venue to watch your team play in the Premier League. Head to Belushi’s sports bar in the heart of Amsterdam for the best atmosphere, cheap drink deals and full live coverage of every single game in the tournament. Belushi’s also serves up the best pre-game grub from wings, nachos, badass burgers and other tasty bar snacks.

Find out more

Unseen Amsterdam

21st - 23rd September

One for the photography lovers. Unseen Amsterdam is a contemporary photography exhibition that takes place at the Westergasfabriek. A day ticket is £21.50 and with this you’ll be able to lose an afternoon enjoying the very best modern photography captured by some of the best up-and-coming talent.

Find out more

Valifest

1st September

Head to the NDSM Wharf and go wild at the Valifest festival in Amsterdam. Essentially a giant outdoor party, this colourful festival boasts a heavyweight line-up of DJs playing dance, electro and thumping house as well as dubstep, hip-hop and punk. It’s set to be crazy. Tickets are €44.

Find out more

Vondelpark Open Air Theatre

Running until late September

Every summer, the Open Air Theatre arrives in Vondelpark, where you can catch an outdoor performance or concert for free. The large stage hosts a range of talent from stand up comedians, up-and-coming musicians, classical music and theatre productions. The perfect way to spend a sunny Saturday afternoon. While the open-air theatre is free, voluntary donations are accepted.

Find out more

Where to watch the NFL

There’s only one place to watch the NFL in Amsterdam and that’s Belushi’s sports bar, right in the heart of the city. Belushi’s is the home of American Football in Amsterdam. They’ll be showing the top NFL and NCAA College Football and they will have the Red Zone on so you won’t miss a touchdown, interception or tackle.

Find out more

Free things to do

There are plenty of free things to do in Amsterdam so save some euros and follow our tips on how to boss the city on a budget. From free museums, attractions and beautiful green spaces, the best things in life really are free...

Find out more


August 2018

1 Applesap Fresh Music festival

11th August

The Applesap Fresh Music Festival returns for summer on 11th August in Flevopark. Showcasing the freshest music in the business, this year’s line up includes Famous Dex, MadLib, DJ Deeon, Wiley, Amy Becker, Daniel OG and many more.

Get your tickets here

Need a hostel for the festival? Get a bed at St Christopher’s Inns

2 Pride Amsterdam

Until 5th August

A massive celebration of the LGBT community, Pride Amsterdam arrives in the Dutch capital with the massive Pride Parade taking place on 4th August. There will be fun events taking place (see the programme here) throughout the first week of August.

Find out more

3 World Cinema Amsterdam

16th - 25th August

If you’re a movie lover coming to Amsterdam towards the end of August, try to catch one of the best independently produced films of Africa, Asia, Latin-America and the Caribbean from August 16th until 25th.  The World Cinema Amsterdam festival consists of open air cinema screenings spread across different locations such as Vondelpark and Oosterpark, the perfect way to enjoy a warm evening.

4 Vondelpark Open Air Theatre

Running throughout summer

Every summer, the Open Air Theatre arrives in Vondelpark, where you can catch an outdoor performance or concert for free. The large stage hosts a range of talent from stand up comedians, up-and-coming musicians, classical music and theatre productions. The perfect way to spend a sunny Saturday afternoon. While the open-air theatre is free, voluntary donations are accepted.

Find out more

5 Mysteryland Festival

24th, 25th and 26th August

Electro fans, don’t miss Mysteryland Festival in Haarlemmermeer, close to Amsterdam. Camping, sun and Electronic dance music. Sounds like the perfect place to make summer memories to us.This year’s line-up is epic with massive names taking to stage like Cheat Codes, Fatboy Slim, Alesso, Hannah Wants, Galantis and more.

Find out more

6 Robeco SummerNights

Throughout July and August

Robeco SummerNights is perfect for music lovers, with two months of wonderful concerts, from classical music to jazz, and from cabaret to film soundtracks. Some of the best musicians from the Netherlands and around the world will play you their favorite classical music. This festival takes place at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam with a Robeco restaurant and summer cafe to fill your stomachs during the festival.

Find out more

7 Encore Festival

25th August

Head to Amsterdams NDSM Wherf for the Encore Festival. If you love the best hip-hop, R&B, soul & bass music then this is the festival for you. This year, the line-up is killer with J Hus, Lil Pump, Abstract, Flava, TLM and way more artists taking to stage. This year it’s bigger than ever as its Encore’s first ever festival held at the massive NDSM Wherf venue instead of the nightclub Melkweg (it’s usual location). Tickets are from £43.

Find out more

8 Amsterdam's Artis Royal Zoo Summer Saturday’s

Every Saturday evening during August, Amsterdam’s Artis Royal Zoo opens its doors to guests after hours. Head to the zoo and see some of the animals shaking off the last bit of energy before bed. Get up close and personal with the enclosure and check out what the animals get up once the zoo quietens down.

Find out more

9 Films with a View

Until 28th August

Urban beach Pllek is hosting an open-air cinema for the summer. Snuggle up on a bean bag and a blanket, order a drink and watch a movie with the beach as your backdrop. The summer open-air screenings take place every Tuesday and begin after sunset, so usually between 22:00 and 22:30. What’s more chilled out than movies by the sand?

Find out more

10 Grachtenfestival Amsterdam

10th -19th August

Grachtenfestival is a 10-day classical music festival that takes place on Amsterdam’s canals. A really cool sight to see as locals and tourists gather in boats to enjoy the best of classical music, with more than 150 musical performances taking place from barges. Young musicians really show what they can do, with the beautiful Amsterdam as their backdrop to the music.

Find out more


July 2018

Pride Amsterdam

28th July - 5th August

A massive celebration of the LGBT community, Pride Amsterdam arrives in the Dutch capital on 28th July. There will be fun events taking place (see the programme here), building up the colourful Pride Parade on 4th August. On the 28th July, join in on the Pride Walk with 7000 others where the start of Pride will open in Vondelpark.

Find out more

Heading to Amsterdam during Pride and need accommodation? Check out St Christopher’s Inns

Over het IJ Festival

13th July - 22nd July

The annual theatre festival is back for another summer at the NDSM Wharf. Over het IJ takes place waterside in Amsterdam on the northern shore of the River IJ, with a fun festival ground playing host to theatre, poetry, improvisations, scripted theatre or dance. You can take a short ferry from Amsterdam Centraal that goes straight to NDSM Wharf.

Find out more

Robeco SummerNights

Throughout July and August

Robeco SummerNights is perfect for music lovers, with two months of wonderful concerts, from classical music to jazz, and from cabaret to film soundtracks. Some of the best musicians from the Netherlands and around the world will play you their favorite classical music. This festival takes place at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam with a Robeco restaurant and summer cafe to fill your stomachs during the festival.

Find out more

Vondelpark Open Air Theatre

Running throughout summer

Every summer, the Open Air Theatre arrives in Vondelpark, where you can catch an outdoor performance or concert for free. The large stage hosts a range of talent from stand up comedians, up-and-coming musicians, classical music and theatre productions. The perfect way to spend a sunny Saturday afternoon. While the open-air theatre is free, voluntary donations are accepted.

Find out more

Films with a View

Until 28th August

Urban beach Pllek is hosting an open-air cinema for the summer. Snuggle up on a bean bag and a blanket, order a drink and watch a movie with the beach as your backdrop. The summer open-air screenings take place every Tuesday and begin after sunset, so usually between 22:00 and 22:30. What’s more chilled out than movies by the sand?

Find out more

Kwaku Summer Festival

14th July - 5th August

Kwaku is all about music, dancing, LOADS of food and celebrating cultural diversity in the city of Amsterdam. Spend a summer’s day dancing to epic music, watching incredible dancers on the festival’s 4 different stages, and eating from 100 food stalls from around the world. We can’t think of anything better.

Find out more

Amsterdam Roots Festival

1st - 8th July

Amsterdam Roots Festival is a celebration of music from all over the world. Head down to listen to up-and-coming musicians to famous artists from their homeland. Entrance to some of the locations are free, such as Pllek on the 1st, Rootszoekers on the 2nd and Tarmonica on the 8th. Otherwise tickets start at €15.

Find out more

TREK Food Truck Festival     

13th - 15th July

Hungry? For a tasty meal on wheels head to the outdoor Trek Food Truck Festival in Amsterdam’s Amstelpark from 13th to 15th July. You can also enjoy some live music and entertainment whilst treating yourself to some traditional Dutch food.

Find out more

Comedytrain International Summer Festival

Until 18th July

For a night of comedic genius, grab some tickets for a night at the Comedytrain International Summer Festival at Toomler, a theatre cafe on Breitnerstraat. Stand-up talent from the UK, US, Canada and Australia will be taking to the stage - two comedians on one week and another pair the next. If you don’t speak the local lingo, don’t worry as every act will be spoken in English. You’re in for a howler of a night here!

Find out more

Milkshake Festival

28th -29th July

Located in Westerpark, the Milkshake festival is the perfect place to go this summer to enjoy music from top name DJ’s to drag acts and performance art. There are plenty of stages to suit anyone’s taste, so a great couple of days for some festival fun when in Amsterdam!

Find out more


June 2018

Taste of Amsterdam (pictured)

1st - 3rd June

A foodie heaven in Amstel Park. The Taste of Amsterdam festival is celebrating its 10th year and gives you the chance to get up close and personal to World Class chefs and salivate over their culinary creations. At this festival you can also take part in workshops, masterclasses as well as sampling 20 of Amsterdam’s best restaurants who will be there selling their grub! Most dishes at Taste range between €5 and €7,50, however some extra special dishes may be more. Oysters, steak, sushi and more - for just €12 to enter we think it’s sooo worth it if you appreciate good food.

Vondelpark Open Air Theatre

Running throughout summer

Every summer, the Open Air Theatre arrives in Vondelpark, where you can catch an outdoor performance or concert for free. The large stage hosts a range of talent from stand up comedians, up-and-coming musicians, classical music and theatre productions. The perfect way to spend a sunny Saturday afternoon. While the open-air theatre is free, voluntary donations are accepted.

Find out more

Mystic Garden Festival

16th June

The Mystic Garden Festival is a magical festival that takes place under the sun at Sloterpark. Party beneath the trees and make the most of 5 different stages that will all be hosting plenty of pumping music throughout the day and night. Think positive hippy vibes, costumed flamethrowers, face paint, colourful forest-theme sets, confetti, dancers and insane DJ’s to get the crowd feeling free. Tickets are €42.50 and they’re almost sold out.

Find out more

Last Chance: the High Society Exhibition

Until 3rd June

June 3rd marks the last day you can catch the High Society Exhibition at the Rijksmuseum. See 35 life-size portraits of high society members (the good, the great or just plain rich) painted by renowned artists from Cranach, via Rembrandt to Manet. Pretty cool.

Find out more

Open Garden Days

15th - 17th June

More than 30 gardens across the city open its doors to the public, including exquisite private gardens that are closed for the rest of the year. This is your only time you’ll get to discover the most exclusive, beautiful gardens in the city. Tickets from €18.

Find out more

Where to watch the Football World Cup

The 2018 Football World Cup kicks off in June and there’s only one place in Amsterdam that you’ll wanna watch the live coverage. Belushi’s aka the best sports bar in town. With a big screen projector, 13 flat screen TVs and English language commentary, Belushi’s will be screening every single match from Russia. Plus make the most of the Happy Hour with 2 for 1 drinks, a late kitchen serving up our infamous range of juicy burgers and pre-game bar snacks.

Veggie Festival

15th June

Calling all vegetarians, vegans and food lovers! Amsterdam’s veggie festival at NDSM Wharf is gonna be big (and super tasty). There will be veggie burgers, curries, delicious salads, wraps and BBQ’s to feast on under the sun at this converted industrial shipyard across the water.

Find out more

Cannabis Liberation Day

17th June

The 10th Cannabis Liberation Day is almost here! Get yourself to Amsterdam’s Flevopark for a chilled day dedicated to celebrating cannabis culture. The whole vibe is relaxed and enjoyable, plus it’s free entry. The event includes a fantastic musical line-up and top speakers and cannabis activists taking to stage. And of course, there will be weed everywhere. Wander around the Hemp market, enjoy the DJ’s and learn about the special plant.

Find out more

Amsterdam Open Air

2nd - 3rd June

For the perfect weekend of sunshine and music, head to the Amsterdam Open Air festival at Gaasperpark. This festival combines Amsterdam’s nightlife scene with the great outdoors, brought together by MTV, ClubAir and more. Celebrating Amsterdam’s electronic music scene, techno head should definitely get tickets to this summer event. Did we mention there will be food? Reserve a spot at the Chin Chin Club pop up restaurant for seated dining, the summery menu looks fab).

Find out more

Films with a View

Until 28th August

Urban beach Pllek is hosting an open-air cinema for the summer. Snuggle up on a bean bag and a blanket, order a drink and watch a movie with the beach as your backdrop. The summer open-air screenings take place every Tuesday and begin after sunset, so usually between 22:00 and 22:30. What’s more chilled out than movies by the sand?

Find out more

Awakenings Festival

30th June - 1st July

You could call this the biggest electronic event of the year, Awakenings Festival is the most epic techno party in the world. The setting itself is already pretty mega being in Halfweg, but you only need to take a look at the awesome line up to be sold on this event of the year. Dax J, Raresh, Nina Kraviz and Carl Cox are just a couple of big names hitting one of the 8 stages of Awakenings for 2018’s 2 day party. There’s still a chance for you to grab day tickets, just get in there quick or your June 30th could be looking like a weekend with nan.

Find out more 


May 2018

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909 Festival (pictured)

May 26th

Fancy a techno music festival under the sun? Make sure you buy tickets to the electric 909 Summer festival taking place in the forested park of Amsterdamse Bos at the end of May. With a killer lineup of artists and DJs in the techno scene taking the stage, it’s the perfect way to enjoy music, nature and summer. Tickets are €39.50. It’s set to be big.

Find out more

Remembrance and Liberation Day

4th - 5th May

Liberation Day follows the day after Remembrance Day and is a public holiday in the Netherlands. Liberation Day is a national day of celebration throughout Amsterdam and the Netherlands so if you’re in the city on the 5th, expect a wide variety of entertainment and events taking place around the city to commemorate the liberation of The Netherlands during World War II. With big concerts (the Amstel concert), music, giant feasts and more, this day is all about celebrating freedom.

Keukenhof Gardens

22 March 2018 up to 13 May 2018

Spring has sprung, so there’s no better place to witness the coming of fresh flora than Keukenhof Gardens, just a short journey from Amsterdam. The pretty garden comes alive with blossoming colours and picture perfect tulips lighting up over 32 hectares of park. 7 million flower bulbs have been planted in total, a stunning sight that can’t go a miss if you’re in Amsterdam over spring.

Find out more

Rolling Kitchens

9th - 13th May

Food on wheels has never tasted so good. This May, the rolling kitchens are literally rolling on four wheels to the Westergasfabriek in Amsterdam for this 5 day culinary festival. Think dozens of food trucks and mobile kitchens open for business, all in one place - the perfect place for foodies to enjoy traditional Dutch delicacies or food from around the world. We’re most excited for the street pizzas and seafood. Entry to this open-air food fest is free, just bring some money for the grub!

Find out more

Vondelpark Open Air Theatre

Running throughout summer

Every summer, the Open Air Theatre arrives in Vondelpark, where you can catch an outdoor performance or concert for free! The large stage hosts a range of talent from stand up comedians, up-and-coming musicians, classical music and theatre productions. The perfect way to spend a sunny Saturday afternoon. While the open-air theatre is free, voluntary donations are accepted.

Find out more

The Colour Run

27th May

The Colour Run is back for another year - the city’s most colourful charity running event. This 5km run through Amsterdam will feature participants dressed in white getting filthy in colour as they make their way around the track. Each time they hit a new 'Zone', they'll face a new explosion of rainbow... paint, foam and a special orange zone. Starting at Sloterpark, you can pay to participate and money goes to charity! The happiest (messiest) run on the planet.

Find out more

Springsnow Festival

Until May 21st

A true celebration of Spring and nature. In the April-May, the city’s streets are covered with a beautiful pink blanket of blossom - and that’s when the Springsnow Festival returns. To get a look at the pretty ‘Spring snow’, there will be an Elm route to follow - an 8km route where you can choose to either walk or cycle to enjoy the blossom from the elm trees. The route starts from the elm arboretum in Amsterdam Noord, and ends at the Hortus Botanicus one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world.

Find out more

24H Amsterdam

12 May

Get cultured in Amsterdam Oost on 12 May 2018 as 24H Amsterdam takes over the city's most diverse neighbourhood for 24 hours to showcase the very best of the Oost district and unveiling cultural discoveries. The idea behind 24H Amsterdam is exploring all corners of the city, with each edition dedicated to a different part of town - a  fantastic way to really get to know a neighbourhood and in May, it’s all about Oost. A great time to discover the area’s hidden bars, hotspots, restaurants, hotels, clubs, museums and more, all whom will be participating.

Find out more

Amsterdam Art Fair

18-20 May

If you’re an art lover you don’t want to miss the Amsterdam Art Fair, a three day event taking place at the Huidekoperstraat. Showcasing contemporary art, fifty of the best Dutch galleries will move into this temporary location for five days. It’s renamed Kunsthal Koper for the occasion, and shows the latest work of some of the best artists.

Find out more

Hemeltjelief Festival

10th May

This fun family festival takes place every Ascension Day with an enormous musical and theatrical line-up and plenty of events and activities taking place at the NDSM Wharf. Ascension Day in the Netherlands marks the time when Jesus ascended to heaven for the final time following his crucifixion and resurrection. It takes place on a Thursday each year and is a national public holiday. The Hemeltjelief Festival is open from 11:00 until 23:00.


April 2018

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Kings Day (pictured)

27th April

King's Day (Koningsdag) is held on 27 April every year in Amsterdam for the King’s Birthday. It’s one of the biggest and colourful annual festivals in the whole country, full of fun traditions. There will be Kings Day parties at night, day time events, street markets, open-air fun and brightly decorated boats going down the city’s canals.  Different neighbourhoods will be hosting different events, so there will be something going on wherever you are. People come from all over the world to celebrate King’s Day (because it’s so fun)!

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Springsnow Festival

Throughout April and May

A true celebration of Spring and nature. In the April-May, the city’s streets are covered with a beautiful pink blanket of blossom - and that’s when the Springsnow Festival returns. To get a look at the pretty ‘Spring snow’, there will be an Elm route to follow - an 8km route where you can choose to either walk or cycle to enjoy the blossom from the elm trees. The route starts from the elm arboretum in Amsterdam Noord, and ends at the Hortus Botanicus one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world.

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Last day of DGTL Festival

1 April

DGTL is the first massive festival of the year, playing host to a mix of well established artists, up-and-coming DJs and live acts who will be taking to 6 different stages over the festival period. Sunday 1st April marks the last day of the festival, and will be serving up some big house sounds. It’s set to be epic.

If you have tickets and need a comfy bed close to the festival grounds, we’ve got you covered. Check out the 10 reasons why you should stay at St Christopher’s at the Winston (our award winning hostel) during the festival for a much needed rest in between the music - or to continue the party after.

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Imagine Film Festival

11-21st April

One for the movie lovers. The Imagine Film Festival is an international film festival in Amsterdam screening a huge selection of imaginative films at selected cinemas for a week. The Imagine Film Festival offers the capital more than 50 feature films and 35 short films with the fantastical at heart.

Tickets are now on sale.

For the full programme, find out more 

SOTU Festival

10-15th April

SOTU (Sounds of the Underground), a music festival in Amsterdam is back for another year. This underground fest is all about alternative and independent music artists, taking place in and around Vondelpark. Get tickets and you can enjoy you can enjoy all sounds of genres, punk, folk, improv, rave, avant-garde and electronics.

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Tulp Festival

Until 30th April

The Tulp festival celebrates the blooming tulips inside the city of Amsterdam. The aim of the festival is to plant one tulip for each individual citizen of Amsterdam. To reach that goal, over 800.000 tulips have been planted in the city. Many Amsterdam museums participate in the Amsterdam Tulip Festival, to make sure you will see a great amount of tulips in bloom during Easter in Amsterdam. The tulips can be found ast 85 different locations around the city.

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Keukenhof Gardens

22 March 2018 up to 13 May 2018

Spring has sprung, so there’s no better place to witness the coming of fresh flora than Keukenhof Gardens, just a short journey from Amsterdam. The pretty garden comes alive towards the end of March with blossoming colours and picture perfect tulips lighting up over 32 hectares of park. 7 million flower bulbs have been planted in total, a stunning sight that can’t go a miss if you’re in Amsterdam over spring.

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Friday night run

13 April

For those who love to keep active, take this free monthly 1 hour run organised by running group Phanos. It’s a great way to keep fit whilst meeting new people on your travels. Meet at Olympic Stadium Amsterdam at 1930 on Friday 13 Apr 201.

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IAMExpat Fair 2018

7th April 2018

Here’s one for you expats! If you have a passion for travel and planning to move to Amsterdam, The IamExpat fair in a one-day event connecting the expat community in Amsterdam with various stands, workshops and presentations. Taking place at the Westergasfabriek, the fair will be holding 90 workshops to give you advice on renting properties, mortgages in the Netherlands and meeting with hundreds of recruiters if you’re looking for work in the city.

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Easter Monday

If you’re visiting Amsterdam over Easter weekend there are plenty of fun things to do. Use our guides to make your Easter holiday full of fun. Check out...

Free things to do in Amsterdam

Dutch food to try in Amsterdam

Day Trips from Amsterdam

Vegan restaurants in Amsterdam

March 2018

Keukenhof Gardens (pictured)

22 March 2018 up to 13 May 2018

Spring has sprung! And there’s no better place to witness the coming of fresh flora than Keukenhof Gardens, just a short journey by train from Amsterdam's Schipol airport. The pretty garden comes alive towards the end of March with blossoming colours and picture perfect tulips lighting up over 32 hectares of park. 7 million flower bulbs have been planted in total, a stunning sight that can’t go a miss if you’re in Amsterdam over spring. You can travel by train to the gardens from Amsterdam in just under an hour. A day out that's well worth it.

Admission to park: €17

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Amsterdam Coffee Festival

9 March -11 March

Coffee lovers! Your festival dreams have come true. The Amsterdam Coffee Festival is here at last, taking place this March, with 100 artisan roasters, equipment makers, gourmet street food stalls, live DJs and more. Some of Europe’s best baristas are set to host workshops and tastings, with hot things to watch (and drink); we recommend the Latte Art Live show where you can see some barista's in action creating incredible coffee art. Entry is €15. It’s set to be big.

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DGTL Festival

30 March - 1 April

Taking place on Easter weekend, the DGTL festival is back for another year bringing you the best of underground electronic music at the NDSM Wharf. This is the first massive festival of the year, playing host to a mix of well established artists, up-and-coming DJs and live acts who will be taking to 6 different stages over the festival period. DGTL have said that the opening night on Friday is all about “the warmer side of House music”, whereas Saturday and Sunday serves up the more big house sounds. It’s set to be epic.

If you have tickets and need a comfy bed close to the festival grounds, we’ve got you covered. Check out the 10 reasons why you should stay at St Christopher’s at the Winston (our award winning hostel) during the festival for a much needed rest in between the music - or to continue the party after.

Find out more

Open Tower Day

24th March

After a successful run last year, Amsterdams’ Open Tower Day is back. For one day only, tourists and locals will be able to have access to amazing panoramic views from the city’s most monumental towers that are opening its doors to the public.

You’ll be able to climb a selection of participating historical and modern towers, including churches, spread throughout the city. Visit in your own time on the day, and it’s free. Some towers have limited space so be sure to register first...

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The Spirit of Amsterdam

3rd-4th March

The Spirit of Amsterdam is an annual international whisky festival where you’ll get to sample more than 500 types from not only Scotland and Ireland but also the USA, Japan, India and Taiwan. Running for its 4th year, whisky fans shouldn’t miss this one if they’re in the city. Tickets cost from €39.

You can purchase tickets to an afternoon session from 13:00 or an evening session from 19:00.

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IamArt at Madame Tussauds

From February onwards

This brand new, innovative art exhibition has just landed in Amsterdam’s Madame Tussauds on Dam Square. IamArt makes learning about art super fun for guests who can immerse themselves into the famous art pieces (literally). The interactive art experience allows you to step inside the artwork of iconic Dutch painters including Van Gogh. Step into his studio and take a seat in your favourite pose, and let him paint you. A green screen will allow you to form part of his world-famous paintings.

Get lost in one of Escher’s paintings and come face to face with great artists like Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali. It’s an art experience like no other.

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Roze Filmdagen

8th-18th March

The Roze Filmdagen have been a popular event in Amsterdam's gay and lesbian cultural landscape since 1996. It takes place at Amsterdam's Westergasfabriek and the Ketelhuis cinema every March. You can watch quality LGBT cinema in the form of short films, feature films and documentaries that caters to a broad audience, a chance to see a side of movie making that mainstream cinema lacks. Check out what’s on below.

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Van Gogh and Japan (Van Gogh Museum)

24th March - 24th June

Van Gogh and Japan is the brand spanking new exhibition at the world-famous Van Gogh museum. A must-see in Amsterdam during March. This exhibition opens March 24th, and highlights Van Gogh’s Japonism and Japanese people's love for the artist in a series of paintings and works. This is your chance to see 40 works by the artist himself.

Awakenings Easter Special


31 March

A techno lover’s paradise. Awakenings is behind some of the world’s biggest and best techno events in Amsterdam. So if you’re looking for a party, the old-school rave atmosphere will be hard to beat at Awakenings Easter Special, which is actually split across four individual nights in the industrial Gashouder building at the Westergasfabriek. Enjoy 7 DJ's Sven Väth, Sam Paganini, Monika Kruse, Dubfire, Ilario Alicante, Joris Voorn, Pan-Pot, Chris Stussy Prunk, Konstantin, en Kölsch.

The opening night is 31st March - don’t miss it.

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Banksy Exhibition at Moco Museum

Until May 21st

The Moco museum will be hosting the best of Banksy’s street art as part of its Banksy: Laugh Now exhibit. Head over and discover all of his famous works like Laugh Now, Barcode, Girl with Balloon, Kids on Guns, Pulp Fiction, Flower Thrower, Monkey Queen, Kate Moss, Bomb Hugger, Soup Can and many more.The main piece during this exhibition is the painting “Beanfield”. Anyone who is fan of Banksy's work will appreciate this museum.

Article by Shereen Sagoo

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