Events in Amsterdam

Amsterdam's cultural life is enlivened by more than 300 international festivals. Don't miss the King's Festival, the Festival of Lights and the IBC Amsterdam fair.
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Amsterdam has a very broad cultural life and hosts numerous international events and more than 300 festivals throughout the year. Practically every week in Amsterdam there is a cultural event or festival. The most important events of the year are the King’s Day, the Festival of Lights and Gay Pride, but the Christmas markets and New Year’s Eve also attract particular interest.

Many events are celebrations of historical traditions: the Dutch are very attached to their customs and love to celebrate them.

Each season of the year offers significant events. Below is a calendar of the most important events organised by season.

Spring events

The most important event each spring is the King’s Festival (celebrated on 27 April, on the occasion of the sovereign’s birthday). It consists of a street party and free market, which usually takes up two days of festivities, involving not only Amsterdam but the whole of the Netherlands. Many young people come to Amsterdam for this party and usually the entire city centre is closed to traffic to facilitate the influx of participants.

At the end of May, on the other hand, the Holland Festival starts, a major art event that aims to combine popular culture with a more sophisticated artistic sphere usually only known to a niche audience. Presentations of many new works in the fields of music, theatre, opera, ballet and visual arts are offered in the city.




Summer Events

At this time of year, the city teems with festivals, theatre performances and open-air concerts. The highlight is undoubtedly the Grachtenfestival, which offers a series of classical concerts along the city’s canals, some 80 of them.

How can we not mention, the Amsterdam Gay Pride, one of the most important events dedicated to the LGBT community in the world. The festival and the parade along the Singel are organised every year during the first weekend in August.

The Utimarkt, at the end of August, is the event that officially opens the cultural season; concerts, shows, live performances and so on are offered during the festival.




Events in the autumn

Even at the end of summer, Amsterdam does not stop offering cultural events. There are usually book and antique markets, film festivals and museum events during this season. Probably the most important festival of the autumn is the IDFA, the international film festival, held in mid-November.

As far as cultural attractions are concerned, also in November, the city offers the ‘Night of the Museums‘; on the first Saturday of the month, more than 50 museums stay open until 2am.

Finally, a celebration dedicated to children is The Arrival of St Nicholas, a traditional city festival consisting of a joyous parade where sweets and thoughts are given to the young participants. This event marks the beginning of the Christmas festivities in Amsterdam.




Events in Winter

During this period, events in Amsterdam are concentrated around the Christmas and New Year festivities. The areas of the city where the festivities are concentrated are the Leidesplein and Rembrandtplein squares, the ice rink on Museumplein and of course Dam Square, where the traditional Christmas market is set up.

Winter is also the season where Fashion Week is held. Then, how can one miss National Tulip Day in January, where tulips are distributed free of charge throughout the city as a sign of good luck for the upcoming flowering season.

Finally, the Festival of Lights takes place between December and January and is acclaimed by all visitors, who are amazed by the light installations along the city’s canals.




Public holidays in the Netherlands

Schools, town halls, post offices and banks are closed all day on public holidays. King’s Day is a big celebration in Amsterdam while Sinterklaas, celebrated on 5 December, is a traditional holiday that families often celebrate at home.

Events not to be missed

Koningsdag, the King’s Day

Koningsdag, the King’s Day

The King's Festival is the most important event in the Netherlands. Amsterdam is transformed into a huge open-air market with parties and events in every street.
New Year’s Eve 2025 in Amsterdam

New Year’s Eve 2025 in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is beautiful during New Year's Eve. The streets of the Centre teem with people: Nieuwmarkt, Leidseplein and Rembrandtplein are the most popular destinations.
Amsterdam Light Festival

Amsterdam Light Festival

The Amsterdam Festival of Lights is a riot of colour, offering visitors the chance to experience a new and unusual art form.
Amsterdam Christmas Markets

Amsterdam Christmas Markets

Amsterdam's Christmas markets are truly picturesque. If you are looking for small gifts and unique items, don't miss the one in Museumplein.

Locations of important events

Johan Cruijff Arena

Johan Cruijff Arena

The Amsterdam ArenA is the home of Ajax and the setting for numerous events. The venue is famous for its movable roof that turns it into an enclosed stadium.
A’DAM Lookout

A’DAM Lookout

From the top of the Lookout, the observation platform of the A'dam tower, there is an unparalleled view of Amsterdam and its canals.
Amsterdam RAI, the conference centre

Amsterdam RAI, the conference centre

The Amsterdam Rai is the most important conference centre in the Netherlands and hosts most of the international fairs, events and exhibitions held in the city.

How to save on transport and entrance fees

City Card allow you to save on public transport and / or on the entrances to the main tourist attractions.

Amsterdam: City Card with Free Entrance & Public Transport
Amsterdam: City Card with Free Entrance & Public Transport
Discover Amsterdam with the official I amsterdam City Card. Visit world-class museums and attractions for free, get unlimited access to Amsterdam's public transport, and enjoy a free canal cruise.
From 60,00 €