Historic Central Amsterdam
Street parties are famous in Amsterdam: from Queen’s Birthday attracting over half a million people partying all over Amstedam, to small scale and charming Hartjesdagen around the Zeedijk.
And year round you find all kinds of festivals and events. Find a few suggestions here.
A wonderful mix of gays and straights can be found in the little festival, much smaller than the Gay Pride and maybe therefore nicer, celebrated around the Zeedijk. This third weekend in August men turn up as women, and women as men. And they have been doing so for centuries! Some historians believe this fun packed romantic festival dates back to the Middle Ages. On the Saturday afternoon there is a small Opera festival with the ‘divas’ singing from the windows above the shops and restaurants on the Zeedijk. Truly fun!
De Keukenhof Flower Exhibit
The Keukenhof is the place to see spring blossom between March and May. This park is unique, world famous even, and has been one of the most popular destinations in the Netherlands for sixty years now. All-in bus & entrance tickets available at the Tourist Information desk at the Central Staion and at Leidseplein.
Amsterdam Light Festival
The festival runs in December and January and features the Illuminade evening walking route, the Boulevard of Light along the Amstel River, the Socialight programme, the Canal Festival Winter Special and of course, the Christmas Canal Parade.
An extensive side-programme will also see a host of activities and events take place at museums, theatres, restaurants, shops and other locations in Amsterdam.
It is one big orange party on April 27th (or an alternative day if the 27th should be a Sunday). The city turns crazy and orange (it is the House of Orange, the Dutch Royal Family), and many people from around the world have discovered this Dutch Carnival.
For a couple of years now the first weekend in August is “Gay Pride” with numerous parties and a Pride parade on the canals, drawing enormous crowds (somethimes over 500.000) to see the Queens and Dykes float along in a colorful spectacle!
A series of concerts at unique locations: churches, private homes, and on boats. The final concert is traditionally held on the Prinsengracht on a stage built over the canal. People with boats will be queuing for hours in the canal to have a good view of this unique concert, featuring a renowned (Dutch or international) musician.
Some of the concerts throughout the week are given right in front of the Korenbloemen apartment on a stage built on the canal.