With tulips in bloom and spring in the air, there is no better place to be than in Amsterdam during the long Easter weekend (29 March to 1 April 2013).
Enjoy an exquisite brunch in one of Amsterdam’s finest hotels, hunt for eggs in a historical zoo, visit one of the city’s museums or simply come to admire the flowers – there’s plenty to do from Friday to Monday for a fun and relaxing weekend break.
Flowers, flowers everywhere
Easter perfectly coincides with the best time to see Dutch flowers in their full glory! The fields in the countryside bloom with crocuses, daffodils, hyacinths and tulips from the end of March through the beginning of May. For the ultimate flower experience, take a day trip to Keukenhof – the world’s largest outdoor flower expo. To surround yourself in flowers without leaving the city, pay a visit to Hortus Botanicus, the Amsterdam Tulip Museum or the famous floating flower market.
Amsterdam’s weekly outdoor markets are also open during Easter weekend. You can pick up supplies for your own Easter brunch, dinner or perhaps even a picnic! Keep your eyes open for traditional Easter treats like paasstol (bread with dried fruit and almond paste), coloured eggs and spring lamb. The Albert Cuypmarkt, Dappermarkt and Ten Katemarkt are open on Friday and Saturday, while the organic markets at the Noordermarkt and Nieuwmarkt are open on Saturday. Pure Markt will re-open for the year with a special Easter edition on Sunday 31 March at Park Frankendael and the Sunday Market kicks off on the same day in IJburg.
Fun for the kids
On Easter Sunday, local petting zoos in Amsterdam often host special Easter parties with an egg hunt, egg decorating, festive treats and fun activities. Around Easter, farms in the Amsterdam area also hold 'lamb days' where kids can cuddle and feed new-born lambs.
Artis Royal Zoo always has a fun line-up of activities scheduled during the Easter holiday. This year’s programme includes:
- Easter treasure hunt: Friday through Sunday between 12:00 and 14:00. Stop at the gift shop for more information and take an educational adventure through Artis.
- Cuddling baby chicks: Sunday and Monday from 13:30 to 14:15 and from 14:45 to 15:30 at the Ark classroom. Play with and pet chicks, guinea pigs, bunnies, mice and more!
- From egg to chicken: Sunday and Monday from 11:00 to 16:00. Come to the ‘Oude Broedmachinehuis’ to see how baby chicks make their magical entrance into the world.
Easter brunches & family-friendly meals
During Easter weekend, you'll find special brunches and dinners to suit every taste and budget. On Easter Sunday and Monday, Artis Royal Zoo will offer brunch with quiche, scones and prosecco. Reserve in advance at www.artis.nl/paasbrunch (in Dutch). Every Sunday the Hard Rock Cafe has kids' activities from 13:00 to 17:00, including face painting. The Easter Sunday edition will be extra special. On Sunday and Monday, the Pannenkoekenboot (Pancake Boat) will host brunch and Easter cruises including all-you-can-eat pancakes plus other festive treats.
A few impressive locations offering festive Easter brunches include the NH Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky, Sofitel Amsterdam The Grand, Amstel Intercontinental Hotel and Grand Hotel Amrâth. Advance reservations are highly recommended.
One famous classical composition tends to dominate Amsterdam’s concert halls and churches around Easter time: Johan Sebastian Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. But classical music fans can also embrace a variety of momentous Christ-inspired works, check out our Passion concert listing to find out what’s in store.
A number of churches in Amsterdam conduct English services for both visitors and international residents, especially during Easter and Christmas. Have a look at the overview of English services in Amsterdam if you’d like to attend an Easter service.
Shopping & sightseeing
The majority of Amsterdam’s museums and attractions are open during the Easter holidays. In the city centre most shops will be open, but they may close earlier than usual. If you would like to visit a specific attraction or shop, please confirm the opening times with each individual location.
Spring is a lovely time to explore the many attractions that are just a short trip from Amsterdam. Here are a few tips for places to visit during your Easter break:
- Zaanse Schans: The Zaans Museum & Verkade Pavilion typically organize a variety of Easter activities like decorating chocolate eggs and an Easter treasure hunt.
- Keukenhof: In addition to the amazing flower gardens, the Easter Bunny makes an appearance each day from Good Friday to Easter Monday (11:00 – 15:00) to hand out eggs.
- Pampus Island: This secret fort reopens for the season on Saturday 30 March, and has a number of special Easter activities planned from Saturday through Monday.
- Duin & Kruidberg Estate: On Easter Sunday and Easter Monday, visit this sprawling country estate for Easter brunch, high tea or dinner.
For more information about visiting Amsterdam during the Easter break or for assistance booking accommodation, contact the Servicecenter
Tel: +31 (0)20-702 6000
(Closed on 1 April 2013)