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, known as the Flower Strip, bloom with crocuses, daffodils, hyacinths and tulips from the end of March through to the beginning of May. For the ultimate flower experience, take a day trip to the Keukenhof – the world’s largest outdoor flower expo. To surround yourself in flowers without leaving the city, pay a visit to the Hortus Botanicus, the Amsterdam Tulip Museum or the famous floating flower market.

Keukenhof visitors Cris Toala Olivares

Weekend markets and culinary events

Amsterdam’s weekly outdoor markets are also open during the Easter weekend. You can pick up supplies for your own Easter brunch, dinner or perhaps (fingers crossed!) 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 CuypmarktDappermarkt and Ten Katemarkt are open on Friday and Saturday, while the organic markets at the Noordermarkt and Nieuwmarkt are open on Saturday.

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.

During the Easter holiday, Artis Royal Zoo puts on a range of special activities such as a scavenger hunt through the zoo, plus not only can you watch adorable little chicks hatch out of eggs in the incubator - you can even cuddle them!

Easter brunches & family-friendly meals

During Easter weekend, you'll find special brunches and dinners to suit every taste and budget. On Sunday and Monday, the Pannenkoekenboot (Pancake Boat) traditionally hosts brunch and Easter cruises including all-you-can-eat pancakes plus other festive treats.

A few impressive locations usually offer brunches or lunches including the NH Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky, Sofitel Amsterdam The Grand, Andaz Amsterdam, Amstel Intercontinental Hotel and Grand Hotel Amrâth. Advance reservation is highly recommended. 

Classical passions

Bach's St Matthew Passion and St John Passion tend to dominate Amsterdam’s concert halls and churches around Easter time. Check out the upcoming Passion concerts in Amsterdam.

Dance festivals

There's always a reason to party and Easter Weekend is no exception! From 22:00 to 8:00 from 24-27 March 2016, DJs will spin the best in techno, house and electro at the Awakenings Easter Special at the Westergasfabriek. Line-up includes Carl Cox, Adam Beyer, Ben Klock, Marcel Dettman and more.

Church services

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.

Amsterdam Krijtberg kerk church CC BY 2.0 Jorge Lscar via Flickr

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.

Outside Amsterdam

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 organise a variety of Easter activities like decorating chocolate eggs and an Easter treasure hunt.
  • Duin & Kruidberg Estate: On Easter Sunday and Easter Monday, visit this sprawling country estate for Easter brunch, high tea or dinner.