Explore a fluxing Amsterdam

Refresh Amsterdam

Here’s a great way to lose a few hours exploring Amsterdam with new eyes – without having to leave your home. Refresh Amsterdam is a biennial initiative of Amsterdam Museum, and organised in collaboration with an appropriately quirky selection of local organisations: De Appel, CBK Zuidoost, Compagnietheater, OSCAM, Rijksakademie, SEXYLAND and The Black Archives. Through an open call, 25 artists and collectives from various backgrounds were selected to document, and reflect on, Amsterdam’s ‘sense of place’. The results are often dizzying as you will notice when exploring the website where you can also take virtual tours of the exhibition across various locations. Covering subjects such as migration, gentrification and the meaning of ‘home’, we are presented with fresh views of the city – very appropriate for these fluxing times.

Until 28 March // various times and locations

Discover the Empty Concertgebouw Sessions

Karsu at Concertgebouw Amsterdam
Karsu in Concertgebouw, photo by Kim Balster

Enjoy the famous acoustics of the Concertgebouw from the comfort of home! Having been forced to cancel most events with an audience this year, the famed institution has quietly built up a collection of online concerts under the title Empty Concertgebouw Sessions. Every Thursday at 18:00, they are streamed live from the main hall. Have a look to see what catches your ears – may it be Dutch-Iranian soprano superstar Lilian Farahani or a local band paying tribute to Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Online // Empty Concertgebouw Sessions

Corona in the city

Corona in the City

One-man flower parades by Teun Castelein and Sasja Strengholt

The Amsterdam Museum’s ever-growing digital exhibition, Corona in the City, features a rainbow of contributions from hundreds of Amsterdam’s residents and organisations, including photographs, videos, texts and sound recordings about this discombobulating period of time. Enjoy images of empty streets – and recordings of what they sound like. Or venture into a museum, visit a vacant night club, listen to quarantine stories, converse with a lonely clown or make your own contribution.

Online // Amsterdam Museum

Enjoy a festival of light

Amsterdam Light Festival
Amsterdam Light Festival 2017, Janus van den Eijnden

Dimmed down for its 2020 edition, the Amsterdam Light Festival will feature just nine art installations this year and the group boat tours and Light Walk aren’t taking place, so there is no official route. Don’t despair, though! Beautiful artworks – linked by the theme When Nature Calls – will still light up the city for the enjoyment of all. The organisation that runs the event will also share exclusive stories, interviews and behind-the-scenes videos online. And this special coronavirus-edition even features a positive story about viruses. For the work The Biggest, Smallest Heroes (located just across from Central Station in Amsterdam Noord) tiny viruses that fight off E.coli food poisoning are depicted as brave, glowing soldiers. Nice.

Until 19 January 2021 // Amsterdam Light Festival 

Venture into the great outdoors

Oostvaarderplassen

Feeling claustrophobic? Perhaps a tad squirrelly? If so, venture out to Nationaal Park Nieuw Land. Located just east of Amsterdam and filled with birds, deer, foxes and hares, the sweeping fields and wetlands at this nature reserve feel almost otherworldly in the winter, as the days grow darker and a stillness seeps into the landscape. And after you’ve been there, why not pop over to the nearby Nature Park Lelystad to see otters, moose, bison and wild boar?

Anytime // Nationaal Park Nieuw Land

Online events and more

Looking for extra entertainment? Here are a few bonus ideas to fill your weekend:

  • Explore our quarantine streaming suggestions
  • Browse Pakhuis de Zwijger's programme of English events online
  • Peruse this wonderful timeline of the life of Dutch photographer Ed van der Elsken
  • The culture house Felix Meritis is offering many of its (English-language) programming highlights for free via Flix by Felix.

For the latest updates about coronavirus (COVID-19) in Amsterdam, visit our coronavirus information page.