International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA)

Amsterdam Weekend Guide – November 17-19 International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) This world-famous film festival transforms the city into a haven for documentary lovers, so it's no wonder that it attracts visitors from all over the globe. Put simply: no other festival brings together so many great films, devoted fans and talented film-makers in one place. Thanks to its offering of hundreds of international documentaries, the festival gives attendees a gateway to unique perspectives.

Get ready to feel the whole spectrum of emotions, as IDFA takes viewers to some of the world's poorest, wealthiest and most unbelievable places. It's not all seriousness, though: they are plenty of documentaries on hand designed to make you laugh out loud. And on top of the brilliant selection of films, there are also lectures, workshops, discussions and more taking place all over the city. This year is the festival's 30th edition, too, so expect IDFA to pull out all the stops.

Fri, Sat & Sun // Various times and locations // Website // Photo: IDFA

Arrival of Sinterklaas

Arrival of Sinterklaas in Amsterdam This all-in-red, white-bearded jolly figure might look like Santa Claus, but the beloved Dutch character – Sinterklaas – represents a very different set of traditions. He arrives in Amsterdam every November to mark the start of the festive season. During this Sunday's parade, Sint will travel through the city on his trusty white horse – mischevious helpers in tow – throwing sweets, gifts and the quintessential Dutch festive treat, pepernoten (a sort of spiced biscuit). Needless to say, this one's great for kids, but the celebratory parade is sure to bring a smile to most adults' faces, too.

Sunday // Various locations // 10:00-15:30 // Free entry // Website // Photo: Sint in Amsterdam


This American heavy-metal band are so strongly embedded in the scene that it's strange to think they didn't exist in the '90s. And there's a reason most of the era's nu-metal groups faded into the ether but these guys still remain: Mastodon's doomy musicianship, innovative songwriting and pure ambition have easily ensured their place as one of the most important metal bands of the 21st century.

The band transcend the nu-metal trend with their progressive concepts and sludgy riffs. They'll be promoting their seventh studio album at the show, this year's 'Emperor of Sand', which has received rave reviews from critics worldwide. Not into rock? Don't fret: there are plenty of other gigs happening this weekend.

Friday // Melkweg // 18:30-22:00 // €34.05 // Website // Photo: Mastodon

Super-Sonic Jazz Festival

Super-Sonic Jazz Festival Amsterdam This sonically super festival features a range of artists and bands that combine jazz with genres that don't 'traditionally' gel with the style, including electronic, classical, hip-hop and traditional African music – just to name a few. Needless to say, if you're into jazz, this is the festival for you. If you're not, you'll still find something to bop along to.

Artists playing this weekend include Thundercat (Paradiso at 19:00 on Friday), Zara McFarlane (Paradiso ay 19:00 on Saturday) and Bugge Wesseltoft (Amstelkerk at 20:30 on Sunday). Check out the full line-up on the Facebook event page.

Fri, Sat & Sun // Various locations, times and prices // Facebook event page // Photo (& top): Kneebody

Modern Hippie Market

This Sunday, Amsterdam Roest – in collaboration with Kameleon Concepts and the Modern Hippies community – will open its doors as a day-long market dedicated to vintage, hip and sustainable brands. Most of the labels are relatively unknown, so who knows: you might just discover the next TOMS. Brands present this time include PHIXI, BoulaWolf and Storm and much more.

Sunday // Amsterdam Roest // 12:00-18:00 // Facebook event // Photo: Amsterdam Roest