1. Het Hem
Visit Het HEM, Amsterdam’s newest art precinct in a former munitions factory on the North Sea Canal. Not only can you take in contemporary art, sample an eight-course menu or flip through a carefully curated selection of books and magazines over coffee, but you can also hang out in a former shooting gallery!
2. In the Picture
In the Picture at the Van Gogh Museum references selfie culture by exploring how artists looked at themselves and what the resulting self-portraits tell us. See works by the master himself plus Edvard Munch, Francis Bacon, Julian Schnabel and others. 21 February to 24 May 2020.
Crystal Pite and Jonathon Young join forces to present Revisor, a classic ‘comedy of mistakes’ tackling greed and corruption. Expect theatrical fireworks featuring some of dance’s modern stars in this exuberant production. 11-13 March 2020.
4. Viviane Sassen
Dutch photographer Viviane Sassen is in focus for Huis Marseille’s exhibition of her groundbreaking work in art and fashion. 14 March to 31 May 2020.
5. Nam June Paik
Korean-American artist Nam June Paik is the focus of a major retrospective at Stedelijk Museum which features video works and installations. 14 March to 23 August 2020.
Catch British indie band Foals for a rocking show at AFAS Live featuring tracks from their two chart-topping 2019 albums. 14 April 2019.
7. King's Day
Our favourite Dutch holiday is King’s Day, and not just because we get a day off and the city is absolutely buzzing with parties. No, we love it because of the Free Market. Across Amsterdam, and indeed the whole of the Netherlands, streets and parks turn into massive flea markets where anyone can sell and trade their wares. Grab a bargain, sample some homemade baking and wander the street marvelling at the assorted bric-a-brac. 27 April 2020.
8. Dutch Grand Prix
Revheads rejoice—the Formula 1 is back on Dutch soil in 2020. The Dutch Grand Prix will roar through seaside town Zandvoort as Ferraris and dragsters whizz by manoeuvred by world champions such as Verstappen, Vettel and Hamilton. 3 May 2020.
9. Harry Styles
Former One Direction star Harry Styles is on tour on the back of his latest album. 6 May 2020.
10. Mahler Festival
Mahler Festival is back in Amsterdam for 2020. The New York, Vienna and Berlin Philharmonics are all participating alongside the Concertgebouw Orchestra to celebrate Gustav Mahler’s life and work. 8-17 May 2020.
Eurovision may well be staged in Rotterdam, but you can bet there will be parties galore in Amsterdam. Fabulous, camp and, above all, fun. Keep an eye on What’s on for details. 12-16 May 2020.
12. Celine Dion
Her heart can go on, and on and on, and she’ll be performing at Amsterdam’s Ziggo Dome over three big nights come June. Yes, it’s the one and only Celine Dion. 10-12 June 2020.
13. UEFA 2020
2020 marks 60 years for UEFA. To celebrate, UEFA 2020 will be staged by 12 European cities including Amsterdam. Kick-off is at the refurbished Johan Cruijff ArenA from 15 to 27 June.
14. SAIL 2020
Every five years Sail Amsterdam navigates its way into the city’s harbour. Watch some 600 tall ships make their way along the Noord Sea Canal in grand glory. 12 to 16 August.
15. Old Holland by bike
Take in picturesque Old Holland by bike. Pack some water, snacks and sunscreen, grab a bike and head north for a ride taking you into historic towns and villages and onto the polders. Late summer/early autumn is the perfect time to explore this magical region. Time it so you are in Volendam on the first Friday of the month, so you can enjoy the live music night at Restaurant Pieterman, an eminently atmospheric waterfront eatery.
16. Slavery and its History
The Rijksmuseum’s in-depth exhibition, and the first of its kind, Slavery and its History considers slavery not as a dark chapter but as an integral part of history. It’s sure to be challenging and potentially confrontational, and therefore not to be missed. 25 September 2020 to 17 January 2021.
17. Amsterdam Dance Event
ADE (Amsterdam Dance Event) is the world’s largest electronic music festival and it hits Amsterdam every October. For five days the city welcomes tens of thousands of visitors, stages thousands of events and generally dances its little socks off. This year ADE will be celebrating its 25th anniversary, so it is sure to be a rager. Mid-October 2020.
18. Cello Biënnale Amsterdam
Cello Biënnale Amsterdam sets the strings alight with a jam-packed 10-day programme featuring classical music as well as world, pop, jazz and impro fusions. Plus, there’s a competition to stimulate young talent. Hello Cello! 22-31 October 2020.
19. Amsterdam Light Festival
Amsterdam Light Festival illuminates the city’s UNESCO-listed canals once again from late November. See spectacular works of art that use light to showcase prescient themes. In 2020 designers, artists and other creators will be responding to When Nature Calls. Late November 2020 to mid-January 2021.
20. Holiday season in Amsterdam
Experience the festive charms of Amsterdam. Come December, Amsterdam positively twinkles making it look like a scene from a fairy tale. It’s the perfect time to learn all about ‘gezelligheid’, browse charming Christmas markets, experience the warmth of brown cafes and generally get your festive spirit flowing. Anytime from late November.
Check our monthly, seasonal and annual highlights or hop-on over to What’s on to search Amsterdam’s cultural agenda.