Amsterdam Cultural Calendar

Amsterdam in autumn is beautiful, and while the leaves changing colour is a wonderful sight to behold, there are sure to be rainy days when you’ll want to be warm and dry inside. Luckily, there’s also a cloudburst of culture this season, with amazing art exhibitions, film festivals and dance events to keep you entertained. Here’s a curation of what to see and do this autumn in Amsterdam.

For film buffs

  • IDFA (International Documentary Film festival Amsterdam) sees a staggering amount of films beam onto the city’s big screens. 20 November - 1 December // Rembrandtplein
  • Cinekid is a film festival with a focus on younger audiences. 19-25 October // Westergas
  • Head to Kaboom Animation Festival (formerly KLIK) for the latest and greatest in all things animated. 13-17 November // Westergas
  • Film buffs will love the Andre Tarkovsky retrospective at Eye Filmmuseum, where carefully selected film fragments, archival material, and photographs and Polaroids will give you insight into this filmmaker’s existentially poetic world. 14 September - 6 December // EYE Filmmuseum

For shutterbugs

Brassai FOAM Amsterdam

  • Of Hungarian descent, French photographer Brassai’s work can be seen at Foam as part of his first retrospective exhibition in the Netherlands. His focus was on Paris, where he captured countless images of a city in flux. 13 September - 4 December // Foam
  • Unseen Amsterdam, a three-day photography festival presenting the latest work from photo artists across the globe. As with IDFA, there’s an expansive programme of events including lectures and workshops. 20-22 September // Westergas
  • Over at Huis Marseille there is another first, as the museum of photography celebrates American photographer Berenice Abbott. This large retrospective looks at her New York work and provides insight into the modernist master. Until 1 Dec // Huis Marseille
  • Reflect on a selection of 30 years of work by Inez & Vinoodh, a Dutch duo at the forefront of digital technology who have made cutting-edge work in the fashion realm. It’s at The Ravestijn Gallery. Until 19 October // The Ravestijn Gallery

For art aficionados

Rineke Dijkstra Amsterdam

  • With Rembrandt year celebrations drawing to a close, take an in-depth look at the techniques Rembrandt used. Rembrandt House’s Rembrandt Lab exhibition explores the ways, materials and methods used by Rembrandt and puts them under the microscope. Until 16 February 2020 // Rembrandt House Museum
  • At the Rijksmuseum, compare Rembrandt with his Spanish counterpart Velázquez, or experience Rineke Dijkstra’s compelling video installation of people looking at the Night Watch. Until 3 December // Rijksmuseum
  • There’s a fascinating exhibition featuring the work of Chagall, Picasso and Mondrian at the Stedelijk Museum. Until 2 February 2020 //Stedelijk Museum
  • Van Gogh Museum ponders French artist Jean-François Millet’s paintings. 4 October - 12 January 2020 // Van Gogh Museum
  • See cutting-edge contemporary art at the annual Amsterdam Art Weekend21-24 November // various venues
  • No matter what your taste is, PAN Amsterdam is likely to have something for you. It's all about art, antiques and design at this fair that attracts upwards of 45,000 visitors each year. 24 November – 1 December, RAI Amsterdam
  • The Affordable Art Fair is where you may find fabulous art works that are within your budget. 31 October – 3 November // Kromhouthal
  • Every November Amsterdam’s museums open their doors for a night of arty events as part of Museum Night Amsterdam2 November // various museums

Get your dancing shoes on

Amsterdam Dance Event

  • ADE (Amsterdam Dance Event) is a massive music festival, with more than a thousand events, that takes over the city each year. From top DJs to the freshest talent, both local and international, this is where every facet of the electronic dance music industry is explored. Catch lectures, workshops and forums as part of the well-attended conference. 16-20 October // various venues
  • At Amsterdam Music Festival (AMF) big names like David Guetta and Armin van Buuren take to the stage. 19 October // Johan Cruijff Arena

Hey music lover

Piano duo Amsterdam

  • Experience the magic of the Pianoduo Festival where, you guessed it, two pianists will play side by side. 9-13 October // various venues
  • Check out the Intercontinental Ensemble with their focus on women composers. 2 November // Oosterkerk
  • Take in Haydn’s blustery, intense Symphony no. 52, with a bit of Purcell and Händel thrown in for good measure, played by the RCO with Thomas Hengelbrock conducting. 17-20 October // Royal Concertgebouw
  • Free lunchtime concerts at the Royal Concertgebouw are yours for the taking. Wednesdays // Royal Concertgebouw

Take to the stage

A quiet evening of dance Amsterdam

Amsterdam’s stages come alive with an array of performances, many in English or with English surtitles. Here are a few theatre and dance highlights on our radar that are expected to be entertaining, challenging and sometimes even confronting. From small to major productions, there’s something for everyone. Here are a few performances lighting up Amsterdam's stages this autumn.

Plus

  • At the end of November, the Amsterdam Light Festival lights up the city. 28 November – 19 January 2020 // various locations

Don’t forget Christmas is coming! Check out our roundup of amazing Christmas markets and events.