Festival fever

A ticket for a festival can be quite expensive but in Amsterdam there are still some options that won’t cost you a thing. Get a taste of Japanese culture during the Moshi Moshi Fair in Amstelveen, then boost your culture creds with a day at Uitmarkt. From sushi and ice creams to pizzas and burgers, you can have a fun-filled summer that doesn’t dent your wallet.

Rembrandt revelry 

Rembrandt Year, commemorating 350 years since the Dutch master’s death, is in full swing with all kinds of exhibitions and in Leiden you can get an immersive experience of the artist’s life and times. In this city in the South Holland, an entire neighbourhood is sent 350 years back in time. Hundreds of extras will walk around in the Pieterswijk in authentic traditional costumes and all the trappings of modern life, even traffic poles, will be hidden from view. The only thing you’ll have to pay for is a train ticket to Leiden. A little closer to home, you can also see art for free at Play Station Sloterdijk, where a wide variety of artwork will be displayed in public spaces and various activities and tours will be organized.

Midsummer melodies 

What is a summer without music? Enjoy your own sunny soundtrack during the best music events this summer. At the Vondelpark Open Air Theater, you can catch concerts by Sarah Jane, Tim Knol and Kenny B. Add some moves to the music at Summer Breeze Latin Nights on the Westergasterras. Entrance is free until 8 p.m. and you can salsa into the night led by the body-thumping beats of the very best Latin music. 

Pride parade

The Canal Parade on 3 August is the highlight of Pride Amsterdam, but that’s just the cherry on the sundae. Leading up to Pride there are tons of parties and activities to add a little extra rainbow-hued happiness to your summer. Starting from 27 July, you can participate in rotating roster of free LGBTI activities, parties and other cultural events, that travel across the Amsterdam Area from Vondelpark, to the Homomonument and even Zandvoort beach.

Starlit cinema

Picture this: you are lounging in a chair on the beach with a cold beer in hand. The sun sets and as the day ends, Hollywood magic begins. A film is projected on a larger-than-life screen under the night sky. Does this sound like a perfect summer evening? Starting 14 August, this slice of perfection is yours as the open-air film festival PLUK DE NACHT (seize the night) begins again. For 10 dreamy summer days, you can see the best art-house films and documentaries in the open air on the IJ. Admission is free but donations are appreciated and reserving a beach chair costs €6.

Looking for more summer fun? Check out our roundup of festivals, events and activities that are making Amsterdam's long summer days shine a little brighter.