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Grote Markt, Haarlem, Haarlem Culinair. Performers and art installations with visitors enjoying food at drinks at Haarlem Culinair food festival at the Grote Markt
Image from Franklin van der Erf

Festivals and events in the Amsterdam Area

In the wider Amsterdam Area, you'll find a colourful line-up of events and festivals year-round. From culinary events and flower parades to thumping electronic music parties on the beach, here's our selection of the best of What's On - just a short journey from Amsterdam.

New Year’s Swim

1 January 2024, Amsterdam Beach
Image from © Dutch Beach Art - Tim Hoekstra

Start your New Year’s fitness regime with a dip in the sea at Zandvoort aan Zee on 1 January. This 60-year tradition is the perfect moment to cure the effects of the night before and attracts brave swimmers from all around the Netherlands. Even those who prefer to stay on dry land, can join in the fun and enjoy a hot cup of erwten (pea) soup.

Flower Parade

22 April 2023, Flower Strip
Image from Laurens Lindhout

Beloved by locals and international visitors alike, the Bloemencorso Bollenstreek (Flower Parade) returns every spring, running from Noordwijk to Haarlem via Keukenhof Gardens. Thousands of spectators gather along the route to admire a colourful procession of elaborate floats decorated with tulips and other locally-grown flowers alongside luxury cars and musical acts.

Aalsmeer Flower Festival

June 2023, Flower Strip
Historical garden of Aalsmeer.
Image from Koen Smilde

Embrace a weekend full of flowers, art, music and food during Aalsmeer Flower Festival - a colourful collaboration between local institutions, including the Aalsmeer Historical Gardens and Flower Art Museum. The event is spread across several locations, including the horticultural museum, a rose nursery, a floral design school and a spectacular waterfront space. Visitors can pop between venues by bus and boat or by following the available bike tour.

Land Art Weekend

3-4 June 2023, New Land
Image from Bram Schilling

New Land is home to the world’s most significant concentration of Land Art – giant artworks made in response to the surrounding landscape. There are nine pieces scattered all across the polder, which are visitable year-round. But, during Land Art Weekend, a knowledgeable guide will explain the pieces with special performances and activities organised at the various locations.

Luminosity Beach Festival

22-24 June 2023, Amsterdam Beach
festival, people partying
Image from Jeffrey Bron

Head to the shores of Bloemendaal aan Zee for this annual electronic music festival. Three days of pure trance are on the cards at Luminosity as major international acts and up-and-coming talents take to the decks. Every summer edition is set to deliver blistering sets from big names so you can feel the beats and the sand between your toes.

Havenfestival IJmond

22-25 June 2023, Amsterdam Beach
Women eating herring Havenfestival IJmuiden
Image from Erik Baalbergen

The free nautical-themed Havenfestival takes over the harbour at IJmuiden every year, providing music, culture, food and family entertainment. Alongside the various performances from local and international bands, there's a host of nautical activities in store, including boating trips, navigation displays, the chance to explore ships and demonstrations by divers or the fire and rescue departments.


21-23 July 2023, Castles & Gardens

Wonderfeel classical music festival returns each July to its home turf on the stately grounds of Schaep en Burgh just outside Naarden-Bussum. Enjoy a packed concert programme across various indoor stages in unique acoustic tents with dozens more activities for kids and a range of tasty food options. The programme generally spans over six centuries of music, from Mozart's piano jewels and opera favourites to jazz-classical fusion and fresh interpretations of Reich and Cage.

Pride at the Beach

Pride at the Beach in Zandvoort
Image from Cris Toala Olivares
30 July - 1 August 2023, Amsterdam Beach

Rain or shine, it's time to break out the beachwear as Pride Amsterdam heads to the beach at Zandvoort aan Zee. This annual celebration of LGBTQI pride and diversity has a sun-soaked twist, encompassing a colourful parade and a variety of events, games and parties at the local beach bars.

Haarlem Culinair

3-6 August 2023, Haarlem
Grote Markt, Haarlem, Haarlem Culinair. Performers and art installations with visitors enjoying food at drinks at Haarlem Culinair food festival at the Grote Markt
Image from Franklin van der Erf

Haarlem is known for its gastronomy with the Grote Markt – flanked by an array of outstanding restaurants and convivial cafes – at the city’s foodie heart. In August, the annual culinary festival, Haarlem Culinair, takes over, serving up an array of delicious regional delicacies, beers and wines – and a whole load of live music.

Dance Valley

12 August 2023, Haarlem

Dance Valley returns to Spaarnwoude - just outside of Haarlem - each August for a colourful dance music festival with the feeling of a small village. Famous DJs spin sets across the various circus tents and a few large open-air stages spread over different areas. The musical offering is diverse, with each stage representing one of the various dance music styles.


18-20 August 2023, New Land
Lowlands festival
Image from Ben Houdijk

Every year, more than 55,000 pilgrims trek to the middle of the Dutch countryside for this musical paradise. The line-up invariably features some of the world’s best performers and musicians from the more alternative side of the spectrum. There are also restaurants, a market, relaxation rooms, arts, theatre, literature and a sauna and hot tub area.

ZAND Beach Festival

19 August 2023, New Land
ZAND Beach Festival Almere
Image from Zet Vexy

This annual festival has been organised on the beach of Almere since 2008, attracting more than 25,000 visitors yearly. Expect a stand-out musical line-up playing along the beach stages at Strandfestival ZAND. Beanbags are spread over special 'chill zones', and for those who are not afraid of heights, there is a Ferris wheel at the main stage.


25-27 August 2023, Flower Strip
Image from Mysteryland

In August, the former Floriade site in Haarlemmermeer will transform into the most fairytale-like and diverse electronic music festival in the Netherlands for Mysteryland. Discover hundreds of upcoming talents and leading DJs from home and abroad, providing a dazzling party. There's also exhibitions by artist collectives and theatre makers, dance performances, the smallest cinema in the world and 'spoken word' performances. Camping is optional!

Dutch Grand Prix

25-27 August 2023, Amsterdam Beach
Max Verstappen in aktie tijdens de maandag van de  Jumbo Racedagen op circuit Zandvoort. foto: Chris Schotanus
Image from chris schotanus

In August, the Netherlands gets set for the annual Formula 1 Dutch Grand Prix 2023, which hits the tarmac in Zandvoort. Make your way down to the coast for an unmissable weekend of high-speed manoeuvres and screaming engines.

Haarlem Christmas Market

9-11 December 2022, Haarlem
Orchestra of Santa's at Chrismas Market Haarlem 2016
Image from Koen Smilde

One of the largest Christmas markets in the whole of the Netherlands, the Haarlem Christmas market is a must-see, must-do experience. As you wander through the hundreds of market stalls weaving throughout the city centre, the sounds of Christmas carols and the scent of holiday treats fill the air, making it hard to ever head home.