Art and culture in Westerpark
Located in the centre of Westerpark, Westergasfabriek is one of the city’s cultural powerhouses, overflowing with nightlife options, exhibition spaces, stages and even a cinema. There’s plenty to enjoy including festivals, movies, workshops and live music with lots of bites and booze on offer.
Fabrique des Lumières
The new digital art centre, Fabrique des Lumières, uses cutting-edge technology to create immersive exhibitions devoted to some of the most celebrated figures in art history - think Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, Gustav Klimt, and Salvador Dalí. The exhibitions will be designed to complement the unique architecture of Westergasfabriek. In addition to the immersive exhibitions that focus on classical and modern artists, an area will be devoted to the exhibition of contemporary works.
Museum Het Schip
Dive into the whacky architectural style of the Amsterdam School movement at Museum Het Schip, located in the unique neighbourhood of Spaarndammerbuurt. This expressionist building (called "the ship" because of its nautical shape) hosts some fascinating exhibitions about this early 20th-century design movement that draws comparisons to Art Deco.
Amaze is a new audiovisual experience created from lasers, lights, smoke, new media art and impressive visuals. Make your way through the immersive labyrinth spread across seven rooms of a fascinating building; the Elementenstraat location was once the offices of a peanut roasting company and later became a notorious illegal rave location. The interactive experience is suitable for all ages, promising a journey “from head to heart”.
Unseen Photo Fair
Each September, international crowds flock to Westergas for the Unseen Photo Fair, one of the major annual events in the cultural calendar. Hosted within the unique shiny metal cylinder of the Gashouder - a former gas factory in the centre of Westerpark - the world’s most exciting photography galleries and cutting-edge artists are brought together for a weekend-long event. Along with the exhibition, you can expect a variety of talks, competitions and tours.
During the weekend at this large industrial-style restaurant and bar, the tables are pushed aside as DJs take to the decks. The style at Pacific is geared towards swinging rock ‘n’ roll nights with live bands appearing regularly. In addition to the regular club nights, the agenda at Pacific encompasses various cultural events which take place both indoors and on the spacious terrace. Stop by for everything from live music evenings, spoken word and comedy nights to exhibitions, salsa or yoga classes and art workshops for kids.
This pop-up DJ bar in Westerpark plays sets all night long every Thursday to Sunday. At Radio Radio, you can expect a curation of the coolest sounds from all over the world, and they live stream too. Tuck into cocktails on the terrace before heading inside to the intimate dancefloor.
Situated in an industrial area in the west of Amsterdam, Warehouse Elementenstraat has been transformed into one of the city's most influential party locations. From hosting the first illegal gabber raves in Amsterdam to becoming a highly regarded spot for cutting edge electronic music, Elementenstraat is living proof of the power and resilience of club culture. With its modular, multi-roomed interior, the venue captures the intimacy of a nightclub, combined with an indoor festival feeling.
One of the biggest and best celebrations of gay pride around the globe, Pride Amsterdam attracts more than 350,000 visitors each August who stay and play in Amsterdam. The city is a vibrant rainbow of events in gay and straight venues alike, with dance parties, film screenings, sporting events, debates, exhibitions and much more. To coincide with this, Milkshake Festival in Westerpark is a multi-genre music event with a clear message where respect, freedom, love, tolerance and fun are of paramount importance.
What started from humble beginnings as a pop-up cinema in the Westergas cultural complex - a converted gasworks in the centre of Westerpark - Ketelhuis Cinema has grown into an important landmark for Dutch cinema, international arthouse and documentary film. The driving force behind the venue is a dedicated team of volunteers who keep an eye on the smooth projection of the films and keep the food and drinks flowing from behind the well-stocked bar.
The Roze Filmdagen (Pink Film Days), have been a constant factor in Amsterdam's gay and lesbian cultural landscape since 1996. With its top-drawer programming, the festival aims to highlight all aspects of quality LGBTI cinema for a broad audience including feature films, documentaries and shorts, that are missing in the regular cinematic offerings. The majority of screenings and events traditionally take place at the Ketelhuis Cinema and other locations around the Westergas.
Pluk de Nacht
As the sun sets, sit in your deckchair, snuggle under a blanket and enjoy a slice of undiscovered cinema on the big screen. Pluk de Nacht (Seize the Night) brings not-yet-released films to Amsterdam’s summer nights at an idyllic waterside location. Genres ranging from absurd romcoms, indie and arthouse cinema to haunting horror flicks, documentary or animation. Many of the films are plucked from a star crop featured at the major international film festivals and are screened in English or subtitled. Guests can also grab a bite to eat, a beer or cocktails, before heading on to the disco.
De Nieuwe Anita
We’re not sure who Anita is but we certainly like her eclectic retro style. This living room bar, De Nieuwe Anita, in West has a small stage for some pretty alternative events, including slam poetry, spoken word, comedy nights, acoustic music, DJ events, club nights and everything mixed together. Drop by to hear performances from some of the city’s most exciting musical and literary talents in an intimate venue.
This enormous indoor space hidden in the heart of the city was first opened in 1934 as the main trading centre for fruit, vegetables, meat and fish. The building has stood empty for the last 20 years, but is now being repurposed into a lively meeting place for foodies, local entrepreneurs and creatives working in culture, fashion, music and theatre. Check out the agenda for live music and food events. There’s even a mini train that will transfer you to and from the entrance gate. On one side of the depot building you can also spot a colossal mural painted by Keith Haring in 1986, one of his few surviving public works, that was recently uncovered and restored. And if you’re returning to Amsterdam in 2025, be sure to check out how the area has developed into a full-blown residential district, the Marktkwartier West.