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Discover Amsterdam
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Live, Work and Study
Rollende Keukens food festival live music
Image from Rollende Keukens

Cultural tips for Amsterdam this spring

Opera, techno, tulips and dressing up in orange, Amsterdam’s cultural agenda is suitably packed again for spring 2024. You’ll find dance parties, food fairs, classical concerts and various outdoor events to keep you entertained, along with a whole heap of film festivals and art exhibitions. Here are a few highlights we’re looking forward to this season.

National Holocaust Museum

Image from Office Winhov

Another new entry to Amsterdam, The National Holocaust Museum, is set to be the first and only museum to tell the entire story of the persecution of Jewish people in the Netherlands. A history of segregation, persecution and murder, and one of rescue, survival and solidarity, expect to be moved by the permanent exhibition that’s found its home within Amsterdam’s treasured Jewish Cultural Quarter. 

Jewish Cultural Quarter | opens 11 March 2024

Amsterdam Art Week

On the Inside exhibition Wildfire by David Claerbout
Image from On the Inside

An essential date for art lovers, Amsterdam Art Week, is the place to discover what the capital has to offer in contemporary art. Now in its 12th edition, Amsterdam Art Week transforms the city into an international meeting place for art enthusiasts, collectors, and emerging and renowned artists. For five days, discover the latest developments and debates at more than 50 participating galleries, project spaces, museums, and residencies dotted around the city’s top independent galleries and contemporary art spaces.

Amsterdam Art Week | 29 May - 2 June 2024, various locations

Festival season

People dancing at DGTL Festival 2022.
Image from Kirsten van Santen

Amsterdam’s music festival season opens in mid-April with DGTL, a three-day event dedicated to underground electronic music, which takes place at the NDSM Docklands. Next up is Awakenings, the country’s most legendary techno event, which will return to the iconic Gashouder venue this year with another exceptional line-up full of surprises and special guests. Later, Lente Kabinet (the little sister festival to Dekmantel) unfolds in the stunning surroundings of Het Twiske. This is followed by Amsterdam Open Air Festival, which lights up the stunning Gaasperpark with a versatile agenda of electronic music, pop, Latin and Afro genres across ten stages.

DGTL | 29-31 March 2024, NDSM Docklands
Awakenings Easter Anniversary | 29-31 March 2024, Gashouder
Lente Kabinet | 18-19 May 2024, Het Twiske
Amsterdam Open Air | 1-2 June 2024, Gaasperpark

National holidays

Koningsdag 2018 King's day 2018
Image from Koen Smilde Photography

Spring in the Netherlands is packed full of national holidays. On King's Day (27 April), over a million orange-clad revellers descend onto the streets and canals for markets, parties and family events across the city. A few weeks later, Amsterdam’s citizens will pause to pay their respects to civilians and members of the armed forces who have died in conflicts (4 May) with a national Remembrance Day ceremony at Dam Square. Then it's time for a national party on 5 May, as the crowds take to the streets to celebrate the liberation of the Netherlands (Bevrijdingsdag) at the end of World War II.

Rolling Kitchens

Rollende Keukens food festival food truck
Image from Luciano de Boterman

The Rolling Kitchens (or Rollende Keukens in Dutch) food festival sees dozens of mobile kitchens and food trucks quite literally roll into town at Westergas to create one enormous open-air restaurant. Sample a little of everything from the festival-sized smorgasbord, including all kinds of cuisines from Thai to tapas and Texan BBQ. Bands perform to exuberant crowds looking to dance off the delicacies they’ve divulged throughout the day, and the event runs late into the evening.

Rolling Kitchens | 8-12 May 2024, Westerpark

Kaboom Animation Festival

A dreamy two-day festival that celebrates the animated world in all its forms and colours, Kaboom is for animation lovers and makers alike, with award-winning shorts and feature-length films on show. The festival also runs a competition for best-animated films, with this year’s crop featuring the story of a woman who goes in search of her missing mother (Deep Sea) and a girl who suffocated by the tedium of daily life, dreams of a grand escape (27, recipient of Palme d’Or 2023).

Kaboom Animation Festival | 5-14 April 2024, Eye Filmmuseum

Roze Filmdagen

Het Kethuis cinema interior in Westerpark
Image from Arjen Veldt

Amsterdam’s annual queer film festival returns in March, celebrating pioneering cinema, actors and directors from the community. The longest-running and largest LGBTQI+ film festival in the Netherlands, expect everything from shorts to documentaries, panel talks, and in-depth analysis, all within the industrial but cosy confines of Westerpark’s Het Ketelhuis.

Roze Filmdagen (Pink Film Days) | 13-24 March 2024, Het Ketelhuis and Westergasterrein


People admiring tulips at Keukenhof gardens 2022
Image from Keukenhof

Nowhere is the Dutch cult of the tulip celebrated more gloriously than at the Keukenhof Gardens, located in the bulb region south of Amsterdam. Open for just eight weeks each year, visitors will be staggered by seven million blooms planted across the 32-hectare park.

Here are our top reasons to visit Keukenhof in spring 2024.

Keukenhof Gardens | 21 March - 12 May 2024, Lisse

Opera Forward Festival

The National Opera & Ballet. This cultural institution is located at the Amstel river, near Waterlooplein.
Image from Jan de Ridder

Urgent, compelling and extravagant: the seventh edition of the Opera Forward Festival (OFF) once again promises a defiant exploration of uncharted territory. With ground-breaking music theatre productions, distinctive performances and in-depth programmes, audiences can discover new sounds in the world of opera. Immerse yourself in musical performances and presentations by both established names and a new generation of creatives. 

Opera Forward Festival | 8 - 17 March 2024, various locations

Open Garden Days

Open tuindagen 2023,  Huis Willet Holthuysen
Image from Monique Vermeulen; Amsterdam Museum

Private gardens often feel like fairytale paradises of their own, and Amsterdam has several gorgeous courtyards and serene oases that prove this. Lucky for you, a city-wide initiative dubbed Open Garden Days invites visitors into some of the capital’s most manicured gardens for a weekend in June, from the historical Huis Marseille to the regal estate of Museum van Loon. 

Open Garden Days | 14 - 16 June 2024, various locations

Record Store Day

People in the record store looking at records
Image from Jurre Rompa

This annual event honours Amsterdam’s independent record stores, with many special vinyl releases and in-store performances across the city. Spend the Saturday hopping between stores, digging for never-before-released gems, new songs, remixes and more unique items. Various shop floors will be turned into intimate stages, with more than 250 performances throughout the day.

Record Store Day | 20 April 2024, various locations