Amsterdam Art Week
Amsterdam’s art world will become a hive of activity again this Spring, for the 10th edition of Art Week. This is your chance to see the work of talented young artists over an extended weekend with over 100 exhibitions, performances, screenings, and debates taking place in the city’s top independent galleries and contemporary art spaces. Major events are being organised at Foam, Oude Kerk, Stedelijk, EYE Filmmuseum and many more. Acclaimed art institutions such as the Rijksakademie and De Ateliers also throw open their doors to introduce visitors to the work being produced within.
Amsterdam Art Week | 11 - 15 May, various locations
Amsterdam’s music festival season opens in mid-April with DGTL a 2-day event dedicated to underground electronic music which takes place at the NDSM-Wharf. Next up is Awakenings, the country’s most legendary techno event which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year with a special 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, the same weekend as Amsterdam Open Air Festival lights up the stunning Gaasperpark with a versatile agenda of electronic music, pop, Latin and Afro genres across ten stages.
Spring in the Netherlands is packed full of national holidays. On King's Day (April 27), 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 pause to pay their respects to civilians and members of the armed forces who have died in conflicts (May 4) with a national Remembrance Day ceremony at Dam Square. Then it's time for a national party on May 5, as the crowds take to the streets to celebrate the liberation of the Netherlands (Bevrijdingsdag) at the end of World War II.
The free Rollende Keukens (Rolling Kitchens) food festival sees dozens of mobile kitchens and food trucks pop up at Westergas to create one enormous open-air restaurant. Sample a little of everything from the festival-sized smorgasbord, including cuisines from Thai to tapas and Texan BBQ. Bands perform to exuberant crowds looking to dance off the delicacies they’ve divulged in throughout the day, and the event runs late into the evening.
Rolling Kitchens | 25 - 29 May, Westerpark
Kaboom Animation Festival
This progressive and inclusive festival celebrates animation in all its glorious shapes and sizes. The programme combines cutting-edge experimental arthouse movies with the very best of what animation has to offer. Think fun, art, awe and wonder, on the big screen and behind it, and for all generations.
Kaboom Animation Festival | March 28 - April 3, various locations
Open Tower Day
The perfect chance to see Amsterdam from a new perspective, historic and modern towers in Amsterdam open their doors to the public for Open Tower Day. Along with sky-high views, this year’s 10th-anniversary edition will include various symposiums, tours and lectures.
Open Tower Day | 26 March, various locations
Roze Filmdagen (Pink Film Days)
What started in 1996 as a very small-scale underground festival aimed at the gay and lesbian community has grown into the largest, longest-running and most successful LGBTQ+ film festival in the Netherlands. The 25th edition of Roze Filmdagen (Pink Film Days) – which can be visited both physically and online – will include 140 long and short films from all over the world. The festival shows stories that everyone can identify with, but always with a focus on the LGBTQ+ community.
Roze Filmdagen (Pink Film Days) | March 10 - 20, Het Ketelhuis and Westergasterrein
Nowhere is the Dutch cult of the tulip celebrated in a more glorious fashion 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. Whilst you can easily spend an entire day in the gardens, but the rest of Lisse and the surrounding Flower Strip is also well worth exploring.
Keukenhof Gardens | 24 March - 15 May, Lisse
This year’s edition of Bach Week will be opened with a performance about the two great composers Bach and Luther, by Thomas de Bres and cello suites by Joris van Haaften. On March 17, the Goldberg Trio will play De Goldberg Variations with Diet Tilanus on violin, Frederik Boits on viola and Stephan Heber on cello. The closing Bach and Brahms concerto will be performed by the Icelandic mezzo-soprano Guja Sandholt with Martijn Willers, piano, Diet Tilanus, violin and Olivier Patey, clarinet.
Bach Week | March 14 - 20, Luther Museum
Opera Forward Festival
The sixth edition of Opera Forward takes the theme of 'New Beginnings' and once again brings together work by a new generation of makers, speakers and musical performers. Don’t miss I have missed you forever by Lisenka Heijboer Castañón and Manoj Kamps and Orphée | L'Amour | Eurydice by Robin Coops and VR pioneer Avinash Changa, and spoken word artist Veronique Efomi.
Opera Forward Festival | 5 - 13 March, various locations
Open Garden Days
Snoop around the pristine gardens of some of Amsterdam’s finest canal houses, many of which are closed to the public, except on these special Open Garden Days in June. Hidden behind the stately façades of these impressive canal-side homes, visitors can step into a quiet green oasis of peace and tranquility.
Open Garden Days | 17 - 19 June, various locations
Record Store Day
This annual event honours Amsterdam’s independent record stores with many special vinyl releases and in-store performances taking place across the city. Spend the Saturday hopping between stores digging for never-before-released gems, new songs, remixes and more special items. Various shop floors will be turned into intimate stages with more than 250 performances taking place.
Record Store Day | 23 April, various locations
World Press Photo
Every year, World Press Photo returns home for its flagship exhibition, specially designed for the space of De Nieuwe Kerk, a 15th-century church parked in the middle of Dam Square. Witness the most powerful, moving and influential images taken by the most talented press photographers working around the world today. These photos generally tend to pack a punch so be sure to bring some tissues with you!
World Press Photo | 16 April - 14 August, De Nieuwe Kerk
In 2022, Almere will host Floriade, an international garden expo that takes place in the Netherlands every 10 years. This edition’s theme is ‘Growing Green Cities’, transforming some 60 hectares of land near Almere’s city centre into an innovative garden expo to showcase the importance of nature and greenery in the cities of the future. What’s more, almost everything built for this six-month-long event will become a permanent part of a new residential district. Visitors to the expo can also enjoy a spectacular gondola ride above the festival grounds on a purpose-built ropeway showcasing the potential for sustainable use of urban cable cars.
Floriade Expo | opens on 14 April, Almere