Grab your day planner and a pencil because we’ve got a lit-up lineup of amazing Amsterdam events to keep you busy all year long. In addition to the annual all-stars like King’s Day and Pride, in 2020 celebrations like SAIL, the 25th anniversary of ADE and the UEFA Championships are giving us a few more reasons to revel. But don’t let the big events take up all the room in your agenda; there are many intimate exhibitions, art fairs and live performances that are just as worthy of your time. Check out What’s on to stay up to date on all Amsterdam has to offer.
After the warm and fuzzy feelings of Christmas have been washed away by the New Year’s Eve parties and fireworks spectacle in Amsterdam, January offers the perfect opportunity to rug-up and stay warm.
1 Jan - Experience Amsterdam like a local and start the New Year on the right foot by trying a typically Dutch activity. Brace yourself as you dive into the chilly waters of the city as part of Nieuwjaarsduik, a national dip, sometimes skinny!
18 Jan - The third Saturday of January marks National Tulip Day. Taking place on Dam Square, about 200,000 tulips form a vibrant flower field that you can admire in the morning, and in the afternoon, you can pick yourself a tulip or two to take home.
25 Jan - Don’t miss the fabulous Chinese New Year celebrations around Dam Square and the historic Nieuwmarkt/Zeedijk neighbourhood.
14 Feb - Amsterdam’s romantic charms enchant come February making it the perfect place to be for Valentine’s Day. Dine with your loved one in a romantic restaurant, walk along the canals and tiny streets admiring the twinkling lights or take in a classical concert.
19-23 Feb - Come the end of the month, the Chocolate Festival is in town, a three-day event where you can sample this liquid gold to your heart’s content.
March marks the start of spring, but it can still be chilly in the city. Never mind as there’s a bounty of blooms making their presence felt and are bound to warm your soul.
21 Mar to 10 May - The big flower event is Keukenhof, a massive festival of flowers that takes a theme each year.
21 Mar - Soar high above the city as you climb any number of the city’s towers on Open Tower Day. It’s a great way to get a bird’s eye view of Amsterdam.
10-13 April - Bag a bounty of chocolate Easter eggs as treasure hunts and family-friendly events unfold across the city.
10-12 April - DGTL Amsterdam is all about being an environmentally sound dance music festival where you’ll find heavy hitters in the underground electronica scene.
27 April - At the end of April it’s all about King’s Day, a massive country-wide party bathed in orange. The atmosphere is electric and there is so much to do.
3 May - Race over to Zandvoort to see the Dutch Formula 1 Grand Prix, back in the Netherlands after a 35-year absence. The screech of whirring tires will be set to fat beats spun by some of the world’s best DJs.
5 May - Liberation Day marks freedom from occupation and sees the city celebrate with a host of concerts.
The music festival season officially begins come June as the days are warming up and summer kicks into gear.
Most of June - Holland Festival showcases cutting-edge performances for 30 enthralling days.
5-7 June - Red Light Jazz Festival celebrates Amsterdam’s jazzy heritage.
6 June to 4 September - Scale the heights for On the Roof Film Festival.
7 June to 6 September - Vondelpark Open Air Festival begins with free outdoor performances through to September.
12-13 June - Head upstairs and sit back on one of the city’s many rooftops for the, no points for guessing, Roef Festival.
12-14 June - Visit some of the city’s enchanting private gardens as part of Open Garden Day.
14-27 June - Amsterdam will be one of 12 cities hosting Euro 2020 football matches as part of the UEFA 60th-anniversary celebration.
Get the party started in July. Summer is in full throttle with vibrant festivals for everyone taking place across town.
1-12 July - Julidans celebrates all that contemporary dance has to offer.
10-12 July - Trek Food Truck Festival moves about the country serving myriad tasty treats touching down in Amsterdam in July.
11 July to 2 August - Kwaku in Zuidoost brings colour and frivolity to Nelson Mandela Park.
25-28 July - Milkshake dazzles.
25 July to 2 August - Pride paints the city with rainbow hues. No need to choose, just do it all in true Amsterdam style.
31 July to 4 August - Is electronica or hip-hop, grime and R&B more your thing? Take in techno and dance acts at Dekmantel.
1 August - The good times continue to cruise on with the Canal Parade, an all-out fun and fabulous party in the city centre - the major event of Pride Amsterdam. Don your best rainbow hues as you cheer on the spectacular floats as they make their way along the city’s adored canals.
7-16 August - Fans of classical, jazz and world music won’t want to miss the unique Grachtenfestival where orchestras and bands play along and on Amsterdam’s canals.
8 August - Get down with the crew at Appelsap.
12-16 August - SAIL only cruises into Amsterdam once every five years, so a crowd always flocks to see the majestic flotilla of tall ships sail along the River IJ before docking near the city centre.
28-30 August - Uitmarkt, a festival that launches the city’s premier museums, theatres and music venues’ new cultural programme.
Late August - Bijlmerbios is an outdoor film festival in the city’s vibrant southeast.
By September the days are starting to shorten, and the mornings have a crispness to them.
3-13 September - The Dutch Theatre Festival stages an array of spectacular performances each September.
3-13 September – For the more adventurous there is the avantgarde Amsterdam Fringe Festival.
6 September - For some it’s time to jump into the canals to raise money for charity as part of City Swim.
12-15 September - Take a peek inside the city’s architectural wonders as part of Open Monuments Day.
18-20 September - Photography fans can experience cutting-edge work at Unseen Amsterdam.
19 September - Runners rejoice as the Dam tot Damloop takes place over two days.
As the leaves change colour on cool October days, one of the world’s largest music festivals drops.
8-10 October - Read my World begins, for fans of international storytelling.
Mid October - Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) stages more than a thousand events over five days including lectures, workshops, debates, and of course, DJ acts and bands. This year marks its 25th anniversary, so get ready to see Amsterdam go all out.
18 October - The TCS Amsterdam Marathon is for fitness fans everywhere.
24 October - Amsterdam Music Festival sees big-name artists take to the stage over two days.
Late October - Cinekid is a film festival for kids, bound to keep the little ones entertained for hours. They can interact with exhibits, games, apps and meet filmmakers too.
30-31 October - International Storytelling Festival Amsterdam unfolds late October with many events in English.
31 October - At the month’s end all the spooks come out for Halloween.
2 November - The city’s cultural institutions come alive on Museumnacht with a special programme running well into the night.
9-17 November - Kaboom is all about animation and aimed squarely at the kids.
15 November - Sinterklaas arrives mid-November with festive cheer.
21-24 November - Amsterdam Art Weekend sees the best contemporary art on show at a host of venues.
22 Nov – 2 Dec - Documentary film lovers can enjoy a jam-packed programme at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA).
30 November - Amsterdam Light Festival begins and the city’s canals are awash in illuminating art works.
5 December - Let the gifts flow as Sinterklaas arrives with a bounty of gifts in tow.
It’s Christmas, which means marvellous markets, jolly times and good cheer.
31 Dec - ring in the New Year with a host of parties, champagne and fireworks displays around the city.
And there you have it, another year concludes with fireworks and more parties than you can imagine.