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Luther Museum Amsterdam church interiors with organ
Image from Martine Goulmy / Luther Museum

Classical music venues in Amsterdam

When it comes to classical music, you will be spoilt for choice in Amsterdam. Take your pick from big, world-renowned venues such as the Royal Concertgebouw, canal-side performances during the Grachtenfestival and the intimate settings of the city’s medieval churches for a complete evening of classical euphony.

Royal Concertgebouw

Vrouw in AMAZE Amsterdam.
Image from Jorn Baars

This world-renowned concert venue on the Museumplein square consistently ranks among the top halls in the world for its superb acoustics. It is known for being the centre for classical music in Amsterdam and the Netherlands, with its grand Main Hall suited for a full orchestra, a Small Hall for quartets and chamber music and the Choir Hall for intimate recitals. The programming will suit the tastes of discerning listeners as well as beginners. Expect everything from concerts for babies and children to free lunchtime recitals on Wednesday afternoons year-round (with the exception of July and August).

Read our guide to free classical music concerts for more tips.

Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ

A violinist and a pianist on stage in het Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ
Image from Jan de Ridder

Since its founding in 2005, Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ has become known for its inspirational programme of contemporary music, as well as classical, jazz, and other genres. Home to multiple festivals throughout the year, such as the Cello Biennale or String Quartet Biennale, this venue is extremely versatile thanks to its main concert hall’s flexible and movable ceilings and walls. This allows easy conversion into smaller halls for intimate chamber music or extension for more prominent ensembles without any loss of acoustics. There’s always something on the agenda to please classical music fans, from Schubert and Beethoven to modern composers and young talent.

National Opera & Ballet

Dutch National Opera & Ballet singers Le Petite Messe Solennelle
Image from Melle Meivogel

Classical music goes hand in hand with opera and ballet. Don’t miss the brilliant programme of performances at the Dutch National Opera & Ballet, from festive classics such as Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker to soul-stirring performances of Carmen, Turandot, Dido and Aeneas, and much more. Tickets seated in the higher balconies are extremely affordable and still offer an excellent view of the stage and performers.


Orgelpark live concert
Image from Orgelpark

Housed in the heritage-listed Parkkerk close to Vondelpark, Orgelpark is an international concert hall hosting church organ concerts as well as quartets and small ensembles. In addition to the varied programme, there's a wonderful Art Deco ambience, an intimate concert hall featuring impressive organs, beautiful and clear acoustics, and a cosy foyer.

Museum Geelvinck

Pianola Museum interior
Image from Herman van Heusden

Museum Geelvinck is known for its pianola collection, but it’s also a small and intimate venue for classical music concerts, with a particular focus on the piano. Don't miss the annual Geelvinck Festival - the largest of its kind worldwide in the historic fortepiano sphere.

Church concerts

  • Situated in one of Amsterdam's oldest and most charming parts, Noorderkerk is an idyllic setting for a matinee classical concert, regularly attracting an audience of classical experts and curious newcomers. Concerts typically run from September through May on Saturday afternoons.
  • NedPhO Koepel, a former church in the Indische Buurt, is hosting free open rehearsals and children’s concerts by the Netherlands Philharmonic and Chamber Orchestras
  • Many concerts across various Amsterdam churches are scheduled on the Stadsherstel website. You will find performances in churches like De Thomas, De Waalse Kerk, De Duif, Oosterkerk, Vondelkerk, Amstelkerk, Het Zonnehuis in Amsterdam Noord, and more.
  • Oudekerk is one of Amsterdam’s oldest buildings, and it holds concerts on its beautiful organ.


The Grachtenfestival (Canal Festival) is a yearly classical music festival on the Amsterdam canals that takes place in August. The city is transformed as concerts happen in parks, on the streets, and on the water. Passers-by in boats often linger along the canals to enjoy the music played on the pontoons. Tickets get sold out fast, so keep an eye out for performances you might be interested in. The festival also has a Junior Division, which is perfect for musical family time.

VriendenLoterij Summer Concerts

Image from Tomek Dersu Aaron

The summer programming of The Royal Concertgebouw has more than 80 concerts ranging from classical to jazz and pop. Local and international orchestras will take you into the world of Beethoven, Mozart and Dvořák. Film music fans shouldn’t miss showstopping concerts such as the John Williams Tribute or the Star Wars: Return of the Jedi screening accompanied by a live performance by the resident orchestra.