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Discover Amsterdam
Meetings and Conventions
Live, Work and Study
Waalse Kerk piano player
Image from Foppe Schut

Free classical concerts in Amsterdam

If you are looking to add a touch of classical music into your Amsterdam visit, you might like some of the opportunities to enjoy classical music in Amsterdam entirely free of charge. Some of Amsterdam’s leading concert halls and churches offer the chance to listen in on rehearsals or short concerts performed by up-and-coming and established talent. Please check in advance whether booking a ticket is required. As is the case with many church-held concerts, attendance is free, but donations are very welcome.


Every Wednesday during lunchtime, visitors can enjoy a free half-hour-long concert in Amsterdam's prestigious concert hall, the Royal Concertgebouw at Museumplein - known worldwide for its superb acoustics. Depending on the week, you can enjoy chamber music in the Kleine Zaal or a rehearsal in the Grote Zaal. Due to popularity, tickets are limited to two per person. 


Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ concert hall interiors
Image from Jan de Ridder

Not quite free, but very nearly so, the Muziekgebouw regularly hosts one-hour lunchtime concerts featuring students and professional musicians. The Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ is one of Amsterdam's pioneers in contemporary music as well as jazz, classical, and electronic. This is the place to be if you'd like to enjoy music by a new generation of international and local musicians. The lunchtime concert can also be enjoyed for free if you book one of the Dutch-spoken guided tours that offer a behind-the-scenes look at the Muziekgebouw. 

De Thomas

You'd be hard-pressed to recognise the exterior of the unassuming De Thomas church on the edge of Zuidas as one of the highlights of post-second-World-War Dutch architecture. Yet this church is an art object in more ways than one. Take in the brutalist surroundings of the church during one of the bi-monthly Tuesday lunchtime concerts. The half-hour concerts highlight classical musicians and ensembles, while De Thomas also hosts various showings, theatre performances and poetry hours.

De Waalse Kerk

Once a month, visitors have the chance to enjoy a free organ lunchtime concert performed by students of the Conservatorium van Amsterdam in the beautiful setting of De Waalse Kerk, which has been in the heart of Amsterdam since the 16th century. The half-hour concerts take place every second Tuesday of the month with the exception of July and August. This is a unique opportunity to hear De Waalse Kerk's Müller organ, built in 1734 and made famous by Gustav Leonhardt and Jacques van Oortmerssen.


people sitting outside OBA public library
people walking in and out of OBA
Image from Bas Uterwijk

The Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam has many initiatives promoting culture and the arts throughout the city. As a part of its efforts, it often hosts free lunchtime concerts in its various branches. For a free Sunday lunchtime concert performed by students of the Conservatorium Amsterdam, come to OBA Oosterdok. Combine the concert with a visit to OBA's viewing deck, offering a calming vista over the water. Other OBA concerts can be found on the Conservatorium van Amsterdam website.


Westerkerk's tower perches over the Prinsengracht, instantly recognisable as the city's highest church at 85 meters tall. With free lunch concerts at the Westerkerk every Wednesday, take a half-hour to enjoy a classical music concert, featuring the beautiful sound of the church organ. The Westerkerk also participates in the Grachtenfestival with a series of free lunch concerts and hosts a special free concert series called ‘Geen dag zonder Bach’, translated as ‘No day without Bach’ during the month of August.

Embassy of the Free Mind

Embassy of the Free Mind interior
Image from Embassy of the Free Mind

The lunch concerts at the Embassy of the Free Mind are free for everyone with a ticket to the museum, which is a fitting excuse to explore the Embassy of the Free Mind. This museum library resides in a historic 17th-century building on the Keizersgracht and holds an expansive collection of prints, books, and treasures with a particular focus on Amsterdam's free-thinking nature. The Embassy's half-hour concerts are hosted monthly and welcome various musicians, from flautists to guitarists, violinists, and more.

English Reformed Church Amsterdam

Image from Begijnhof

Concealed within the nook of the historic Begijnhof almshouse garden, The English Reformed Church has a long history in Amsterdam. While the original wooden church burned in the 1421 fire, this brick and stone church has flourished since the 17th century. Now, the English Reformed Church also holds free monthly lunch concerts. The hour-long performances vary depending on the month, welcoming choirs, wind orchestras and instrumental ensembles into the church.


Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ and BIMHUIS
Image from Nico Alsemgeest

A slight departure from the classical concerts on the list, these Tuesday jam sessions bring international jazz talent to the stage of the Bimhuis, the Muziekgebouw's next-door neighbour. Known as Amsterdam's leading venue for jazz and improvisation, Bimhuis has opened its stage for free-to-attend sessions from 22:00 to just past midnight. With surprise visits from world-renowned musicians and young talent, these nights certainly pack a punch. 

Stadsloket Noord

Make a journey to Amsterdam Noord, a rapidly developing part of the city. The local municipality supports cultural initiatives through free monthly classical music concerts in its civic hall, Stadsloket Noord. The concerts last 45 minutes and feature various artists, from brass quintets to piano players. The municipal centre also hosts special exhibits and community events.