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Image from Esteban Schunemann

Culture Guide (September 2023)

Explore Amsterdam’s buzzing cultural scene with our guide to this season’s must-see art and photography exhibitions, theatre, opera and dance performances and film festivals.


Eva, Sara and Hanna: Women of the World

This photo exhibition is dedicated to women worldwide who could have been Eve, Hanna or another biblical figure. Artist Caroline Waltman gives Biblical women a face without explicitly mentioning who is depicted. These images are alternated with landscape photography photos of landscapes, still lifes and details that reinforce each other through visual rhyme. Visitors can then make links using the infographics.

Women of the World | until 31 December | Bijbels Museum

Perfect Day

Amsterdam-based photographer Mounir Raji was commissioned to capture aspects of Dutch society for the annual exhibition Document Nederland. He went on a Caribbean cruise, curious about tourists looking for 'unique new experiences' after the pandemic. His photo series observes fellow holidaymakers with a gentle and curious eye in their search for the 'perfect' holiday, providing a fascinating insight into the inner world of the cruise industry.

Perfect Day | 29 September - 14 January | Rijksmuseum

Random International

Image from Random International

The postdigital art group Random International arrives at Nxt this autumn, the home of new media art in the Netherlands. In their mesmerising large-scale works, the collective presents newly completed works and others never-yet-seen in Europe, tracing a line through the artists’ creative process from 2006 until today.

Random International | 27 September - 27 June | Nxt Museum

Printed Matters: Raise the Level

Image from STRAAT

World-renowned artist and activist Shepard Fairey (known for Obama's 'Hope' campaign poster) brings his exhibition to STRAAT Museum. With more than 130 works, this is his most significant and most extensive exhibition ever in the Netherlands. Printed Matters: Raise the Level focuses on art that aims to improve the "health" of our planet.

Werner Herzog – The Ecstatic Truth

This extensive film program around the work of the unorthodox filmmaker includes more than 70 feature films, documentaries and shorts. Herzog has fascinated audiences with stories, images and characters for over half a century. His films offer insight into the relationship between people and the chaotic world around us and nature's infinite indifference to human existence. 

Werner Herzog | until 1 October | Eye Filmmuseum

Ara Güler - A Play of Light and Shadow

Ara Güler is a renowned photojournalist who has captured the essence of Turkey and the world beyond. The exhibition shows both iconic and unknown parts of the artist's oeuvre. His work bears witness to Turkey's rich history and offers a glimpse into the ever-changing Turkish identity. Güler's deep love for Istanbul and Turkey is evident in his impressive black and white photographs.

She Who Saw Beautiful Things

In this exhibition, ANOHNI presents the legacy of Julia and Erika Yasuda. Julia Yasuda, an intersex mathematician from Tokyo, met her wife Erika (1945/6-1986) in the late 1970s. A photographer, writer and actress, Erika captured their love in a series of extraordinary shots of Julia and their mutual friend Mako Midori and portraits of their two cats. This exhibition shows their legacy, supplemented by ANOHNI's own sculpture, video, photography and hand-painted silk. Together, the works reflect a carefully composed vision of femininity and androgyny.

Variétés: photography and avant garde

Variétés was a popular illustrated monthly magazine between 1928 and 1930 that reflected the contemporary zeitgeist. The aesthetic exuded an unmistakable feeling of surrealism and played a significant role in the development of photography at the time. The magazine published impressive photograms and montages by well-known avant-garde artists such as Man Ray and Berenice Abbott, combined with non-art such as postcards, sports photos or film stills. The enigmatic and sometimes poetic combinations still create a stir to this day and can be seen in Huis Marseille's fascinating summer exhibition. 

Variétés | until 22 October | Huis Marseille

Paradise Found


Landscape architect Piet Oudolf is loved worldwide for his overgrown gardens, such as The High Line in New York. This summer, Droog presents us with a green oasis with work by artists such as Simon Heijdens, Zora Ottink, Naoko Benom-Miura and Sophie Steengracht. Around the corner, against the facade of Droog, Oudolf has designed a 16-meter-long garden called the 'Amsterdam Low Line'. This permanent facade garden was designed to give Amsterdam more oxygen as a gift for the green city.

Paradise Found | until 17 September | Droog

Browse the cultural agenda for all exhibitions


Nederlands Theater Festival

A couple in Internationaal Theater Amsterdam (ITA).
Image from Jan de Ridder

To open the cultural season each September, Netherlands Theater Festival offers ten days of performances spread across the city’s top stages, with a broad range of language-no-problem shows.

Nederlands Theater Festival | 7-17 September | various locations

Amsterdam Fringe Festival

Amsterdam Fringe Festival
Image from AFF

Sometimes referred to as the NL Theater Festival’s quirky little sister, Amsterdam Fringe is all about avant-garde productions and unorthodox theatre-makers keen to impress with their vision. The venues where these eclectic performances occur can be just as unexpected.

Amsterdam Fringe | 7-17 September | various locations

Four Temperaments

Image from Marta Syrko

The Dutch National Ballet opens the season with four choreographers from different generations—each voice their own unique style, united by their express dialogue with the music they use. In addition to world premieres by Ted Brandsen and Juanjo Arqués, Four Temperaments includes key works from the oeuvre of George Balanchine and Hans van Manen.

The largest Swan Lake in the world

Image from

After five years, the largest Swan Lake in the world returns to Amsterdam. The iconic ballet, a timeless story about good and evil, is revived by English choreographer Derek Deane with the Shanghai Ballet. The scenes with 48 swans, twice as many as usual, are of moving beauty.

The largest Swan Lake in the world | 30 August - 17 September | Royal Theatre Carré

Ika Schwander - è vero, è vero, è vero

Inspired by the timeless story of Judith & Holofernes and Artemisia Gentileschi's painting director Ika Schwander depicts the aftermath of sexual violence and shows the timelessness of pain and resistance in this powerful theatrical piece at Frascati.

Ika Schwander | 26-27 September | Frascati

Lehman Trilogy

The play, which caused a furore on the West End and Broadway, arrives at ITA. In the 19th century, three Jewish brothers emigrated to America to develop a dizzying financial empire that eventually became jointly responsible for the 2008 financial crisis. English surtitles on 21-28 September.

Lehman Trilogy | 21, 28 September | ITA

Browse the cultural agenda for all theatre and stage performances


West Beach Film Festival

There’s nothing like a lakeside setting to add drama to your cinema experience. West Beach Film Festival celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, screening a diverse programme of movies on the edge of Sloterplas Lake in the last warm evenings of September. Enjoy an eclectic mix of Dutch and English titles during two weeks of pay-as-you-feel waterfront movie mania.

West Beach Film Festival | 20-24 September | Sloterplas

Films with a View

Pllek café-restaurant outdoor cinema
Image from Pllek

Outdoor screenings at the city’s finest riverside bar are back! Films with a View takes place at Pllek every Tuesday throughout the summer. Enjoy the funniest, most moving, exciting and controversial flicks with a cocktail in hand and the sand between your toes. This urban beach promises one of the best views in the city.

Films with a View | Every Tuesday until September 2023 | Pllek

Camera Japan

Camera Japan decoration and set-up at LAB111
Image from Camera Japan

The largest Japanese film festival in the Benelux, Camera Japan is characterised by its diverse programme. In addition to the best, the weirdest, and the most unexpected feature films, documentaries and anime, attention is paid to visual arts, music, dance, fashion, architecture, food, and much more.

Camera Japan | 28 September - 1 October | LAB111