Tips for Easter in Amsterdam
Enjoy an exquisite brunch in one of Amsterdam’s finest hotels, hunt for eggs in a historical zoo, visit one of the city’s museums or simply come to admire the flowers – there’s plenty to do from Friday to Monday for a fun and relaxing Easter break. Here are our tips for the best things to do over the long weekend in Amsterdam.
See Holland in bloom
Easter perfectly coincides with the best time to see Dutch flowers in full glory! The fields in the countryside, known as the Flower Strip, bloom with crocuses, daffodils, hyacinths and tulips from the end of March through to the beginning of May. For the ultimate flower experience, take a day trip to the Keukenhof – the world’s largest outdoor flower expo. Or, to surround yourself with flowers without leaving the city, visit the Hortus Botanicus, the Amsterdam Tulip Museum or the famous floating flower market.
Visit weekend markets and culinary events
Amsterdam’s weekly outdoor markets are also open during the Easter weekend. You can pick up supplies for your Easter brunch, dinner or perhaps (fingers crossed!) even a picnic. Keep your eyes open for traditional Easter treats like paasstol (bread with dried fruit and almond paste), coloured eggs and spring lamb. The Albert Cuypmarkt, Dappermarkt and Ten Katemarkt are open on Friday and Saturday, while the organic markets at the Noordermarkt and Nieuwmarkt are open on Saturday.
Join an Easter event at the petting zoos
On Easter Sunday, local petting zoos in Amsterdam often host special Easter parties with an egg hunt, egg decorating, festive treats and fun activities. Around Easter, farms in the Amsterdam area also hold 'lamb days' where kids can cuddle and feed new-born lambs. During the Easter holiday, Artis Royal Zoo puts on a range of special activities including an Easter brunch among the animals and the chance to learn about all the animals that lay eggs.
Celebrate at an Easter brunch
During Easter weekend, you'll find special brunches and dinners to suit every taste and budget. On Sunday and Monday, the Pannenkoekenboot (Pancake Boat) traditionally hosts brunch and Easter cruises, including all-you-can-eat pancakes plus other festive treats. Other impressive locations usually offer extravagant brunches or lunches, including the Amstel Intercontinental Hotel and Hotel Okura. Have a read of our roundup of the best breakfast and brunch hotspots in the city for more eggy treats.
Attend a classical passion concert
Music fans rejoice, as Easter brings some unique classical concerts to Amsterdam. Lose yourself in the musical mastery of the Passion concerts, which take place at various beautiful venues across the city. Check out the concert agenda for everything going on.
Rave the weekend away
Find an Easter church service
A number of churches in Amsterdam conduct English services for both visitors and international residents, especially during Easter and Christmas. Have a look at the overview of English services in Amsterdam if you’d like to attend an Easter service.
Go shopping or sightseeing
The majority of Amsterdam’s museums and attractions are open during the Easter holidays. In the city centre most shops will be open, but they may close earlier than usual. If you would like to visit a specific attraction or shop, please confirm the opening times with each individual location.
Explore a medieval castle
Arguably one of the Netherlands' most stunning medieval castles, Amsterdam Castle Muiderslot looks like something straight from a Disney classic. Based in the fortified town of Muiden, the castle's drawbridge, towers, moat and battlements are sure to wow the kids, the big kids and – well – anyone really! Boasting beautiful gardens, a range of tours, a falconry and kids’ treasure hunts, this magical fortress has something for all during Easter.
Enjoy an Easter picnic at a picturesque park
Of course, you could always escape into nature for a tasty – or lekker, as the Dutch would say – Easter picnic. Luckily, the Amsterdam Area covers all bases when it comes to parks and green spaces. Fancy being surrounded by beautiful foliage and fauna in a forest? The 1,000-hectare woodland expanse of the Amsterdamse Bos – three times the size of New York’s Central Park – ticks all the right boxes. There's also nature reserve Nationaal Park Nieuw Land, which contains vast, magnificent fields, reed plains, rough grasslands and winding water courses. Or, if you'd rather head to a more traditional park to chow down on your picnic, there's always Oosterpark, Flevopark and Sarphatipark – each one stunning in its own right.