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Tips for Liberation Day 2023

Following directly on from Remembrance Day, 5 May is a national day of celebration known as Liberation Day. Throughout Amsterdam, you will find a wide variety of entertainment and events to commemorate the liberation of The Netherlands during World War II. With these top tips, celebrate freedom, human rights, and life in general during Liberation Day 2023.

Liberation Festivals

Caprera open-air concert in Haarlem park
Image from Peter van Heun

Freedom should be celebrated, and we will do it big on May 5. There are 12 cities in the Netherlands organizing a large and free Liberation Festival. Amsterdam and Haarlem are two of them. Amsterdam has Het Vrije Westen in the Westerpark. Here you can go on May 5 for food trucks, a silent disco and live music. Haarlem has Bevrijdingspop, and they are tackling it well this year because you will see Donnie, WIES and John Coffey, among others.

14:00 - 23:00 | Westerpark | free

Freedom Meals

Image from Michiel Landeweerd

You can sit down for a so-called Freedom Meal throughout the city, a worthy tradition for 12 years. On squares and stages, in streets and parks all over Amsterdam. For example, Buiksloterkerk organizes an Eritrean coffee ceremony. Café De Jeugd in Amsterdam Oost invites children under 12 (with their parents) to a Freedom Lunch. There will be board games, kids' karaoke and a drawing corner. Magic Circus pauses on May 5 to reflect on the impact of World War II on Sinti and Roma and the circus world.


Oude Kerk exterior
Image from Isabel Nabuurs

Start your day with a morning concert by the Alma Quartet at the Oude Kerk, or enjoy classical music with a bite to eat and a drink at the Concertgemaal. Evening concerts are also on the agenda. Listen to whisper music at Tempel or listen to the hopeful music of Bach, performed by the Nederlandse Bachvereniging. In addition, traditionally, the free May 5 concert takes place on the Amstel as a festive finale. 

Plein '40-'45

During the May Days on Plein '40-'45, you will participate in various activities organised by cultural makers from the neighbourhood. In Studio/K, take a journey through the confronting history of the Netherlands and Indonesia during the documentary Kleinkinderen van de Oost (Grandchildren of the East). Be guided by boat refugees who share their personal stories during a canal cruise or learn to draw portraits at Street Art Museum Amsterdam.