Events

The Best Things to Do in Amsterdam This Spring

Published On 04/28/2016 Published On 04/28/2016

Spring is in the air -- meaning the tourists have started to descend and the locals are ready to let loose after five months of meh. And the city’s event calendar is blowing up accordingly. There’s too much going on in Mokum as the weather warms up to possibly hit up everything, but we’ve got you covered here with all the things you would most regret missing...

Flickr/Marcel Oosterwijk

Date

Event

Location

Apr 28 Thu

Go for a ride at the Dam Square Kermis Summer officially begins and ends with the Dam Square carnival of haunted houses, thrill rides, fatty foods, and classic carnival games, keeping local residents awake 12-13 hours a day (until 11pm or midnight) for two weeks.

Dam Square

Go for a ride at the Dam Square Kermis Dam Square Summer officially begins and ends with the Dam Square carnival of haunted houses, thrill rides, fatty foods, and classic carnival games, keeping local residents awake 12-13 hours a day (until 11pm or midnight) for two weeks.

Date

Event

Location

Apr 28 Thu

Snack on some brutal eye candy at World Press Photo The highest-awarded works by photojournalists around the globe are collected and displayed here before beginning their world tour. The exhibitions are always confrontational, and unforgettable. They cover topics from cuddly animals (which may or may not be caught in a vicious seal’s teeth), to scenes of war and famine, to sometimes even more heartbreaking peeks into “mundane” daily life around the world.

De Nieuwe kerk

Snack on some brutal eye candy at World Press Photo De Nieuwe kerk The highest-awarded works by photojournalists around the globe are collected and displayed here before beginning their world tour. The exhibitions are always confrontational, and unforgettable. They cover topics from cuddly animals (which may or may not be caught in a vicious seal’s teeth), to scenes of war and famine, to sometimes even more heartbreaking peeks into “mundane” daily life around the world.

Date

Event

Location

May 4 Wed

Relive the past during Remembrance Day Although it doesn’t usually mean a day off work (only once every five years, if your company is willing to play nice), Holland remembers its liberation from the Nazis in both solemn and festive style. The serious part takes place on May 4th, when the king comes to the Dam square to give a (very well-attended) speech and lay flowers, while the mayor leads a silent march through town. The evening closes with the WWII-themed Theater Na de Dam festival on the Nes.

Various locations

Relive the past during Remembrance Day Various locations Although it doesn’t usually mean a day off work (only once every five years, if your company is willing to play nice), Holland remembers its liberation from the Nazis in both solemn and festive style. The serious part takes place on May 4th, when the king comes to the Dam square to give a (very well-attended) speech and lay flowers, while the mayor leads a silent march through town. The evening closes with the WWII-themed Theater Na de Dam festival on the Nes.

Flickr/Floris Looijesteijn

Date

Event

Location

May 5 Thu

Let loose for Liberation Day Duty done, on the 5th, it’s time to celebrate. This year, thanks to a day off (thank you, Ascension Day), there will be parties around town to commemorate the end of WWII -- or, let’s be honest, for most to commemorate having a reason to party. The biggest festivals will take place in Westerpark (free) and Blijburg beach (not), with the country’s biggest, and oldest, (free) liberation festival happening in nearby Haarlem.

Various locations

Let loose for Liberation Day Various locations Duty done, on the 5th, it’s time to celebrate. This year, thanks to a day off (thank you, Ascension Day), there will be parties around town to commemorate the end of WWII -- or, let’s be honest, for most to commemorate having a reason to party. The biggest festivals will take place in Westerpark (free) and Blijburg beach (not), with the country’s biggest, and oldest, (free) liberation festival happening in nearby Haarlem.

Date

Event

Location

May 5 Thu

Find family-friendly (and adult!) fun at Hemeltjelief It just so happens that, this year, May 5th is also Ascension Day, a random Catholic holiday that the whole country gets a day off for for some reason. Nobody really celebrates Ascension Day, or can even articulate what it actually is, but NDSM uses it as an annual excuse for an all-day music and theater festival for all ages, featuring local bands and DJs.

NDSM

Find family-friendly (and adult!) fun at Hemeltjelief NDSM It just so happens that, this year, May 5th is also Ascension Day, a random Catholic holiday that the whole country gets a day off for for some reason. Nobody really celebrates Ascension Day, or can even articulate what it actually is, but NDSM uses it as an annual excuse for an all-day music and theater festival for all ages, featuring local bands and DJs.

Date

Event

Location

May 5 Thu

Try the latest foodie fest: Yummya Does Amsterdam need another street food truck festival in springtime? Hell yes. And this brand new one, also in honor of Ascension Day (having the day off, that is), makes good use of the city’s largest skating rink’s offseason. The theme: Adam & Eve. (Does that mean... apples and nudity? Worth finding out!)

Jaap Eden IJsbaan

Try the latest foodie fest: Yummya Jaap Eden IJsbaan Does Amsterdam need another street food truck festival in springtime? Hell yes. And this brand new one, also in honor of Ascension Day (having the day off, that is), makes good use of the city’s largest skating rink’s offseason. The theme: Adam & Eve. (Does that mean... apples and nudity? Worth finding out!)

dmitry_islentev / Shutterstock.com

Date

Event

Location

May 12 Thu

Join the crowds at Het Weekend van de Rollende Keukens All the hottest trucks from around town gather on one field to be swarmed by every Amsterdammer with an appetite... especially when the sun shines. There’s music and stuff, too, but that’s really beside the point.

Westergasterrein

Join the crowds at Het Weekend van de Rollende Keukens Westergasterrein All the hottest trucks from around town gather on one field to be swarmed by every Amsterdammer with an appetite... especially when the sun shines. There’s music and stuff, too, but that’s really beside the point.

Date

Event

Location

May 14 Sat

Get an inside peek during National Windmill Day On this day, 700 mills around the country (more than a dozen in Amsterdam alone) throw open their doors to the curious. Some are still operational as mills, and some are also operational... as beer brewers. Expect activities, markets, and mini-mill (wind or otherwise) parties all day.

Various locations

Get an inside peek during National Windmill Day Various locations On this day, 700 mills around the country (more than a dozen in Amsterdam alone) throw open their doors to the curious. Some are still operational as mills, and some are also operational... as beer brewers. Expect activities, markets, and mini-mill (wind or otherwise) parties all day.

Date

Event

Location

May 21 Sat

Discover the Bijlmer at 24H Zuidoost Remember the 24H West from March? Now it’s Amsterdam’s most far-out neighborhood’s time to get the spotlight.

Various locations

Discover the Bijlmer at 24H Zuidoost Various locations Remember the 24H West from March? Now it’s Amsterdam’s most far-out neighborhood’s time to get the spotlight.

Date

Event

Location

May 27 Fri

Go wild in the woods at DIYnamic Festival Amsterdam If you’re an electronic dance music fan, there’s no more beautiful (or mind-blowing, depending on your influences... ) location in Amsterdam to take in the best spin talent under the sun (hopefully) than the “Amsterdam Forest.” There will be more festivals in the forest to follow through the season, but this touring party from the record label it’s named after is perfect to get your feet wet.

Amsterdamse Bos

Go wild in the woods at DIYnamic Festival Amsterdam Amsterdamse Bos If you’re an electronic dance music fan, there’s no more beautiful (or mind-blowing, depending on your influences... ) location in Amsterdam to take in the best spin talent under the sun (hopefully) than the “Amsterdam Forest.” There will be more festivals in the forest to follow through the season, but this touring party from the record label it’s named after is perfect to get your feet wet.

Date

Event

Location

May 28 Sat

Do it again at 909 Festival You’ll already get your chance to dance again in the Bos the next day at this nature-set showcase of top global techno talent.

Amsterdamse Bos

Do it again at 909 Festival Amsterdamse Bos You’ll already get your chance to dance again in the Bos the next day at this nature-set showcase of top global techno talent.

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