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Amsterdam Events & Festivals 2009


Every year Amsterdam hosts a numerous festivals & events - some to mark specific holidays and dates while others celebrate music, arts, and the people and cultures of Amsterdam.


The majority of festivals adopt a 'language no problem' approach and events are well publicised beforehand in both Dutch and English.


Many festivals are free, and in the warmer summer months may take over sections of Amsterdam's parks and even the canals! Where tickets are sold they are usually available online - and it is a good idea to buy these in advance.


These pages are regularly updated as more information is published - don't forget to bookmark us!



1st - New Years Day,

Take to the streets to dance and celebrate with the rest of Amsterdam -particularly Leidseplein, Rembrandtplein, Dam Square & Nieuwmarkt (watch out for the bangers & fireworks)


Jan 26th - Chinese New Year

Head to Nieuwmarkt & Zeedijk areas for traditional dragon dancing and fireworks.

Jan 24th - Feb 1st - Amsterdam International Fashion Week

Catwalks, exhibitions, films, and more as glam comes to Amsterdam... more..



14th & 15th Amsterdam World 2009 - Barcelona!

Amsterdam World 2009 presents a taste of Barcelona - with flamenco, rumba, rap, tango - and everything inbetween! more..



3rd - 8th, Amsterdam Boat Show 2009

All things boats! Exhibitions, competitions, free sailing lessons for kids in the Amsterdam RAI..  more..


19th - Keukenhof Gardens

Keukenhof boasts literally millions of bulbs in their park and pavilions in Lisse not far from Amsterdam. 'The most photographed place in the world' Celebrating 60 years in 2009! more..


Late March

Re-opening of Amsterdam's Spui & Thorbeckeplein Sunday art markets - art direct from artists!



15th - 26th Amsterdam Fantastic Film Festival 2009

Celebrating 25 years - Fantasy Horror Anime Thriller Cult Science Fiction more..


30th Queen’s Day (Koninginnedag)

THE Dutch Party. Everything and everyone turns orange and takes to the streets - Amsterdam celebrates, with concerts, bands and street parties in every available space, flea markets on every street corner and music from every bar and window.. The biggest and best event in Amsterdam!!


1st - 31st May Amsterdam Literary Festival 2009 (date tbc)

Workshops, international guests and showcase for Amsterdam's local resident literary talent


4th - 28th World Press Photo 2009

Amsterdam's Oude Kerk hosts the first showing of this internationally famous  exhibition, which later tours the world. more..


13th - 17th KunstRAI / ArtRAI

Contemporary art showcase at the RAI centre - with more than 120 galleries involved in 2008 - and bigger things expected in 2009! more..


19th - 21st June Open Gardens Days

For one weekend per year 25 (mostly private) Amsterdam gardens are opened to the public. Oases of peace and tranquillity, many have been designed by renowned architects. All proceeds from entrance fees go to charity. more..



4th - 28th Holland Festival 2009

Amsterdam's International Opera, Dance, Music & Theatre festival - in various venues across Amsterdam more..


(Dates TBD) Amsterdam Roots Festival 2009

Amsterdam's multicultural celebration of music, and people. Centred around the Oosterpark most events are free - with multiple podia, tents, stages and acts - a great party, and great food if you are in town! more..


Saturdays Summer Nights In Artis (Amsterdam Zoo)

In June, July & August, Amsterdam's zoo 'Artis' closes at sunset - offering music, dance and children's programs in Amsterdam's oldest park. more..




30th June - July 11th - Juli Dans

A fortnight's celebration of modern dance in and around Leidseplein. Running alongside the 'Cinedans' festival screening dance films.. more..

(Dates & venue TBD) Kwakoe Festival / 'Amsterdam Southeast Festival' 2009

Since 1975 the Bijlmer (SE neighbourhood of Amsterdam) has hosted The Netherlands biggest multicultural event - originally a small festival centred around a football match it now attracts up to a million visitors with food, music, sport and much more.


2nd - 12th 'Over het IJ Festival' 2009

Site specific theatre, promoting young and unknown talent - a place for art and a place to meet more..


15th - 19th 'Five Days Off'

Amsterdam dance & electronic music festival - international acts at different venues across the city. more (* in Dutch)


(Dates TBD) Vondelpark Open Air Theatre

Another Amsterdam summer favourite, Vondelpark's open air theatre presents music, theatre, dancing and other acts - good to just watch or get involved!



1st - 2nd Gay Pride Amsterdam 2009

Highlight is the canal parade on the Saturday in which more than 70 themed and decorated floats set the tone with music & dancing!


15th - 23rd 'Grachtenfestival' 2009 (Canal Festival)

Annual classical music festival presented at a number of distinctive locations -  from canal pontoons to buildings of interest along the banks of the river IJ. more..


(Dates TBD) Uitmarkt

Marking the start of the Dutch cultural arts season, with acts from upcoming theatre, musical and cabaret performances more..



5th - Bloemencorso Aalsmeer

Annual flower parade from Aalsmeer to Amsterdam and back - culminating in a parade, music and fireworks


5th - Seven Bridges Jazz Festival

The only free jazz festival in Amsterdam - all different flavours are represented on the podium in the Reguliersgracht, and in the after parties which follow.



First Week - Amsterdam Historic Museum's Birthday

Free entry to the Amsterdam Historic Museum - to celebrate it's birthday


18th - Amsterdam Marathon 2009

Starting and finishing in the Olympic Stadium this annual sporting meet attracts thousands of runners and supporters


 21st - 24th - Amsterdam Dance Event

Amsterdam becomes the centre of the electronic dance music world for two days as this international music business conference and club dance party takes hold. New artists promote their sounds as more than 100 DJs descend on Amsterdam's clubs. more..



7th - 'Museumnacht' (Museum Night)

More than 40 of Amsterdam's museums open their doors overnight from evening until the early morning, with many providing performances, workshops and other entertainment.


(Dates TBD) International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA)

The largest documentary film festival in the world, screening more than 250 documentaries annually. more..



5th - Sinterklaasavond (St Niklaas Night)

The arrival of St Niklaas / St Nicholas - the patrn saint of children, sailors and Amsterdam itself is traditionally the focus of the winter holiday period and when the Dutch exchange gifts.

25th & 26th - Eerste & Tweede Kerstmis (1st & 2nd Christmas)

Increasingly popular with Dutch households - most businesses also close.


31st - Oudjaarsdag

'Old Years Day' - the day the Dutch celebrate the passing year

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