ATTRACTIONS & EVENTS IN AMSTERDAM

Amsterdam never gets boring

Want to know which special events, parties, exhibitions, and much more are taking place in Amsterdam? On this page you'll find lots of information, courtesy of iamsterdam.com, and several other sources.

Amsterdam Museum


The rich collection of works of art, objects and archaeological finds brings to life the fortunes of Amsterdammers of days gone by and today. From a mediaeval child's shoe and the map of Cornelis Antonisz from 1538, giving a bird's-eye view of the city, to the impressive Civic Guard paintings from the Golden Age. Photos and film material show the happy times as well as the drama of the modern city's inhabitants. You'll witness the poverty in the Jordaan area he 19th century but also the idealism of the sixties and Ajax's success at football.

Amsterdam DNA. As a three-dimensional travel guide, this presentation takes you on a 45-minute historical tour of Amsterdam.

Carefully selected highlights, exhibits and loan items, tell the interesting story of this multifaceted city in seven chapters. In each chapter, one exhibit forms the basis for the story of that period. These stories are told through exciting animations which are projected onto big glass screens in the middle of the gallery. Every visitor is given a travel guide which can activate the animations of each period in one of the ten languages offered, from Italian to Russian and Japanese.

Hermitage Amsterdam


A major European cultural destination, the greatly expanded Hermitage Amsterdam, welcomes visitors to its elegantly restored 17th-century building in the historic heart of Amsterdam. It was founded to bring the richness and grandeur of Russia's artistic heritage to one of the West's most charming capitals. The Hermitage Amsterdam is open daily from 10 a.m. till 5 p.m. Closed on January 1st, April 30th and December 25th.

The Portrait Gallery of the Golden Age

Until the end of 2016

Thirty enormous 17th century group portraits from the collections of the Amsterdam Museum and the Rijksmuseum have been brought together for the first time and will be on display in the Hermitage Amsterdam. These "brothers and sisters" of the Night Watch are unique in the world and rarely seen due to their size. They show us regents, archers and merchants from all different classes, backgrounds and religions, standing shoulder to shoulder like brothers.

Exhibition Catherine the Great unravels myths surrounding Europe’s greatest empress and her life

18 June 2016 – 15 January 2017

Two hundred and fifty years after Catherine the Great founded the Hermitage, the Hermitage Amsterdam presents her life story in a sumptuous exhibition on Europe's longest-reigning empress. Her name has always been surrounded with stories and superlatives, often about her private life and court intrigues. Some of these stories belong to the realm of myth, but others are perfectly true. Aided by her memoirs and those of her contemporaries, more than 300 objects from the Hermitage in St Petersburg are presented, which invite visitors into Catherine’s world. The exhibition unravels her life story and sketches her personality. It is also an exhibition like a jewellery box, with magnificent personal possessions such as dresses, bijoux, cameos, and snuff boxes, as well the finest art works from her vast collection: paintings, sculptures, exquisite crafts, and portraits of her friends and loved ones.

The Royal Palace


The Palace was built as a town hall of Amsterdam. Architect Jacob van Campen developed an extensive decoration program for the building. Amsterdam celebrated painters like Ferdinand Bol, Govaert Flinck and Jan Lievens contributed. The Flemish sculptor Artus Quellinus made many monumental sculptures. Artworks which are still on display.

In 1808 King Louis Napoleon moved into the building. He changed the town hall in a palace and decorated it with a large collection of Empire furniture. After his departure, Louis Napoleon left almost all expensive furniture behind. The furniture, one of the best preserved and most complete Empire collections in the world, is in full glory to be seen.

The rooms in the Palace are decorated with artworks from the collection of the House of Orange-Nassau Historic Collections Trust. Many paintings show the various members of the family of Orange-Nassau.

Van Gogh Museum


During his ten-year artistic career, Van Gogh was highly prolific. A full 864 paintings and almost 1,200 drawings and prints have survived. The largest collection of his work – more than 200 paintings, 437 drawings and 31 prints – can be found in the Van Gogh Museum. Many other drawings and paintings by Van Gogh can be found at the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo (The Netherlands) and the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. The rest of his work is divided among a large number of museums and private collections around the world, including many in the Netherlands, France, Germany, the United States and Japan.

On the Verge of Insanity. Van Gogh and his illness

15 July to 25 September 2016

What illness did Vincent van Gogh suffer from? In what way did his illness have an effect on his work? The exhibition 'On the Verge of Insanity. Van Gogh and his Illness' sheds new light on this subject and how it affected his work, based on paintings, drawings, letters and rarely shown documents. The many diagnoses of his illness are also addressed.

Vincent van Gogh took his own life in July 1890. He felt he couldn’t go on. The immense demands he made of himself, his obsessive labour, his mental illness and, not least, his changing relationship with his brother had all become too much. Vincent felt he had failed as both an artist and a human being.

Vincent left the clinic at Saint-Rémy in May 1890, hoping he would be able to live independently with his illness. He found a certain peace in the village of Auvers-sur-Oise near Paris, where he soon began to paint prolifically once more. Sadly, it was not to last. Two months after arriving, Vincent shot himself in the chest. He died of his wounds on 29 July 1890.

An e-ticket provides fast access to the Van Gogh Museum. Buy tickets

Anne Frank House


Anne Frank is one of Amsterdam’s best-known historical figures. Anne and her family lived in hiding from the Nazis for more than two years in a house on the Prinsengracht. Anne was eventually deported to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945, where she later died at the young age of 15. Today, Anne’s spirit lives on through her diary and the huge numbers of visitors who come to Amsterdam every year to learn more about her short life.

The former hiding place, where Anne Frank wrote her diary, is now a well-known museum. The museum tells the history of the eight people in hiding and those who helped them during the war. Anne Frank's diary is among the original objects on display. The museum is open daily from 9.00 AM until 10.00 PM (from November until March closing time is 7.00 PM and 09.00 PM on Saturdays).

From 1 May 2016 from 9 AM to 3:30 PM the museum will only be open to visitors with an online ticket for a particular timeslot. From 3:30 PM until closing time you can visit the Anne Frank House without an online ticket and buy a ticket at the museum entrance.

Buy tickets

The Rijksmuseum


The Rijksmuseum is the iconic museum of the Netherlands. After ten years of rebuilding, refurbishing and renovating, the Rijksmuseum once again opened its doors to the public in full splendour on 13 April 2013. Both the building and the presentation of the collection underwent a total transformation. This revamping resulted in surprising furnishings, beautiful exhibitions, dazzling events and numerous facilities for young and old.

The Rijksmuseum’s world-famous collection is being presented in an entirely new way. Visitors go on a journey through the ages and experience a sense of beauty and of time. In 80 galleries, 8,000 objects tell the story of 800 years of Dutch art and history, from the Middle Ages to Mondrian.

Arita Porcelain Today

April 22 2016 to October 9 2016 Asian Pavilion

For the first time in four hundred years, a Japanese tradition has been adopted by contemporary designers. Dutch design duo Scholten & Baijings and Japanese designer Teruhiro Yanagihara created a contemporary collection of Arita porcelain, together with an elite group of designers. The results are first exhibited during Salone del Mobile in Milan, followed by an exhibition in the Rijksmuseum’s Asian Pavilion, together with other similar artworks from the Rijksmuseum collection.

Scholten & Baijings and Teruhiro Yanagihara are the creative directors of the 2016/ project. They have been asked by Saga prefecture, the province where Arita is situated, to reshape the future of Arita porcelain to commemorate the cooperation and exchange between the creative industries of The Netherlands and Japan. Sixteen designers from Europe, America and Japan worked with ten porcelain companies to develop contemporary collections of the finest Japanese porcelain using ancient knowhow and traditional practices. Porcelain originated in the southern Japanese town of Arita in the early 17th century when porcelain stone was found in the mountains around Arita. The porcelain industry that began around 1616 still exists to this day.

Buy your tickets online

The Stedelijk Museum


A complete renovation of the Stedelijk’s historic building, designed by A.W. Weissman and dating back to 1895, has converted virtually all of its program spaces into galleries, enabling the first comprehensive display the Stedelijk has ever mounted of its permanent collection, widely acknowledged to be among the world’s most important collections of modern and contemporary art and design. The dynamic new building—designed by Mels Crouwel of Benthem Crouwel Architects and measuring 10,000 square meters (98,400 square feet)—provides new space for the Stedelijk’s renowned and influential temporary exhibitions, as well as a host of new amenities. The innovative design also re-orients the entire museum to face onto Amsterdam’s Museumplein (Museum Plaza), activating a vital public space that is shared by the Stedelijk and its neighbors: the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum and the Concertgebouw.

“With this long-awaited opening, the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam reaffirms and strengthens its place among leading international art institutions, showcases Amsterdam as a center of artistic experimentation and brings new life to the Museumplein, re-establishing it as a cultural destination,” Ann Goldstein stated. “And with the completion of Mels Crouwel’s bold yet brilliantly functional building, we are effectively adding a major new work to our exceptional collection of Dutch modern design.”

Living in the Amsterdam School

9 Apr - 28 Aug 2016

In 2016 the Amsterdam School will return to the Stedelijk. Immerse yourself in a spectacular survey of Amsterdam School interior design: furniture, lamps, clocks, ceramics, textiles, and graphic designs such as those for wallpaper. This survey of over 500 works includes work from designers like Jaap Gidding, Michel de Klerk, Piet Kramer, Hildo Krop, and Marie Kuyken.

The architecture of the Amsterdam School is internationally renowned. It is regarded as the highly original Dutch correlative to the lively anti-rationalist design movement in Europe between the two World Wars. With this exhibition the furniture and interiors designed by the architects, sculptors and designers of the Amsterdam School get the recognition they deserve for the first time, while revealing that the expressive furnishings functioned within an exuberant, colorful environment.

The interiors contain expressive items of furniture made from unusual wood types; these furnishings also feature strong sculptural lines and sculpted details with beautiful, distinctive fastenings or upholstery in rich, dark hues. The upholstery fabrics also bring an extremely colorful palette to the interiors with gorgeous rugs, curtains, wall hangings, lampshades, tablecloths, and daybed covers with intricate patterns in bright combinations of orange, purple, red, green, brown and/or black. Ceramics, glass designs, lamps (many with stained glass) do the same.

The current exhibition is the fruit of many years of research, and a search for objects in private hands, which are also on display. The exhibition, which contains ca. 500 objects, aims to give the furniture and “interior accessories” such as lights, clocks and hearths by the Amsterdam School the international attention their design quality deserves. It also shows how the interior design is related to the visual arts in that period (for example with the colours in Jacoba van Heemskerck’s work and the expression in the sculptures by John Rädecker and Hildo Krop).

Buy your tickets online


Grachtenfestival


12 - 21 | 8 | 2016


The magnificent Grachtenfestival (Canal Festival), held annually in August on and around Amsterdam’s canals, is one of the cultural highlights of the Amsterdam summer. The historic canal belt of Amsterdam, a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2010, hosts the ten-day festival of classical music at numerous beautiful locations.

The beautiful canals in the centre of Amsterdam form the perfect backdrop for classical music. The Canal Festival's concerts are performed on stages by or even on the water, as the musicians stand on pontons and the audience listens from the canal side or from their own boats. Drawing in thousands of lovers of classical and contemporary music from all over the world, the ten-day festival is a highlight on Amsterdam’s cultural agenda.

Alongside the special locations around the city’s waterways, beautiful productions and programmes, the Grachtenfestival traditionally provides a stage for young talented musicians, giving them every opportunity to take the next step in their musical careers.

The National Maritime Museum


The National Maritime Museum shows how our culture has been shaped by the sea. Stimulating, interactive exhibitions allow visitors to explore 500 years of maritime history. Attractive object exhibitions show the best of our world famous collection. We have special exhibitions for children, including See you in the Golden Age and The tale of the whale. We even have one for children under the age of 6: Sal & Lori and Circus at Sea. And last but not least: the exciting ride Voyage at Sea (8+) and the famous replica of the East Indiaman Amsterdam is back at the quay. Het Scheepvaartmuseum has been completely renovated, but still exudes history and is a beautifully imposing and impressive building in the heart of Amsterdam.

The National Maritime Museum is housed in 's Lands Zeemagazijn (the Arsenal). This historic building dating from 1656 was designed by Daniel Stalpaert as a storehouse for the Admiralty of Amsterdam. It was built in the Golden Age, when Amsterdam was the largest port and market place in the world. Goods from all over the world could be bought right here. Today, over 350 years later, the Zeemagazijn remains an imposing and impressive building with a great deal of character. It exudes history, making it the perfect location for The National Maritime Museum, which has been housed here since 1973.

De Nieuwe Kerk

Journey in Time. History & Royalty

10 July until 9 September 2016

This presentation is like an attraction, in which the visitor steps back in time into the history of the Netherlands and the House of Orange. With video walls, projections, audio guides and almost daily heavenly music from the largest historic organ in the Netherlands, six hundred years of Dutch history are palpable. It is a journey along medieval secrets, royal ceremonies, Iconoclasm, spirited citizens and the Dutch sea heroes that lie buried there.

On 28 June 1633, Marten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit married in De Nieuwe Kerk and shortly afterwards their first son Hendrik was baptised here too. The young couple had themselves immortalised by Rembrandt in the famous pendant portraits that can now be seen in the Rijksmuseum as of 2 July. A Marten and Oopjen tour through seventeenth-century Amsterdam leads to various places including De Nieuwe Kerk.

Just like in the seventeenth century, there is music every day in De Nieuwe Kerk. The organ plays at 12 noon daily (except Tuesdays). The music programme on Tuesdays comprises exceptional performances by Fuse (known from the Dutch TV programme Podium Witteman), Spinvis with Ensemble Zerafin, Diamanda Dramm & James Oesi and PA’Dam.

Beurs van Berlage

Endless Stories

The Beurs van Berlage was opened 110 years ago by Queen Wilhelmina, then just 23 years old, at a ceremony attended by hundreds of Dutch and foreign dignitaries. Since then, millions of people have walked through its doors.

The Beurs van Berlage is one of the Netherlands’s most important and famous national listed buildings. As well as enormously important architecturally, the building also has a remarkable history and harbours a wealth of hidden treasures.

Experience the crowning achievement of H.P. Berlage’s (1856-1934) architectural career for yourself at the Beurs van Berlage. In association with Artifex, the Beurs van Berlage offers visitors a unique chance to join an introductory tour of the building. A guide will take you around the stunning interior, today regarded as ushering in the era of Dutch modern architecture. Visit the exchange halls and learn all about the rich history and impressive architecture that makes the Beurs so distinctive. You can also climb to the top of the Beurs van Berlage’s bell tower and enjoy the expansive views over Amsterdam.

The guided tour starts with a hot cup of coffee, followed by an hour-long walk through the wonderful Beurs van Berlage. Afterwards there is an opportunity to ascend the bell tower with its fantastic view over the city. The all-inclusive price is € 14.50.

The Art of Banksy

18 June to 30 September 2016

From 18th June to 30th September 2016, iconic work by street art enigma Banksy will be showing in Amsterdam. Banksy’s former agent and gallerist, Steve Lazarides, has brought together a sizeable collection of the artist’s work, which is being shown for the first time in Europe in the Beurs van Berlage.

Displayed in installations that include reconstructed London streets, underground stations, living rooms and even Banksy’s former studio, THE ART OF BANKSY presents a collection of original canvasses, painting and sculptures to tell the controversial artist’s story.

The Art of Banksy shows how his work remains provocative outside its original context and provides food for thought. What the exhibition does not do is reveal who or what Banksy is. This question has intrigued the art world since the early 1990s. Nevertheless, Britain’s Banksy pops up all over the world with humorous, politically-slanted and sometimes challenging works, which he places in public spaces to rattle the establishment’s cage—usually by spraying images and messages on walls using stencils.

Buy tickets