What are the best festivals in Amsterdam?

Answers from Our Experts (1)

Cecily Layzell

There's little down time in Amsterdam's busy festival calendar, which reaches a peak in the summer. Here are five of our favourites.

Taste of Amsterdam. In June, Taste of Amsterdam entices epicures to Amstel Park for four days of food, drink, culinary demonstrations and an artisanal market selling lovingly made, regional goodies.

Grachtenfestival. The ten-day Grachtenfestival (Canal Festival), held in August, has grown beyond its original roster of stages on and around Amsterdam's central canals to include unusual locations, such as the pedestrian tunnel below Central Station, for progressive classical and world music performances by young talent.

Pluk de Nacht. Also held in August, Pluk de Nacht ('seize the night') sets up a big screen on Het Stenen Hoofd just west of Central Station for ten evenings of free, open-air screenings of worthy independent productions passed over by mainstream distributors. Movies are in English or have English subtitles.

Amsterdam Fringe Festival. Following the summer break, the Amsterdam Fringe Festival kicks off a new cultural season in September with ten days of edgy theater at more than 30 locations throughout the city, including a restaurant and boxing ring. Don't speak Dutch? Look out for the extensive line-up of shows marked 'LNP' (language no problem) that are in English or dialogue-free.

IDFA. For 12 days each November, the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) attracts thousands of filmmakers and film fans to this visual feast based at the beautiful art deco-style Tuschinski movie theater.

Related Questions