10 Reasons to visit Amsterdam in 2018
The Netherlands has been my home for about 6 years. I love Amsterdam and all it offers. Here are 10 reasons you should visit Amsterdam in 2018 and this proves anytime of year is best the best time of year to visit Amsterdam!
Amsterdam Coffee Festival
The Dutch love their coffee. But really, who doesn’t?!
(Side note: Did you know the Dutch have been cold brewing coffee since the 17th century?)
Coffee is so ingrained in society and so important here. The Coffee Festival is a must for anyone who loves coffee and wants to experience something that is truly Dutch culture.
The Amsterdam Coffee Festival runs from March 9-11, 2018 and you can find more info here.
Koningsdag (Kings Day)
April 27 is the King’s birthday and in the Netherlands it is a holiday. The whole city of Amsterdam turns orange in celebration and the city center becomes so packed with people celebrating that the population doubles. There are party boats on the canals and music festivals (see here & here). Kings Day is also well-known vrijmarkt (free market). It is sort of like the American yard sale or garage sale, but out on the streets of Amsterdam. It’s fun to walk through the vrijmarkt. Sometimes you can find some interesting vintagey things! Read more here.
Nieuwe Kerk – World Press Photo
This is a yearly exhibition at the Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) showcasing the best news photography of the previous year. The Nieuwe Kerk is a wonderful museum at anytime of the year. It houses different exhibitions throughout the year inside it’s gothic walls.
World Press Photo exhibitions runs from April 20 to July 1, 2018.
The Holland Festival
This is the largest and longest running performing arts festival in the Netherlands. The event includes many different styles of performing arts, so there is something for everyone! It runs from June 7 to July 1, 2018 and is located at the Carré Theatre, the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ, the Concertgebouw, the Stadsschouwburg, the Westergasfabriek and other locations in Amsterdam. Click here for more info.
Pride Amsterdam 2018 and the Milkshake Festival
Pride Amsterdam is one of the largest gay pride festivals in the world and runs from July 28 to August 5, 2018. The highlights being the canal parade around the Prinsengracht and river Amstel on August 4 and the Milkshake Festival on July 28-29, 2018. For more info click here.
Uitmarkt- Cultural Festival
Uitmarkt is the opening of Amsterdam’s cultural season and should not be missed. This festival features more than 300 performances across 30 stages and covers everything from jazz to hip-hop, from theatre to film, and from ballet in the water to musical sing-alongs. It runs from August 24-26, 2018 and more info can be found here.
Dam tot Dam Loop
The Dam tot Dam Loop is an annual Amsterdam fun run. If you’re athletic, this is for you! 50 thousand people from all over the world come to Amsterdam to take part in this 10 mile run. If 10 miles sounds like too much, there is also a 5 mile night loop or a cycling loop. More info can be found here.
Rijksmuseum 80 years’ war
This year (2018) is 450 years since the end of the 80 years’ war. This war was how the Dutch Republic gained independence from the Spanish Empire. This exhibit showcases art that magnifies the pain, suffering, terror, and oppression from that time period. It runs from October 12, 2018 to January 20, 2019. More info can be found here.
Grab your skates and head to Museum Plein. Museum Plein is where the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, and many others are located. This is also the home of the I AMSTERDAM sign. From mid November to mid February it is also the home of one of the largest outdoor ice-skating rinks in the Netherlands. Click here for more info.
December in Amsterdam is so much fun. There are so many things going on, like the Amsterdam Light Festival, Sinterklaas, Bijenkorf windows, etc. But my favorite is New Years Eve. It is crazy here. I mean mayhem in the streets crazy. There are fireworks going off from the minute you wake up in the morning on December 31 and parties happening all day. You’ll hear crazy loud booms called carbidschieten (google it, it’s crazy) and you’ll eat your weight in oliebollen and appelflappen. If you’re feeling really good in the morning of January 1, you could head to the Hague for the Nieuwjaarsduik (New Year’s Dive) in the North Sea. Super cold, but you do get a nice warm Unox soup and orange hat after the dive.
There you have it! Come anytime of the year. There is always something fun happening in the city. To view my photos of Amsterdam click here.
Do you want to visit Amsterdam? Which of these would you enjoy?
xo, Erin Kay