Here is our insider guide to what's on in Amsterdam, Netherlands during April 2017. There's lots going on in the city and whilst the weather can vary there should be a few good, sunny days. The month ends with the new King's Day (formerly Queen's Day) celebrations.
|King's Day (formerly Queen's Day) in Amsterdam|
King's Day 2017 - Koningsdag 2017 is the Dutch national holiday to be held on Thursday 27 April 2017. Following the abdication of Queen Beatrix in 2013 and the inauguration of King Willem-Alexander, Queen's Day (30 April, the birthday of former Queen Juliana) has become King's Day (27 April, birthday of Willem-Alexander).
On King's Day morning each year the Dutch Royal family (House of Orange-Nassau) visit a chosen town in Netherlands which is shown live on state television.
Despite the name change it is business-as-usual with one of the world's greatest open-air parties - an event everyone should try and experience at least once in their life! Amsterdam goes completely orange crazy with revellers on the streets, in parks and afloat the water. Up to 800,000 visitors cram into the centre temporarily doubling the city's population.
Celebrations actually start the evening before on Wednesday 26 April (King's Night or Koningsnacht) and then continue all of the next day.
One of the main highlights of King's Day is the citywide free market (vrijmarkt). This is where people set up stalls and sell clothes, food, drinks and just about anything else - from plants, old electronics, vintage items, bric-a-brac and a load of old tat. Prices are negotiable which is all part of the fun.
Many Amsterdam residents set up shop directly outside their own houses - days before they mark their territory with tape ("bezet" meaning "occupied"). There are also professional traders and opportunists who take advantage of the tax-free trading.
The free market in Amsterdam officially starts from 0600 on King's Day and goes on all day until 2000. Bargain hunters should get to the free market early.
For fun and games, children's clothes, toys and young performers head to the main children's market at Vondelpark (Amsterdam's main park) which opens at 09:00. Other children's markets can be found (amongst others) at NDSM-wharf (250 stalls), Artisplein (09:00-13:00), Amstelveld, Bellamyplein, Dappermarkt, Frederiksplein, Leliegracht, Sarphatipark and Westerpark.
Note that the city of Utrecht (30 minutes south of Amsterdam by train) starts its free market on King's Night (26 April) from 18:00 - with an authentic and friendly atmosphere, it's well worth a visit.
On King's Day the festivities continue throughout Amsterdam with the free market, food/drink stalls, concert stages, impromptu street entertainers, party boats and all sorts of weird and wonderful fun.
There are 5 large dance parties planned which are held outside of the centre. These are: Kingsland Festival (RAI Amsterdam), Urban Music Festival (Turbinestraat), Loveland van Oranje (Meerpark), Nassau Festival (Olympic Stadium Area) and Oranjebloesem (Pampuslaan-Blijburg). Entry is only for ticket holders, no at-the-door sales.
The best way to get around Amsterdam on King's Day is on foot - temporary signposts can guide you to areas of interest. Be aware that public transport - buses, trams and taxis - do not operate during King's day in the city centre; transport services are running around the outskirts of the city and you require a ticket as normal.
Train services from Amsterdam Central are also restricted, so double check with NS Dutch Railways if planning international travel or going to the airport. If coming to Amsterdam from other parts of Netherlands by train it is preferable to arrive at Amsterdam Zuid or Amsterdam Amstel station and walk in. Amsterdam RAI station will be closed. Expect Amsterdam stations to be extremely busy with up to a quarter of a million people arriving by train.
Supermarkets do open on King's Day though hours can be restricted in some branches. Shops in the city centre tend to remain closed.
Museums open on King's Day are the Anne Frank house, Rijksmuseum, Stedelijk and Van Gogh Museum. Note that most museums including Amsterdam Museum, Hermitage, Maritime Museum and Tropenmuseum are closed.
Be aware that the city centre can get extremely crowded in some places - expect large crowds to gather on Dam Square and Museumplein. Watch out for pickpockets and be vigilant to new perceived security threats.
King's Day events are observed all over the Netherlands including Arnhem, Den Haag, Eindhoven, Groningen, Haarlem, Rotterdam and Utrecht.
a hotel in Amsterdam|
|Museums & Exhibitions|
Rijksmuseum Reopened in April 2013 after 10 years of renovation, the Rijksmuseum's rich collection (including Rembrandt's Night Watch) is a must-see in Amsterdam. Music at Home, exhibition featuring musical instruments runs until 18 Jun 2017. Good Hope. South Africa and The Netherlands from 1600, exhibition about the 400 year relationship between South Africa and the Netherlands. Runs 14 Feb to 21 May 2017.
Van Gogh Museum Prints in Paris 1900: From Elite to the Street, exhibition marking the revolution of printmaking in Paris in the late 19th century. Runs 3 Mar to 11 Jun 2017 .
Hermitage Amsterdam – Exhibition 1917. From Romanov to Revolution is running 4 Feb until 17 Sep 2017. Also at the Hermitage: Outsider Art Museum includes world-class art works by Dutch and international outsider artists; and permanent exhibition Portrait Gallery of the Golden Age.
Amsterdam Museum 100 years of Schiphol - Ready for take-off, exhibition tracing the history of Amsterdam's world famous airport. Runs 16 Sep 2016 to 7 May 2017. Maurice Boyer - at home in Amsterdam, exhibition of the Dutch photo-journalist focussing on Amsterdam squatters in the 1970s and the more recent refugee crisis. Runs 16 Dec 2016 to 14 Jun 2017.
Stadsarchief (City Archives) City at War, Amsterdam 1940-1945, photo exhibition showing Amsterdam during WW2. Runs 17 Feb to 14 May 2017. An Improved City of Amsterdam and General Expansion plan 1935-2017, photo exhibition showing urban developments of Amsterdam. Runs 17 Mar to 16 Jul 2017.
National Maritime Museum Drive | 100 years of Collecting, exhibition about the history of the museum's unique collection. Runs 1 Oct 2016 to 2 Jul 2017.
Stedelijk Jordan Wolfson - Truth/Love - presentation (part 2) of work from the American artist who explores the increasing digitalisation of society. Runs 18 Feb to 23 Apr 2017. Ed van der Elsken - Camera in Love, large retrospective of the most important Dutch street photographer of the 20th century. Runs 4 Feb to 21 May 2017. Chris Beekman, De Stijl Defector, exhibition of the politically active artist from the early 20th century. Runs 8 Apr to 17 Sep 2017.
MOCO Museum – This new modern and contemporary art museum on Museumplein. Dalí: Genius runs until 9 Apr 2017.
Tropenmuseum Rhythm & Roots - from blues to hip hop, a journey of musical styles which have roots in Africa. Runs until 7 Jan 2018.
Rembrandt House Glenn Brown – Rembrandt: After Life, exhibition of the contemporary British artist whose works are inspired by Old Masters. Runs 27 Jan to 23 Apr 2017.
Huis Marseille Jeff Cowen/Photoworks, exhibition of the Berlin-based American photogrpaher. In Egypt/Travellers and Photographers 1850-1900, diverse collection of photos from the 19th century. Both running 11 Mar to 4 Jun 2017.
FOAM Stéphanie Solinas - Dominique Lambert / Le Pourquoi Pas? - installation of French photographer runs 24 Feb to 16 Apr 2017. Daisuke Yokota - Matter, installations from the Japanese photographer. Runs 17 Mar to 4 Jun 2017. William Eggleston – Los Alamos, photos of road trips in southern US between 1966 and 1974. Runs 17 Mar to 7 Jun 2017.
Allard Pierson Museum Modern Candor, exhibition about the struggle for the Falkland Islands / Islas Malvinas between the UK and Argentina. Runs 27 Jan to 7 May 2017.
Anne Frank House A Family Portrait 1920-1942, temporary exhibition showing 50 photos from the Anne Frank archive. From 15 Dec 2016 until 15 Jun 2017.
Dutch Resistance Museum – Food in Wartime, exhibition looking at diet during the Second World War. 5 Dutch chefs make recipes from ingredients available at the time. Runs 15 Oct 2016 to to 28 May 2017.
National Holocaust Museum – The newly opened museum presents Tangible Memories from the Jewish Monument, exhibition of objects, photos and documents of people affected by the Holocaust. Opened 2 Sep 2016, ongoing until end 2019.
Jewish Historical Museum Face it! First Impressions Count, exhibition about stereotypes and prejudices. Runs 19 Dec 2016 to 17 Apr 2017. Samuel Jessurun de Mesquita, exhibition of the Jewish artist, runs 23 Jan to 11 Jun 2017.
Nieuwe Kerk – The Masterpiece 2017 series exhibition features El Greco’s Pentecostés (Pentecost) painting from 18 Feb until 9 Apr 2017. World Press Photo is a photo exhibition showcasing the best in news photography. Runs 15 Apr to 9 Jul 2017.
EYE Film Béla Tarr – Till the End of the World, special exhibition of the Hungarian filmmaker. Runs 21 Jan to 7 May 2017.
ARCAM – ARCAM presents a crash course (€7.50) on Amsterdam architecture and urbanism every Friday 1330-1415.
Museum of Bags and Purses It's a Men's World, a look at bags for men throughout history right up to the modern day. Runs 11 Mar to 27 Aug 2017.
Beurs van Berlage – Leonardo da Vinci - Artist - Inventor - Genius, exhibition featuring replica works and prototype inventions from the Italian master. Runs 27 Jan to 20 Jun 2017.
Van Loon Museum – Turkish Tulips, an exhibition curated by British artist Gavin Turk looking at the historical trade route between the Netherlands and Turkey. Runs 3 Mar to 29 May 2017.
Melkweg Expo – Free photo exhibition Benidorm for Winter looking at seniors who stay in the Spanish resort over wintertime. By Dutch photographer Romi Tweebeeke, runs 4 Mar to 9 Apr 2017.
Body Worlds Display of human body plastinate specimens at the permanent venue on Damrak. The exhibition focuses on happiness.
Museumweek 2017 – Many museums in the Netherlands open their doors to the public over the week 3-9 Apr 2017, for special events.
Kröller-Müller Museum (Otterlo, 80km from Amsterdam) The Early Van Gogh, comprehensive exhibition of Vincent's Dutch works. The museum is located in De Hoge Veluwe National Park. Runs 24 Sep 2016 to 9 Apr 2017.
Harry Potter: The Exhibition – Experiential exhibition featuring dramatic dispalys from the world of Harry Potter. This international expo visits the Netherlands from 11 Feb to 30 Jun 2017. Location is Berlijnplein (next to Cinemec) in the city of Utrecht.
Check out our comprehensive Amsterdam museums section
Friday Night Run – a free monthly 1 hour run organised by running group Phanos. Meet at Olympic Stadium Amsterdam at 1930 on Friday 14 Apr 2017.
Cruyff Foundation 14km Run – Charitable running event on what would have been Johan Cruyff's 70th birthday. Runs starts at Amsterdam ArenA and ends at the Olympic Stadium. 25 Apr 2017.
|Other Events in and around Amsterdam|
Easter 2017 Public holiday in the Netherlands on 14 Apr (Good Friday) and 17 Apr (Easter Monday).
Fiesta Cubana Join DJ Arno at Mirror Center (near Amsterdam Muiderpoort Station) for the popular monthly Cuban-style salsa night. €7 entry, Friday 7 Apr 2017 from 10pm.
Amsterdam Magic Show – Monthly magic and comedy show with international performers to be held at the cabaret-style theatre Paleis van de Weemoed in Amsterdam, 4 Apr 2017 at 20:00.
Imagine Film Festival Formerly the Amsterdam Fantastic Film Festival, the 33rd edition will show sci-fi, cult, fantasy and horror films at EYE Film, runs 12-22 Apr 2017.
World Press Photo Festival In conjunction with the World Press Photo exhibition at Nieuwe Kerk, this 3 day event features lectures and presentations on photojournalism. Runs at Compagnietheater Amsterdam over 20-22 Apr 2017.
Candlelight Concert – Evening concert at the Portuguese Synagogue featuring music from Morton Feldman. 6 Apr 2017 at 1930.
Pathé Met Opera – The Tuschinski cinema hosts live streaming opera from the Metropolitan in New York. Watch Eugene Onegin (Tchaikovsky) on 22 Apr 2017.
Dutch National Opera Ballet – Various performances over Apr 2017 including ballet productions Onegin and The Little Big Chest; and operas Wozzeck and A Dog's Heart.
Toneelgroep Amsterdam – Amsterdam's renowned theatre company performs shows in Dutch which have live English surtitles above the stage - usually on Thursday evenings at the Stadsschouwburg theatre. Kings of War is performed on 13 Apr 2017.
Comedytrain International – Comedians Phil Wang and Pierre Novellie play stand-up at Toomler in Amsterdam on 9 Apr 2017 (2030).
Boom Chicago Comedy and improv show held almost daily - now playing at Rozentheater on Rozengracht.
3D Print Canal House – See a canal house being constructed using 3D printing techniques and sustainable materials. The location is Asterweg 49, 1031 HM Amsterdam - get the free ferry across to Amsterdam North and walk beyond EYE Film. Visit by appointment only or take the walk-in tour (€7.50) which runs every first Wednesday of the month at 1500.
Other events in Netherlands:
Keukenhof The world famous tulip and flower park is open daily during April (opens 23 Mar 2017). The theme for 2017 is 'Dutch Design'. Keukenhof closes on 21 May 2017.
Music Show Scotland Spectacular large-scale Scottish and Celtic music production featuring pipers, dancers and drummers. At Ahoy Rotterdam on 1 Apr 2017.
Bimhuis Jazz venue has free "Workshop + Session" on Tuesdays at 2000. Monday Match Dance & Impro Music Lab (Monday 3 Apr 2017 at 2000) - dancers and musicians create improvisational performances to a live audience.
Concertgebouw – Free lunchtime concert to be held on 5/12/20/26 Apr 2017 at 1230. Get there early to ensure admission.
Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ Free lunchtime concert at 1230 on Thursday 20 Apr 2017.
Netherlands Opera/Ballet Free lunchtime concert in the foyer on Tuesdays at 1230. Concerts on 4/11/25 Apr 2017. Performed by members of Opera Studio, the Netherlands Opera or Dutch Philharmonic orchestra.
Westerkerk Free lunchtime organ concert every Friday at 1300, start dates TBA.
Our full guide to Free things to do in Amsterdam
|Market events in Amsterdam|
Pure Markt Regular market event with high quality produce, music, food stalls and other activities. Runs 1100-1800 at Amstel Park (9 Apr 2017), Amsterdamse Bos (16 Apr 2017) and Park Frankendael (30 Apr 2017).
Sunday Market Sunday market with fashion, design, arts, food and kids stuff. From 1200-1800 at Cultuurpark Westergasfabriek, Sunday 2 Apr 2017.
NeighbourFood & Flea Market Sunday market event featuring local products. From 1100-1800 at Cultuurpark Westergasfabriek, Sunday 16 Apr 2017.
Museum Market Museumplein hosts this Sunday market with arts and crafts, food and music on 16 Apr 2017 from 1200-1800.
IJ-Hallen Huge flea market event held at NDSM-wharf in north Amsterdam. 1-2 Apr 2017 and 22-23 Apr 2017, 0900-1630.
|Pop / Rock Concerts in Amsterdam|