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What's On in Amsterdam May 2016


May is a great time to visit Amsterdam, with pleasant late-spring temperatures and plenty to see and do.

Check out our insider guide to other things going on in and around the city for May 2016...

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. Catwalk, an exhibition of Dutch fashion from 1625-1960 using photography by the renowned Erwin Olaf. Runs 20 Feb to 15 May 2016 in the Philips Wing. Breitner: Girl in Kimono, all versions of George Hendrik Breitner's painting together for the first time. Runs 20 Feb to 22 May 2016. Document Netherlands: Education, photo exhibition by Carel van Hees about education in Rotterdam. Runs 24 March to 12 June 2016.

rijksmuseum amsterdam

Van Gogh Museum Easy Virtue, an exhibition about prostitution as seen through the eyes of Van Gogh and other well-known 19th century artists. Runs 19 Feb to 19 June 2016.

Hermitage Amsterdam – Exhibition Spanish Masters from the Hermitage: The World of El Greco, Ribera, Zurbarán, Velázquez, Murillo & Goya runs from 28 Nov 2015 until 29 May 2016. Portrait Gallery of the Golden Age brings together for the first time 30 colossal 17th century group portraits from Amsterdam Museum and Rijksmuseum. Runs to the end of 2016.

StedelijkLiving in the Amsterdam School brings furniture and interior accessories from the Amsterdam School style to international attention. Runs 9 April to 28 Aug 2016. Avery Singer - Scenes, solo exhibition of the American artist with works from 2012, runs 23 April to 2 Oct 2016.

Amsterdam MuseumMade in Amsterdam – a major exhibition of 100 works made by important artists in the city over the last century. Runs 11 March to 31 July 2016.

Nieuwe Kerk World Press Photo is a photo exhibition showcasing the best in news photography. Runs 16 April to 10 July 2016.

Oude KerkOnce in a Lifetime, exhibition curated by Nina Folkersma where eight artists shed light on various aspects of life and mortality. Runs 12 May to 28 Aug 2016.

MOCO Museum – This new modern and contemporary art museum on Museumplein opens with 2 exhibitions from icons Banksy and Andy Warhol. Banksy: Laugh Now (includes Beanfield) runs 9 April to 4 Sep 2016. Warhol: Royal (features the Marilyn work) runs 9 April to 3 July 2016.

Tropenmuseum Rhythm & Roots - from blues to hip hop, a journey of musical styles which have roots in Africa. Runs until 13 May to 30 Oct 2016.

Rembrandt House Rembrandt's Naked Truth – exhibition giving an insight on how nude models were drawn in Rembrandt’s time. Runs 12 Feb to 24 May 2016. Rembrandt, the Etcher – selection of some 50 etchings from the Rembrandt House collection. Runs 28 May to 18 Sep 2016.

EYE FilmClose-Up, a group exhibition featuring film, video and spatial installations from a new generation of artists in the Netherlands. Runs 31 Jan to 22 May 2016.

FOAMCalais - From Jungle To City, exhibition from Henk Wildschut about the refugee crisis, runs 8 April to 5 June 2016. Disfarmer, The Vintage Prints features portrait photos of residents from a small rural town in Arkansas, runs 18 March to 5 June 2016.

Huis Marseille Jeroen Robert Kramer / Une Femme, photographic narrative on the life of an older Lebanese man in Beirut. Runs 12 March to 5 June 2016.

Het GrachtenhuisOn The Wall, exhibition featuring maps of Amsterdam. At the bel-etage floor of the Canal House museum, running 23 Feb to 8 May 2016.

Stadsarchief (City Archives)City Artists of Amsterdam, exhibition of 15 artists featuring new images of the city. Runs 27 May to 11 Sep 2016.

Dutch Resistance MuseumWorld War Two Today, exhibition by Dutch photographer Roger Cremers who travelled throughout Europe capturing images of tourists at war sites and commemorations. Runs 22 April to 25 Sep 2016.

National Holocaust Museum – The newly opened museum presents its first exhibition: The Demise of Abraham Reiss, a series of 9 harrowing paintings by noted Dutch actor and artist Jeroen Krabbé about the life and death of his grandfather. Runs 16 May to 2 Oct 2016.

Jewish Historical MuseumAmy Winehouse: A Family Portrait, intimate exhibition about the life of the singer and her Jewish-London roots. Runs 29 Feb to 4 Sep 2016.

Museum of Bags and PursesStreet Couture, how haute couture and street fashion meet. Runs 10 Jan to 5 June 2016.

Museum Van LoonFashion at Van Loon, highlights European fashion trends of the wealthy Van Loon family from 1850 to the present. Runs 3 March to 30 May 2016.

ARCAM – Architecture Centre Amsterdam presents an exhibition 100 Years of Inspiration, celebrating the centenary of the Amsterdam School of architecture and its influence on contemporary buildings. Runs 14 April to 30 Sep 2016, free entry.

Lloyd HotelEmigrants at Lloyd Hotel, exhibition on 4th floor about migrants departing Amsterdam nearly 100 years ago. The Lloyd Hotel and surrounding shipping buildings facilitated East European emigrants as they departed to south America. Free entry, runs to end 2016.

Body Worlds – Display of human body plastinate specimens at the permanent venue on Damrak. The exhibition focuses on happiness.

Kunsthal (Rotterdam)Philippe Halsman: Astonish Me! – Retrospective exhibition of one of the 20th century's greatest photographers. Runs 27 Feb to 12 June 2016.

Note, due to Dutch EU presidency meetings, Amsterdam's Maritime Museum is closed during the following dates: 22 Jan to 7 Feb 2016, 10 to 24 April 2016 and 29 May to 3 June 2016.

Check out our comprehensive Amsterdam museums section

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Football – Dutch 15/16 season comes to a close:
Ajax home match at the Amsterdam ArenA:
Ajax vs FC Twente – 1 May 2016, 14:30 (Eredivisie, Dutch League)

NextGen Series – Under-19 international club football tournament (formerly the Copa Amsterdam) at the Olympic Stadium Amsterdam. Participants include AFC Ajax, PSV Eindhoven, FC Barcelona and Tottenham Hotspur. Runs 14-16 May 2016.

Rugby – National Rugby Centre Amsterdam:
Netherlands vs Ukraine – 7 May 2016, 15:00
Amsterdam Rugby Sevens – 27-29 May 2016

Ladiesrun Rotterdam – 5km, 7.5km and 10km running event for ladies only. 10th edition due Sunday 29 May 2016.

Premier League – The best darts players in the world play the invitational round robin Premier League tournament. Rotterdam's Ahoy hosts the final league night on Thursday 12 May 2016.

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA):
UFC – Fight Night event comes to the Rotterdam Ahoy on Sunday 8 May 2016.

Inline Skating:
Friday Night Skate – a 20km organised skate around the streets of Amsterdam held every Friday night (20:30, weather permitting) from Vondelpark Pavilion (former Film Museum).

>>>See what's on in Amsterdam in June or other months
Other Events in and around Amsterdam

Netherlands Public Holidays May 2016 – 5 May (Liberation Day/Ascension Day) and 16 May (Whit Monday)

National Remembrance Day – Ceremony commemorating the war dead, held in Dam Square on 4 May. A 2 minute silence is held at 20:00.

dam square amsterdam

Theater Na De Dam – Special performances (mainly Dutch) inspired by World War 2 will be held between 21:00 and 00:00 after the 4 May remembrance service on Dam Square. Various locations including National Opera, Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ and the Royal Concertgebouw.

Liberation Day – Various concerts at stages throughout Amsterdam including Dam Square on 5 May.

Fiesta Cubana – Check out DJ Arno's popular Cuban-style salsa night at Mirror Center (near Amsterdam Muiderpoort Station), €7 entry, Friday 6 May 2016 from 22:00.

Rolling Kitchens 2016 Rollende Keukens food festival where dozens of mobile kitchens offer their dishes at the Westergasfabriek. 12-16 May 2016.

Amsterdam Tattoo Convention – Event where tattoo artists from all over the world will gather for the 12th edition at Amsterdam RAI, 27-29 May 2016.

Dutch National Opera & Ballet – Perform Mozart's Don Giovanni opera at Muziektheater Amsterdam, various shows from 7-29 May 2016.

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. The Other Voice is performed on Thursday 12/19 May 2016.  The Kindly Ones is performed on Thursday 19/26 April 2016.

John Cleese – The legendary English comedian plays his live show The Last Time To See Me Before I Die at Carré theatre in Amsterdam on 2/3 May 2016.

Jimmy Carr Funny Business stand-up show from the British comedian at Carré theatre in Amsterdam on 29 May 2016.

Dara O'Briain Crowd Tickler, intelligent stand-up shows from the Irish comedian at Meervaart theatre in Amsterdam on 31 May, 1 and 3 June 2016.

John Oldenstam sings Marvin Gaye  – Singer and actor Oldenstam performs a tribute to one of Motown's greatest soul singers. Meervaart Theater in Amsterdam on 20 May 2016.

Boom Chicago – Comedy and improv show held almost daily – now playing at Rozentheater on Rozengracht.

North Sea Jazz Club – Hosts a wide variety of jazz, funk, soul and world music every weekend (Friday & Saturday) at the Westergasfabriek. Dinner concerts include a 3 course meal by the in-house chef.

ANNE – Major theatre production of the diary of Anne Frank covering the 2 years Anne and family spent hiding in the Secret Annex. Held at the Theater Amsterdam, a purpose-built theatre with 11,000 seats in the Westelijke Houthavens district, just north-west of the centre. The play is performed in Dutch, however there is a multilingual translation system for foreign visitors using tablets. Tickets on sale for a few dates in May 2016.

Expat Cinema – LAB111 cinema in Amsterdam's Old West hosts a monthly foreign film (on a Thursday night) with English subtitles. Mustang (Germany) is screened on 26 May 2016.

Other events in Netherlands:

Keukenhof – The world famous tulip and flower park is open daily until 16 May 2016 (season opens 24 March 2016). The theme for 2016 is 'The Golden Age'.

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Free Concerts

Bimhuis – Jazz venue has free "Workshop + Session" on Tuesdays at 20:00.

Concertgebouw – Free lunchtime concert to be held on 4/11/18/25 May 2016 at 12:30. Get there early to ensure admission.

Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ – Free lunchtime concert at 12:30 on Thursday 12 May 2016.

Dutch Opera & Ballet – Free lunchtime concert in the foyer on Tuesdays at 12:30. Performed by members of Opera Studio, the Netherlands Opera or Dutch Philharmonic orchestra.

Westerkerk – Free lunchtime organ concert every Friday at 13:00.

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 11:00-18:00 at Amstel Park (8 May 2016) and Park Frankendael (29 May 2016).

Sunday Market Sunday market with fashion, design, arts, food and kids stuff. From 12:00 at Cultuurpark Westergasfabriek on 1 May 2016.

NeighbourFood Market – Sunday market event featuring local food products. Date to be confirmed, either 22 or 29 May 2016 from 11:00-18:00 at Cultuurpark Westergasfabriek.

Museum Market – Museumplein hosts this Sunday market with arts and crafts, food and music on 15 May 2016.

IJ-Hallen Huge flea market event held at NDSM-wharf in north Amsterdam. 7-8 May and 28-29 May 2016.

ij hallen amsterdam

Pop / Rock Concerts in Amsterdam

Jeff Lynne's ELO – 1 May, Ziggo Dome
Janet Jackson – 2 May, Ziggo Dome
The Dandy Warhols – 6 May, Melkweg
UB40 – 7/9 May, Heineken Music Hall
The Buzzcocks – 8 May, Melkweg
David Duchovny – 9 May, Melkweg
Iggy Pop & Josh Homme – 10 May, Heineken Music Hall
Jack Garratt – 11 May, Paradiso
Josh Groban – 13 May, Heineken Music Hall
Rod Stewart – 14 May, Ziggo Dome
5 Seconds of Summer – 21/22 May, Ziggo Dome
Mumford & Sons – 23 May, Ziggo Dome
Bryan Adams – 24 May, Ziggo Dome
Il Divo – 25 May, Ziggo Dome
Travis – 27 May, Melkweg
Garbage – 30 May, Paradiso

ziggo dome amsterdam

>>>See what's on in Amsterdam in June or other months
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