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What's On in Amsterdam May 2015


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 2015...

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. Late Rembrandt is a major retrospective of Rembrandt van Rijn’s later work from around 1652 until his death in 1669. Runs 12 Feb to 17 May 2015. Running parallel is Chiaroscuro in Photography, an exhibition in the Philips Wing presenting the earliest photographers from the Rijksmuseum collection. Runs 12 Feb to 17 May 2015.

rijksmuseum amsterdam

Hermitage Amsterdam – Exhibition Alexander, Napoleon & Joséphine runs 28 March to 8 Nov 2015. Portrait Gallery of the Golden Age (opened Nov 2014) brings together for the first time 30 colossal 17th century group portraits from Amsterdam Museum and Rijksmuseum. Runs to the end of 2016.

StedelijkThe Oasis of Matisse – Major survey exhibition of Henri Matisse including paintings, sculptures and works on paper. Runs 27 March to 16 Aug 2015. The Stedelijk Museum in the Second World War tells the story of the museum during the German occupation. Runs 27 Feb to 31 May 2015.

Van Gogh Museum A new light on Van Gogh is the redesigned presentation of the Van Gogh museum collection (which opened Nov 2014).

Amsterdam MuseumThe Industrial Age: The Birth of Modern Netherlands – an exhibition looking at how the country was transformed with new roads, railways and industry. Runs 5 March to 2 Aug 2015.

Tropenmuseum Body Art – an exhibition about body modifications around the world, from tattoos, make-up and surgical changes. Runs 20 March to 30 Aug 2015.

Allard Pierson MuseumKeys To Rome, a unique exhibition on Roman culture using immersive digital technology running concurrently in 4 cities – Rome, Alexandria, Amsterdam and Sarajevo. The Allard Pierson museum hosts the Amsterdam exhibition with a focus on 3 regions - Egypt , the Mediterranean and the Low Countries. Extended run 24 Sep 2014 to 28 June 2015.

Nieuwe Kerk World Press Photo is a photo exhibition showcasing the best in news photography. Runs 18 April to 5 July 2015.

Rembrandt House Rembrandt's Late Pupils - Studying under a Genius – coinciding with the Late Rembrandt exhibition at Rijksmuseum, this focuses on Rembrandt's role as a teacher during the latter stages of his life. Runs 12 Feb to 17 May 2015.

Magna Plaza – Permanent exhibition of Rembrandt, all his paintings, lifesize reproductions of all Rembrandt's works on show.

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

StadsarchiefMagical Central Amsterdam 1965-1975, photo exhibition from Cor Jaring (1936-2013) which chronicles the turbulent sixties in Amsterdam. Runs 13 March to 12 July 2015.

FOAMGeert Goiris - Flashbulb Memories, Ash Grey Prophecies, exhibition from the Belgian photographer, runs 20 Mar to 24 May 2015. Regine Petersen - Find a Fallen Star, exhibition from the German photographer with a theme about fallen meteorites. Runs 20 March to 3 May 2015.

Huis Marseille Cor Was Here exhibition of noted Amsterdam photographer Cor Jaring runs 14 March to 28 Jun 2015. Eddo Hartmann/ Setting the Stage: Pyongyang, North Korea, photos of the socialist state by the Dutch photographer. Runs 14 March to 7 June 2015.

Dutch Resistance MuseumNames, Not Numbers, exhibition about Dutch political prisoners in the Dachau Concentration Camp. Runs 23 April to 25 Oct 2015.

Jewish Historical MuseumJews in the Caribbean. Four Centuries of History in Suriname and Curacao runs 30 Jan to 14 June 2015. R.B. Kitaj: Unpacking My Library, exhibition of paintings and prints from American artist Ronald Brooks Kitaj (1932-2007). Running 20 March to 12 July 2015.

Biblical Museum (Cromhout House) - I Believe I am Gay, photo exhibition about religion and sexuality. Runs 13 March to 14 June 2015.

Museum of Bags and PursesHappy Birthday Chanel! 60 years of the 2.55 – celebrating the anniversary of the iconic Chanel handbag. Runs 1 Feb to 3 May 2015. Vive La France, exhibiting modern French bag designers, 17 March to 7 June 2015. Ugly, exhibition about different tastes in bags. Runs 1 April to 19 July 2015.

Check out our comprehensive Amsterdam museums section

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Football - Dutch 14/15 season comes to a close:
Ajax home match at the Amsterdam ArenA:
Ajax vs Cambur Leeuwarden – 10 May, 1430 (Eredivisie, Dutch League)

Copa Amsterdam – Under-19 international club football tournament at the Olympic Stadium Amsterdam. 23-25 May 2015.

Inline Skating:
Friday Night Skate – a 20km organised skate around the streets of Amsterdam held every Friday night (2030, 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

National Remembrance Day – Ceremony commemorating the war dead, held in Dam Square on 4 May. A 2 minute silence is held at 2000.

Liberation Day – Various concerts at stages throughout Amsterdam including Dam Square. 5 May. See our map and guide to Dam Square

dam square amsterdam

Netherlands Public Holidays May 2015 – 5 May (Liberation Day), 14 May (Ascension Day) and 25 May (Whit Monday).

Fiesta Cubana – Check out DJ Arno's popular Cuban-style salsa night at the Badcuyp Amsterdam, €5 entry, Friday 1 May 2015 from 10pm.

ANNE – Major ongoing theatre production of the diary of Anne Frank covering the 2 years Anne and family spent hiding in the Secret Annex. Held at the new Theater Amsterdam, a purpose-built theatre with 11,000 seats in the Westelijke Houthavens district, just north-west of the centre. Opened in May 2014, the play generally runs Wednesday to Sunday with shows afternoon 1400-1710 and/or evening 2000-2310. There is an onsite restaurant (Boven de Planken) serving lunch or dinner 2 1/2 hours before the show. Note, the play is performed in Dutch, however there is a multilingual translation system for foreign visitors using tablets. Tickets on sale for dates up to 30 June 2015.

Othello – Renowned Toneelgroep Amsterdam perform Shakespeare's Othello, directed by Ivo Van Hove. On at Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam 6-16 May 2015, with special surtitled English shows on Thursday 7 and 14 May.

Midsummer Night's Dream – See the Shakespeare play in Karaoke style at Badhuistheater Amsterdam, 14 May 2015.

Rolling Kitchens 2015 Rollende Keukens food festival where dozens of mobile kitchens offer their dishes at the Westergasfabriek. 13-17 May 2015.

Pacha Festival – Dance music festival event at Java island in Amsterdam on Saturday 16 May 2015.

Dutch National Opera – Performs Benvenuto Cellini (Berlioz) at Muziektheater Amsterdam, various shows 9-28 May 2015.

Haxpo 2015 – Tech and security expo (2nd edition) at the Beurs van Berlage Amsterdam, 27-29 May 2015.

Amsterdam Tattoo Convention – Event where tattoo artists from all over the world will gather for the 11th edition at Amsterdam RAI, 29-31 May 2015.

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.

Artzuid 2015 – International artist sculptures on public show around the south of Amsterdam between 22 May and 22 Sep 2015.

Other events in Netherlands:

Keukenhof – The world famous tulip and flower park is open during April. The theme for 2015 is 'Van Gogh' - Keukenhof open 20 March to 17 May 2015.

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Free Concerts

Bimhuis – Jazz venue has free Session event held every Tuesday evening at 2200 in the cafe.

Concertgebouw – Free lunchtime concert usually held every Wednesday at 1230 - note, no concerts scheduled for May 2015.

Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ – Free concert on Tuesday 12 May 2015 at 1230.

Muziektheater – Free lunchtime concert in the foyer on Tuesdays at 1230. Performed by members of Opera Studio, the Netherlands Opera or Dutch Philharmonic orchestra.

Westerkerk – Free lunchtime organ concert every Friday at 1300.

North Sea Jazz Club – Free jam sessions are held every Wednesday evening at the neighbouring Pizza Pazzani restaurant (at Westergasfabriek).

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 (10 May 2015) and Park Frankendael (31 May 2015).

pure markt amsterdam

Sunday Market Sunday market with fashion, design, arts, food and kids stuff. From 1200 at Cultuurpark Westergasfabriek on 3 May 2015.

NeighbourFood Market – Sunday market event featuring local food products. Runs Sunday 17 May 2015 from 1100-1800 at Cultuurpark Westergasfabriek.

IJ-Hallen Huge flea market event held at NDSM-wharf in north Amsterdam. 9-10 May and 30-31 May 2015.

Pop / Rock Concerts in Amsterdam

5 Seconds of Summer – 20 May, Ziggo Dome
Bill Maher – 20 May, De Meervaart
Toppers in Comcert – 23/29/30 May, Amsterdam ArenA
Ellen Ten Damme – 25 May, Carré
Roxette – 27 May, Heineken Music Hall
Ariana Grande – 28/29 May, Ziggo Dome
Toto – 30 May, Ziggo Dome
Fleetwood Mac – 31 May/1 June, Ziggo Dome

carre theater amsterdam

AC/DC – 5 May, GelreDome Arnhem

Nick Cave – 16/17 May, World Forum Theater Den Haag

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