What's On in Amsterdam October 2018
Planning an autumn visit to Amsterdam, Netherlands? See what's on in October 2018 with our exclusive listings guide below. From museums and exhibitions, rock/pop and classical concerts, sporting events, festivals and conferences plus anything else of interest to the visitor or expat.
Museums & Exhibitions in Amsterdam
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. 80 Years' War, exhibition showing how violence, rebellion and civil war, terror and oppression, religious persecutions and refugees led to the emergence of the present Netherlands and Belgium. Runs 12 Oct 2018 to 20 Jan 2019.
Van Gogh Museum – Popular museum with the world's largest collection of Vincent van Gogh paintings. Gaugin and Laval on Martinique, exhibition featuring paintings of Paul Gaugin and Charles Laval created on the island. Runs 5 Oct 2018 to 13 Jan 2019. Van Gogh Dreams is narrative installation that allows you to enter the mind and heart of Vincent van Gogh. Runs 27 Jul 2018 to 13 Jan 2019.
Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) – The life of Buddha, the Path to the Present is a major exhibition which recounts the life phases of Siddhartha Gautama, better known as the Buddha. Combining both ancient and modern art including pieces from Ai Weiwei and Yoko Ono. It runs 16 Sep 2018 to 3 Feb 2019.
Anne Frank House – The canal house on Amsterdam's Prinsengracht canal where Anne Frank wrote her famous teenage wartime diary whilst hiding from German occupation. The house and museum is open to visitors though pre-booking is essential.
Hermitage Amsterdam – Showcases an exhibition every 6 months from the vast collection of the grand State Hermitage in St Petersburg, Russia. Exhibition Classic Beauties: Artists, Italy and the Aesthetic Ideals of the 18th Century featuring neo-classic art runs between 16 Jun 2018 and 13 Jan 2019. Also ongoing at the Hermitage: Panorama Amsterdam. City Time Lapse, a visual projection of Amsterdam through the ages as seen from the Amstel river; and Portrait Gallery of the Golden Age.
Outsider Art Museum – This museum at the Hermitage showcases extraordinary art by unconventional artists who have not been formally trained. ITE Art | Finnish collection Ammann, art from the backwoods of Finland. Runs 14 Jun 2018 to 13 Jan 2019.
Stedelijk – Amsterdam's main modern and contemporary art museum. STEDELIJK BASE is the permanent installation featuring around 700 pieces. Amsterdam, the Magic Center looks at art and counterculture movement in the city 1967-1970. Runs 7 Jul 2018 to 6 Jan 2019. Günther Förg, A Fragile Beauty is a major survey of work from the German artist. 26 May to 14 Oct 2018.
Amsterdam Museum – 1001 Women in the Twentieth Century, exhibition of 120 remarkable women who played a key role in Dutch history in the last century. Expected 4 Oct 2018 to 10 Mar 2019.
MOCO Museum – This modern and contemporary art museum on Museumplein. Banksy: Laugh Now (includes Beanfield) is now a permanent exhibition. Icy & Sot, A Moment of Clarity exhibition runs 1 Jun 2018 to 15 Jan 2019.
Tropenmuseum – Ethnographic museum featuring fascinating exhibitions on non-Western cultures. Fashion Cities Africa explores the urban fashion scene in Casablanca, Johannesburg, Lagos, Nairobi as well as Africans in the Netherlands. Runs until 6 Jan 2019.
Het Schip (Amsterdam School Museum) – Gaudí and the Amsterdam School, exhibition will highlight the many similarities between the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí and the Amsterdam School. Runs 2 Oct 2018 to 1 Apr 2019.
Allard Pierson Museum – The World in Colour: Colour Photography before 1918 exhibition runs 21 Jun 2018 to 6 Jan 2019.
Stadsarchief – Amsterdam from the past, photo exhibition by Dolf Toussaint with street shots from the 1960s. Runs 13 Jul to 4 Nov 2018.
Hortus Botanicus – Amsterdam's botanical gardens presents IGPOTY 2018 (International Garden Photographer of the Year), a garden, plant and flower photography exhibition. Runs 7 Sep to 31 Oct 2018.
Huis Marseille – 4 exhibitions run 8 Sep to 2 Dec 2018 including Koos Breukel / Son, the Dutch portrait photographer presents photos of his son Casper since birth in 2000; Hellen van Meene / And everything goes on when you die, Dutch photographer looks at the grief and death in a world which keeps moving.
FOAM – Masahisa Fukase - Private Scenes, retrospective exhibition of the late Japanese photographer. Runs 7 Sep to 12 Dec 2018.
Dutch Resistance Museum (Verzetsmuseum) – Risk of explosion!, an interactive exhibition about the Dutch resistance's attack on the Amsterdam Registry Office in 1943. Runs 28 Mar to 11 Nov 2018.
National Holocaust Museum – Opened in 2016, this museum is under development and currently presents Tangible Memories from the Jewish Monument, exhibition of objects, photos and documents of people affected by the Holocaust. Ongoing until end 2019. Exodus. Illegal Palestine travellers, 1945-1948 documents the journey taken by hundreds of Dutch-Jewish youths. Runs 5 Oct 2018 to 6 Jan 2019.
Jewish Historical Museum – The Institute of Ongoing Things, an exhibition by the multidisciplinary artist Uri Katzenstein. Runs 29 Sep 2018 to 24 Feb 2019.
Biblical Museum – Rebecca, That's Me, exhibition of works from the Jewish Museum in Berlin portraying biblical stories. Runs 6 Jul 2018 to 27 Jan 2019.
EYE Film – Ryoji Ikeda, key figure in electronic music and visual artist, curates a spectacular exhibition for Eye. Runs 15 Sep to 2 Dec 2018.
ARCAM – ARCAM presents a talk (€7.50) on Amsterdam architecture and urbanism every Friday 1330-1415. There is an optional walking tour afterwards.
Body Worlds – Display of human body plastinate specimens at the permanent venue on Damrak. The exhibition focuses on happiness.
Check out our comprehensive Amsterdam museums section
Sport in Amsterdam and Netherlands
UEFA Nations League International:
Netherlands vs Germany – 13 Oct 2018, 2045 (Johan Cruyff ArenA, Amsterdam)
Ajax home matches at the Johan Cruyff ArenA in Amsterdam:
Ajax vs AZ (Eredivisie) – 7 Oct 2018, 1645
Ajax vs Feyenoord (Eredivisie) – 28 Oct 2018, 1430
TCS Amsterdam Marathon – The 43rd edition of Amsterdam's marathon event will be held on Sunday 21 Oct 2018. The race starts and finishes at the Olympic Stadium.
Amsterdam City Walk – 11, 18, 26 and 33 km walking events held the day before the Amsterdam marathon taking in the highlights of the city. Saturday 20 Oct 2018, the longer walks start from the Olympic Stadium.
Friday Night Run – Free monthly 1 hour run organised by running group Phanos. Meet at Olympic Stadium Amsterdam at 1930 on Friday 12 Oct 2018.
Ben Bril Boxing Gala – Ben Bril (1912-2003) was a Jewish Dutch boxer who fought at the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam and later survived deportation to a German concentration camp. This annual boxing and dinner show at Theater Carré is held in his memory. 12th anniversary edition due to be held 15 Oct 2018.
Grachtenrace – Up to 140 sloop boats race over a 22km course around Amsterdam's canals. The race starts near Jan Schaeferbrug (bridge) at IJhaven and the route takes in various canals including Herengracht, Leidsegracht and Singelsgracht. The finish is at Oosterdok by the Maritime Museum. 32nd edition is on due Saturday 13 October 2018.
Friday Night Skate – 20km organised skate around the streets of Amsterdam held every Friday night (2030, weather permitting) from Vondelpark Pavilion.
See the full annual sport calendar for Amsterdam
Festivals in Amsterdam
Lift-Off Film Festival – Independent film festival showcasing emerging artists, to be held at LAB111 in Amsterdam. 1-7 Oct 2018.
Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) – Major international conference and festival for electronic music. The festival has an extensive range of electronic sub-genres with 2,500 artists and 500 performances attracting almost 400,000 visitors; it's also the world's most important electric music conference for industry professionals with over 300 events and 600 speakers. Runs 17-21 Oct 2018 (23rd edition) at various locations around Amsterdam.
KLIK! – KLIK Amsterdam international animation festival features shorts and features plus presentations, workshops and parties, 11th edition 10-14 Oct 2018.
Cello Biennale Amsterdam – Ten day long international music festival revolving around the cello. With over 100 events (some free) in every space of the Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ and the Bimhuis, runs 18-27 Oct 2018.
Cinekid – International film, television and new media festival for kids. Venues include Westergasfabriek and The Movies, 20-26 Oct 2018.
Afrovibes Festival – Afrovibes shows the dynamic cultural life of Urban Africa with a programme by African and Dutch artists. 4-14 Oct 2018 at various locations in Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam and Utrecht.
Camera Japan – Japanese cultural festival which features film, art, music plus Japanese food. Scheduled for 5-7 Oct 2018 at Kriterion and EYE Film in Amsterdam. Also held 26-30 Sep 2018 in Rotterdam.
PINT Bokbier Festival – The largest beer festival in Netherlands where you can try out some of the 100 types of bok beer from the tap. Attracting 10,000 visitors, 41st edition expected at Beurs van Berlage Amsterdam, 26-27 Oct 2018.
Fairs & Expos in Amsterdam
I Am Not A Tourist – International expat fair (in its 16th year) organised by Expatica. Varied programme from job hunting, self-development and expat life. Beurs van Berlage Amsterdam, 7 Oct 2018.
VT Wonen & Design Beurs – Large house and home consumer exhibition fair at Amsterdam RAI, between 2-7 Oct 2018.
Amsterdam Denim Days – Series of denim-related events for fashion fanatics, denim enthusiasts and professionals. At Amsterdam Westergasfabriek, 22-28 Oct 2018.
Affordable Art Fair – 12th edition of the international art fair with art objects under €6,000 for sale. At Kromhouthal on the north bank of the IJ, 31 Oct to 4 Nov 2018.
Comedy & Shows in Amsterdam
Amsterdam Magic Show – At Boom Chicago's Rozentheater, Rozengracht in Amsterdam, Tuesday 5 Oct 2018 at 2000.
Boom Chicago – Comedy and improv show held Wed - Sat and playing at Rozentheater on Rozengracht.
Classical Concerts & Theatre in Amsterdam
Toneelgroep Amsterdam – Amsterdam's renowned theatre company performs shows in Dutch which have live English surtitles above the stage - for Thursday night shows at the Stadsschouwburg theatre. Performances in October are: From the Life of the Marionettes (18/25 Oct 2018).
Dutch National Opera & Ballet – Perform opera Jenůfa (Janáček), various between 6-25 Oct 2018; ballet La Dame aux Camélias, various between 13-31 Oct 2018; ballet The Little Big Chest, various between 19-28 Oct 2018.
Pathé Met Opera – The Tuschinski cinema hosts live streaming opera from the Metropolitan in New York. Aida (Verdi) 6 Oct 2018 (1900); Samson et Dalila (Saint-Saëns) 20 Oct 2018 (1900); La Fanciulla del West (Puccini) 27 Oct 2018 (1900).
Portuguese Synagogue Candlelight Concert – Features Misha Fomin, 4 Oct 2018 (1930).
Other Events in Amsterdam
Open Monument Day – Over a weekend many public buildings in the Netherlands open their doors to visitors including dozens of sites in Amsterdam. Open Monumentendag runs Oct 8-9 2018.
De Balie – The multimedia venue near Leidseplein in Amsterdam hosts regular events about current affairs, politics and culture.
Free Concerts in Amsterdam
Bimhuis – Jazz venue has free Workshop & Session every Tuesday in October at 2000.
Concertgebouw – Free lunchtime concerts held on occasional Wednesdays at 1230 in either the small hall (kleine zaal) or large hall (grote zaal). 2018-2019 season dates to be announced. For concerts in the small hall, free tickets must be collected from the ticket desk.
Dutch Opera & Ballet – These lunchtime concerts in the Opera & Ballet foyer present music by small groups of musicians, including members of the Chorus of Dutch National Opera, the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and Netherlands Chamber Orchestra. Almost every Tuesday 1230-1300, doors open 1215.
Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ – Free monthly concert showcasing young classical talent - Thursday 4 Oct 2018 (1230).
Oosterkerk – Free concert given by the Cranbrook Choral Society from the UK, 13 Oct 2018 (1530).
Westerkerk – Free lunchtime church organ concert every Friday at 1300.
Market Events in Amsterdam
Pure Markt – Regular market event with high quality local and seasonal produce, music, food stalls and other activities. Runs at Amstel Park on 14 Oct 2018 (1100-1800) and Park Frankendael on 28 Oct 2018 (1100-1800).
Sunday Market – Regular market event with a focus on fashion, art and design, plus good food and drink. On 7 Oct 2018 at Westergasfabriek (1200-1800); New Market (Deli & Lifestyle) at Nieuwmarkt on 26 Oct 2018 (1100-1800).
Museum Market – Museumplein hosts this Sunday market with arts and crafts, food and music on 21 Oct 2018 (1200-1800).
IJ-Hallen – Huge weekend flea market event held at NDSM-wharf in north Amsterdam with 500 indoor stands. 6-7 Oct 2018 (0900-1630) and 27-28 Oct 2018 (0900-1630).
Rock & Pop Concerts in Amsterdam and Netherlands
Suede – 1 Oct, Paradiso
The Chemical Brothers – 2 Oct, AFAS Live
U2 – 7/8 Oct, Ziggo Dome
Ry Cooder – 8/9 Oct, Carré
Shania Twain – 11 Oct, Ziggo Dome
BTS – 13 Oct, Ziggo Dome
Fat Freddy's Drop – 14 Oct, AFAS Live
Fastlove (George Michael tribute) – 22 Oct, Melkweg
Fish (Marillion) & Doris Brendel – 23 Oct, Paradiso
George Ezra – 30 Oct, AFAS Live
Per Gessle's Roxette – 25 Oct, TivoliVredenburg Utrecht
Hotels in Amsterdam
You should book your Amsterdam accommodation in advance if possible. During popular events rooms can be difficult to find and prices can rise significantly! Book your Amsterdam hotel here via Booking.com, which usefully offers free cancellation if your plans change.
Some specific Amsterdam hotel recommendations: