This is a full listing of the Dutch sporting calendar with a focus on major sports events in Amsterdam and around the Netherlands.
Football (soccer) is by far the most popular sport in the Netherlands. Taking in a match of the Dutch national team (Nederlands elftal) is perhaps one of the great experiences of world football.
Seeing the Dutch fans bedecked in all orange brings back some fleeting memories of the mighty Holland teams from the 1970s and 80s. Johan Cruyff. Total Football. Ruud Gullit. Marco van Basten. Euro 88…
As of late, however, the Dutch team has been in crisis having failed to qualify for the last 2 major tournaments. Missing out on World Cup 2018 in Russia means the Dutch are now looking to the 2019 UEFA Nations League and Euro 2020 qualifying.
The Dutch national team plays most of its home matches at either Johan Cruijff ArenA in Amsterdam or Stadion Feyenoord (De Kuyp) in Rotterdam.
Euro 2020 Qualification group C home international matches:
Netherlands vs Northern Ireland – 10 Oct 2019, 2045 (Stadion Feyenoord, Rotterdam)
Netherlands vs Estonia – 19 Nov 2019, 2045 (Johan Cruyff ArenA, Amsterdam)
Since winning the Euro2017 tournament on home soil, the Dutch women’s team (Nederlands vrouwenelftal) has seen a big leap in popularity.
Women’s international friendlies:
Netherlands vs Mexico – 5 Apr 2019, 2000 (GelreDome, Arnhem)
Netherlands vs Chile – 9 Apr 2019, 1830 (AFAS Stadion, Alkmaar)
Dutch league (Eredivisie) matches are played from August to May with a winter’s break in early January. AFC Ajax plays its home games at the Johan Cruyff ArenA in Amsterdam and the following fixtures make up its 2018/19 season:
Ajax vs Heracles Almelo – 11 Aug 2018, 1830
Ajax vs FC Emmen – 25 Aug 2018, 1830
Ajax vs FC Groningen – 15 Sep 2018, 2045
Ajax vs AZ – 7 Oct 2018, 1645
Ajax vs Feyenoord – 28 Oct 2018, 1430
Ajax vs Willem II – 3 Nov 2018, 1830
Ajax vs ADO Den Haag – 2 Dec 2018, 1215
Ajax vs De Graafschap – 16 Dec 2018, 1430
Ajax vs SC Heerenveen – 20 Jan 2019, 1645
Ajax vs VVV Venlo – 2 Feb 2019, 1945
Ajax vs NAC Breda – 17 Feb 2019, 1215
Ajax vs PEC Zwolle – 3 Mar 2019, 1430
Ajax vs Fortuna Sittard – 10 Mar 2019, 1645
Ajax vs PSV Eindhoven – 31 Mar 2019, 1645
Ajax vs Excelsior – 14 Apr 2019, 1645
Ajax vs Vitesse – 24 Apr 2019, 2045
Ajax vs FC Utrecht – 12 May 2019, 1430
Ajax Open Day – Johan Cruijff ArenA in Amsterdam hosts an open day for Ajax fans to ring in the new season. Free entry, late Jul 2019.
Johan Cruyff Schaal (Cruijff Shield, winner Eredivisie vs winner KNVB Cup), season opener, to be played early August 2019.
Athletics / Running / Walking
Friday Night Run – A free monthly 1 hour run organised by running group Phanos. Runners meet at the Olympic Stadium Amsterdam at 1930 on the 2nd Friday of each month. Dates:
12 Apr 2019 / 10 May 2019 / 14 Jun 2019 / 12 Jul 2019 / 9 Aug 2019 / 13 Sep 2019 / 11 Oct 2019 / 8 Nov 2019 / 13 Dec 2019
CPC (City-Pier-City) Run – An annual half marathon event in the Hague which is held in mid-March. Starting in the city, the flat course takes in Scheveningen beach before heading back to the centre. 45th edition will be run on Sunday 10 Mar 2019.
NN Rotterdam Marathon – This big marathon event in the Netherlands attracts over 20,000 competitors including a field of world-class athletes. One of the fastest marathon courses in the world, the race begins on Erasmus Bridge with the finish line being on the Coolsingel. Up to a million spectators line the streets of Rotterdam. The 39th edition will take place on Sunday 7 Apr 2019.
Gaasperplasrun – 1km, 2km, 5km and 10km runs around the Gaasperplaas, a lake in south-east Amsterdam. 25th edition scheduled for 9 Jun 2019.
Ladiesrun Rotterdam – 5km, 7.5km and 10km running event for ladies only, held in Rotterdam. 13th edition due 16 Jun 2019.
Dutch Atheltics Championships (NK) – Annual Dutch Championships meet takes place in summer, with qualification places up for grabs to the 2019 World Athletics Championship in Doha. 26-28 Jul 2019 at Haag Atletiek in Den Haag.
Nijmegen Vierdaagse – International four days marches event around the city of Nijmegen with up to 50,000 participants – walking 30km to 50km per day over all 4 days. 103rd edition will be held over 16-19 Jul 2019.
Dam tot Dam Loop – Very popular fun-run event with tens of thousands of participants – the 35th edition takes place over the weekend of 21-22 Sep 2019. The main 10 mile event from Amsterdam to Zaandam is staged on Sunday 22 Sep 2019, with staggered starts at Prins Hendrikkade.
TCS Amsterdam Marathon – The 44th edition of Amsterdam’s marathon event will be held on Sunday 20 Oct 2019. The race starts and finishes at the Olympic Stadium.
Amsterdam City Walk – 11, 18, 27 and 33 km walking events held the day before the Amsterdam marathon taking in the highlights of the city. Saturday 19 Oct 2019, the longer walks start from the Olympic Stadium.
Olympic Stadium Run – The Olympischstadionloop (41st edition) is a 1km/5km/10km running event which starts and finishes at the Olympic Stadium in the south of Amsterdam. Scheduled for 10 Nov 2019.
Movember Run Amsterdam – 5km charitable (and humorous) run around the Vondelpark in Amsterdam to raise funds for Movember. Also counts as the official Dutch Championship (NK) for running with a moustache. Expected late Nov 2019.
Netherlands hosts 2 ATP tournaments during the year:
ABN Amro Tournament – ATP tennis tour event at Ahoy Rotterdam between 10-17 Feb 2020. A strong field of top 20 players is due at the 47th edition.
Libéma Open – International grass court tournament (men’s ATP and women’s WTA) at the Autotron Rosmalen near Den Bosch, 1 hour south of Amsterdam. Used as a warm-up to Wimbledon for some players. 30th edition, 10-16 Jun 2019.
KLM Open – European Tour event (100th edition) will be held at The International course in Amsterdam on 12-15 Sep 2019.
Jumping Amsterdam – Indoor international equestrian event featuring some of the world’s best show jumping and dressage riders. Amsterdam RAI, 23-26 Jan 2020.
Amsterdam Sevens – Annual international rugby sevens tournament with over 120 teams to be played at the National Rugby Centre in Amsterdam, 1-2 Jun 2019.
Tri Amsterdam – International triathlon event which offers half-distance and full Olympic distance courses around the Amstel river area. 30 Jun 2019.
Premier League – The invitational Premier League of darts event returns to the Netherlands for the 4th time in 2020. See Michael van Gerwen and co at the Ahoy Rotterdam, 2020 dates to be announced.
World Series of Darts Finals – International PDC darts tournament featuring the world’s top players comes to AFAS Live in Amsterdam. 1-3 Nov 2019.
Dutch Moto GP – Popular motorcycle racing event held at the Assen TT circuit. 28-30 Jun 2019.
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. 13th anniversary edition due to be held mid-October 2019.
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. 33rd edition is due 12 Oct 2019.
Amsterdam City Swim – This charity 2km outdoor swim event in the city features up to 3,000 participants. Sunday 8 Sep 2019.
Friday Night Skate – A 20km organised skate around the streets of Amsterdam held every Friday night (2030, weather permitting) from Vondelpark Pavilion.
League Finals – Ball sport (kind of netball-basketball cross) invented in the Netherlands. League finals day will be on 13 Apr 2019 at the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam.