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 Cruijff. Total Football. Ruud Gullit. Marco van Basten. Euro 88…
As of late, the fortunes of the Dutch team has been mixed. The Netherlands failed to qualify for both Euro 2016 and World Cup 2018. They were losing finalists in the 2019 UEFA Nations League and reached the last 16 of the delayed Euro 2020 tournament.
The Dutch national team plays most of its home matches at either Johan Cruijff ArenA in Amsterdam or Stadion Feyenoord (De Kuyp) in Rotterdam, with the occasional match at the Philips Stadion in Eindhoven.
Netherlands home internationals World Cup 2022 qualifiers:
Netherlands vs Norway 16 Nov 2021 (2045) – Feyenoord Stadion, Rotterdam
Since winning the Euro2017 tournament on home soil, the Dutch women’s team (Nederlands vrouwenelftal) has seen a big leap in popularity.
Dutch League (Eredivisie) matches are normally played from August to May with a winter’s break in early January. AFC Ajax plays its home games at the Johan Cruijff ArenA in Amsterdam.
Johan Cruyff Schaal (Cruijff Shield, winner Eredivisie vs winner KNVB Cup), season opener.
Ajax home fixtures for the 2021/22 season, all Eredivisie matches unless stated:
Ajax vs NEC 14 Aug 2021 (2100)
Ajax vs Vitesse 29 Aug 2021 (1430)
Ajax vs SC Cambuur 18 Sep 2021 (2000)
Ajax vs FC Groningen 25 Sep 2021 (1630)
Ajax vs FC Utrecht 3 Oct 2021 (1215)
Ajax vs PSV Eindhoven 24 Oct 2021 (1645)
Ajax vs Go Ahead Eagles 6 Nov 2021 (2000)
Ajax vs Willem II 4 Dec 2021 (2100)
Ajax vs AZ 12 Dec 2021 (1430)
Ajax vs Fortuna Sittard 22 Dec 2021 (2100)
Ajax vs Heracles 6 Feb 2022 (1645)
Ajax vs FC Twente 13 Feb 2022 (tba)
Ajax vs RKC Waalwijk 6 Mar 2022 (tba)
Ajax vs Feyenoord 20 Mar 2022 (tba)
Ajax vs Sparta 10 Apr 2022 (tba)
Ajax vs PEC Zwolle 1 May 2022 (tba)
Ajax vs SC Heerenveen 11 May 2022 (2000)
You can also book a tour of the Johan Cruijff ArenA online here
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.
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. Next edition will be run on Sunday 13 Mar 2022.
NN Rotterdam Marathon – This big marathon event in the Netherlands normally 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 41st edition is scheduled for 10 Apr 2022.
Gaasperplasrun – 1km, 2km, 5km and 10km runs around the Gaasperplaas, a lake in south-east Amsterdam. 2020 event was cancelled, 2021 was a individual/virtual event. Expected to return in June 2022.
Dutch Athletics Championships (NK) – Annual Dutch Championships outdoor meet takes place each summer. Next event expected in July 2022 at AV’34 Apeldoorn.
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. The 2020 and 2021 events were cancelled. The 104th edition is scheduled for 19-22 Jul 2022.
Dam tot Dam Loop – Popular fun-run event which includes the world’s biggest 10 mile event from Amsterdam to Zaandam attracting almost 50,000 participants. Due 17-18 Sep 2022, after the 2020 and 2021 events were cancelled.
TCS Amsterdam Marathon – The Amsterdam’s marathon event will be held on Sunday 16 Oct 2022. The race starts and finishes at the Olympic Stadium.
Amsterdam City Walk – 10, 14, 17, 20, 26 and 33 km walking events held the day before the Amsterdam marathon taking in the highlights of the city. Saturday 15 Oct 2022, the longer walks start from the Olympic Stadium.
Olympic Stadium Run – The Olympischstadionloop is a 1km/5km/10km running event which starts and finishes at the Olympic Stadium in the south of Amsterdam. Scheduled for 14 Nov 2021.
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. The 2020 event was cancelled, expected to return in November 2021.
Netherlands hosts 2 ATP tournaments during the year:
ABN Amro Tournament – ATP tennis tour event at Ahoy Rotterdam between 5-13 Feb 2022. A strong field of top 20 players is due at the 49th 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. 2020 and 2021 events were cancelled, expected 4-12 Jun 2022.
Dutch Open – European Tour event due at Bernardus Golf in Cromvoirt (Den Bosch) over 26-29 May 2022.
Jumping Amsterdam – Indoor international equestrian event featuring some of the world’s best show jumping and dressage riders. At RAI Amsterdam on 27-30 Jan 2022, the 2021 event was cancelled.
Amsterdam Sevens – Annual international rugby sevens tournament with over 120 teams to be played at the National Rugby Centre in Amsterdam. 2020 and 2021 events were cancelled, expected 3-5 Jun 2022.
Tri Amsterdam – International triathlon event which offers half-distance and full Olympic distance courses from Bella Vista park around the Amstel river area. Expected on 19 Jun 2022.
World of Series Finals – The Jack’s Casino World Series of Darts Finals featuring the world’s top players is scheduled for AFAS Live in Amsterdam over 29-31 Oct 2021.
Premier League – The invitational Premier League of darts event is expected to return to the Netherlands on 24 Mar 2022 at Ahoy Rotterdam.
Formula 1 – The historic circuit at Zandvoort (near Amsterdam) will host a Formula 1 race on 4 Sep 2022.
Dutch Moto GP – Popular motorcycle racing event held at the Assen TT circuit. Next event expected 26 Jun 2022.
DTM Race – The Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters touring car series comes to the Assen circuit. Expected September 2022.
World Port Tournament Baseball – International biennial baseball event featuring the Netherlands, Curaçao, Japan, Taiwan and USA. Expected to return in 2023 at Neptunus Family stadium in Rotterdam.
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. Note, the 2020 and 2021 events have not gone ahead, the future of this event is uncertain.
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. The 35th edition is scheduled for October 2022.
Amsterdam City Swim – This charity 2km outdoor swim event in the city features up to 3,000 participants. Scheduled for August 2022.
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 in April 2022.
Invictus Games 2020 (rescheduled)
The international games founded by Prince Harry for wounded and sick armed service personnel was originally due to be held in the Netherlands in May 2020. The event has been rescheduled for spring 2022 around the Zuiderpark in Den Haag (The Hague).
With 500 participants, the program includes 10 sports: athletics, powerlifting, archery, indoor rowing, JLR Driving Challenge, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby, cycling, sitting volleyball and swimming.
Last updated 28 October 2021. This article was first published in 2019 and has been regularly updated.