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, 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 and losing the final of the 2019 UEFA Nations League means the Dutch are now looking towards Euro 2020 (to be played in 2021).
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 international friendlies:
Netherlands vs Georgia 6 Jun 2021 (1800) – FC Twente Stadion, Enschede
Netherlands home internationals World Cup 2022 qualifiers:
Netherlands vs Montenegro 4 Sep 2021 (2045) – Philips Stadion, Eindhoven
Netherlands vs Turkey 7 Sep 2021 (2045) – Johan Cruyff Arena, Amsterdam
Netherlands vs Gibraltar 11 Oct 2021 (2045) – Feyenoord Stadion, Rotterdam
Netherlands vs Norway 16 Nov 2021 (2045) – Feyenoord Stadion, Rotterdam
UEFA Euro 2020 – The postponed European Football Championship will be held in 12 countries between 11 Jun to 11 Jul 2021. Amsterdam is one of the host cities and the following matches will take place at the Johan Cruyff Arena Amsterdam:
Netherlands vs Ukraine – 13 Jun 2021, 2100 (Group C)
Netherlands vs Austria – 17 Jun 2021, 2100 (Group C)
North Macedonia vs Netherlands – 22 Jun 2021, 1800 (Group C)
2nd Group A vs 2nd Group B – 26 Jun 2021, 1800 (Round of 16)
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. Ajax home fixtures for the 2021/22 season to be announced.
Johan Cruyff Schaal (Cruijff Shield, winner Eredivisie vs winner KNVB Cup), season opener. Expected early August 2021.
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. 46th edition will be run on Sunday 26 Sep 2021.
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 40th edition has been rescheduled for 24 Oct 2021.
Gaasperplasrun – 1km, 2km, 5km and 10km runs around the Gaasperplaas, a lake in south-east Amsterdam. 2020 event was cancelled, next edition expected on 13 June 2021.
Dutch Athletics Championships (NK) – Annual Dutch Championships meet takes place in summer, with qualification places up for grabs for the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Expected 25-27 Jun 2021 at SPRINT Breda.
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, expected to return in July 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. The 2020 edition was cancelled. Expected 18-19 Sep 2021.
TCS Amsterdam Marathon – The Amsterdam’s marathon event will be held on Sunday 17 Oct 2021. 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 16 Oct 2021, 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 1-7 Mar 2021. A strong field of top 20 players is due at the 48th 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.
KLM Open – European Tour event will be held at Bernardus Golf in Cromvoirt (Den Bosch) over 16-19 Sep 2021. The 2020 event was cancelled.
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 June 2022.
Tri Amsterdam – International triathlon event which offers half-distance and full Olympic distance courses from Park Somerlust around the Amstel river area. 2020 event was cancelled, expected on 3 Oct 2021.
Premier League – The invitational Premier League of darts event is expected to return to the Netherlands at some stage in 2021 at Ahoy Rotterdam.
Formula 1 – The historic circuit at Zandvoort (near Amsterdam) was due to host a Formula 1 motor race in 2020 – this has been cancelled. A race is expected in the 2021 F1 season – provisionally set for 5 Sep 2021 – this will be the first F1 race in the Netherlands since 1985.
Dutch Moto GP – Popular motorcycle racing event held at the Assen TT circuit. 2020 event cancelled, expected 25-27 Jun 2021.
DTM Race – The Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters touring car series comes to the Assen circuit. Expected 17-19 Sep 2021.
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. Next edition to be held in November 2021 (unconfirmed) as the 2020 event was cancelled.
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 9 Oct 2021, the 2020 event had to be cancelled.
Amsterdam City Swim – This charity 2km outdoor swim event in the city features up to 3,000 participants. The 2020 event was cancelled, expected to return 29 Aug 2021.
Friday Night Skate – A 20km organised skate around the streets of Amsterdam held every Friday night (2030, weather permitting) from Vondelpark Pavilion. Cancelled until further notice.
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.