Whats On

What’s On in Amsterdam May 2021

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 2021…

Museums & Exhibitions in Amsterdam

For a comprehensive selection of museums, activities and tours in Amsterdam book here

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. Slavery, exhibition focuses on slavery in the Dutch colonial period from the 17th to the 19th century. Runs 12 Feb to 30 May 2021. Book Rijksmuseum tickets here

Rijksmuseum Schiphol – Amsterdam airport hosts 10 paintings of the Dutch Golden Age from the Rijksmuseum collection. The Rijksmuseum Schiphol is located on Holland Boulevard (between Lounges 2 and 3 in non-Schengen departures) and is open 24 hours a day to passengers free of charge.

Van Gogh Museum – Popular museum with the world’s largest collection of Vincent van Gogh paintings. Book Van Gogh Museum tickets here

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 you must pre-book online for a date/time slot.

Hermitage Amsterdam – Showcases an exhibition every 6 months from the vast collection of the grand State Hermitage in St Petersburg, Russia.

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 17th Century.

Outsider Art Museum – This museum at the Hermitage showcases extraordinary art by unconventional artists who have not been formally trained.

Stedelijk – Amsterdam’s main modern and contemporary art museum. STEDELIJK BASE is the permanent installation featuring around 700 pieces.

MOCO Museum – This modern and contemporary art museum on Museumplein. Banksy: Laugh Now (includes Beanfield) is now a permanent exhibition. Book MOCO Museum tickets here

Tropenmuseum – Ethnographic museum featuring fascinating exhibitions on non-Western cultures.

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

iamsterdam card The Iamsterdam City Card (1-5 days) offers free entry and discounts to numerous Amsterdam attractions and also includes a free transport pass as well. It costs €60 to €115.
You can order the Iamsterdam City Card online here

Sport in Amsterdam and the Netherlands

Football:
Ajax home fixtures at Johan Cruyff Arena Amsterdam:
2020/21 season fixtures and visitor measures to be announced

Athletics/Running:
Friday Night Run – Free monthly 1 hour run organised by running group Phanos. Meet at Olympic Stadium Amsterdam at 1930 on Friday 7 May 2021.

Rugby:
Amsterdam Sevens – Annual international rugby sevens tournament with over 120 teams to be played at the National Rugby Centre in Amsterdam, Expected late May 2021.

Inline Skating:
Friday Night Skate – 20km organised skate around the streets of Amsterdam held every Friday night (2030, weather permitting) from Vondelpark Pavilion. Cancelled until further notice.

Invictus Games 2020 – International games for wounded and sick armed service personnel. 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. The postponed “2020” event is likely to be rescheduled for May 2021 at Zuiderpark in Den Haag (The Hague).

See the full annual sport calendar for Amsterdam

Festivals in Amsterdam

Rolling Kitchens– The Rollende Keukens food festival (free entry) features dozens of mobile kitchens and food trucks offering appetising dishes plus live music. Scheduled 12-16 May 2021 (14th edition) at Westerpark in Amsterdam.

See our complete festival calendar for Amsterdam

Comedy & Shows in Amsterdam

Amsterdam Magic Show – Monthly magic and comedy show with international performers. At Boom Chicago’s Rozentheater, Rozengracht in Amsterdam, Tuesday 4 May 2021 at 2000. Book Amsterdam Magic Show tickets here

Boom Chicago – Comedy and improv show held Wed-Sat and playing at Rozentheater on Rozengracht.

Classical Concerts & Theatre in Amsterdam

Internationaal Theater Amsterdam (ITA) – 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.

Dutch National Opera & Ballet – 2020/21 season is being amended and some productions have been cancelled.

Book a concert here at Amsterdam’s renowned Royal Concertgebouw hall.

Other Events in Amsterdam and Netherlands

Netherlands Public Holidays May 2020 – Wednesday 5 May (Liberation Day), Thursday 13 May (Ascension Day), and Monday 24 May (Whit Monday).

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

De Balie – The multimedia venue near Leidseplein in Amsterdam hosts regular events about current affairs, politics and culture.

Keukenhof 2021 – The world famous tulip and flower park is expected to open its doors for the spring season (March-May 2021), albeit under new social distancing measures.

Eurovision 2021 – The Eurovision Song Contest 2021 (postponed from 2020) will be hosted by the Netherlands, following the Dutch win in 2019. The final is due to be held on 22 May 2021 at the Ahoy in Rotterdam, with the semi-finals being on 18 and 20 May 2021.

Free Concerts in Amsterdam

Most of the free concerts offered by various venues in Amsterdam have been temporarily suspended.

Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ – Free lunchtime concert showcasing young classical talent scheduled for 27 May 2021 at 1230.

Westerkerk – Free lunchtime church organ concert every Friday at 1300. Reservations are now mandatory to limit numbers.

Market Events in Amsterdam

Pure Markt – Regular market event with high quality produce, music, food stalls and other activities. 2021 season to be announced.

Sunday Market – Sunday market at Westergas with a mix of fashion, design, arts, food and kids stuff. 2021 season to be announced.

Museum Market – Museumplein hosts this Sunday market with arts and crafts, food and music. 2021 season to be announced

IJ-Hallen –Huge weekend flea market event held at NDSM-wharf in north Amsterdam. Cancelled until further notice.

Rock & Pop Concerts in Amsterdam

Amsterdam:
Pet Shop Boys – 11 May, AFAS Live
Los Lobos – 16 May, Paradiso
Queen + Adam Lambert – 29-30 May, Ziggo Dome

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:

• At the very top-end with 5 star luxury consider Waldorf Astoria, Sofitel Grand, Hotel De L’Europe and Conservatorium.

• Stylish, quality mid-range choices near the city centre include The Toren, Banks Mansion, The Hoxton, Kimpton-De Witt and Sir Adam Hotel.

• For those on a budget check out Conscious Hotel Vondelpark, The Student Hotel, Volkshotel, Jaz Amsterdam (close to Ziggo Dome/ArenA) and Motel One.

Disclaimer: While we make every effort to keep this listing up-to-date, events can always be cancelled or re-scheduled at short notice. Please double-check with the event organisers.

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