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 2019…
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. Marking the 350th anniversary of Rembrandt’s death the museum presents All the Rembrandts. This exhibition presents all 22 paintings, 60 drawings and more than 300 best examples of Rembrandt’s prints in the Rijksmuseum collection. Runs 15 Feb to 10 Jun 2019.
Van Gogh Museum – Popular museum with the world’s largest collection of Vincent van Gogh paintings. Hockney – Van Gogh: The Joy of Nature, discover the parallels between the English artist and Van Gogh. Runs 1 Mar to 26 May 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. Treasury! Masterpieces from the Hermitage, an exhibition celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Hermitage Amsterdam. It features a cross-section of masterpieces from the entire St Petersburg collection. Runs 2 Feb to 25 Aug 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.
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. Daniel Arsham – Connecting Time, solo show from the New York-based artist incorporating architecture, design, sculpture, film and performance. Runs 18 Jan to 30 Sep 2019.
Tropenmuseum – Ethnographic museum featuring fascinating exhibitions on non-Western cultures. Cool Japan showcases the world’s fascination with all things Japanese – from Hello Kitty to Tokyo fashion. Runs 28 Sep 2018 to 1 Sep 2019.
Rembrandt House – Rembrandt’s Social Network, Family, Friends and Acquaintances. Part of the 350th anniversary of Rembrandt’s death, this exhibition looks at the key figures in the artist’s life. Runs 1 Feb to 19 May 2019.
Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) – World Press Photo 2019, the world premiere of the international press photo contest exhibition. Runs 13 Apr to 7 Jul 2019.
Verzetsmuseum – The Dutch Resistance Museum presents Nach Holland, a photo exhibition of the 1940 invasion of the Netherlands through German eyes. Runs 1 Feb to 19 May 2019.
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. The Persecution of the Jews in Photographs: The Netherlands, 1940–1945, runs 28 Jan to 6 Oct 2019.
Jewish Historical Museum – Kabbalah, The Art of Jewish Mysticism, exhibition on how ancient Jewish mystical traditions have inspired artists and performers. Running at the Jewish Cultural Quarter 28 Mar to 25 Aug 2019.
Biblical Museum – Expected: This is my story. About faith, hope and inspiration. Exhibition about young people and Christianity. Runs 9 Feb to 27 Oct 2019.
FOAM Photography Museum – Scheltens & Abbenes (still-life art), 15 Mar to 5 Jun 2019.
Huis Marseille Photography Museum – Futures Past & Present / Helga Paris, Céline van Balen, Esther Kroon & Julie Greve, 9 Mar to 2 Jun 2019.
EYE Film – A Tale of Hidden Histories: Broomberg & Chanarin, Omer Fast, Chia-Wei Hsu, Meiro Koizumi – exhibition runs 15 Mar to 26 May 2019.
Body Worlds – Display of human body plastinate specimens at the permanent venue on Damrak. The exhibition focuses on happiness.
Cobra Museum (Amstelveen) – Cobra 70: A multi-headed snake, exhibition celebrating 70 years of the colourful, expressive post-war art movement. Runs 8 Nov 2018 to 2 Jun 2019.
Check out our comprehensive Amsterdam museums section
Sport in Amsterdam
Ajax home match at the Johan Cruyff ArenA in Amsterdam:
Ajax vs FC Utrecht (Eredivisie) – 12 May 2019, 1430
Friday Night Run – Free monthly 1 hour run organised by running group Phanos. Meet at Olympic Stadium Amsterdam at 1930 on Friday 10 May 2019.
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
Rolling Kitchens– The Rollende Keukens food festival (free entry) features dozens of mobile kitchens and food trucks offering appetising dishes plus live music. Scheduled 29 May – 2 Jun 2019 (12th edition) at Westergasfabriek, Amsterdam.
Oost TAPT Festival – Beer festival with food, games and live music at Jaap Eden IJsbaan ice rink in Amsterdam, May 2019 date to be confirmed.
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 7 May 2019 at 2000.
Boom Chicago – Comedy and improv show held Wed-Sat and playing at Rozentheater on Rozengracht.
Bill Burr – The American stand-up comedian performs his 50 show at AFAS Live in Amsterdam on 4 May 2019.
Dara O’Briain – The Irish stand-up comedian brings his live show Voice of Reason to Theater Carré in Amsterdam on 25/26 May 2019.
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. Performances in May are: Oepidus (2/9 May 2019).
Dutch National Opera & Ballet – Perform opera Tannhäuser (Wagner), 1 May 2019; opera Madama Butterfly (Puccini), 2/5/7/10/13 May 2019; opera The Boy Who Grew Too Fast (Menotti), 3/4 May 2019; opera Aus Licht (Stockhausen), 31 May 2019; ballet Swan Lake, various between 9-29 May 2019.
Pathé Met Opera – The Tuschinski cinema hosts live streaming opera from the Metropolitan in New York. Dialogues des Carmélites (Poulenc) 11 May 2019 (1800).
Other Events in Amsterdam and Netherlands
Netherlands Public Holidays May 2019 – 30 May (Ascension Day).
National Remembrance Day – Ceremony commemorating the war dead, held in Dam Square on 4 May. A 2 minute silence is held nationwide at 2000. Theater Na De Dam are special theatre performances (mainly in Dutch) inspired by World War 2 held between 2100 and 0000 after the 4 May remembrance service on Dam Square. Various locations around Amsterdam.
Liberation Day – Various events throughout Amsterdam including the main evening concert on the river Amstel from 2100 on 5 May 2019.
De Balie – The multimedia venue near Leidseplein in Amsterdam hosts regular events about current affairs, politics and culture.
Keukenhof – The world famous tulip and flower park opens its doors for the season on 21 Mar 2019, running until 19 May 2019. The 2019 theme is Flower Power.
Free Concerts in Amsterdam
Bimhuis – Jazz venue has free Workshop & Session every Tuesday at 2000.
Concertgebouw – Free lunchtime concerts usually held every Wednesday at 1230 in either the small hall (kleine zaal) or large hall (grote zaal). Concerts on 1/8/15/22/29 May 2019. 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 – 2 concerts: Thursday 2/16 May 2019 (1230).
Westerkerk – Free lunchtime church organ concert every Friday at 1300.
Market Events in Amsterdam
Pure Markt – Regular market event with high quality produce, music, food stalls and other activities. 12 May 2019 (1100-1800) at Amstelpark, 19 May 2019 (1100-1800) at Amsterdamse Bos and 26 May 2019 (1100-1800) at Park Frankendael.
Sunday Market – Sunday market at Westergasfabriek with a mix of fashion, design, arts, food and kids stuff. 12 May 2019 (1200-1800). Sunday Market Rokin edition at Oude Turfmarkt on 26 May 2019 (1200-1800). New Market (Deli & Lifestyle) at Nieuwmarkt on Friday 31 May 2019 (1100-1800).
Museum Market – Museumplein hosts this Sunday market with arts and crafts, food and music, 19 May 2019 (1200-1800).
IJ-Hallen – Huge weekend flea market event held at NDSM-wharf in north Amsterdam with 750 stands. 18-19 May (0900-1630).
Rock & Pop Concerts in Amsterdam
Joe Bonamassa – 1/2/3 May, Carré
Anouk – 3 May, Ziggo Dome
Disturbed – 7 May, AFAS Live
Mumford & Sons – 9 May, Ziggo Dome
Rod Stewart – 12 May, Ziggo Dome
Elton John – 15 May, Ziggo Dome
Anne-Marie – 16 May, AFAS Live
Hugh Jackman – 17 May, Ziggo Dome
Giorgio Moroder – 21 May, Paradiso
Backstreet Boys – 23 May, Ziggo Dome
Bryan Ferry – 24 May, Carré
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: