As the capital of The Netherlands, Amsterdam is its biggest city and home to a hip and multicultural population, with a rainbow of nations all bringing their colorful heritage to town. The result is a vibrant, happening city with plenty of street life and cultural events.
Spring in Amsterdam brings a host of exciting festivals in celebration of the city’s diverse heritage. Here are our top picks for the best spring festivals in Amsterdam.
February sees street parades and firework displays in honor of Chinese New Year. March 1-6 kicks off with the electro-fest 5 Days Off, bringing the latest in electronic music to Amsterdam, taking over the biggest clubs Melkweg and Paradiso for non-stop club performances from Booka Shade, Hudson Mohawke, and the headliners the Bloody Beetroots.
The international film and dance festival Cinedans runs from March 1-9 at the EYE Film Institute Netherlands, and later in the month the Food Film Festival runs from March 22-24. And then the bulbs arrive, forming a psychedelic carpet of flowers you can see on a Keukenhof Gardens tour, which is open from March 21 to May 20. A blaze of color hits Amsterdam’s flower market, sprawling along the Singel Canal, just in time for Easter (March 29 through April 1).
Imagine Film Festival (April 8-17) features freaky anime and science fiction movies at the EYE Film Institute Netherlands, plus a gruesome Night of Terror at the Art Deco Tuschinski Theater on Reguliersbreestraat.
But without a doubt the biggest festival of Amsterdam’s spring months is Queen’s Day, April 30. Hundreds of thousands of orange-clad and orange-bewigged revellers crowd onto the streets, the canals are choked with barges blaring music, the bars overflow, and impromptu street market sprung up on every corner. This year’s Queen’s Day will mark the abdication of Queen Beatrix and celebrations are likely to be even bigger than usual.