Amsterdam in spring | 2020 essentials

Spring blossom in an inner courtyard in Amsterdam

Planning a trip to Amsterdam in spring 2020?
You will want to put these events on your bucket list

Visiting Amsterdam in spring? We welcome you! After a cold and dark winter, the sun comes out again – and so do we. Streets, parks and terraces fill. Inside and outside the city flowers bloom.

In this blog:
Art & culture
Events & activities
Family-friendly Amsterdam
Food & drinks

Amsterdam in spring: Art & culture

3 – 8 March | Asia Film Festival | Rialto & Kriterion
CinemAsia film festival takes place in two art house cinemas, Rialto and Kriterion. The programme represents the versatility of Asia. There are blockbusters, art house movies and documentaries from over 30 directors. This year’s theme: the creativity and rebelness of the Asian youth. The festival also aims to connect beyond movie watching. Visit one of the debates, meet directors, enjoy the Asian Food Bazar and sing along at karaoke night!

22 – 22 March | Roze Filmdagen | Ketelhuis
Roze Filmdagen (‘Pink Film Days’) is all about LGBTQ films – sparkling, provocative, urgent and engaging. The selection of films includes romantic comedies, provoking documentaries and everything in between. The variety in films reflects the diversity of the community.
The festival takes place at the Westergasterrein, in and around art house cinema Ketelhuis. Make sure to add some time in the area before or after the movie. There are a microbrewery, wine bar and several cafe restaurants, all with a great menu.

              poster Cinemasia           Roze filmdagen at the Ketelhuis, Westergasterrein

Amsterdam in spring: Events & activities

21 March | Open Tower Day | various locations
One day a year, high rises of all sorts open their doors for visitors. Climb stairs, take elevators and enjoy views over Amsterdam as you would normally never get to see! Buildings of all centuries take part in the event, from historical towers to modern skyscrapers. Check the Open Tower Day website for locations – it’s worth picking a few.

April (whole month) | Tulip Festival |various locations
About half a million tulips have been planted throughout Amsterdam, ready to bloom around April. You can find the exact locations on the Tulpfestival map. You could take this map as a lead for a nice city stroll, with colorful ‘typical Dutch’ photo opportunities en route.

18 April – 26 July | World Press Photo | De Nieuwe Kerk
Did you know that Amsterdam is the home base for World Press Photo? This is where the winners are being selected and announced, where the award ceremony takes place, and where the annual exhibition starts. Visiting Amsterdam in spring, you can be among the first to see the best photojournalism of the world! 17 and 18 April, the 2020 exhibit kicks off with a festival at the Westergasterrein. From 18 April on you can visit the exhibition at de Nieuwe Kerk.

19 April – 19 May | Spring Snow | throughout the city
Amsterdam is a very green city, with trees all around. Among them: more than 75000 elms. In spring, their seeds swirl all around the city, creating a festive fairytale scenery. For good reason, this phenomenon was given the name ‘spring snow’. As elms are all around, you will bump into them anyway. If you like to dive deeper into the spring snow experience, you can take the elm route as a lead for a nice, scenic walking route through the city.

27 April | Koningsdag | throughout the city
Koningsdag or King’s day: the only day of the year that we don’t do tours. The royal family has only ceremonial status. Yet the king’s birthday is an official day off and the incentive for the largest street party of the year. At the ‘vrijmarkt’ (‘free market’) unused items switch between owners (and attics ;)) for just a few cents. People play music, organize games, sell food and get creative in all sorts of ways. Once you’re in it, you’ll understand why tours are impossible on this day.. Don’t forget to dress in orange!

20 – 24 May | Rollende Keukens | Westerpark
Rollende keukens’ means rolling kitchens. More than 100 mobile kitchens fill the large field of the Westerpark during this long weekend. Enjoy a wide variety of food, music and more ‘rolling entertainment’. The food trucks are serving from 13:00 till 23:00.
Food stall at Rollende Keukens

Whole season | Food festivals and markets | various locations
Throughout spring and summer, loads of food festivals and outdoor markets take place in Amsterdam.
Each first Sunday of the month, you find the Sunday Market at the Westergasterrein. This ‘makers market’ has a mix of art, design, fashion, food and kids stuff – all with a local and sustainable story.

Each third Sunday of the month, you find the Museum Market at the Museumplein. The same people of the Sunday market initiated this art and designers market on the square between the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh museum and Stedelijk museum.

Also on Sundays, there’s the Pure Markt, with food, local products and entertainment. Check their calendar for the exact location during your stay, as these vary between 3 parks around the city.

Whole season | Bike tour rural North | North Amsterdam
A short bike ride from Central Station takes you to the rural part of Amsterdam. Our countryside by bike tour is perfect for everybody who likes to cycle. The route takes you along beautiful old parts of the city, through the meadows and passes through picturesque villages. Enjoy typical Dutch landscapes at a pace combining leisure with action. You only need a short bike ride to reach a total holiday experience!

Amsterdam in spring: Family-friendly Amsterdam

Are you visiting Amsterdam with your family in spring? These are some of our family friendly tips for the season!

Artis zoo and petting zoos
Is there anything cuter than baby animals? Spring is the time of the year for maternity visits at the zoo or petting zoo. Amsterdam’s big zoo is Artis, on the east side of the center. Fortunately, animal welfare gets a lot of attention here. Living conditions are as close as possible to the natural habitat. The zoo is green and spaciously set up. The whole family will enjoy it here!
There are several petting zoos throughout the city. Check the map on the bottom of the blog for some locations – there might be one close to your place!

Pancake place Stroop
It’s a little bit further out from the center but definitely worth a visit: microbrewery and pancake restaurant Proost & Stroop (Cheers & Syrup). The initiators turned former sports fields into an urban farming spot. It has got a nice creative vibe and there’s plenty to play for kids.

Plastic Whale
Experiencing Amsterdam from the canals is already great on its own. Add a special story and fun activity, and you have a highlight of your family stay. The sloops of Plastic Whale are made of plastic fished from the canals. On board you find fishing nets, with which all members of the family can fish more plastic.

Amsterdam in spring: Food & drinks

As soon as the sun comes out, Amsterdammers come out to enjoy the first rays on terraces. However, the air is still quite chilly. So you want to know places where you can enjoy indoors ánd outdoors food and drinks.

Koffie ende Koeck
The cozy Koffie ende Koeck, right next to the Westerpark, makes delicious cakes, cookies and pies. All ingredients are organic and plant based, so no harm can be done in any way. It’s a great place to sit down for breakfast, coffee, lunch or tea.

Open from 8:00 to 23:00, Bosco really is a good place for any moment of the day. Especially the so called ‘borrelhapjes’ are great. The typical Dutch word ‘borrel’ comes closest to the English ‘happy hour’. And then the hapjes are the bites which accompany your drinks. Bosco also has a nice collection of games.
                Koffie ende Koeck facade             cafe Bosco terrace  

Luza’s Caffeine Club
When you are in De Pijp area and craving for tasty homemade pie or cake, go to Luza’s Caffeine Club. Whether you feel like meat, vegan, gluten free, or sugar free: there’s something for all dietary wishes.

The rooftop restaurant of Zoku serves delicious seasonal dishes. Add to that a pleasant vibe and city view from both inside and the terrace – you probably like to stay for a while!

A bit further east, Hopp is the rooftop bar cafe of hotel Casa. As this is only outdoors, they’ll open by the first sunny days of April. There’s a relaxed vibe and a nice view over the neighborhood, with some beautiful architecture. Ah, and of course the drinks and food is good too!

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