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The Dutch are a proud people known for their customs and traditions. So what does this mean for the average traveler? Lots and lots of local events to celebrate them! If you’re in Amsterdam, you’ll certainly be able to take part in some sort of festivity, so here are a few that you might not want to miss.

Photo by Stephen Popescu via
Photo by Stephen Popescu via

Kings Birthday – April 27th:

The biggest festival that happens is during the spring and is the celebration of the inauguration of King Willem-Alexander on April 30th 2013. The first time this event happened was in 2014 and it was a hoot (sorry, that was super-corney). The festival is welcoming not only to locals but to visitors as well. Old Towne is even blocked off and people join in the streets and parks for a massive party. You’ll find DJs, fun events, an electric atmosphere, and street markets.

Gay Pride – July 30-August 2:

A big summer hit is the gay pride event celebrating gay culture. The festival begins with a massive carnival-style boat parade under the canals. How awesome is that? On the closing day, head to a massive stage at Rembrandtplein and party it up with DJs and artists.

Grachtenfestival – August 10-19:

If you’re all about live performances, this will be your favorite place for a solid week. Here you will find concerts at the city canals. This festival has been going on for the last 10 years and caters to all ages. This means that you can take your kiddies to the Kindergrachtenfestival for children’s concerts, then hit up the adult ones after you grab a babysitter.

Museum Night – First Saturday of November:

In celebration of something known as “Museum Week,” about 50 Amsterdam museums come together and open their doors up to bring in events such as concerts, tours, performances, and even workshops. The hardest part is deciding which museums you want to hit the most!

IDFA – Mid-November:

The International Documentary Fim Festival is a huge hit. How big is it? Try over 250,000 tickets sold last year! You’ll be able to catch awesome documentaries on a range of topics – pretty much a movie lovers dream.

New Years Eve – December 29-31:

The winter is the quietest part of the year, but there’s no party like the one that brings in the new year. Join the crowds at Dam Square, Leidsepleine and the Prinsengracht to party with both locals and tourists. On the 31st, watch small firecrackers go off in the streets and at midnight the real ones begin. The city is filled with lights and an eruption of fireworks as the clock strikes midnight. The bars are quite lively during this time, so go out and have some fun!

If you can’t manage to hit a local festival you can still learn about the culture and traditions try taking a local class, heading to a museum, or going to street markets.

To learn more about Amsterdam, here are some awesome guides and hotels if you want to book one. Happy Travels!