From tall ships to cartoon bunnies, there’s plenty of exciting entertainment planned in the Dutch capital.
Yesterday marked King’s Day in the Netherlands, a national holiday which saw the length and breadth of Holland turn orange as the Dutch people celebrated the birthday of their monarch, King Willem-Alexander. An annual event since 1885, the Netherlands witnessed a wealth of festivities take place yesterday, with the King, Queen and their three daughters taking to the waters of Dordrecht, situated close to the port town of Rotterdam, in a flotilla of vessels for a cruise along the canals. In Amsterdam meanwhile, the streets and squares transformed themselves into one enormous flea market, with parties, music and dancing in the evening.
If you’re planning an Amsterdam city break in the not too distant future, here’s a little round-up of what’s happening in the city over the coming weeks and months…
Perhaps one of Amsterdam’s lesser-known museums after the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum and Anne Frank’s House is the Stedelijk Museum, an international institution dedicated to modern and contemporary art and design. Running until August 16th at the Stedelijk is an exhibition entitled ‘The Oasis of Matisse’, the first Matisse retrospective in the Netherlands for over 60 years and indeed the largest ever. This colourful exhibition presents some of the artist’s most popular works, displayed alongside works by his contemporaries from the museum’s permanent collection. The museum is open from 10am until 6pm with late-night opening until 10pm on Thursdays and entrance costs 20€.
Celebrating the winning images from the world’s largest and most prestigious annual press photography contest, World Press Photo takes over De Nieuwe Kerk on Dam Square until July 5th on the first stop of its worldwide tour. A travelling exhibition of over 200 images comprising 41 prize winners from 17 countries in eight categories – General News, Daily Life, Spot News, Contemporary Issues, Long-Term Projects, Nature, Portraits and Sports – this ensemble showcases the very best examples of photojournalism. The exhibition is open daily from 10am until 6pm (closed May 3rd and 4th; open afternoon only May 5th), entrance costs 10€.
Of course, any short break to Amsterdam should include a visit to the Rijksmuseum, its permanent collection alone being enough to impress even the novices of art appreciation with the masterpieces of Vermeer and Rembrandt, amongst countless others, on display. Indeed, running until May 17th is an exhibition entitled ‘Late Rembrandt’, a collection of 100 works brought together from international museums and private collections devoted to the later works of the celebrated Rembrandt van Rijn.
And yet over the coming months, the museum turns its attention to two very different artistic genres. Kicking off in June (12th) through until September 27th is a retrospective entitled ‘New for Now’, showcasing for the first time the museum’s rich collection of fashion and costume prints. And one for the family if you happen to be in Amsterdam in the latter part of the year, from August 27th through until November 15th is an exhibition devoted to the work of Dick Bruna, creator of the famous bunny rabbit, Miffy. The Rijksmuseum is open daily from 9am until 5pm and entrance costs 17.50€ (although please note that this rises to 25€ during the period of the ‘Late Rembrandt’ exhibition).
On a food theme, there’s a wide range of festivals coming up including the Food Film Festival (throughout May), Restaurant Day (May 16th), the Amsterdam Craft Beer Festival (June 13th & 14th), Dutch Raw Food Festival (June 14th) and the Gelato Festival (throughout August). And if you’re visiting in August, you might like to catch the Sail Amsterdam 2015 festival (August 19th – 23rd), one of the Dutch capital’s biggest attraction happening only every five years, with tall ships, boats and other sailing vessels cruising along the River IJ and docking in the heart of the city. Also on at the same time is the Grachtenfestival (Canal Festival; August 14th – 23rd), a 10-day festival of classical music across the city. Last but not least, if you want to catch Amsterdam at its most colourful, Gay Pride takes place from July 25th to August 2nd.