There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Amsterdam each year. The main ones are listed below.January 1: New Year's Day (national holiday) April 27:King's Day (Koningsdag, national holiday)
This is the most important secular festival of the year, celebrating the King or Queen currently in power. Many of the revellers wear orange and the festivities are spread across town, with giant garage sales, fun fairs, concerts and numerous shows.May–September: Vondelpark Open Air Theatre (Openluchttheater, local event)Vondelpark Open Air Theatre (Openluchttheater, local event)
Every year, Amsterdam's Chinatown district, one of the largest in the world, hosts the event with a long parade amidst the streets and into the Vondelpark. The program consists in: lion dances, paper dragons, folk music and martial arts displays.April: Bloemencorso Bollenstreek (local event)
This parade consists of a series of imaginative floats entirely decorated with millions of blooms, on a route from Leyde to Haarlem, large producer of flower bulbs only 20 kilometres from Amsterdam. Each year, the parade takes inspiration from a different theme, for the enjoyment of its thousands of spectators.December 6: Sinterklaas (local event)
A different Dutch town is chosen each year to host the event, starting point of Saint-Nicholas' long tour. Pakjesavond takes place on the eve of December 6th, celebration during which Saint-Nicholas distributes presents to children.December 25: Christmas (national holiday)
|Month||Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°)||Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°)||Average Rains (MM)||Best Time to Travel|
|January||1/34||6/43||78/3.1||Not the best period to go|
|February||0/32||6/43||57/2.2||Not the best period to go|
|March||3/37||10/50||73/2.9||Not the best period to go|
|April||5/41||13/55||46/1.8||Good period to go|
|May||8/46||17/63||59/2.3||Good period to go|
|June||11/52||20/68||71/2.8||Good period to go|
|July||13/55||22/72||78/3.1||Good period to go|
|August||13/55||22/72||85/3.3||Good period to go|
|September||11/52||19/66||86/3.3||Good period to go|
|October||7/45||14/57||100/3.9||Not the best period to go|
|November||4/39||10/50||94/3.7||Not the best period to go|
|December||1/34||6/43||87/3.4||Not the best period to go|
Amsterdam's Schiphol International Airport is located about 17,5 kilometres (11 miles) south-west of the city centre.
The best way to discover Amsterdam and its famous canals is to explore on foot or by bicycle. In addition, Amsterdam is a city very well served by its public transport system, operated by GVB.
Amsterdam is a cyclist's paradise: half-million Amsterdammers use their two-wheels in the streets. Amsterdam is a fairly flat, compact city, with an extensive network of cycling paths ensuring safe and relaxing rides. Many bike rental companies have offices in Amsterdam. Rates for 1-day rentals start at about EUR 10.
Amsterdam's Metro has five lines (50, 51, 52, 53 and 54) serving the city's southern suburbs (Amstelveen-Sud, Gaasp and Bijlmermeer).
Amsterdam's bus network is particularly well developed, with 43 routes. Buses operate from 6 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. Night buses take over between 3:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m.
Amsterdam has 15 tram lines running daily from 6 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. This is the most pleasant way to discover Amsterdam's historic centre and get to all its museums.
This discount card offers unlimited access to the entire public transport system (metro, bus, trams), free admission to several Amsterdam museums and attractions, as well as discounts and special offers.
Taxis are useful in Amsterdam when you need to get around very quickly. Fares consist of three components: the initial charge (EUR 2.95), the fare per kilometre (about EUR 2.17), and waiting time (EUR 0.36 per minute).
Upon your arrival in Amsterdam, you can get in touch with local tourism professionals for further information and to help organise your stay.I AMSTERDAM Visitor Centres
Offers practical information and useful recommendations (accommodation, restaurants, public transport, festivals, cultural events, etc.).
The official website maintained by the Dutch national tourist authority provides a wealth of information on Amsterdam.
See your doctor before you travel. It is also recommended to take out insurance covering medical expenses and repatriation before your trip. Amsterdam counts several hospitals and medical institutions, as well as quality medical practitioners and health specialists.
For stays of less than three months, travellers from the Schengen area, as well as those from the countries of the European Union not included in the area, need only be in possession of a national identity card or a passport valid for the duration of their stay. As a general rule, travellers from all other countries are subject to visa requirements, although foreign nationals from certain countries may enter the Netherlands for up to 90 days for tourism or business purposes.
For further information, visit the Visas section of the Dutch government's website:
Here are a few basic Dutch phrases that will make your stay in Amsterdam a little easier:
Tipping is appreciated at all restaurants, bars and cafés, and when paying for a taxi fare. It is customary to leave between 5 and 10 % if you are satisfied with the service.