Things to do in Amsterdam before the end of 2012
Visiting Amsterdam this year? Whether you’re hoping to catch the tail-end of summer, the crisp days of autumn or the festive atmosphere during the winter, there are some great festivals lined up. Check out our guide to some of the best below.
If you’re planning to travel soon, you’re probably interested in what September holds. Luckily, there are a couple of gems waiting for you, including the excellent Open Monument Days.
This falls on the second weekend of September each year and is just as popular with the locals as it is with travelers. What’s really great about attending is that you get a unique chance to see buildings and other sites not normally open to the public, so you’ll have a sneak peek at a real slice of local culture – and an unusual travel tale to share with friends back home.
The details of where you can visit are usually released quite close to the actual event, so it’s worth keeping an eye on the website to check the latest updates.
Probably one of the most exciting things going on in September, though, is the Amsterdam Fringe Festival. An absolute must for theater lovers, this event sees the city filled with local and international artists alike, who perform at venues all over the city.
This festival is known for its commitment to avant-garde theater, so it’s a particularly good option if you love seeing something a bit more off-the-wall and unusual. One of the nice touches about this event is that it hosts a number of Language No Problem shows; as you’ve probably gathered, these can still be easily enjoyed even if you don’t speak the lingo. Good news for travelers!
November is when one of the city’s most fun events takes place. Each year, Amsterdam’s vast array of museums open their doors for Museum Nights – evenings designed to combine art, heritage and entertainment. These are really popular with the locals, so expect to enjoy some authentic Amsterdam revelry.
What is really nice about Museum Nights is the variety of things on offer. The program changes annually, and each venue tries to do something a little bit different from the others. It’s not unusual to be able to go dancing in historical sites, such as Anne Frank Huis, or have the chance to browse quirky, fun versions of classic artworks. Make sure you check out the program as far in advance as possible, and book as soon as you see something that catches your eye, since tickets aren’t likely to hang around long.
December is a great time to visit Amsterdam; its canals are beautifully lit, and it’s so easy to really get into the festive spirit. In terms of events, one you should definitely check out is the Winterparade at the Westergasfabach – something foodies are also bound to love.
Described as a banquet-style dining experience, it’s fully equipped with festive treats (including oodles of mulled wine) and even tabletop entertainment, so it’s pretty impossible not to have a good time. It’s worth bearing in mind the proceedings are generally conducted in Dutch, so don’t expect to understand everything that’s going on.
If you haven’t yet booked a place to stay, you can get an idea of your options by checking out the Hostelbookers website. When picking somewhere, don’t forget to factor in location as well as price – after all, you don’t want to have to trek for miles to get to the events you’re attending.
Image courtesy of dan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net (Wooden Clogs)
Image courtesy of domdeen at FreeDigitalPhotos.net (Netherlands Flag On Hand)