Say farewell to winter with a springtime stroll through Vondelpark, Amsterdam’s largest green space. Don’t forget your camera to capture the rainbow of flowers in bloom and the start of the Dutch tulip season. During spring holidays in Amsterdam, make the most of mild spring weather and enjoy a refreshing drink on a canalside outdoor terrace near the Bloemenmarkt floating flower market, another spectacle of color along the Singel Canal.
Amsterdammers, along with the rest of the country, take to the streets for an all-day party on 30 April to celebrate Koninginnedag (Queen's Day). Donning orange clothes, hats and wigs, Amsterdam residents transform the city into an orange sea of partying masses, an unmissable experience on a spring holiday in Amsterdam. For family-friendly activities, Vondelpark is the place while Koninginnenacht or Queen’s Night (29 April) is particularly lively in the Jordaan district. Join the street parties before resting up in your Amsterdam spring hotel for the next day’s festivities.
Early to mid March sees the reopening of two of Amsterdam’s best art markets, closed since December. Browse the sculptures, paintings and ceramics of Dutch and international artists at Sunday’s open-air Spui Art Market in central Amsterdam, near the Historical Museum. Also reopening in March is the Thorbeckeplein Modern Art Market near Rembrandt Square where, each Sunday, local artists display their modern art pieces. Portrait painters offer their services and the bandstand attracts a variety of musicians.
Take advantage of Amsterdam’s proximity to Holland’s colorful bulb fields during spring’s tulip season. A riot of color awaits in the world-renowned 32-hectare Keukenhof Gardens, less than an hour away by train and near the town of Lisse. The gardens are open for two months from March to May. Snap pictures of tulips, hyacinths and daffodils in these inspirational gardens. Active visitors can hire a bicycle and cycle past the tulips and flowers of the nearby Farmers’ Fields.
After the poignant 4 May Remembrance Day events commemorating fallen soldiers, the more joyous Liberation Day (Bevrijdingsdag) on 5 May celebrates the end of occupation during the Second World War. Head to Museumplein (Museum Square) south-west of the centre, for the Amsterdam Lliberation Festival where theatre performances take place in tents above the Museumplein pond. Later, join the crowds at the live music concert along the Amstel river.
Join locals as they celebrate Easter in Amsterdam, particularly on the national holidays on Easter Sunday and Monday. Sample the mouth-watering cakes and biscuits decorating Amsterdam’s elaborate patisserie windows and tuck into traditional Dutch Easter foods in city markets. Sumptuous Easter brunches are served in the Art Deco interior of the Eden Amsterdam American Hotel on Leidseplein, while Easter egg hunts attract families to Vondelpark.
In early May, Amsterdam’s Oude Kerk (Old Church) in the city centre hosts the annual World Press Photo exhibition, showcasing award-winning photojournalism. Housed inside Amsterdam’s oldest church, it is an early opportunity to admire the creative, often poignant and sometimes shocking photographs taken throughout the year before the exhibition begins its international tour to 100 cities in 45 countries.