Living the Dutch life - June

The festival season has started!

Open Garden Days Amsterdam

Take a look behind Amsterdam’s impressive canal-side homes during the Open Garden Days from 15 until 17 June. It is the perfect opportunity to get to know Amsterdam and to see some of the most beautiful gardens that are normally hidden. This year’s theme is Garden Design and gardens will boast both classic and contemporary designs by renowned landscape gardeners and designers. A ticket will allow access to more than 30 gardens on all three days.


Flag Day Scheveningen

Taste the first New Dutch herring of the season on Flag Day in Scheveningen on 16 June. The event celebrates the first herring catch of the year with a festive programme that offers something for everyone. There will be music, boat trips, miniature ships, traditional clothing, Old Dutch children’s games and of course herring and other sorts of fish! The first edition of the festival dates back to 1947, although its history goes back to as far as the 18th century. Originally the celebration occurred around the departure of herring ships out to sea, but now the festival simply celebrates the return of New Dutch herring.

Flower Festival Aalsmeer

Go on a cultural outing amid the most beautiful flowers during the Flower Festival in Aalsmeer from 16 until 17 June. Aalsmeer is the heart of the flower-growing region and also hosts the largest flower auction in the world. The festival takes place at a former flower auction venue as well at the horticultural museum. There will be demonstrations, workshops and special exhibitions taking place, allowing you see flowers and plants in ways you have never seen before. Think of flowers integrated into art installations, colourful flower masks or edible flowers!


As soon as June begins, many festivals start to kick off  in the Netherlands. We’ve rounded up a few of our favourite festivals taking place this June. 

1 – 10 June: Oranjewoud Festival

A unique classical music festival, with the greatest international musicians taking place on the beautiful greens of Oranjewoud in Heerenveen. Enjoy classical music like never before, from a swimming pool, a hammock or in a gigantic plastic bubble.

7 June – 1 July: Holland Festival

For over sixty years this festival has been popular for its broad scope of international performing arts. It offers a mixture of theatre, dance, music, opera, literature and more at different locations in Amsterdam. Each year shows innovation in art and exploring new forms of theatre.

15 – 17 June: Pinkpop

Pinkpop is Holland’s biggest open-air festival and is sold out almost every year. It is a multiday event taking place in Landgraaf, and has previously featured musicians such as Bruce Springsteen, Fleetwood Mac and Red Hot Chili Peppers. 

15 – 24 June: Oerol

Since 1982 Oerol has grown to become a true phenomenon on the island of Terschelling. It is one of the most fun and exceptional theatre festivals in Europe, with ten days of street theatre, dance, art and music at many exceptional locations. 

 29 June – 2 September: De Parade

This travelling festival is a theatre, circus, carnival and funfair all in one. In June through to September it hits Holland’s four main cities – Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht and then Amsterdam.

22 – 24 June: Parkpop

The biggest free pop festival in Holland is held in The Hague - the number one pop city! Tens of thousands of music lovers gather in Zuiderpark to enjoy many top musicians and upcoming talented bands.

Categories: Team Talk


Living the Dutch life - May

Head outside for May's festivities


North Sea Regatta

Admire the yachts and enjoy the unique atmosphere during the North Sea Regatta from 8 until 20 May. One of the most exciting events of the year for competitive Dutch sailors takes place at the harbour of Scheveningen and includes various sailing races, music and plenty of food and drink. Thousands of watersports fanatics are drawn to this annual event; however non-sailors of all ages are more than welcome too!

Flower Market Leeuwarden

Visit the largest market of the Netherlands on 10 May when the city of Leeuwarden holds their annual traditional flower market. Each year thousands of visitors come to the market to shop the most beautiful flowers and plants. There are more than 200 stalls across the city’s centre creating a sea of flowers as far the eye can see! Besides the flower market Leeuwarden has much more to offer. This year the city won the title of Cultural Capital of Europe and has lots of events and activities coming up. You can find out more on the city’s website.

Asparagus Market Arcen

Taste the juicy White Gold of the Provence of Limburg during the asparagus market in Arcen on 10 May. Due to the large amount of vitamins, minerals and nutrients asparagus is really healthy and therefor often called the queen of vegetables. You will be surprised by their versatility and find various unique asparagus products on the market, such as asparagus liqueur! The market takes place at the Raadhuisplein from 11:00 till 18:00. During the harvest months of the asparagus, from April until June, the Limburg region offers many other activities within this theme.

Open Farm Days

Experience the real farm life during the Campina Open Farm Days on 11 May and 21 May. Various dairy farmers and family farms throughout the country will offer informative and fun activities for the whole family! Farm tours, tasting Campina’s dairy products, obstacle courses and skippy cow races are a selection of what will be taking place for children. The farms can be visited from 10:00 till 16:00 after online registration.

National Mill Days

Visit the Netherlands’ iconic and historical heritage during the National Mill Days on 12 and 13 May. More than 950 mills will open up to the public and the millers will explain everything about the type of mill, it's history and their trade. Various fun activities will also be organised by the millers, such as pancake baking, cycling tours and fairs. Mills have always played an important role in the Netherlands, however they now barely have an economic value as most are not operating anymore. During the Dutch Mill Days you will be able to see most of the mills turning and might even be asked to give the miller a hand!

Day of the Castle

Discover the magical history of centuries-old castles, country estates and ruins during the Day of the Castle on 21 May. This year’s theme is Hidden Stories Told, which will bring castles to life with intriguing tales and stories of recent happenings. In addition guided tours, expositions, theatre performances and demonstrations will let you relive the past and also teach how people live and work in a castle today. All across the Netherlands there will more than 120 locations to visit on this day.

Dutch Beer Week

Taste the greatest possible variety of Dutch beers during the Dutch Beer Week from 24 May until 3 June. All over the Netherlands beer-related activities will be organised with the Dutch Beer Tasting Festival in The Hague and the Dutch Brewery Days as the two main features. The three day Dutch Beer Tasting Festival takes place from 24 until 26 May in the Grote Kerk (church). Visitors can enjoy at least 250 types of beers in combination with tasty food. On 1, 2 and 3 June hundreds of Dutch breweries will open their doors for public for the Dutch Brewery Days. Expect brewing demonstrations, beer tastings and presentations. Since the Netherlands is a country strongly associated with beer brewing, the Dutch Beer Week is a great way to learn more about the Dutch culture!


Categories: Team Talk


Living the Dutch life - April

Discover Dutch traditions

Alkmaar Cheese Market

Visit the world-famous tourist attraction where Dutch cheese is sold the traditional way! The Alkmaar Cheese market is a folkloric spectacle filled with thousands of stacked cheeses, cheese-hauling carriers and scales. It is a trading tradition that is centuries old - the market has been around since at least 1593! The market is held on Friday mornings from 30 March until 28 September and in July and August the market will also be held on Tuesday evenings. Around the market you will find stalls with other typical Dutch products, such as poffertjes (small fluffy pancakes), herring and clogs. More about the history of Dutch cheese making can be explored in the nearby Dutch Cheese Museum.

IamExpat Fair Amsterdam

Learn all about life in the Netherlands at the leading fair for internationals on 7 April. The IamExpat Fair takes place twice a year, this time in Amsterdam, and is designed to connect and support the expat community in the Netherlands. It offers information about a wide range of topics, such as housing, career, education and leisure. There will also be free workshops and presentations to attend and entrance to the fair is free if you register online.

Get into the Greenhouse

Take the opportunity to see what is happening in the Dutch greenhouses from 7 until 8 April. Get into the Greenhouse (Kom in de Kas) is the largest horticultural event in the Netherlands and allows visitors to discover the world of vegetables, flowers and plant cultivators. There will be fun activities for all ages, such as tasting products, robots watering plants and cooking workshops with information on healthy nutrition. Find out where you can visit a greenhouse on the website or ask a local tourist information office.

National Museum Week

Discover the artistic treasures and unique show pieces of Holland during the National Museum Week taking place from 9 until 15 April. Around 400 different museums will open up their unique collections and hold special exhibitions, guided tours and children activities. This year the National Museum Week aims to make museums interesting for people that wouldn’t usually visit museums.

Flower Parade

Enjoy the spectacular sight and perfumes of dozens of decorated floats and cars during the Flower Parade on 21 April. The parade follows a 42 kilometre route through the so called Flower Bulb area, from Noordwijk to Haarlem (passing the Keukenhof), and draws hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. In order to get a good viewing spot it is advised to arrive early. The day after, on 22 April, the floats will remain on view in Haarlem. To see how millions of flowers, such as hyacinths, tulips and daffodils are pinned to the floats by hundreds of volunteers, the hall of De Leeuw Flowerbulbs in Sassenheim can be visited three days prior to the parade.

Springsnow Amsterdam

Celebrate the magic of Amsterdam‘s spring by viewing its signature elm trees unleash their seeds in a flurry of white blossoms. There is no other place in the world where so many elm trees can be found – the trees have been defining the cityscape for centuries. During Springsnow, the Amsterdam Spring Celebration which takes from 21 April until 21 May, a variety of activities and events take place. For example, catch the spring snow on the eight-kilometre-long elm route or visit a spring snow photo exhibition at Amstelpark.

King’s Day

Join the biggest Dutch street party of the year in which everyone is covered in orange to celebrate the King’s birthday on 27 April. The entire country will be celebrating on the streets and canals (often with music), and there will be flea markets, fun fairs and many children’s activities. The capital city will be crowded with people and certainly has the most exuberant celebrations. Traditionally the party starts the night before with King’s Night, of which the city of The Hague is most known for. With any luck you might also see the Royal family, as each year they visit one of the municipalities in the Netherlands during the celebrations. Learn more about King’s Day traditions by reading these fun facts!

Categories: Team Talk


Living the Dutch life - March

Get ready for Spring!

Rotterdam Museum Night

Enjoy a new perspective on Rotterdam during the Museum Night on 3 March. The event’s programme covers art, culture and fun which can be seen by starlight in every corner of the city. Start the night with relaxing yoga in the Dutch Photo Museum and play pinball on one of 80 pin tables in the Dutch Pinball Museum. There is even opportunity to take a selfie dressed up as Cleopatra in the Tax and Customs Museum. More than 30 venues are participating and public transport is free, featuring special buses and historic trams, enabling visitors to hop-on and off across cultural Rotterdam.

HISWA Amsterdam Boat Show

Visit the largest event for water sports lovers in The Netherlands from 7 until 11 March. The HISWA Amsterdam Boat Show is the official opening of the sailing season and attracts more than 35,000 visitors. Here you will find the latest trends and designs in the world of water sports and discover all about equipment and boat hire. It is a wonderful day out for both adults and children offering all kinds of fun water activities, such as surfing and wakeboarding. This year the event is completely renewed and offers more information about lifestyle and recreation.

Amsterdam Coffee Festival

Discover all about one of the world’s most popular hot beverages at the Amsterdam Coffee Festival from 9 until 11 March. This event dedicated to coffee, tea and chocolate will present the latest trends in taste, such as best coffee and food pairings, live latte art and the most delicious coffee cocktails! Various workshops and interactive masterclasses will also be available throughout the festival, as well as an exciting coffee mixologist competition where baristas and cocktail sommeliers will try to create the ultimate coffee cocktail.

The European Fine Art Fair Maastricht

The European Fine Art Fair Maastricht (TEFAF) is a yearly feast for art lovers taking place from 10 until 18 March. The fair is recognised as the world’s leading art fair because of its commitment to excellence, expertise and elegance. Over 7000 years of art history will be presented by more than 275 internationally renowned exhibitors. You can also find a total of 35,000 objects offered for sale, such as Old Master paintings, antiques, classical antiquities, modern art, photography and jewellery. 

Opening Keukenhof

Experience the most gorgeous views of blooming Dutch tulips and other flowers during Keukenhof’s Spring opening from 22 March until 13 May. Keukenhof is the most famous and largest flower park in the world where more than 7 million flower bulbs are planted every year. The theme for this year is ‘Romance in Flowers’, since the historic flower park was created in the middle of the Romantic period in 1857. You can see this theme reflected across various events, such as a classical music festival, as well as a gigantic flower bulb mosaic.

Movies that Matter The Hague

Watch movies with an important message during the Movies that Matter Festival in The Hague from 23 until 31 March. The festival is held by Amnesty International to create awareness for situations where human rights and human dignity are at stake, as they believe that film has a capacity to open peoples’ eyes. Their mission is to stir debate and promote human rights education. Besides movies you can also participate in talk shows and debates and enjoy musical performances.

Amsterdam Open Tower Day

Get a special view of Amsterdam from the top of various historic and modern towers during Open Tower Day taking place on 24 March. Beautiful buildings that are usually closed to the public will open their doors on this day. Classical buildings such as the Beurs van Berlage and the Westertoren previously participated, as well as famous company buildings such as the ABN Amro headquarters and the Crown Plaza. On location various guided tours, a photography and film competition and many more activities will take place. The event is free, however access to some towers is limited and/or requires advance registration.

Categories: Team Talk


Living the Dutch life - February

Enjoy February’s celebrations

Feel at home in The Hague

Meet other expats and enjoy a fun day out during the biggest international community event in the Netherlands on 4 February. The Feel at Home in The Hague fair takes place at the City Hall, where knowledge and secrets are shared about how to make the most of your time in The Hague. There will be many exhibitors providing a mix of information, entertainment and an International Food Court. Entry is free for pre-registered visitors and on the day visitors will pay a small charge.

Art Rotterdam

Enjoy the latest developments in visual arts during the international art fair, taking place from 7 until 11 February. Find a mixture of video art, paintings, performances, sculptures and design with the focus on young and varied creations. At the heart of the fair, located in the iconic Van Nellefabriek, the work of the most talented artists will be displayed by around 75 international galleries. This spectacular location has been a World Heritage since 2014 and used to be a coffee and tabacco factory. In other parts of the city you will find interesting exhibitions as well.  


Get dressed up in your most colourful outfit and enjoy the carnival parades in various cities across the Netherlands from 10 until 13 February. For a true Dutch carnival experience you should visit the popular cities Maastricht or Enschede as they have a wide range of child-friendly festivities featuring huge floats, costumed troupes, dancers and music. Carnival has been a Dutch tradition since the 14th century and is mainly celebrated in the southern part of the Netherlands. It developed its own vocabulary derived from local dialects, so don’t be surprised when the Dutch start using even stranger words than usual during the carnival celebrations!

Chinese New Year

Celebrate the start of the new year once again with the Chinese New Year celebrations across the Netherlands. Officially the Chinese New Year starts on 16 February, when we will head into the year of the Dog. The traditional Chinese calendar is a lunisolar calendar and each year is related to an animal sign. During the celebrations there will be traditional dragon dances as well as lion dances, fireworks, performances and an Asian market. On 16 February you can take part in the celebrations in Amsterdam and the Hague’s celebrations will be on 17 February. In Rotterdam there will be an extended celebration with special activities throughout the city for a whole week, from 12 until 18 February.

Homemakers' Fair Amsterdam

Visit this household and shopping feast from 17 until 25 February and find out all about the latest products on the market! When founded in 1950 the Homemakers’ Fair was a retail event meant for Dutch housewives. Now it has grown into a huge annual event about beauty, fashion, health and interior design. A ticket to the Homemakers’ Fair also gives access to the Nine Months Fair, happening from 21 until 25 February. This fair is all about everything related to babies and pregnancies. Both fairs take place at the event location RAI Amsterdam.

Chocoa Chocolate Festival Amsterdam

Enter the sweet world of chocolate and learn all about the origin, production and taste of chocolate at Chocoa Festival on 24 and 25 February. At the Beurs van Berlage, a beautiful location in Amsterdam and monument of trade, more than 75 stands with patissiers and chocolate manufacturers will be present. Expect a full day programme of tastings and presentations given by experts and more important documentaries and films about sustainability. The event is fully dedicated to making chocolate sustainable and includes an open debate on this subject on 23 February. For anyone who is interested in the chocolate trade and would like to meet cocoa producers or chocolate makers there is the Chocoa Trade Fair on 22 and 23 February.

Categories: Team Talk


Living the Dutch life - January

Planning the New Year

Cool Event Scheveningen

Visit Cool Event Scheveningen for the ultimate winter experience. The Hague’s beach resort will be transformed into a winter wonderland with all kinds of fun activities up until 21 January. On the boulevard next to the Pier you will find a 30-metre long ice slide as well as a covered ice skating rink in front of the Kurhaus Hotel. In the Ice Expo tent beautiful ice sculptures can be admired within the theme ‘200 years of Scheveningen’. Afterwards you can enjoy an ice cold drink at the ice bar with chairs and glasses made of ice! Or if you’d rather prefer something warm there are plenty of cafés around that offer special menus or just a mug of hot chocolate.

Holiday Fair Ultrecht

Experience a mini holiday without leaving the country at the Holiday Fair in Utrecht from 10 until 14 January. Gain ideas and be inspired for your next holiday trip during grey January! The fair will provide information about all kinds of travel and destinations worldwide or close to home. There are also many activities and things to experience, such as workshops, a virtual reality-street and a green picnic area. As of this year the fair will introduce a new concept on Saturday, the Night at the Holiday Fair, with longer opening hours.

Amsterdam Hotel Night

Locals of Amsterdam – it’s your turn to feel like a tourist! During the Amsterdam Hotel Night on 13 and 14 January registered residents of Amsterdam are offered an overnight stay at a reduced price in a local hotel to promote Amsterdam as a holiday destination. There will be a varied programme of culinary, creative and cultural events available to those who purchase a Hotel Night ticket. All but the discounted rooms, are available for purchase for those not residing in Amsterdam. Activities include canal tours, movie screenings and hip hotel parties.

Whisky Weekend Amsterdam

Let yourself be introduced into a world of whiskey during the Whiskey Weekend in Amsterdam on 19 and 20 January. In the beautiful Posthoornkerk (church) all kinds of whiskey brands and related products will be available to buy, with workshops and tasting sessions to follow. You do not necessarily have to be a whiskey expert to appreciate the event - stalls and the Scottish music can also be enjoyed.

National Tulip Day

Bring some spring into your home with the opening of the tulip season on National Tulip Day. A huge tulip picking garden at Amsterdam’s Dam Square, created by Dutch tulip growers, is the highlight of the event on 20 January. Every year thousands of people come to admire Holland’s trademark flower and pick a free bouquet on this day. The special theme for 2018 will be ‘Romantic’ and is also used for the coming season at Keukenhof, as flowers and romance are inextricably connected.

International Film Festival Rotterdam

Discover movies by new talents as well as established filmmakers from all across the world at the International Film Festival in Rotterdam from 24 January until 4 February. It is one of the largest public film events in the world and stands out for its focus on innovative and independent filmmakers. The festival will present a diverse selection of films, visual art exhibitions, live performances and networking events. To encourage young talented directors the best works will receive the VPRO Tiger Awards, the highlight of the event.

Categories: Team Talk

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