Amsterdam - Facts for the traveller, when to go, events
Facts for the traveller for Amsterdam
When to Go to Amsterdam
Any time can be the best time to visit. The summer months are wonderful as the whole city seems to live outdoors, but it's also the peak tourist season, when things are full and expensive. From mid-October to mid-March the climate is miserable, but there are fewer tourists, things are cheaper and cultural life is at its most authentic. The shoulder seasons can offer the best of both worlds.
Amsterdam's public holidays include New Year's Day (1 January), Good Friday, Easter Monday, Queen's day (30 April), Labour Day (1 May), Whit Sunday (Pentecost) and Monday, Christmas and Boxing Day (25 and 26 December).
It doesn't happen every year, but when it does it's legendary: if the canals freeze right, you can't miss the 'Eleven Cities Journey', a gruelling skating marathon through the countryside of Friesland, held in January. In March, Catholics walk along the Holy Way in the Silent Procession, which commemorates the Miracle of Amsterdam.
Queen's Day, on 30 April, is the day to be in Amsterdam - there's a free market, street parties, live music and lots of beer. National Windmill Day is in May and open garden days are held the same month. The Holland Festival, the country's biggest arts festival, runs throughout June, and in August local theatre groups and orchestras perform free throughout the city.
September hosts the Flower Parade, and in November Sinterklaas arrives by ship from Spain. Also in November, the Cannabis Cup celebrates the sacred herb. Sinterklaas, the traditional Dutch Christmas, is held on 6 December, although gifts are handed out the evening before. The standard-issue Christmas is also celebrated on the usual date.