What happened to Queens Day?

Photo: Nieuws.nl

Photo: Nieuws.nl










We used to have Queen’s day in the Netherlands – at April 30st.
Now that we have a king, we have King’s Day – officially at April 27th.
But this year (2014) Kings Day was at April 26st because the 27th is a Sunday.

It’s complicated. That’s why yesterday April 30st, several tourists, beautifully dressed up in orange, were spotted in Amsterdam. Wondering where that great Queen’s Day street party was happening.

I feel sorry for them. They missed it all.
To make sure nobody comes to Amsterdam on the wrong dates next year:

King’s Day 2015: April 27th
King’s Night 2015: the night of April 26st
Queen’s Day: no longer exists

foodies heaven in Amsterdam: 3 festivals this May


Taste of Amsterdam

The first of the 3 Food Festivals this May in Amsterdam is the Food Film Festival, offering much more than just films about food. What about these workshops: learn how to make a mean Swedish smörrebröd with Rikard Andersson, cook a perfect egg with Michelin star chef Chris Naylor and hear from Ben Reade, the Nordic Food Lab’s culinary R&D man, why we could soon all be eating insects. In addition to that there are events, discussions, a food market, parties, and of course a restaurant.
Food Film Festival from May 9 to 11 2014, at the Westergasfabriek.

The following weekend Taste of Amsterdam in the Amstelpark is the place to be for the culinary foodies. It’s the most sophisticated (or shoold I say posh?) of the 3 festivals. If you like to try the signature dishes from Dutch top restaurants and top chefs, attend workshops and demonstrations, visit the fine food exhibition and the farmers market, or visit Boom Chicago’s Comic show about wine tasting: be there.
Taste of Amsterdam: May 15 to 18, 2014, at the Amstelpark, entrance € 9,50.

The final Festival is: Rollende Keukens. It’s like a huge pick-nick, with the advantage of not having to bring your own food. It has a bohemian feel and this one is great for kids too. Whatever you like, you can get it, from snacks and finger food to exquisite luxury food and everything in between, all for a reasonable prices so you can try several dishes. All food will be cooked in kitchens on wheels. They are an exhibition in itself, these mobile kitchens and food trucks.
Music and other entertainment is programmed all day and movies (about food) at night.
Rollende Keukens, from May 28 to June 1, 2014 at the Westergasfabriek, entrance: free.

King’s Day – Queen’s Day, don’t book the wrong dates!

d2f9b4504d80c1394cbab32659b76644We used to have Queen’s day in the Netherlands – at April 30st.
Now we that we have a king, we have King’s Day – officially at April 27th.
But this year (2014) Kings Day is at April 26st because the 27th is a Sunday.
And then there’s Kings Night, the night before Kings Day, which is in Amsterdam a festive night with a special atmosphere, a must do – and this year on the 25th.

It’s a bit confusing indeed, but it comes down to this:

Kings Night: April 25 2014
Kings Day: April 26 2014
(Queens Day: no longer exists)

Amsterdam Art Weekend 2013

If you really love to walk the city and jump from one gallery to the next: this is your weekend. Amsterdam’s contemporary art scene is trying to get international traction by organising this fair. For art lovers it’s a must visit. There will be a ‘breakfast route’, for early risers, while others will love the ‘drinks and bites route’, walking from one of the 30 venues to the next. Amsterdam Art Weekend will be held from friday november 29 up to sunday december 1. There is also a special app.

Magneet festival: Amsterdam’s one and only bohemian hippie festival


Photo: modernehippies.nl

Magneet Festival is often compared to the Burning Man Festival in the Nevada dessert, but it has it’s very own style.  “No spectators, only participators” has always been the “Magneet philosophy”. It’s the first crowd sourced festival in Europe: anyone can pitch his idea for an activity/show on the website. If you get enough votes, the festival will facilitate the initiative. The festival offers lots of music, theatre, installations, poetry, arts and activities for kids. And of course many food stalls/trucks, restaurants (vegetarian too) and bars with cocktails, fruit juices and the usual drinks.

Most special is the festival’s atmosphere. The bohemian feeling is all around and it gives you a relaxed holiday feeling mixed with the energy of exciting things happening. The location adds to it. The festival is located at an artificial island, created to build a new part of Amsterdam, but at the moment it is just an enormous heap of sand. A bit of a Nevada dessert experience after all.

August 23 through September 8, 2013 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday
Tickets in presale are €12,50, tickets at the door are €15 (if not sold out)
Location: Oostpunt, IJdijk 10, Amsterdam-Oost
Public transport from Amsterdam Central Station: Tram 26 (direction IJburg),
stop: Zuiderzeeweg (near Piet Heintunnel).
Follow the signs to Magneet Festival from the tram stop.

outdoor movies in Amsterdam

Outdoor movies in Amsterdam

Outdoor movies in Amsterdam

Summer in the city, a great time for watching movies in the open air. Amsterdam has a number of yearly outdoor film festivals. Most of them are free. Make sure to get there early, in order to find yourself a seat. If your not, you can always find yourself a spot somewhere near – in the grass, the sand or on the pavement.
Bring a blanket, food and beverage, maybe some mosquito repellent.

Het Ketelhuis
Westergasfabriek July 27 – August 31, at sunset 21.30 hours

World Cinema Amsterdam
Vondel theatre in Vondelpark: August 2-3 and 9-10, at about 21.30
Marie Heinekenplein August 14-18, at sunset

Pluk de nacht (Seize the night)
Stenen hoofd (near Amsterdam Central Station) 7 – 17 Augustus, at sunset

Drijf in voor Pampus July 18-20 at 19.00 hours
This is a sort of sail-in, you watch the movie from your boat on a special location in the IJselmeer lake, near fort Pampus
Only tickets for the special sail-in ferry are left, € 25,- p/p
all other tickets are sold out

mid summer festival at the waterfront of Amsterdam

Over het IJ Festival Photo: Esther Lagendijk

Over het IJ Festival Photo: Esther Lagendijk

A former shipping wharf (NDSM warf), surrounded by cranes, at the waterfront, with a view at the city centre of Amsterdam… The Over het IJ Festival location is just great!.

If not because of the location you could consider visiting the Over het IJ Festival because of the famous innovative location-theatre. You will find famous theatre groups as well as starting performers, the latest performing in shipping containers (or perhaps not inside, but on top of, under, in front of, or at whatever place near the container). The other performances take place in unusual locations too, for instance in a taxi.

Just catch the free ferry at the back of the Central Station and you’ll be at the festival grounds within 15 minutes.

Over het IJ Festival, July 4 – 14, 2013

NDSM warf Neveritaweg 61, Amsterdam