Grachtenfestival | Canal Festival 2018

Het Grachtenfestival (‘Canal Festival’) is an annual festival of classical music held at special locations around Amsterdam. It annually attracts about 56.000 visitors from all over the world. In 2018 it will be held from August 10 – 19 (And in 2019 from August 9 – 18.)

Over a period of 10 days, the Grachtenfestival provides a stage for young musical talent, choosing an appropriate and often historical setting for each musical event on or beside Amsterdam’s numerous waterways.

Grachtenfestival covers a broad spectrum and makes a conscious decision not to limit itself to a particular instrument or musical tendency. This method makes it possible to follow the development of young talent over the years, and to offer these new talents a stage that reflects their development. This enables the Amsterdam Grachtenfestival to present a yearly overview of talented classical musicians in the Netherlands and their musical progression.

Every year, renowned soloists and ensembles come together in unprecedented combinations, inspired by a different theme, especially for the festival’s programme of concerts. The Grachtenfestival also features previews of programmes from elsewhere in the country that will begin later in the year.

The Grachtenfestival’s combination of location and repertoire means that classical music is performed to the highest levels, but presented in a way that is accessible to all. This is what makes the festival unique in the world.

There is also the Junior Grachtenfestival, which includes productions for all age groups, from babies and toddlers right up to teenagers. New performance locations are added every year, and many concerts are free and where there are entry fees, these are kept as low as possible.

Over 60,000 visitors come from all over the Netherlands and abroad to soak up the unique atmosphere of the Grachtenfestival, and 2016 will be its 19th year – testament to the festival’s remarkable success.

The kick-off of the Canal Festival 2017 is a sensational opening concert on the pontoon in front of The Compagnietheater. Theme ‘Bridging’ will be presented in a variety of ways. The Kloveniersburgwal will transform into a wonderful internship with a leading part for the young musicians. Under the direction of Annechien Koerselman, they will perform a marvelous preview of all coming attractions of this festival.
Many people will visit this concert with a (private) boat. So we expect a traffic jam on the canals this day!

Yam sessions will take place as from 10pm in the festivalcafé in Het Compagnietheater. Talented young musicians and music afficionados will play a variety of styles and different genres – expect the unexpected! Be our guest in our cosy festivalcafé, have a drink and enjoy our jam sessions.
Have a musical stay in Amsterdam!
More info: Grachtenfestival

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What to do in Amsterdam

Surely you want to make your Amsterdam visit most memorable by enjoying everything of your interest it has  to offer. So this can vary from person to person, since not everybody has the same interests. Hereby some things we think you should not miss when you go sightseeing Amsterdam.

* Canalcruise


* Rijksmuseum


* Begijnhof


* Floating Flower Market


* Adam Lookout Tower


* Vondelpark


* Amsterdam Light Festival (in winter time!)


Soon we will write more about these suggestions!

Want to make most of your time? Hire a VIP guide for a private tour!

Enjoy your preparations and visit!

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Special ‘Sunday’ Markets Amsterdam

In the summer on several locations in Amsterdam cozy Sunday markets are organized. Below you can read where and when you can find these streetmarkets!


At the Westergasfabriek there is a market every first Sunday of the month:

4 june
2 july
6 august
3 september
1 oktober
5 november
3 december
10 december (Funky Xmas Market)


Since 2017 the Rokin has drastically changed for the better and holds a very cosy Sunday Market on the 2nd Sunday in May / June / September / Oktober, so:
14 May
11 June
10 September
8 Oktober


The newest Deli & Lifestyle Market in old Amsterdam is on the last Friday of the month. These are the dates:
26 May
30 June
28 July
25 Augustus
29 September
27 Oktober
24 November
29 December


Every 3rd Sunday of the month:

21 May
18 June
16 July
20 Augustus
17 September
22 Oktober (4e zondag!)
19 November
17 December (Kerst editie)


21 mei 11:00-18:00 uur Amsterdamse Bos Amstelveen
28 mei 11:00-18:00 uur Park Frankendael Amsterdam
4 june
11 june 11:00-18:00 uur Amstelpark Amsterdam
18 june
25 june 11:00-18:00 uur Park Frankendael Amsterdam
2 july* 11:00-18:00 uur Hoogstraat/ Het Markvelt Abcoude
9 july 11:00-18:00 uur Amstelpark Amsterdam
16 july 11:00-18:00 uur Amsterdamse Bos Amstelveen
23 july
30 july 11:00-18:00 uur Park Frankendael Amsterdam
6 august
13 august 11:00-18:00 uur  Amstelpark Amsterdam
20 august
27 august 11:00-18:00 uur  Park Frankendael Amsterdam
Zondag 3 september
Zondag 10 september 11:00-18:00 uur  Amstelpark Amsterdam
Zondag 17 september* 11:00-18:00 uur Gijsbrecht e.o. Hilversum
Zondag 24 september 11:00-18:00 uur  Park Frankendael Amsterdam
Zondag 1 oktober OPTIE Oostenburg Amsterdam
Zondag 8 oktober 11:00-18:00 uur  Amstelpark Amsterdam
Zondag 15 oktober 11:00-18:00 uur Amsterdamse Bos Amstelveen
Zondag 22 oktober
Zondag 29 oktober 11:00-17:00 uur  Park Frankendael Amsterdam
Zondag 5 november
Zondag 12 november
Zondag 19 november
Zondag 26 november 11:00-17:00 uur Park Frankendael Amsterdam
Zondag 3 december
Zondag 10 december WINTER 11:00-17:00 uur  Amstelpark Amsterdam
Zondag 17 december WINTER 11:00-17:00 uur  Park Frankendael Amsterdam

Meer informatie:

Have fun!

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Email: info (at) 
Call: 0031 (0)6 42119900



International Flower Exhibition

The visitors come from over 100 countries. 20% comes from the Netherlands, 40% of the visit from our neighboring countries. From the distant lands, Keukenhof received 120,000 Americans and 90,000 Chinese. Also from eastern Europe, Russia and South America, the number of visitors grew.

Romance along the flowerbeds

Keukenhof invested heavily in a new building and car park; that proved to work well. The theme for 2018 will be Romance. The Keukenhof will be opened in 2018 from 22 March to 13 May. Book already your private tour with Amsterdam VIP Tours, to guarantee your guided visit! See you then!

Open in 2018

In 2018 he Keukenhof gardens are open from 22 March untill 13 May. Make shure you do not miss it! Book our private ‘flower’ tourate ‘flower’ tour, visit the gardens and go cycling along the tulip fields!

Last Year (2017)

Keukenhof flower exhibition closed it’s 2017 season on May 21 with a record. The visitors appreciated the flower show with an 8.9. As many as 1.4 million visitors visited the park, 200,000 more than the year before.

The most beautiful spring park in the world is satisfied with this result. The beautiful cool spring caused full bloom for 8 weeks. The average age was significantly lower than previous years. More and more younger visitors experience the Keukenhof as a trendy park for a nice day out between the flowers.

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National Windmill Day – May 12 (2018)

This event is held since 1974 and will be held in 2018 on May 12. Thé chance to see windmills from inside! It will be an exploring experience. Over 900 Dutch mills will be operating and many will be open to the public.

Windmills are imporant features in the Dutch landscape. But you only understand the meaning when you visit them inside. These monuments are driven by wind and water.

Dutch Mill Foundation

The National Millday is organized by the ‘Dutch Mill’ Foundation and the Guilde of Voluntary Millers. More information can be found on Dutch Mills Society.

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Buying Tulip Bulbs in Amsterdam

“Tulips from Amsterdam”

A famous song and an important export product from the Netherlands! Many people visit Amsterdam from all around the world in spring to see the amazing amounts of spring flowers; tulips, duffodils, crocusses etc.


The 8 weeks a year (in spring) that the worldfamous Keukenhof gardens are open to the public, attract many flower lovers.

Buying bulbs

What to do if you want to grow the beautiful flowers at home? We advise not to buy the bulbs locally. The chance you will get them through customs are rather small. Also you buy old bulbs.

Fresh bulbs with discount

Order flower bulbs online to get fresh bulbs shipped to your home address in autumn! Order on Dutch Garden World and use the code: CD16 (when checking out) to get 7,5% discount!

Have a flowerfull day!


Saturday afternoon JAZZ in cultural Amsterdam

Jazz in the Plantage

The summer Jazz festival is back! In July and August there will be special
Jazz concerts in the courtyard of the Hermitage Amsterdam, the Hortus and in the Portuguese Synagogue.

Hermitage Amsterdam

In the months of July and August, you can enjoy performances in the Hermitage Amsterdam’s interior garden every Saturday afternoon from 4 PM. The performances are taken care of by the talent of the Jazz department of the Amsterdam Conservatory. Access is free!

Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam

On Sundays Afternoon from 4.30 pm, jazz concerts are on the Orangery’s terrace at the Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam (regular entrance fees apply).

The entire festival program is on Jazz @ the Plantage.
Please contact us if you would like us to help you with these arrangements.

Have fun!

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How to get Tickets for the Anne Frank House

Anne Frank

The Anne Frank House is an extremely popular museum in Amsterdam. The diary of Anne Frank was translated in about 80 languages, making it the most translated book of the Netherlands. Several movies have been made about the story and the museum, among others ‘The fault in our stars’. The story and the museum became well known all over the globe. That’s why so many people want to visit the museum during their stay in Amsterdam.

Insider tip

Unfortunately also Amsterdam VIP Tours cannot easily get tickets to the Anne Frank House. Usually you can only get tickets 2 months ahead of time. However you can always check online a day ahead or in the morning (often after 9 AM), because then some tickets might become available for a few lucky ones. Good luck!

Click here for online tickets: Online Tickets Anne Frank House.


Waiting in line

If you were not able to get tickets, it does not mean you cannot visit the Anne Frank House. However you will have to line up and often there will be a waiting line of 2-3 hours.

From the 1st of May 2016 you can only with a pre-booked ticket between 9.00 AM and 3.30 PM. From 3.30 PM you can stand in line. It advisable to go between 7 and 8 PM for a possibly shorter waiting line. See openinghours below.

Be aware

The Anne Frank House is a self guided tour of about 45 minutes / 1 hour. We recommend to do this tour by yourself. Please bear in mind that the Anne Frank has very steep steps (like ladders) to clim.

Anne Frank Museum
Prinsengracht 263-267

The Anne Frankhouse is 7 days a week
1 November – 31 March:      9:00 AM – 7:00 PM (Saturdays til 9 PM).
1 April – 31 October:            9:00 AM – 10:00 PM

Anne Frank Diary

Did you manage to get tickets? Book an Amsterdam VIP Tour starting or ending at the Anne Frank House! We are more then happy to show you that part of town!

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New: The Largest Street Art Museum in the World

Next year Amsterdam will have a new museum. In the summer of 2018 the largest street art museum in the world will open it’s doors in the Lasloods at the NDSM werf (Amsterdam North).

The number of artists that improve the streetview are growing by the day. The most wellknown one is Banksy.

This artform is mostly short term, since it’s made in the streets. The museum wants to frame the modern timeperiod and it’s artforms. Giving streetart a location to be collected and on display for a larger audience.

The Lasloods is a Monument and will be renovated first. With the size of over 7000 m2, it will be twice as large as the Turbinehal of Tate Modern in London. All art works are especially made for the museum, at a secret location. The smallest painting will be larger then the ‘Nightwach’ paining of Rembrandt.

The large pieces of art will be displayed with the help of cranes. It is going to be impressive…

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Cheesemarket in Alkmaar (2017)

Yearly thousands of visitors from around the world come to Alkmaar for its cheese market. It is a special spectacle with a market filled with cheese and hauling cheese carriers. In 1365 Alkmaar got the weighing rights.

In 2017 the Alkmaar cheesmarket will take place from Friday, March 31st 2017 until Friday September 29. The weekly cheese market is held on Fridays from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM. 

Program (subject to change):

09:50 h: the tourists are welcomed
09:55 h: the belluider introduced
10.00: The bell is rung and the market is open
10:05 to 10:50 h: oral explanations for the visitors in Dutch, German, English and French or Spanish.
10:50 to 11:15 h: the carillon is played
11:20 to 12:05 h: oral explanations for the visitors in Dutch, German, English and French or Spanish
12:15 to 12:30 : the carillon plays
13.00. PM end cheese market, Waagplein Alkmaar

There is also around the cheese market a lively arts and crafts market place. You can find other real Dutch pancakes, herring, farmer cheese, a clog maker, craft stalls and much more!

Evening cheese markets in 2017

In addition there will also be organized 8 evening cheese markets this year. This is organized for the first time! On Tuesday evenings, May 2, May 23, June 6, July 4, 18 july, August 1. Surrounded by a lively market.

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Call: 0031 (0)6 42119900