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Flying Pig Hostels Netherlands
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Things to do in Amsterdam - The Pig E-zine
issue 37 - February/March 2011



Newsflash - Flying Pig Downtown wins Hoscar! 

Thanks to all of you for loving the Flying Pig so much that we won the Hoscar for best hostel in the Netherlands!!
Hoscars hostelworldThe award presented by Hostelworld is based solely on guests' reviews. This means a lot since you are the best judges. Another reason for a party yeehaa!


12 Months of Regular Events in Amsterdam

Not matter what the time of year, Amsterdam is a city that always knows how to celebrate. To prove that here we have the best annual events in Amsterdam – a collection of what there is to do and be done every month of the year. Some events are cultural, others left of centre, some are naughty and some are nice, but all are fun.

Newyears swim in the north seaJanuary may have come and gone, but the Dutch sure do know how to kick their New Year's hangover. Thousands of Dutch, most still filled with liquor, spend their New Year's Day running  full pelt into the North Sea for a swim in bright orange beanies. Crazy? Yes. Fabulous spectator sport? Absolutely.

While February might seem a little chilly for outdoor events, if you head over to the Nieuwmarkt, you'll find some festival fire. Make your way down past the brown cafes and avoid the lure of the Red Light District and you'll find the area popping with parades and street celebrations, firecrackers and festivities - celebrating the year of the Golden Rabbit.

Keukenhof tulips in the month of MarchMarch is really when the sun begins to shine in Holland, and the masses head to Amsterdam for tulip time. Open from March to May each year, the Keukenhof open in new window tulip gardens are one of those things you might think is better suited to grandmas but it's actually quite impressive no matter what your age. Here, you can roll all your clichéd Dutch experiences into one - visiting a windmill, strolling through tulip fields, riding bikes, tasting cheese and of course, having your picture taken sitting in a giant clog.

queensday in 2011Queen's day, or Koninginnedag open in new window is held at the end of April and it's one of the biggest events in the Netherlands. Everyone dresses in bright orange, drinks like a fish and pays tribute to the Queen by conducting the world's biggest neighbourhood garage sale - a weird way to salute the royals, but there are normally great street parties and DJs playing in the big squares around town, and the canals are filled with people partying on boats.

museumpleinThe weather in Holland begins to improve in May and the crowds are still at a minimum, making it a great time to visit. Two of the biggest events in the city are Remembrance Day, which commemorates those who lost their lives during war, and Liberation Day - a celebration of freedom. And what better way to celebrate freedom than with a massive (and free) dance party? The biggest one is held at the Museumplein, but there are smaller festivals all across the city.  

As summertime officially rolls in, so does the start of festival season as everyone returns to the outdoors. The Amsterdam Roots Jazz Festival open in new window is held over three days in June, while the North Sea Jazz Festival open in new window attracts the big names in July.  In August, the more contemporary festivals kick in, with Loveland open in new window, Lowlands open in new window and Dance Valley open in new window, one of the Netherlands biggest festivals attracting over 50,000 people. All are held a little out of town but are easily accessible by train from Amsterdam's Central Station.  

vondel park open air festivalsWith the summer months, there are also a lot of outdoor events. The Vondelpark Open Air theatre open in new window starts its free summer program of music, theatre and dance in June, while Sunsets Vondelpark, an open-air cinema, starts around mid-July. Seize the Night open in new window runs free indie film nights in the north of the city and has a great dance party afterwards in August. August is also the month for Gay Pride open in new window, and includes an amazing canal parade where a flotilla of decorated boats head down the canals in full drag to celebrate diversity and gay rights.    

If you missed the Keukenhof flower gardens then don't despair - the annual flower parade, held in September, is just as stunning. A kilometre-long flotilla of boats covered in flowers sets out from Aalsmeer and travels to Amsterdam. If however you're feeling more nocturnal in September, the Amsterdam Fringe Festival open in new windowruns for ten days, running a gamut of spectacular and bizarre acts.  

When things get chilly and the weather turns in October, punters head inside to get their grove on at the Amsterdam Dance Event open in new window. Held annually, over 40 clubs host huge dance nights with big name artists spinning the decks. However it's not just about the beats but also the businesses behind them. During the day seminars, conferences and workshops are held for those in the scene.  

Cannabis cup 2011November is the month for the Cannabis Cup open in new window. Run by High Times magazine, the cup is in its 24th year and runs over three days from the 20th to the 23rd, with a massive party to kick things off on the 19th.  Judging passes allow you to vote on the best weed strain and can be purchased at an early-bird price, however tickets jump in price if you leave it to the last minute to secure your smoking rights.  

As December rolls round and the snow starts to fall, you'll find people snuggled up inside coffee shops to stay warm. The city puts up Christmas trees in the streets for locals to decorate, ice skating season kicks off, and what would winter in Amsterdam be without a flotilla of boats covered in Christmas lights touring the canals?

During New Year's Eve in Amsterdam the city explodes with fireworks and revellers, who flock to the city's plazas, and bars to see in the New Year, with the bright bursts of light shimmering over the canals. And what better way is there to end the year than in a city as wicked as Amsterdam?

- Shaney Hudson



Our favourites

Amsterdam's local scene...brought to you by the Pig staff!

As much as we’d like to take you all by the hand to show you the coolest places that we always go to, we simply can't take all of you there on the front bars of our bikes!

Instead we’ve compiled all our staff's favourite places in Amsterdam and put them on a map for you, arranged by category and staff member.

This way you know which Piggy to look out for in that club or coffee shop!

Check them out on our staff favourites or just click on the map.

locationmap amsterdam

From the hostel to the edge of the circles is 1 km (a 12 minute walk). Don't forget, Amsterdam is a super compact city, you can walk or cycle everywhere easily.




From the piggies with love

where comes the new pig?New Flying Pig on the horizon?
What if … there was another Flying Pig somewhere in the world, where might it be? Where would YOU set up shop? We are not sure yet but you are the guys on the road and you know best, so let us know where and why on our Facebook page.

Add your suggestion here open in new window on Facebook, we’ll pick out the best location and reason, and give that person a free stay at a Flying Pig of their choice.

Flying Pig WintergameWinner of the Christmas Pigman game.
Lots of you played the Pigman game from the last e-zine, but the winner is ... Libor Kucera!

Libor would like to stay at the Flying Pig beach hostel in the tulip room so we're going to make that happen. Looking forward to your visit Libor!

KirkAlbum Review by Kirk
Right now I'm enjoying Two Door Cinema Clubs' aptly named album, Tourist History. This album is rife with catchy melodies, nice electronic samples and funky Indie bass lines. I like the upbeat vibe that it creates in the bar, particularly with tracks What You Know and Something Good Can Work. If you like The Postal Service, The Maccabees or The Editors, this is a must listen!

Two Door Cinema CubsTwo Door Cinema Club
Click on the tracklisting to listen (and watch) the tracks on youtube.

1."Cigarettes In the Theatre"
2. "Come Back Home"
3. "Undercover Martyn"
4. "Do You Want It All?"
5. "This Is the Life"
6. "Something Good Can Work"
7. "I Can Talk"
8. "What You Know"
9. "Eat That Up, It's Good for You" 3:45
10. "You're Not Stubborn" open in new window

Bong RaBong Ra
Utrecht born artist Bong Ra's album 'I am the god of Hellfire' is a mix of junglist MC'ing, breakbeat and Drum and Bass. This album is great for the later parts of the night, when people want to dance in the bar with tracks such as The Claw and Chump Chump. If Venetian Snares, The Prodigy or Pendulum are your thing, I highly recommend getting this album.

Here you can listen to the tracks open in new window divider


The Beach Hostel

Close your eyes for a moment. Imagine a domain of lush, vibrant, colours merging together, weaving in and out of the landscape. No, you're not on truffles - you're at the Keukenhof, the most renowned Tulip garden in the world. With about 4.5 million tulips in 100 different varieties, it is no wonder that the Keukenhof has won prizes for being one of Europe's most valued attractions.

Beach partyThis year’s theme is Germany: Land of Poets and Philosophers, I'm not sure what this means, but there is a mosaic of Berlin's Brandenburg Gate formed from over 100,000 bulbs. The Keukenhof is a unique experience, only open from March to May, nevertheless it is one of the most celebrated events in the Netherlands. On April 16, 2011 a parade of floats intricately decorated with flowers of the season makes its way from Noordwijk to Haarlem, passing the Keukenhof garden around the afternoon.

The garden itself is located in Lisse, a small bus ride away from the Flying Pig Beach Hostel. If you’re the adventurous type, or just need a break and some exercise away from the smoking rooms at the Uptown and Downtown Flying Pigs, you can rent a bicycle and ride through the surrounding Tulip fields, before making your way to the Keukenhof.

Specials at the BeachOnce there you can also take a cruise in the whisper boats, so called because of their electric engines and the tranquil experience they offer - exploring the surrounding Tulip fields from the canals and waterways. All said and done, a visit to the Flying Pig Beach Hostel is the perfect way to relax and explore the surrounding countryside during its most colorful season.

During this event The Flying Pig has an attractive special going at The Flying Pig Beach Hostel.

Read more about the Keukenhof and Tulip special.



Europe's Famous Hostels

You might already know that the Flying Pig Backpacker hostels are proud members of EFH – Europe’s Famous Hostels.

Europe Famous HostelsThis association recognises the best hostels on the European travel circuit. If you book a bed in any of these hostels, you’re guaranteed a memorable stay on a cheap and reasonable budget! Every single hostel in EFH is a local treasure – giving you guys a chance to meet the people and get a real taste of local life. All the hostels have to adhere to the highest levels of safety and quality, while also preserving a local flair.

The hostels are located in Amsterdam, Bad Gastein, Barcelona, Berlin, Bruges, Cardiff, Corfu, Dublin, Edinburgh, Interlaken, Lisbon, Loch Ness, London, Munich, Madrid, Nice, Prague, Riga, Rotterdam, Rome, Salzburg, Valencia, Vienna and in the future many more hostels will join.

Check out the best bits of Europe's Famous Hostels with one click!

back to toptop


Special deals in Europe

Find out about the special deals on offer across Europe from our friends on the hostel scene. They’re in pounds and Euros, so check it out:

Amsterdam Specials

Amsterdam specials at the Pig Stay at the Pig for 4 nights between October and March and get one night for free! How does it work? Simply book the dates that you wish to stay at ...
Read more @ Flying Pig Hostels Amsterdam open in new window

Europe Specials


Bath   hostelsA picturesque and historic town, there is no other place quite like Bath. Every building in this breathtakingly beautiful city, is an example of fantastic Georgian architecture, constructed entirely out of Bath Lime Stone. Nearby is the mysterious and mythical Stonehenge – a timeless wonder dating back to somewhere between 3000 BC and 1600 BC. Now you can experience both with this great deal from our friends at St Christopher’s Inns.

Special Bath - 2 nights with Stonehenge Tour for £33 open in new window

Stonehenge near Bath

If you like these deals but you have another destination in mind check out these links to the special offers from St Christopher's Inns open in new window and Europe's Famous Hostels open in new window - our friends in Europe.