Best Things to do in Amsterdam in September
Dreaming of a trip to Amsterdam later this year? We’re not surprised. If there’s one city that should be on your radar as soon as the world gets moving again, it’s the Dutch capital. September in Amsterdam is always buzzing with activities, festivals and an electric atmosphere. When planning your trip to experience Amsterdam’s canalside bars, crazy museums and coffeeshops, you’ll want to know what events are on while you’re there. Read on to find out the best events and things to do in Amsterdam in September 2020.
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Make the most of canalside bars
Septembers in Amsterdam are usually still lovely and warm from the summer, and what’s a warm sunny day without an al fresco drink? Amsterdam’s bar scene is pretty different from most other European cities - they’re all cool and quirky, but the best are the canalside bars that serve up local beers and good food. Roest, Hannekes Boom, Pllek and Waterkant are a few of the best that are always filled with young Dutch locals and expats drinking and soaking up the epic atmosphere.
Cycle to the windmills
You’re not planning to go to Amsterdam without hiring a bike, are you? If you do and you’re in the city for enough days, use one of those days to venture out of the city to see some of the world’s most famous windmills. They’re a pretty spectacular sight. Zaanse Schans are some of the most well-known near Amsterdam, with windmills you’ll be able to head inside and have a look around. It’s an hour bike ride, but time flies when the sun’s shining and you’re in Amsterdam.
Open Monuments Day
On the weekend of 12th and 13th September, a number of Amsterdam’s most historic monuments will be open for the public to visit for free for Heritage Day 2020. For the culture vultures and history buffs out there, this is the weekend you’ll want to visit. Thousands of monuments (we’re talking around 5,000 here) will be opened up to encourage locals and visitors to the city to delve deeper into the history of the Netherlands, and many of them will even host guided tours and on-site activities to draw you in. You’ll be able to see which monuments are taking part by the ‘Open Monumentendag’ flag flying outside.
Every summer from June through to September, Vondelpark’s Open Air Theatre puts on a packed-out programme of music, comedy, theatre, dance and cabaret performances. It’s not open for too long in September, so check out what’s on when you’re in Amsterdam. Wanna know the best part? All these open-air shows are put on for free. Just give a voluntary donation towards the production then sit back and enjoy.
Chill out in Vondelpark
Vondelpark is huge, and the Open Air Theatre only takes up a small portion of it meaning there’s plenty of room to pull up a blanket, lay back and soak up the atmosphere. On any slightly warm day, Vondelpark is the place to be with locals and expats hanging out with beers and playing games. If you feel like skipping out on museums for an afternoon, chilling out in Vondelpark is a big part of the Dutch way of life! So it technically still counts as taking in the culture anyway…
Have a BBQ
Make sure you check out the rules on barbecuing in Amsterdam’s parks before you light up or you could be landed with a hefty fine. There are a number of parks that do allow you to set up a barbecue as long as you follow the rules, however Vondelpark is not one of these. Some great parks where you are allowed are Westerpark, Eendrachtspark, Bretten and Oeverlanden just to name a few. So pop into your nearest Albert Heijn for burgers, buns and beer and soak up the last of the summer.
Amsterdam Fringe Festival
From 3rd until 13th September, Amsterdam Fringe Festival will be taking over more than 30 different venues across the city. Each artist has been selected for their unique creativity, as Fringe celebrates talented young artists who think outside the box. Around 50% of performances are suitable for non-Dutch speakers with English as well as ‘no language, no problem’ shows stated clearly on the website. Keep up to date via their website with which artists will be performing when and where.
Amsterdam City Swim
For the 8th year running, Amsterdam will see thousands of people dive into the city’s canals to swim the pretty intense 2,000 metre route to raise money for motor neurone disease. Even if you’re not taking part, if you’re in Amsterdam for this iconic event on Sunday 6th September then make time to check out the course and cheer the swimmers through the city centre soon after midday.
Unseen Art Fair and Photography Festival
Art and photography lovers from all over visit this exhibition every year to see the latest established and up-and-coming talent in the world of photography. In galleries across Amsterdam, work from 300 national and international photographers will be showcased from 18th until 20th September 2020. Expect a full line-up of lectures, exhibitions, events and of course the Book Market.
Visit the markets
Make the most of the days it’s not raining in Amsterdam and visit the city’s open air markets. There are some really great flea markets and food markets around the city. Albert Cuyp Market is the most famous over in De Pijp, where you can buy jewellery, clothes, fresh fruit and veg as well as pick up one of the best stroopwafels in Amsterdam. Noordermarkt is all about premium quality food, you’ll be able to pick up some great vintage bargains from Waterlooplein, and IJ Hallen Flea Market is set inside a converted shipping warehouse where you can get some awesome cheap second-hand clothes. Then there’s Bloemenmarkt - the world’s first and only ‘floating’ flower market.
Article by Darcy King