The best things in life are free… And they can be found even in Amsterdam! What seems as an expensive city has so much to offer for every budget, taste and preference. The summer time is the greatest time to enjoy it all and explore the city to its fullest with numerous free events and markets. So why not start now and look at the options!
Free outdoor concerts and festivals
Vondelpark Open Air Theatre will make your days with way more than just theater performances. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday there is something interesting and fun waiting for the spectators. Lots of live music (pop, hip-hop, jazz, orchestras and more), DJs playing their amazing danceable sets, workshops (often for kids too) and festivals that combine all of that are ready to surprise you in Vondelpark. This small stage can fit it all, while you’re enjoying yourself, trying nicely smelling food, dancing, singing and exploring. The best part is that lots of these events are for free, which means you can get an extra drink or mouth melting Belgium fries for the spare change.
Amsterdam Gay Pride can easily become the highlight of this summer in Amsterdam with its unstoppable street parties, rainbow and pink colors all over the city and ever joyful crowd proud to express themselves. Observe Amsterdam transforming into the most tolerant city in the world from 23 July to 7 August and don’t miss Canal Parade as one of its best parts! Lots of fun, freedom and love are guaranteed with many events for free.
Bijlmerbios is a free outdoor film festival at Amsterdam Zuidoost on 21-23 August, when you can see a cool movie at a unique location. Have you ever watched a film in the tunnel under the tracks? Well, now you have a chance to broaden your mind and join locals in the great pastime.
Uitmarkt is an ultimate event in Amsterdam that everybody’s looking forward to in the end of August (26-28 August to be precise), as it marks the beginning of the new cultural season in the city. This festival will blow your mind with about 2,000 artists and 450 performances at various venues in Amsterdam. Most of them will gather a huge crowd by both indoors and outdoors events at Museumplein and Leidseplein. And again, you don’t have to pay a cent for it because Uitmarkt became possible thankfully to numerous volunteers, including the artists you see.
The glory of markets
We can’t promise you free goods at the markets, but you can totally expect a free entrance, nice food, awesome vibe and sweet people. We’ve been mentioning Pure Markt quite a few times, but that’s for a good reason. This biological Sunday market is traveling around the country with its base in Amsterdam (Amstelpark, Amsterdamse Bos, Park Frankendael) and offers you the freshest and most natural food and products. In addition you can entertain yourself with workshops, small concerts, a solar powered merry-go-round and creative shopping (designer, gift and vintage goods).
Neighbourfood Market will become your favorite from the first time you attend it at the hype Westerpark. The location of Westergasfabriek hugely adds up to the special atmosphere at this food and flea market with locally produced items. If you care about small productions, home-made stuff, good music and hip people of Amsterdam, then this is the place to be at on 17 July and 21 August. Yes, it happens only once per month, but is so much worth waiting for.
And of course, it’s impossible not to mention IJ-Hallen market that will take place on 23-24 July and 13-14 August in the North of Amsterdam. Even though you have to pay a tiny entrance fee, it has to be in this list here, as there are so many bargains you can get at IJ-Hallen. It’s the largest fleamarket in Europe, so why not visit it for the extraordinary gifts to bring home from Holland.
Don’t limit yourself thinking that you have to spend a fortune in Amsterdam. There are lots of things available for free, you just need to find the right place and time for it. And we haven’t even mentioned free film festival Pluk de Nacht, or Canal Festival with free concerts, or the fabulous Amsterdam Public Library open for everybody, or free classical and jazz concerts at the Royal Concertgebouw and the Bimhuis, or numerous gardens and parks sharing their free beauty with you.
This post is also available in: Dutch