The Best Things to Do in Amsterdam in April

The 10 Best Things to Do in Amsterdam in April

Spring is an amazing time to visit Europe. It’s a time when the chilly winter temperatures are far in the past and a rainbow of flowers is beginning to bloom. Out of everywhere you could travel to at this time of year, Amsterdam in the Netherlands stands out for its high-energy festivals, transforming the city into a hub of spirit, laughter, and joy. 

It’s not all about the festivals – there are plenty of other incredible things to do in Amsterdam in April, too. There are micro-neighborhoods bursting with cafes, bars, restaurants, and shops; cute canals begging you to take a cruise; huge parks accented with colorful tulips; and fascinating museums that offer shelter should the weather turn.

With so many things to see and do, it can be tricky to know where to begin. To help you out, here’s a list of the very best things to do in Amsterdam in April. From getting tipsy at beer festivals to visiting museums for free and seeing the famous tulips bloom, there’s absolutely loads going on in the Netherlands capital at this time of year. Make the most of it!

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The 10 Best Things to Do in Amsterdam in April

1. Say ‘Proost!’ at the Meibockfestival

Best Things to do in Amsterdam in April: Meibockfestival

Munich isn’t the only place that hosts an amazing beer festival. Every year around the third week of April, Amsterdam holds its own remarkable boozy bash – Meibockfestival. A huge number of craft beer brewers from all over the country gather around the Posthoornkerk building and dish out their delicious creations to anyone who comes by.

The entry fee is around €7 and includes an official glass. When you’re ready, simply walk up to one of the brewers, hand over your glass along with €1.50, and they’ll fill it to the brim with golden nectar. Sip, rinse, and repeat!


2. Get Lost in De Negen Straatjes

Cool Things to do in Amsterdam in April: De Negen Straatjes

When it comes to what to do in Amsterdam in April, exploring De Negen Straatjes is always a good idea. This neighborhood is at its finest at this time of year – when the weather is just starting to get warm enough to sit outside, and window boxes are overflowing with pretty flowers.

Here you’ll find Amsterdam’s first photography museum (Huis Marseille), the House Boat Museum, and the world’s first gay rights monument (Homomonument). I recommend you check out Proeflokaal van Wees, too. It’s the tasting room for the A. van Wees Distillery, where you can pair delicious Dutch liqueurs with traditional bar snacks. 


3. Celebrate King’s Day with a Boat Ride 

Unique Things to do in Amsterdam in April: King’s Day with a Boat Ride 

King’s Day is one of the top April events in Amsterdam and it’s something that everyone can join in with. Currently celebrated each year on April 27 (it changes according to the monarch’s birthday), this city-wide holiday is held in honor of the Dutch monarchy and includes loads of outdoor activities that are completely free to enjoy.

From music concerts and flea markets to street parties and fairs, there’s absolutely loads going on. Signing up for a canal cruise is a great way to take in all the festivities while avoiding the crowds on the streets. Thousands of boats descend on the canal for this day, decorated specially for the occasion and pumping out upbeat music.


4. Have a Picnic at Vondelpark

Fun Things to do in Amsterdam in April: Vondelpark

The weather in Amsterdam in April can be temperamental. But when the sun comes out and the temperature is pleasant, heading to Vondelpark for a picnic is a fantastic idea. The largest park in the city, this beautiful green space is home to various mini gardens filled with flowers (the rose garden is a personal favorite) and plenty of grassy spots where you can chill out.

Can’t be bothered packing a picnic? Stop by one of Amsterdam’s automats on your way to the park instead. These sophisticated vending machines dish out all kinds of hot, freshly-cooked snacks, like croquettes, fries, frikandellen, bitterballen, and burgers, that you can turn into a speedy picnic.


5. Check Out Amsterdam’s Museums for Free

Amsterdam in April Bucket List: Check Out Amsterdam’s Museums for Free

National Museum Week is one of the best April events in Amsterdam. This week usually falls at the very beginning of the month, when around 450 museums put on an extra-special program packed with events. As an added bonus, many of the museums are free to enter during this week!

From workshops, tastings, and music concerts to guided tours, treasure hunts, and reenactments, there’s absolutely loads going on this week. No idea where to begin? Here are some of my favorite museums in Amsterdam: 


6. Dig into International Eats in Food Hallen

Must do things in Amsterdam in April: Food Hallen

April may not be the best time to visit Amsterdam for good weather – it really can go either way during this month. But if you do get a spot of rain during your vacation, De Hallen is a fantastic place to seek shelter.

The building was originally an old tram depot, but today, it’s a thriving cultural hub, home to a hotel, boutique stores, a cinema, and a tempting food court. Known as Food Hallen, the sprawling food court features 47 unique stalls where you can dig into everything from freshly cut sashimi and decadent steak sandwiches to delicate petit fours and smoky BBQ.


7. See Tulips in Keukenhof Gardens

What to do in Amsterdam in April: Keukenhof Gardens

April is undoubtedly the best time to visit Amsterdam for tulips – the city’s streets are lined with gorgeous flower beds of every color. While you can see these beautiful flowers all over Amsterdam, Keukenhof Gardens puts on a display unlike anywhere else.

One of the largest flower gardens in the world, Keukenhof Gardens boasts millions of colorful tulips, which are laid out in all kinds of grandiose displays. There’s so much beauty around you that you won’t know where to look first!

If you’re visiting Amsterdam at the start of April and you’re worried about being too early for tulips, head straight to the greenhouses at Keukenhof Gardens. This is where you’ll find tulips growing and blooming as early as March.


8. Unleash Your Inner Gamer at Blast Galaxy

Amsterdam in April Things to do: Blast Galaxy

The evenings can get pretty chilly at this time of year. If you’re stuck for what to do in Amsterdam in April after dark, check out Blast Galaxy. This cool retro arcade is hidden away in a warehouse in Amsterdam Noord. You’ve got to catch a ferry from behind Centraal Station to get there, but the trip is more than worth it for the chance to play on 100+ unique game consoles.

Here you’ll find everything from old-school classics like Space Invaders arcade machines to more modern, sleek consoles like the Nintendo Switch. After you’ve paid your entrance fee, you can play as many different games as many times as you want for free!  


9. Dine at Vuurtoreneiland

April is a definite contender for the best time to visit Amsterdam due to the gorgeous tulips and exciting festivals. There’s another reason the city seems to come into its own at this time of year – its incredible cuisine. For one of the best gastronomic experiences of your life, make reservations for a meal at Vuurtoreneiland.

This tiny island is home to a 19th-century fort that has been transformed into an intimate dining room where you can savor a 5-course set menu during this month. Every single ingredient served here is fresh, seasonal, local, and of the highest quality. Between courses, wrap up warm and head outside, where you can enjoy the calming silence while cozying up next to a campfire.


10. See Endless Flowers at the Dutch Flower Parade

Best Things to do in Amsterdam in April: Dutch Flower Parade

There’s no argument – the best time to visit Amsterdam for tulips is April. And if you’re planning to be in the city around the 20th, you’re just in time for the spectacular Dutch Flower Parade.

This larger-than-life event is made up of a sensational parade that stretches on for a whopping 42 kilometers (26 miles)! The parade begins in Noordwijk, where hundreds of floats decorated with daffodils and tulips begin their route to Haarlem. The floats are almost too astonishing to be true, with tiny flowers used to create everything from giant dragons to teddy bears and the Easter Bunny.

My favorite spot to watch the Dutch Flower Parade is on Keukenhof Boulevard, just a 5-minute walk from Keukenhof Gardens. The parade usually passes by here around 3-4 pm, and extra entertainment is put on to keep you amused while you wait.

There you have it! The 10 best things to do in Amsterdam in April. What’s your favorite thing to do in Amsterdam at this time of year?


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Author

  • Nicola Quinn

    Nicola is a freelance writer with an insatiable hunger for travel. She swapped her home in the UK for the sunny Canary Islands when she was just 11 and she has been based there ever since.

    From crawling on her hands and knees inside pyramids in Egypt to swimming with baby sharks in Bali and searching (fruitlessly!) for the Northern Lights in Iceland, Nicola takes every chance she gets to explore new places.

    The incredible experiences she has around the world fuels her writing and inspires her to plan even more adventures for the future.

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