Important Dutch Holidays 2024 To Know

Last Updated: November 2, 2023

Gerrit Vandenberg

Gerrit shares his love for the Netherlands from his home near Amsterdam, helping thousands plan unforgettable trips to the lowlands. Discover his inspiring journey "From a critical health scare to celebrating Holland's charms". If you want to send Gerrit a quick message, you can contact him here.

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Hi, I'm Gerrit

I enjoy sharing useful tips about the beauty of this county.

Are you looking for a Dutch Calendar 2024 Holidays and other events to plan your vacation?

Then you’ve found the right article. I’m a Dutch local and private guide, and I curated this Amsterdam Holiday Calendar 2024 so you can plan precisely the way you want to.

With this handy “Dutch Holidays 2024” list, you can plan your trip more effectively in 2024. Find quieter times, or plan to include popular events in your trip. You’ll find up-to-date event dates and school holidays in this list.

You might want to travel to Holland precisely because of the events below.

If you don’t, you can adjust your travel plans and plan around these dates โ€” saving yourself (a lot of) money in the process because hotel rates rise significantly during special events and school holidays.

Whether you’re planning to visit during flower season or the canal parade or looking for quieter times instead, this post is written for you.

Kings day is the best known Dutch holiday. Here people dressed up in orange.
People dressed up in Orange Kings Day – Photo: Ruben May

Dutch Holidays 2024 ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿซ

Important Dutch holidays 2023. When schools are closed.
School Holidays in Holland.

School holidays in The Netherlands mean the high season has arrived, more expensive flights, accommodations, and busier attractions. And not just the summer holiday. All holidays stand for increased prices, even in Autumn.

Because the Dutch have more holiday leave than most countries in the world (up to 8 weeks per year), they will take a lot of short trips apart from their proper vacations. This means most tourist attractions in the country will be super busy.

Spring Holiday in Holland 2024:  February 10 – February 25, 2024

May Holiday: April 27 – May 5, 2024 – One week only. However, many schools also close for a second week. Either before or after the official week.

Netherlands Summer Holiday 2024: July 6 – September 1, 2024

Autumn Holiday Netherlands 2024: October 19 – November 3, 2024

Christmas Holiday 2024: December 21, 2024 – January 5, 2025

You might have noticed that these dates are extended during the Spring, Summer, and Autumn holidays. It’s not that kids have all this time off.

The country is split into three zones (North, Middle, and South) to alleviate the worst congestion during these school holidays.

Holland might be a small country, but with 18 million people, it’s pretty dense. If everybody were off simultaneously, roads and airports would be completely jammed.

Expect busy tourist destinations and hotels during the entire period mentioned above.

Flower Season: March 21 – May 12, 2024 ๐ŸŒท

Gorgeous red tulips during flower season in the Netherlands.
Red tulips in the “Noordoostpolder” during flower season – Photo: Andres Bartelsman

From late March to early May, flower season in Holland is a favorite time for many visitors. Who wouldn’t want to see these gorgeous tulips in full bloom?

With so many people visiting to experience the beauty, expect crowds and prices to peak during this time. Maybe only August can be more expensive.

The main attraction during flower season is, of course, the Keukenhof. In 2024, the park will be open from March 21st to May 12th, so mark your calendars!

Remember that a significant portion of Keukenhof’s exhibition is indoors to prolong the flowers’ lifespan. If you visit early or late in the season, most flowers in bloom will likely be inside.

To see the most tulips in bloom outside, plan your trip for the golden three weeks between mid-April and the beginning of May.

I recommend booking your transportation and entrance via this combination deal. You get a great deal and the most flexibility, including a skip-the-line entrance ticket. Buses leave from Central Station.

If you want to go off-the-beaten-track, which I highly recommend, one of the best places to see the production flower fields is in the “Noord-Oost polder,” about 50 miles/80 kilometers north of Amsterdam.

If this sounds like something you want to experience, renting a car or booking a private tour is best.

Holland King’s Day: April 27, 2024 ๐Ÿ‘‘

Kings Day celebrations in Utrecht.
Kings Day celebrations in Utrecht – Photo: Ruben May

King’s Day is a huge celebration throughout the country. The country will turn orange from North to South.

Expect festivities in every city, town, and village โ€” as times change, the Dutch also become more critical of the royals, but not on April 27th.

It’s a celebration for the people and they answer the call, coming out in orange from every corner. It’s a fantastic experience to be a part of if you can.

If you book your visit for the final week of April, you can include the best chance to see the Tulips in bloom and experience King’s Day.

Being part of King’s Day will also guarantee an understanding of the exact meaning of the Dutch word: “Gezellig.”

The night before (King’s Night) traditionally means much partying deep into the night. Because of this, not only many tourists come to Amsterdam.

Also, Dutch visitors from other parts of the country will look for a hotel in Amsterdam simply because there is no transit home anymore. And most likely, they had too much to drink to drive home.

Make sure to book your hotel early in advance. And don’t expect to do a lot of sightseeing this day either. The crowds will be too large for that.

Public transport is minimal. Come to the party, take in the atmosphere, and stroll around.

Or schedule a quieter date to visit Amsterdam instead if you’re not into big parties and avoid April 26 and 27.

Another big part of King’s Day is that the King always visits a city in The Netherlands with his family on his birthday.

It’s an authentic Dutch experience that is also televised. The destination for 2023 was Rotterdam; the city for 2024 is not yet known.

Formula 1 race in Zandvoort: August 25, 2024 ๐ŸŽ๏ธ

Formula 1 Zandvoort Circuit.
Formula 1 Zandvoort Circuit – Photo: Aaron Cornelissen

It has been 35 years since we saw the “Formula 1” race in The Netherlands, until 2021 a dream for many Formula 1 fans came true.

The race came to the Netherlands once again. There was a slight delay due to the pandemic, but the enthusiasm was the same when it finally happened.

The racetrack got a complete makeover to bring it into the 21st century.

But there are still challenges. To access the area, you have to pass through a nature reserve. One road (single lane in each direction) and a single train track leading in and out of Zandvoort.

Hotels are limited. The organization tried to solve this with pop-up campgrounds. But charges were astronomical, and the atmosphere was not always the best.

When the race returns in 2024, preparing yourself is crucial. Book well in advance if you want to stay in Zandvoort. Or opt for accommodation nearby, like in Haarlem or Amsterdam, and travel by train (use the early morning service to avoid most crowds.

Off-the-beaten-track tip: if traffic is a nightmare in Zandvoort (even the trains), consider renting a bike from Haarlem and cycling the final leg. It’s not that far. You cycle through a beautiful nature reserve, and you’ll beat all traffic.

Haarlem is also a beautiful city, with lots of accommodation options minutes from both Amsterdam and Zandvoort.

Remembrance Day and Liberation Day: May 4 – May 5, 2024 ๐ŸŽ—๏ธ

Royal family arriving to lay wrath at remembrance of the death.
Remembrance of the dead on May 4th on Dam Square – Photo: ยฉ Henk Oostveen

2020 was the year the Netherlands celebrated 75 years since its liberation from the Germans in World War II.

The war becomes more and more distant in our memories. That is why today we are not just remembering the war then, but also the wars since.

Freedom is not a given. If the current times tell us anything, it’s that.

That is why we remember the fallen every year on May 4th.

At 8 p.m. precisely, we’ll observe two minutes of silence. When you’re visiting on May 4th, please be mindful of this.

Even planes are stopped at Schiphol Airport, and cars stop at the side of the road. Flags will be raised just half pole.

There are Remembrance events all over the country. The two major ones are the National Remembrance at Dam Square and the one on the Waalsdorpervlakte.

The remembrance at the Dam is the event the King and his wife attend. You, as a visitor, can also be there, free of charge. This event is broadcast by the national television station NPO1.

I highly recommend attending the remembrance at Dam Square. It’s free. Be early if you want to see something. Also, account for security. Don’t arrive with bags or suitcases to avoid problems.

The next day, we celebrate our freedom. Flags are fully raised, and there will be free festivals across the country. Performing artists travel by helicopter throughout the day to attend the major ones.

If you love parties, the day will be too short for you. There are so many fantastic events to attend. Amsterdam and The Hague traditionally have the most prominent events. But all of the 12 provinces organize their own.

If partying is not your thing, I have another tip for you. Attend the liberation concert on the Amstel River across the theater Carrรฉ. The royal family will attend, too.

Getting a view will be tricky, though. It would be best if you were SUPER early. The show starts at 9 pm.

Rehearsals start at noon. Although the atmosphere will be unique when darkness falls, it might be best to see part of the rehearsals in person and watch the actual show on TV in your accommodation. NPO1 airs the concert live.

It’s good to know this is not only a local event. Every year, many people will visit from around the globe. Especially from allied countries like Canada, the US, and the UK. For a long time, veterans from WWII and their families, now mostly their families.

Because of this, accommodations across the board will skyrocket in price or be fully booked. You might want to look at alternative cities near Amsterdam for a place to stay. Good options are Hilversum, Amersfoort, and Utrecht.

Amsterdam Gay Pride: July 27, 2024 โ€“ August 4, 2024 ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ

Gay Pride celebrations in Amsterdam on the Prinsen canal with the Westerkerk in view.
Gay Pride celebrations in Amsterdam – Photo: Amir Deljouyi

One of the biggest celebrations in Amsterdam is the yearly Canal Parade. When over 80 extravagantly decorated boats take to the Amsterdam canals, all your senses will be overstimulated. It’s fantastic to witness.

The atmosphere is fun whether you’re straight or gay (or however you see yourself). It’s a celebration for everybody. Pride here is more about “Gezellig,” being together, and not so much about the extremes you might see in other cities worldwide.

For 2024, the Canal Parade is scheduled for Saturday, August 3rd. The Canal Parade is the highlight of the week, but there are festivities around the city for the entire week, starting July 27th.

However, most people will come to the city for the canal parade. Expect large crowds that day, many rainbows, and expensive hotels.

The month of August โ˜€๏ธ

Busy Damrak in Amsterdam in the summertime.
Busy Damrak in Amsterdam during the summer – Photo: Dim Hou

Unless you come for the Canal Parade (which I recommend), avoid the month of August when possible!

August is the busiest month for Amsterdam and other tourist areas in Holland. It’s busier than flower season.

Schools have their summer holiday (not just in Holland, but all over Europe and most likely everywhere), making it busy.

Then you have the Southern Europe phenomenon: businesses in France, Spain, and Italy close simultaneously every August.

It means they also all travel at the same time. And many decide a city trip to Amsterdam sounds excellent. The city will get swamped with tourists from these countries during the busy tourist season.

Expect almost criminal prices for accommodations in Amsterdam and high airfare to and from Amsterdam.

Tourist attractions and museums will often reach their capacity and will refuse entry. And expect crowded streets everywhere. If you can, it’s best to plan around it.

Or plan on doing off-the-beaten-track activities. This is a great time to explore the countryside, go on a nature adventure or visit lesser-known towns like Deventer or Den Bosch.

If in Amsterdam, it’s a great idea to explore neighborhoods outside the city center like Oost, Noord, and De Pijp.

Sinterklaas: December 5th, 2024

Sinterklaas is a children’s holiday beloved around the country. There has been recent controversy because of Zwarte Piet (the Black Pete discussion).

In my mind, Black Pete is a highly respected figure and just fun, but I also see why people are against it, and I think for the right reasons.

I have no problem with this figure changing from its stereotyped look to a multi-colored figure with his face painted in every color of the rainbow.

Kids don’t mind, and after all, something many adults seem to forget: it’s a children’s holiday.

Sinterklaas has been celebrated since before the Middle Ages. And the feast has pivoted multiple times.

You can see beautiful paintings in the Rijksmuseum from the 17th century when families celebrated this feast.

Now, don’t confuse Sinterklaas with Santa Claus. These are two different men and two distinctly different holidays. Kids in Holland celebrate twice in December.

Sinterklaas will arrive by steamboat, usually about three weeks before December 5th. In 2023, he will come to Gorinchem on 18 November 2023. For 2024, the date is not official, but most likely the 16th of November. The city is not yet known.

Christmas: December 25 and 26, 2024

Christmas is celebrated in most Christian countries around the world. Most churches have extra services on Christmas Eve and the morning of Christmas Day.

Like many other European countries, the Netherlands has two Christmas days. We call them 1st Christmas and 2nd Christmas Day. It’s perfect because there is never a fight where you go to your parents or the in-laws. There is a day for each. And for peace, you mix the day every other year.

New Year’s Eve: December 31, 2024

New Year is celebrated in a typical Dutch way, unique to this country.

Sure, we wait until midnight, celebrate with fireworks, and wish each other Happy New Year too, but we also have our traditions.

Private members of the public can buy fireworks and light them at midnight. It results in an ear-leaving display of glitter in the skies and enormously loud bangs.

More people are against this because it’s dangerous, but so far, it’s still legal. Only some cities have restricted it, like Amsterdam and Rotterdam.

They have firework displays organized by the city instead in Rotterdam from the Erasmus Bridge and in Amsterdam from the ADAM lookout tower.

Then, we also have the tradition of Oliebollen, a wonderfully tasty doughnut ball with or without raisins. They need to be fresh and warm and covered in powdered sugar. And on New Year’s Eve, you eat many of them. I mean many.

Every Coffee โ˜•๏ธ Counts!

Do you appreciate this article? Consider sending me a coffee โ˜•๏ธ to support this website’s upkeep. Every contribution matters and is deeply appreciated. Thank you for your generosity!

Would Like My Personal Help?

Planning a trip well is a lot of work and (or) can feel overwhelming.

Know I’m here to help with your Netherlands vacation.

When you book an Itinerary Consultation with me, I help you improve your itinerary and make your trip planning much faster and less stressful. I also enrich it with my unique insights and tipsโ€”local tips.

Unlike a blog article, with a one-on-one session, I can focus on you and your trip alone.

When you book an itinerary consultation with me, I’ll take a look at your current itinerary/ideas. Then we meet on a (video)call, and we’ll brainstorm together. You’ll get the recordings of this call if you’d like. After the call I’ll send you a summary.

30 minutes is a good amount of time for short trips up to 3 days, 60 minutes is usually needed for longer trips.

Will travel during school holidays? Or around them?

Iโ€™d love your thoughts: Are Your Travel Dates Influenced By Special Dates?

Let’s start a conversation ๐Ÿ’ฌ.

Save the article (#20) (#31)

WANT TO SAVE THIS ARTICLE?

Enter your email below & I'll send it straight to your inbox!

And each week, I'll send you new tips to plan your Netherlands vacation. If you decide it's not for you (any longer), unsubscribing is always just a click away.

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Every Coffee โ˜•๏ธ Counts!

Do you appreciate this article? Consider sending me a coffee โ˜•๏ธ to support this website's upkeep. Every contribution matters and is deeply appreciated. Thank you for your generosity!

Would Like My Personal Help?

Planning a trip well is a lot of work and (or) can feel overwhelming.

Know I'm here to help with your Netherlands vacation.

When you book an Itinerary Consultation with me, I help you improve your itinerary and make your trip planning much faster and less stressful. I also enrich it with my unique insights and tipsโ€”local tips.

Unlike a blog article, with a one-on-one session, I can focus on you and your trip alone.

When you book an itinerary consultation with me, I'll take a look at your current itinerary/ideas. Then we meet on a (video)call, and we'll brainstorm together. You'll get the recordings of this call if you'd like. After the call I'll send you a summary.

30 minutes is a good amount of time for short trips up to 3 days, 60 minutes is usually needed for longer trips.

Will travel during school holidays? Or around them?

Iโ€™d love your thoughts: Are Your Travel Dates Influenced By Special Dates?

Let's start a conversation ๐Ÿ’ฌ.

Gerrit shares his love for the Netherlands from his home near Amsterdam, helping thousands plan unforgettable trips to the lowlands. Discover his inspiring journey "From a critical health scare to celebrating Holland's charms". If you want to send Gerrit a quick message, you can contact him here.

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