Important Dates to Know when Visiting the Netherlands in 2021 (including School Holidays)

In this post, you'll find a current list of popular events, important dates, and school holidays in Holland to help you plan your trip more effectively.

You might want to travel to Holland precisely because of the events below, but if you don't, it's good to know about them too. That way you can adjust your travel plans and you might want to plan around these dates — saving yourself (a lot of) money in the process, since hotel rates rise significantly during these events.

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March 24st - May 15th, 2022: Flower Season

Flower Fields in Swifterband, Holland, away from the crowds.

Flower Fields in Swifterband, Holland, away from the crowds. Photo: Martijn Baudoin

From late March until early May, it's flower season in Holland. Flower season is one of the most popular times to visit Holland. People want to see the Tulips, and we don't blame them. The flowers are gorgeous. But crowds and prices will also be at their highest. Only the month of August would be more expensive.

The most popular attraction during flower season is the Keukenhof. The park opens again in 2022 from March 24th until May 15th to be exact.

Do note that a large part of the exhibition at the Keukenhof is indoors. If you want to enjoy the flowers outside, in the fields, come mid-April. This will ensure you will see the most flowers possible in bloom.

Ps for a great deal on transportation and a skip-the-line ticket or the Keukenhof, click here.

April 27th, 2022: King's Day

People celebrating Kingsday in Amsterdam on April 27th. The country turns orange this day, as it does with every National celebration.

People celebrating Kingsday in Amsterdam on April 27th. The country turns orange this day, as it does with every National celebration Photo: Shoulderbeach CC BY-SA 4.0

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 — the Dutch really love their Royals. It's fantastic to experience once, if you can. It wil give you a great understanding of the Dutch word: "Gezelligheid."

The night before (King's Night) means traditionally a lot of 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 they probably had too much to drink anyway to drive home.

Don't expect to do a lot of sightseeing this day. The crowds will be too large for that. Public transport is minimal. Just come to the party, take in the atmosphere and stroll around. Or schedule a more quiet date to visit Amsterdam instead.

The King also always visit a town in The Netherlands with his family on his birthday. It's a true Dutch experience, that is also televised. The destination for 2022 is not yet know, but once it is, we'll publish it here. It's a great Dutch experience to be part of when you can. Since The Netherlands is small, usually it's easy enough to visit both Amsterdam and the town where the King visits on the same day.

Money tip: the best way not to lose time while finding your hotel is to have an affordable data bundle for Europe on your phone. That way you're able to use Google Maps on the go. Read our post about the best SIM card for Europe here to find the best deals!

September 5th, 2021: Formula 1 race in Zandvoort

Formula 1 Zandvoort Circuit

Formula 1 Zandvoort Circuit. Photo: Aaron Cornelissen

It's been 35 years since we've seen the "Formula 1" race in the Netherlands. As you might expect, racing fans are over the moon for the fact it was finally taking place again at the iconic track of Zandvoort in 2020. The racetrack got a complete makeover to bring it into the 21st century because of this. However then Corona changed all that. The date was moved to May 3, and now to September 5th. It seems with the high vaccination levels in The Netherlands the event is now finally taking place. Festivities start from September 3.

It is important to note that the beach town of Zandvoort comes with some challenges. To access the area, you have to pass through a nature reserve. There is just one road in and out, and single train tracks. Traffic will be horrible. Hotels are also limited here! Capacity is very limited. Book well in advance if you want to stay in Zandvoort.  Haarlem or Amsterdam also also good alternative cities to stay for quick access to the circuit. Just click the city names for hotel suggestions.

TIP: if traffic is a nightmare into Zandvoort consider renting a bike in Haarlem and cycle. It's not that far, you cycle through a nature reserve, and you'll beat all traffic.

May 4th - May 5th, 2022: Remembrance Day and Liberation Day

Liberation in Breda.

Liberation in Breda. Photo: Imperial War Museums

2020 was the year Holland celebrated 75 years since liberation from the Germans in World War II.  Special events and festivities where planned in the country but of course Corona. They still did amazing with televised events, but it was such a bummer because 75 years was a special date. We expect many in person events still to take place in 2022.

Every year many people will come, especially from allied countries, like Canada, the US, the UK, and others to attend. Also, many school classes from around the world will flock to the country as part of their History classes. We know for example s travel blogger, who is also a teacher, that comes over with her class for the events from Canada.

Expect accommodations across the board to skyrocket in price, or simply be full. You might want to look at alternative cities near Amsterdam for a place to stay. Good options are Hilversum, Amersfoort, and Utrecht.  Just click the city names for hotel suggestions.

July 31th, 2020 – August 8th, 2021: Amsterdam Gay Pride

Boats on the canals during the Canal Parade in Amsterdam

Boats on the canals during the Canal Parade in Amsterdam. Photo: PersianDutchNetwork CC BY-SA 3.0

One of the biggest celebrations in Amsterdam is the yearly Canal Parade. When over 80 extravagantly decorated boats take to the Amsterdam Canals, it's fantastic to witness. The atmosphere is a lot of fun whether your straight or gay (or however you see yourself). It's a celebration for everybody.

In 2021, the Canal Parade is cancelled due to Covid. Hopefully in 2022, things can return to normal.

The Canal Parade is the main event, but there are festivities around the city for the entire week, starting July 31th 2021.

School Holidays in Holland in 2022

Calendar view image.

School Holidays in Holland. Image: 200 degrees

It's important to know when School Holidays are taking place because that means high season. Prices will be at their peak. And especially attractions will be crowded. 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 day trips, apart from their proper vacations. Meaning most tourist attractions in the country will be extra busy.

Spring Holiday: February 15th - March 28th, 2021 (week 7 and 8)

May Holiday: May 3rd - May 10th, 2021 - Officially week 18 only. However, many schools also close for a second week. Either before or after the official week.

Summer Holiday: July 12th - September 5th, 2021 (week 28-35)

Autumn Holiday: October 11th - October 24th, 2021 (week 41 and 42)

Christmas Holiday: December 20th, 2021 - January 3rd 2022 (week 51 and 52)

You might have noticed that these dates are quite extended. It's not that kids have all this time off. It's because the country is split up in three zones (North, Middle, South) to alleviate the worst congestion during these school holidays.

Holland might be a small country, but with 17 million people, it's quite dense. If everybody would be off at the same time, roads and airports would be completely jammed.

The month of August

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

It's (by far) the busiest month for Amsterdam and other tourist areas in Holland. Busier than flower season. Schools have their summer holiday (not just in Holland, but all over Europe (and most likely everywhere in the world), making it busy by itself.

But there is something else: All businesses in France and Italy close at the same time, every August. It means the city gets swamped with tourists from these countries on top of the already busy tourist season.

Expect almost criminal prices for accommodations in Amsterdam and high airfare to and from the country. Tourist attractions and museums will often reach their capacity and will refuse entry. And just expect extremely crowded streets everywhere. If you can, it's best to plan around it. Or plan on doing things off-the beaten track. For which of course this website is an excellent resource.

Did this post help you?

We hope this post helped you making smarter travel decisions about when you should (or shouldn't) come to Amsterdam and the rest of Holland. And when you do come, we hope our alternative hotel tips help to make your trip a bit more affordable during these busy times.

Join the conversation below if this information has helped you in any way. Also, let us know when you're (planning on) coming to Holland and why! We'd love to know.

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