This page was last updated on October 7th, 2022
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 for the remainder of 2022 and 2023.
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 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 23 - May 14, 2023: Flower Season
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 I 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 2023 from March 23th until May 14th to be exact.
Do note that a large part of the exhibition at the Keukenhof is indoors to extent the lifetime of the flowers. Expect most flowers to be only in bloom indoors if you visit early, or late in the season. If you want to enjoy the flowers outside in the fields, plan your visit in the final two weeks of April for the best change to see most flowers in bloom.
I recommend booking your transportation and entrance via this Get Your Guide tour. What's special about them is that you have complete freedom of travel times to and from the park and they offer a great cancellation policy if needed. If you already have your transportation sorted you can also just buy a skip-the-line ticket for the Keukenhof here with the same great cancellation policy.
April 27, 2023: King's Day
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 — as times changes the Dutch also become more critical about 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. So if you book your visit the final week of April, you can both include the best change to see the Tulips in bloom and experience King's day. Being part of King's day will also guarantees you then exactly understands the meaning 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. Make sure to book your hotel early in advance.
Don't expect to do a lot of sightseeing this day either. 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 if you're not into big parties.
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 2023 is not yet announced.
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!
August 27, 2023: Formula 1 race in Zandvoort
It has been 35 years since we've seen the "Formula 1" race in the Netherland, but in 2022 a dream for many Formula 1 fans came true, the race come to the Netherlands once again.
As you might expect, racing fans were over the moon the races once again where held on iconic track of Zandvoort in 2021. The racetrack got a complete makeover to bring it into the 21st century because of this.
It is important to note that the location of 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 (single lane in each direction), and a single train track, so the amount of trains per hour is maximized too. Traffic will be horrible. Hotel capacity in Zandvoor is also limited. Book well in advance if you want to stay in Zandvoort. Haarlem or Amsterdam are 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 beautiful nature reserve, and you'll beat all traffic.
May 4 - May 5, 2023: Remembrance Day and Liberation Day
2020 was the year Holland celebrated 75 years since liberation from the Germans in World War II. But we remember the fallen every year on May 4th (one minute of silence at 8 p.m. across the country, even planes are stopped at Schiphol airport), and we celebrate the liberation of our county with festivals across the country on May 5th. In 2023 for the 78th time, with hopefully many more to follow.
In Amsterdam two events are worth to consider: from 7 p.m. on May 4th you can attend a ceremony on Dam square where the royal family and survivors of war will lay wraths. This is also televised live at NPO 1. It's very special to attend the one minute of silence here too. It's free to attend, but be early for security.
On May 5th you can attend the outdoor liberation concert on the Amstel canal across the theater Carré which is free to attend. The royal family will attend too. If you are very lucky and have Dutch friends you might be able to get an invitation on their boat to watch the concert, but there is also great viewing from the street and the bridges. But this concert is SUPER popular. Be EARLY. If there is no place to attend? You can watch it live on NPO 1, it's worth it.
Every year many people will come, especially from allied countries, like Canada, the US, the UK, and others to attend thus 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 29, 2023 – August 6, 2022: Amsterdam Gay Pride
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.
For 2023, the Canal Parade is scheduled for Saturday August 5th.
The Canal Parade is the main event, but there are festivities around the city for the entire week, starting July 29th.
School Holidays in Holland in 2022 and 2023
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 18 - March 5, 2023
May Holiday: April 29 - May 7, 2023 - Officially one week only. However, many schools also close for a second week. Either before or after the official week.
Summer Holiday: July 8 - September 3, 2023
Autumn Holiday: October 15 - October 30, 2022, (October 14-29 next year)
Christmas Holiday: December 24, 2022 - January 8 2023 (December 23 - January 7 next year)
You might have noticed that these dates are quite extended during the Spring, Summer and Autumn holiday. 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. Expect busy tourist destinations and hotels during the entire periods mentioned above.
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 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. For which of course this website is an excellent resource.
Did this post help you?
I 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, I 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 me know when you're (planning on) coming to Holland and why! I'd love to know.
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