What's On in Amsterdam in July

Blue skies above Amsterdam's canals
Blue skies above Amsterdam's canals | © kirkandmimi / pixabay
As summertime reaches it peak in the Netherlands, Amsterdam’s cultural calendar shifts heavily towards outdoor events. However, there’s still plenty going on indoors in Amsterdam, including an annual stand-up comedy festival and the summer edition of Mercedes-Benz FashionWeek.


The river Amstel © MabelAmber / pixabay

Keti Koti

📅 Sunday July 1st

On July 1st, 1863 slavery was officially abolished in Suriname and the Dutch Antilles. This date is often referred to as Keti Koti in the Netherlands, which means ‘the chain is broken’ in Suriname’s Lingua Franca Sranan Tongo. Every year people in the Netherlands and former Dutch colonies celebrate this important date by holding festivities like parties and gatherings. In Amsterdam, the largest Keti Koti celebrations take place in Oosterpark and always involve live concerts, food and dancing.

Amsterdamse Triathlons

📅 Sunday July 8th

Amstedamse Triathlons organises several high-endurance, athletic competitions in Amsterdam throughout the year, including a full triathlon that starts with a swimming race in the river Amstel. Anyone can sign up for the competition and many participants join the race in order to raise money for charity.


Exterior view of the Westergasfabriek © Ivo Antonie de Rooij / Shutterstock

Comedy Train International Summer Festival

📅 Wednesday July 4th to Saturday August 4th

Over five weeks in summer, Amsterdam’s Toomler comedy club hosts an extensive stand-up festival where two comedians perform back-to-back for four nights straight, before letting another duo take over. As the festival works with international comedians, every show it organises is given in English, making it perfect for any comedy fans in Amsterdam that aren’t familiar with Dutch.

Mercedes-Benz FashionWeek

📅 Wednesday July 11th to Saturday July 14th

Every six months Amsterdam’s Westergasfabriek hosts the Dutch edition of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. Many prominent and up-and-coming designers from the Benelux region present their creations at this event and curate catwalks shows in order to present their Autumn-Winter collections. Other industry events take place alongside Fashion Week’s main program, including workshops, talks and lectures.

Urban Sports Week Amsterdam

📅 Friday July 13th to Sunday July 15th

During Urban Sports Week, spots around Amsterdam that are associated with the city’s urban sports scene host indoor and outdoor competitions ranging from break dancing championships to freestyle BMX contests. The city’s largest conference centre, Amsterdam RAI, will host the majority of these tournaments and serve as the main location for Urban Sports Week 2018.


Street art in NDSM-Wharf © epicantus / Pixabay

Over het IJ Festival

📅 Friday July 13th to Sunday July 22nd

For 10 days in July, Amsterdam’s northern, formerly industrial cultural hub NDSM-Wharf hosts an outdoor arts festival that involves food, theatre and site-specific performances. The festival’s program covers many different genres, mediums and styles and always includes one-of-a-kind pieces that are tailored around the area’s industrial architecture.


A butterfly in de Hortus © mirabelka szuszu / flickr

HORTUS Festival

📅 Wednesday July 25th to Monday August 27th

From mid-July to the end of August, botanical gardens around the Netherlands host special outdoor concerts where classical musicians perform in stunning locales surrounded by plants, trees and flowers. In Amsterdam, these concerts are held in Hortus Botanicus – a charming botanical garden, located near ARTIS Zoo that dates back to the 17th century.

Milkshake Festival

📅 Saturday July 28th to Sunday July 29th

This annual, music festival celebrates diversity, inclusivity and freedom by organising blowout concerts and parties in Amsterdam’s Westerpark. Several local and international clubs contribute towards Milkshake’s programming and organise live shows at stages around the festival, creating an extensive line-up that covers many different styles of dance music.


📅 Saturday July 28th to Sunday August 5th

Amsterdam’s Pride celebrations kick off in late July and continue into early August, concluding with an enormous boat parade that trails through the city’s historic canal belt. Many other events related to Pride take place in Amsterdam before the mammoth finales, including drag contests, solidarity marches and street parties.

📍 Various locations