What better than traveling to a country and celebrating a festival or a parade with the locals? I’m sure you will be treated with thousands of smiles and happy faces from the Dutchies.
I’ve lived in the Netherlands for more than 4 years and I really LOVE the festivals here. Being a traveler and fun seeker, I try not to miss any festivals, carnivals or big events in this pretty country. If you’re planning to move to the Netherlands or wondering what the BEST time to travel to the Netherlands is, keep reading this post!!! You will find a lot of practical information before your trip to the land of tulips, windmills and peaceful landscapes.
Basically the ideal time to visit the Netherlands is from MARCH to SEPTEMBER. To be more detail, I will share with you a list of the highlight events in each month.
Highlight event in March: Carnival
- When: March 3rd to 5th, 2019 –> Check this link to update the date in the next coming years
- Where: South cities of the Netherlands (Eindhoven, Breda, Den Bosch, TilBurg, Maastricht)
- What to expect: colorful street celebrations, parades, wacky costumes and festive music everywhere. After arriving the central station of the city, you can follow the crowd and you will see the parade right away. Make sure to check the parades’ schedules before going there, it often starts from 1pm to 5pm.
Highlight event in April: Keukenhof Tulip Festival
- When: End of March till middle of May, the best month to visit is April
- Where: Stationsweg 166A, 2161 AM Lisse
- What to expect: Keukenhof is the largest flower garden in the world with millions of blooming Dutch tulips and other flowers. The garden is huge so it will take more than 2 hours to walk around and admire the beauty of many different types of flowers.
After visiting Keukenhof garden, you can rent a bicycle to ride to the tulip fields and get the most amazing views.
Address of the tulip fields:
- Loosterweg Zuid 4, 2061 DT, Lisse, the Netherlands (there are so many fields along this street)
- Leeweg 8, 2211 XZ, Noordwijkerhout, the Netherlands (In this garden, you can pick the tulips with the price of €5 for 25 flowers)
Extra tip: There is also a flower parade in this area every year. I always chose the date on which the parade happened to visit the tulip fields because it would be more fun and exciting. Check the info about the Flower Parade here.
Highlight event in April: King Day
- When: April 27th every year
- Where: Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht, Eindhoven
- What to expect: King Day is the birthday of the king in the Netherlands when everyone celebrates in orange costumes. You will see a lot of street parties, flea markets and different activities on this day. Don’t forget to wear orange clothes!;)
Highlight event in May: National Mill Day
- When: May 11th and 12th, 2019. Check this website for the next coming years.
- Where: in different places in the Netherlands, the best in Zaanse Schans or Kinderdijk
- What to expect: On the National Mill Day, most of the windmills in the Netherlands will be open to the public. You can learn more about the functions of windmills, eat pancakes, play children’s games, join mill-themed fairs and parties.
You may need this: How to go to Zaanse Schans (Windmill village)
Highlight event in June: Flag Day Scheveningen (Vlaggetjesdag)
- When: June 15th, 2019. Check this event facebook for the next coming years.
- Where: Dr. Lelykade, The Hague Scheveningen, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
- What to expect: Flag Day is the event that announces the arrival of the Dutch new herring fishes. During this event, you are invited to watch presentations of all sorts of fish, boat trips, participate in tradition Dutch children’s games, sing along with shanty choirs and enjoy the many colorful traditional costumes.
Highlight event in July: Summer Carnival Rotterdam
- When: July 26th and 27th, 2019. Check Rotterdam Tourist Information website for the next coming years.
- Where: Rotterdam, city center
- What to expect: Street party and parade with Caribbean and Latin American theme. Your summer in the Netherland will be much more fun and hotter with Latin music and colorful costumes of the dancers.
Highlight event in August: Amsterdam Gay Pride
- When: from 27 July till 4 August, 2019. Check Amsterdam Gay Pride website for the next coming years.
- Where: Amsterdam city center
- What to expect: The 5-hour Canal Parade with more than 80 colorful boats made Gay Pride Amsterdam the most unique party in Europe this year. While the other parades use trucks, Amsterdam celebrates its freedom and diversity along the canals by the boats.
View full post about Gay Pride Amsterdam here
Highlight event in August: International Fireworks Festival Scheveningen
- When: August 9th and 17th, 2019. Check DenHaag city website for the correct date every year.
- Where: Van der Valk Pier, Scheveningen, Netherlands
- What to expect: spectacular firework shows of different countries on the coast of The Hague. This is an annual event started since the late 1960s and every attracts more than 300.000 visitors around the world. Imagine that you would sit on the beach with your loved ones or your friends and watch the firework together. It’s just really wonderful!
Highlight event in September: World Port Festival Rotterdam (Wereldhavendagen)
- When: September 6,7,8, 2019. Check Rotterdam Tourist Information website for more details.
- Where: Erasmus Bridge, Rotterdam, Netherlands
- What to expect: The World Port Festival gives you insight into the one of Europe’s largest harbors. This annual event offers many activities in and around Rotterdam, such as Royal Dutch Navy helicopter shows, diving demonstrations, special Kids Square. In the evening of World Port Day, you can enjoy music and firework near the Erasmus bridge.
Have you ever joined a festival in the Netherlands? Which is your favorite one? Don’t hesitate to ask me any question about the Dutch events in the comment box below. Cheers!!!!