Are you looking for the best things to do in Amsterdam in April? Then you have come to the right place! As someone who has lived and worked in Amsterdam for several years I can say that April is actually my favorite month to visit Amsterdam because of the amazing seasonal activities on offer? In this guide we round up what to expect of the weather in Amsterdam in April, what to pack and best things to do in Amsterdam in April along with our top tips for the city.
Note: Written by an Amsterdam local
Best Things to do in Amsterdam in April
Amsterdam isn’t a city short on things to do whatever time of year you visit. However I love April because of its special events. In this section we will look at the special things to do in April in Amsterdam as well as things that you should always have on your Amsterdam itinerary no matter the time you visit.
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Kings Day 2024
The main special event in Amsterdam in April is Kings Day or Koningsdag in Dutch and is actually my favorite day in the Dutch calendar.
Kings Day is celebrated every year on the birthday of King Willem-Alexander, 27th April ,(until 2013 it was Queens Day but since Queen Beatric’s abdication, the day has been moved to celebrate King s birthday). The day is a national holiday in the Netherlands and it doesn’t move unless it falls on a Sunday in which case the festivities will be held on the following Monday.
One of the key things about King’s Day is that no licenses are required to trade in the city so across the squares and the parks locals will set up street markets to sell their goods or set up street games to play.
As we are in Amsterdam with our toddler our favourite place to go on Kings Day is Vondel Park where there is a children’s market. Parents and kids will set up stalls selling second hand clothes and unwanted toys as well as some novelty stalls where you can play games like hammer the tomato and egg throw to name a few. However you will find markets in all neighbourhoods and parks
After a stroll through Vondel park we love to head towards the inner canals of Amsterdam. The canals will become filled with boats – some of the boats on the canals on Kings Day are so full they look like they might sink. But they are a real spectacle to watch.
If you want to hire a boat on Kings Day you will need to book your boat well in advance as this is a very popular activity and books up months in advance. Also if you are not used to driving a boat, we don’t recommend getting a self drive boat on Kings Days as the Canals are absolutely rammed. Personally I like to wander around the city on Kings day and save my amsterdam canal cruise for a different day.
Top Local Tip: If you are visiting with children, you may want to plan on going out earlier in the day as it can get quite raucous in the evening.
Also be sure not to forget to pack plenty of bright orange orange clothes. Orange is the color of the Dutch royal family and all the locals will be wearing bright orange from head to toe! But don’t worry if you don’t have any as it is easy to find in the city. We recommend heading to Dutch chain store HEMA as they always have good value orange t shirts on sale at this time of year.
Note: Kings day will be held on Saturday 27th April 2024.
The Bredeweg Festival is held over Kings Day in the WaterGraafsmeer area. The festival is full of live music, street performers, flea markets, a fairground and children’s opera making it one of the best places to celebrate Kings Day with children.
After Kings Day, the main reason to head to Amsterdam in April is to see tulips. Now there are a lot of ways to see tulips in Amsterdam but my favorite place is to see tulips is Keukenhof Garden.
Keukenhof is actually the world’s largest flower garden and is filled with over seven million flower bulbs planted in the park every year. And these aren’t just tulips, you will also see beautiful displays of daffodils, irises, roses but the main attraction is of course the tulips which the Netherlands is most famous for.
As all the flowers at Keukenhof are seasonal spring blooms the gardens have a very limited opening which is traditionally from mid to late March to Mid May every year. In 2024 Keukenhof’s opening season runs from 21ast March until 12th May 2024.
The peak or full bloom can be hard to predict at Keukenhof as it is weather dependent, however generally speaking I think April is the best time to visit Keukenhof and usually has the highest amount of flowers in bloom.
Keukenhof Gardens are a day trip away from Amsterdam but are easy to reach via public transport via train however lots of company’s offer tickets with shuttles to the garden
Top Local’s Tip: The queues to get inside Keukenhof can be HUGE so be sure to buy your tickets in advance. We also recommend getting to the gardens early in the day to try and beat the crowds. It will ensure you get better photographs and allow you to get more up close to the flowers without the crowds.
Another great way to see tulips in Amsterdam is of course to head to the tulips fields. The tulip fields are a day trip away from Amsterdam around Keukenhof Gardens in an area called Bollenstreek.
This is around 40km away from Amsterdam in Lisse. The best way to see the fields is by cycling around them. The fields are beautiful and multicoloured and photos from them are one of my favorite Amsterdam souvenirs to come away with.
Local Advice: Please be aware that these are working fields and these fields are people’s livelihood – do not traipse through the fields for photographs. Stick to the edges of the fields and designated photo areas and not walk through the fields as you will darademage the crops!
Dutch Flower Parade
Another April only event is the Dutch Flower Parade. In 2024 this parade will be held Saturday 20th April 2024 and is the 77th parade.
The parade route is a whooping 42kms / 26 miles and runs from Noordwijk, a seaside Dutch town through the flower fields of Lisse and ends in Haarlem so you have a choice of viewpoints along the way.
Local Tip: I wouldn’t advise trying to visit the tulip fields or Keukenhof on the day of the parade. The Gardens usually sells out and the tulip fields will be excessively busy and some may be unreachable due to the parade route.
If your Amsterdam itinerary doesn’t allow time for day trips, then fear not, you can still see tulips in Amsterdam city limits. Every year in April Amsterdam hosts the tulip festival.
The tulip festival is held at around 85 locations across the city where beautiful tulip displays will be on view and is one of the best free things to do in Amsterdam in April. Some of my favorite locations to visit include Dam Square and the Skinny Bridge which is photographed above.
Local Tip: The venues for the tulip festival do chance slightly year on year so be sure to check the Tulip Festival website for this years
No matter what time of year you are visiting the flower market in Amsterdam is an absolute must. The Bloemenmarkt, is in central Amsterdam and is a great place to buy tulip bulbs to take home (dependent on your import legislations of course).
Local’s perspective: It is quite a touristy place, but all my visitors love to go to buy their souvenirs but shouldn’t be viewed a substitute for Keukenhof and the flower fields.
The Hortus Botanicus is Amsterdan’s royal botanic gardens and is one of my favourite places in Amsterdam especially in April. While not dedicated to tulips you will see plenty of other varieties of flowers blooming including gorgeous wisteria as well as being able to stroll around the beautiful tropical greenhouses.
Amsterdam Bos Cherry Blossoms
If you aren’t flowered out then you there are lot of other horticultural attractions to visit in Amsterdam. One of the free ones is to see the cherry blossoms. Although not as renowned as Japan or DC for their cherry blossoms, Amsterdam does have some great ones.
The best place to see these sakura is the Amsterdamse Bos, (Amsterdam Woods) which is a short cycle outside of the city on the city’s border with Amstelveen.
Local Tip: Be sure to get there early as the cherry blossoms get very busy. There is usually a queue system in operation to get into the cherry blossom area and there are very long lines especially later in the day. And if you can go on a weekday you will find it substantially quieter.
The area can be reached by public transport but it is easiest to visit by bike.
Feeding Baby Goats at Geitenboerderij
And while you area in Amsterdamse Bos we recommend heading to the Geitenboerderij too which is nearby. The Geitenboerderij is basically a goat farm, where you can feed adorable baby goats.
There is also a lovely on-site playground that toddlers and smaller children will love and it is a nice day be sure to indulge in the locally made goat ice cream.
Another April only event in Amsterdam is the famed Museums Week. This event is held across the Netherlands and the national museums become free to enter during the week / weekend. So if you are in Amsterdam on a budget this can be a real cost saving.
Some of the museums in Amsterdam that take part include: the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam Museum, Stedelijk Museum to name just a few.
The museums will usually also host lots of workshops and family friendly events during this week too, so it is worth keeping your eye on the National Museum Week website and the individual museum websites for the program.
Please note: the dates for the 2024 National Museum Week have not yet been released but we will update this post when we have these dates.
Please note: the Anne Frank House is not usually part of the museum week celebrations however we recommend always including this on your Amsterdam itinerary. But be sure to book your tickets in advance to ensure entry.
Celebrating Easter in Amsterdam
In 2024 easter weekend is held over March and April. Easter Sunday is on the 31st March 2024, however Easter Monday will be on April 1st. Usually you will find there are lots of Easter festivities in the city, including on Easter Monday such as Egg Hunts. Check local attraction websites for specific events.
Although from the name you may think this event is held in May, it is actually held in April. This is an annual beer festival and celebrates spring beers aka ‘bocks’ is a must for beer lovers in the city. Entry to the festival is around 10 Euros and then beer inside is usually less than 2 Euros.
If you aren’t traveling to Amsterdam when the Meibockfestival is on don’t worry as there are lots of beer experiences in the city year round including the Heineken Experience and the Genever experience at House of Bols.
FAQs About Visiting Amsterdam in April
What is the weather like in Amsterdam in April?
There are so many amazing things to do in Amsterdam in April but what can you expect from the weather in April?
When we were living in Amsterdam one of the things that surprised me was that April was one of the drier months in the city. However even if you do get showers on your trip as there are lots of great things to do on a rainy day in Amsterdam. And the average temperatures usually hover between highs and lows of 6C / 43F and max 13C / 56F which is very pleasant sight seeing weather.
What to Pack to Visit Amsterdam in April
If you have decided to book your vacation to Amsterdam in April you will want to know what to pack.
Although April is not the rainiest month in the city it is always advisable to travel to Amsterdam with a compact travel umbrella and some waterproof shoes and wear. Also we always recommend having sneakers with you as you will be doing a lot of cycling and walking in Amsterdam so having comfortable walking shoes is a must.
And as I said above, if you are traveling over Kings Day (April 27th) you will want to have some orange clothes with you to fit in with the locals. If you don’t have any orange in your wardrobe then be sure to head to HEMA on arrival to grab a Kings Day outfit. For a full guide on what to wear in Amsterdam in April check out this post.
Is April a good time to go to Amsterdam?
April is my favorite time to visit Amsterdam because of tulip season and King’s day celebrations, my favorite day in the Amsterdam calendar. However the only downside to visiting Amsterdam in April is the cost.
April is definitely the start of high season in the Dutch capital
Have you been to Amsterdam in April? Tell us your favourite thing to do in Amsterdam in the comments below.