Amsterdam Canal Festival

One of Amsterdam’s most popular outdoor festivals is the Grachtenfestival, or Canal Festival, and it happens every August. If you’re looking for things to do in the Netherlands in August, this is one activity that you’ll definitely want to set aside time for. 

True to its name, the Canal Festival is largely held on, and around, Amsterdam’s many canals. Amsterdam’s historic canal belt was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2010 and is the perfect setting for this ten-day cultural festival that includes classical music at stunning locations across the city. 

Visitors and tourists alike can enjoy the classical music concerts played on stages or even in the canals themselves, incorporating the water and historical architecture which makes for a beautiful summer scene. The audience can listen from the canals or from inside of their own boats! This festival draws in thousands of people from across the world who come to enjoy the classical and contemporary music.

In addition to concerts being held on canals, you’ll also find them held at museums, theatres, open spaces, private residences, in subway stations and even in hotel suites. The best part about Canal Festival is that the concerts are extremely inexpensive or often free.

Grachtenfestival Amsterdam includes a wide variety of musical instruments and styles of playing. You’ll find world-renowned musicians playing together in new combinations which is always inspired by the festival’s annual theme. The festival also feature a lot of young talent and their goal is to allow music-lovers to follow the development of the young talent throughout the years.

One of the most famous concerts and the main event of the Canal Festival is the Prinsengracht Concert. This concert occurs on a pontoon on a canal by the Pulitzer Hotel and always draws the biggest crowds, thanks to its big name headliners. This concert is free, making it a perfect activity that anyone can enjoy! You’ll find the audience lined up along the canals or listening from their own boats on the canal.

If you’re looking for things to do in the Netherlands in August, we suggest checking the Grachtenfestival website to see where each concert is being held and at what time. 

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