Events in Holland

Holland is famed for its flowers, clogs and windmills but it has so much more to offer, and what better way to show off your greatest assets than to celebrate them with festivals and events? From fresh produce like cheese and herrings to arts and crafts and music, you can find an event to showcase them all.

And it’s so easy to get there! Just jump onto one of our car ferries from Newcastle to Amsterdam and travel around at your leisure. You can also sail from Dover to Dunkirk or Calais and Holland is an easy drive via Belgium. You’ll also have plenty of space in the car to pack your very best fancy dress costume so you can celebrate like the locals.

Here’s our list of some of the most celebrated and interesting events in the Dutch calendar.

Header image credit: Nico Kempe

King's Day

King’s Day

King’s Day is the annual holiday in honour of the Dutch monarch, King Willem-Alexander. Locals and tourists alike flock to Amsterdam for one giant street party. There’s an all-day carnival and the general population set us stalls selling all sorts of bric-a-brac while bands play on the streets of Rembrandtsplein and Prinsengracht. And the theme for the day is orange. Orange ribbons, orange hair and orange-painted faces are everywhere, as are Dutch flags. Make sure you pack something orange too or you might just end up getting painted yourself!

When the sun goes down the day’s topped off with a huge firework display and you can then party the night away. As well as in Amsterdam, there are celebrations all over Holland, so wherever you are make sure to join in with the festivities.

Image credit: Copyright NBTC

Vlaggetjesdag

Vlaggetjesdag (Flag Day)

If you want a truly traditional Dutch festival celebrating the year’s first herring catch in the port of Scheveningen is one not to be missed. On Flag Day, named after the flags that decorate the fishing boats, the first herring catch is brought to shore and everyone flocks to the harbour to taste the first Hollandse Nieuwe of the season. If you’re not that into fish there are many other activities on offer, including boat tours, live music and traditional handicrafts. And, of course, you can also watch all the happenings from one of Scheveningen’s many terraces, for which it is also famous.

Image credit: Copyright NBTC

National Mill Day

National Mill Day

Holland is famed for its windmills, so National Mill Day, which now lasts a whole weekend, provides a fantastic opportunity to visit some of Holland’s 950 mills, many of which are not usually open to the public. You can explore mills that produced, or still produce flour, paper and cloth and some of them were designed to hammer metal or extract oils. The miller​​s also decorate their mills and put on a range of family activities. It’s a great way of seeing some of Holland’s most famous sites in all their glory.

Image credit: Moyan Brenn​​

Holland festival

Holland Festival

The Holland Festival is the biggest and oldest performing arts festival in Holland. It takes place every summer and showcases a mixture of theatre, music, opera, dance, multimedia, visual arts, film and architecture. The festival has been going since 1947 and each year promises something new. You can find a mixture of classic and contemporary arts all brought together in one place and features established names as well as lots of new talent. The festival takes place all over Amsterdam and can get very busy, so make sure you book early to avoid disappointment.

Image credit: Copyright NBTC

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