Things to do in June

by Tanja
Louise Bourgeois 'Spider' 1996, Easton Foundation. Photo: Antoine van Kaam © The Easton Foundation/Pictoright, Amsterdam

June is a great month to visit Amsterdam. It is spring so flowers are blossoming and there are many birds. It is not summer holiday yet, so it is not yet as busy as in the summer months, especially in weekdays. The evenings are long so you can enjoy Amsterdam by day for the longest time. Here are some ideas for things to do in June in Amsterdam.

RECOMMENDED READ: Amsterdam Events Calendar 2020

1. Things to do in June: amazing sculptures of spiders at the gardens of Rijksmuseum

Giant spiders! In June in 2019, the gardens around Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum are housing giant spiders. The massive sculptures are made by Louise Bourgeois, renowned sculptures from France (1911-2010).

The exhibition of twelve sculptures by Bourgeois takes place from may 24 until November 2019. On show are the monumental works Spider (1996), Spider Couple (2003) and Crouching Spider (2003). The high-gloss aluminium sculptures of Untitled (2004), hang from the branches of the great wing nut tree at the Rijksmuseum garden. They refer to her father’s habit of storing chairs by hanging them on roof beams in the attic of their home.

The exhibitions is free to visit at Rijksmuseum.

2. Tour the Dutch countryside from Amsterdam by bike

Amsterdam is a small city and the Dutch countryside is never far away. The easiest way to explore the green side of Amsterdam is to take the ferry to Amsterdam Noord.

What’s up with Amsterdam has made a special bike tour where you can bike on your own: the IJ-lake Bike tour.

If you don’t feel comfortable on your own, you can take a guided tour. The Countryside Bike Tour is a tour from Yellow Bike. It starts at 10.30 in the morning and takes 4 hours, including a lunch break. It’s 25 to 30 kilometers. It sounds long, but the time will pass quickly and it’s really beautiful!

The Back Country Bike Tour takes 3 to 3,5 hours. Both tours take you via the charming Nieuwendammerdijk, a small dike along the IJ water, past the lovely village of Durgerdam to Waterland, right through the green grass of the Dutch ‘polder’ landscape.


bike ride Amsterdam north
Nieuwendammerdijk in Amsterdam Noord is a lovely street.

4. Things to do in June: the Holland Festival

Holland Festival is an international performing arts festival in The Netherlands. The festival features a broad mix of theatre, opera, modern dance and musical performances. Established names, as well as new talent, take various stages in Amsterdam.

The result is a very varied program. For example in Crash Park – la vie d’une île, the French director Philippe Quesne takes his audience along in an airplane and crashes it on a seemingly idyllic island complete with palm trees and an unusual animal population. Quesne is known for his visual and slightly absurdist performances in which he minutely studies humans and their peculiar behavior.

Holland Festival takes place from May 22 until 23 June 2019.

The Head and the Load is a work of William Kentridge about the use of 2 million Africans as carriers during the First World War.

5. Walk along sixty amazing sculptures

ArtZuid only comes every other year to Amsterdam, and it’s happening in June 2019 in Amsterdam. It is an open air display of sculptures and installations by renowned international artists.

You can follow the art route walking from Museumplein square, or bike or take public transport to the South side of the city, an especially well-off, green and spacious area in Amsterdam.

READ MORE: Amsterdam Sculpture Route

Sculpture to be seen at ArtZuid in Amsterdam, June 2019.
Barry Flanagan: Large-Nijinski on Anvil Point.

6. Sail the Amsterdam canals

The evenings are especially long in June in Amsterdam. June 21 is the longest day and it stays light until 23.00 (11 pm!). One of the best things to do in June in Amsterdam is to see the beautiful evenings from the water.

You can take a simple canal cruise or one where you can dine on board: a pizza cruise, a 3-course dinner cruise or a romantic cruise with wine and cheese. Another way is to rent your own boat with a driver.

7. See a film in the open air

Weather is fantastic? Spend those long evenings outdoors and end with a screening of an outdoor film. Pllek is a beautiful location at the hip NDSM to watch the sunset with an amazing view over the IJ water.

From June to September Pllek sets up an outdoor cinema every Tuesday. When the film is canceled due to bad weather, they will let you know on their Facebook page the day before. The Facebook page is also the place to see which films are playing. This year the theme is ‘international city stories’, so maybe your city is featured!

8. Visit a real castle near Amsterdam!

A favorite among children: go see a real castle! I bet you didn’t know there is a medieval castle near Amsterdam. It’s called ‘Muiderslot’. Muiderslot is one of the oldest and best-preserved castles in The Netherlands. It was built in 1285. The castle has a long and turbulent history. Wander around, discover how defenses in medieval times worked and learn about life at a castle. Children can do a special ‘quest’ to discover the castle and the gardens while they complete tasks.

Amsterdam Castle Muiderslot, great idea to do in Amsterdam in June.

It’s a great idea to do in Amsterdam in June because the rest of the children in Holland will not yet be on holiday.

By boat to Amsterdam Castle Muiderslot

Muiderslot can be reached by a fun boat ride. The Amsterdam Tourist Ferry takes visitors from Amsterdam to Muiderstlot castle every day of the week. The boat leaves from the marina of Amsterdam IJburg (Bert Haanstrakade 1051), a 15-minute tram ride from Amsterdam Central Station (tram number 26). You can bring your bicycle for free! I Amsterdam Cardholders get a discount.

Cycling to Amsterdam castle

For the more sporty types: There is a pleasant signposted cycling route from Amsterdam to Muiderslot. You can download the route.

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