This post provides a list of several fun activities you can enjoy in Amsterdam throughout the month of May.
We include ideas that are family-friendly, free, and fun after dark, all updated for 2023.
Disclosure: While our recommendations are always unbiased, we may receive a small share of sales through some of the links below at no cost to you. See the full text.
The following list has been crafted to include activities and attractions you might want to visit during the month of May 2022.
You can expect a variety of concerts, sporting events, and more.
If you want to get a head start, don’t forget to check the following posts for some of the best Amsterdam activities for any time of the year:
- Hop on Hop off Boat and Bus
- Canal Cruises
- Red Light District Tours
- Amsterdam Bike Tours
- Amsterdam Discount Passes
For even more ideas, check out our post covering the best things to do in Amsterdam.
1. Go to a Concert
Some of the best musical artists in the world are drawn to Amsterdam, and May is an excellent time to catch great performances.
Here are just a handful of the best concerts taking place this month:
- Masie Peters | May 6th
- Sam Smith | May 9th
- Depeche Mode | May 16th, 18th
- The Offspring | May 20th
- Bruce Springsteen | May 25th, 27th
For even more great musical performances, check this list of concerts in Amsterdam on StubHub to see what’s coming up in May.
2. Attend a Sporting Event
This May will bring multiple games and matches to Amsterdam.
Amsterdam's popular football team, AFC Ajax, has home games at Johan Cruijff Arena on May 6th and May 21st, 2023.
Feyenoord also has home games this month. On May 14th and May 28th, they'll be playing at Stadium Feijenoord in Rotterdam.
Even if you can’t make it to this match, you can always take an ArenA stadium tour. Note that this tour is for free in some tourist passes!
For more games to attend, check this list of sporting events in Amsterdam.
3. Celebrate Liberation Day
May 5th is the day that the Netherlands was liberated from the capitulation of Nazi Germany, and the entire country commemorates this event every year with a variety of activities.
A unique event takes place called Open Jewish Homes which allows visitors to see the homes of former Jewish residents and resistance fighters.
There is also a free concert which includes musical performances, theater, and poetry.
Keep in mind that Liberation Day is a national holiday, so you can expect banks, post offices, and many businesses to be closed.
For more information, visit the National Comite website.
4. Take an Amsterdam Food Tour
There are a lot of great places to eat in this city, but you might have some trouble finding the best restaurants without a guide to show you around.
Thankfully, Secret Food Tours offers an outing that includes several different samples of great local dishes you can find in Amsterdam, including cod and herring, winter stew, and French-influenced pastries.
This outing lasts for 3 - 3 ½ hours and it covers at least 5-6 stops, giving you several opportunities to get a taste for the best meals in this city.
Purchase Amsterdam Secret Food Tour tickets or learn more.
5. Visit the Keukenhof Gardens
May will be your last chance to see this attraction, and if you’re a fan of floral displays, this is one location you definitely must see during the spring!
The Keukenhof Gardens house 32 hectares of flowers, all of them carefully placed in beautiful patterns throughout the park.
Aside from wandering around the gardens at your own pace, you can also take what is called a whisper boat.
These vessels transport visitors around the gardens quietly, allowing them to enjoy a peaceful experience.
Admission to Keukenhof Gardens is included for free with some tourist passes, allowing you to save money on tickets.
The Tulip Festival Pass actually focuses specifically on this attraction. It includes admission to the gardens, a transfer from Amsterdam, and a digital guide to the area.
TIP: If you're looking for similar activities, you might want to consider visiting the Amsterdam Tulip Museum. You can learn more about this and other gardens on our post covering 60+ Museums in Amsterdam.
6. Save Money With a Tourist Pass
No matter what you’re planning to do during your trip to Amsterdam, chances are you’ll be able to save a few euros by using a tourist pass.
These services provide discounts of up to 50% or more on a variety of popular attractions, tours, and activities throughout the city, including some on this list!
There are multiple passes to choose from which include several fun things to do including the following examples:
- Hop on Hop off Bus Tours
- Hop on Hop off Canal Cruises
- The Heineken Experience
- Rembrandt House Museum
- Ripley’s Believe it or Not!
- The Amsterdam Dungeon
- Van Gogh Museum
- Stedelijk Museum
- Madame Tussauds
- Body Worlds
- And more!
For additional information on how to use these services and which one will save you the most money, please read our post covering Amsterdam tourist passes.
7. Go on a Canal Cruise
The many historic canals of Amsterdam make it an excellent place for a cruise.
There’s no better way to see the city than by hopping on a boat and traveling around the waterways.
Better yet, since so many people use boats to get around the city, there are several different types of cruises you can choose from, including the following options:
Some cruises are included either with discount passes or combo packages, allowing you to save some money on tickets.
8. Visit the Anne Frank House
Although the story of Anne Frank is a sad one, her indomitable spirit continues to inspire millions all around the world.
If you’ve ever wanted to see the house where she once lived, there are tours you can take that feature several interesting artifacts including some of her other written work.
Admission to the Anne Frank House is included with some discount passes, so you don’t even have to pay full price to get in!
For more details, please read our post about the Anne Frank House.
9. Spend a Night at the Opera
The Dutch National Opera & Ballet will be performing two beloved operas this May, giving you plenty of opportunities to spend a night out at the theatre.
From May 11th-16th they will be performing Dorian, a take on the Picture of Dorian Gray that uses ballet and hip hop.
From April 13th - May 2nd a production of Richard Strauss' Der Rosenkavalier will take place along with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra.
Tickets are already beginning to sell out, so you may want to pick yours up before too long!
10. Discover the Best Beers in Amsterdam
Heineken beer is brewed in the Netherlands and one of the most popular tourist attractions in Amsterdam is the tour known as the Heineken Experience which is included with some tourist passes.
If you’re looking to learn even more about the various brews in this part of the world, consider taking a 3-Hour Beer Tasting tour instead.
Whether you want to learn about your favorite beer or just discover the best craft brews in the city, there’s plenty to do – and drink – in Amsterdam!
Honorable Mention: Eat at Rolling Kitchens
The Rolling Kitchens food festival brings loads of food trucks to Westergas creating an open-air restaurant.
There are all sorts of dishes from around the world for tasting.
In fact, they have "100 cuisines, fine wines, special beers" and live music.
The event takes place Wednesday, May 17 through Sunday, May 21st.
The event is free to enter, although there is a cost (listed as "affordable") for items once you are in.
Temporarily Paused: See a Free Concert
The Dutch National Opera & Ballet has weekly free lunchtime concerts on Tuesdays from 12:30 pm - 1:00 pm.
The Opera & Ballet theater is right next to the water, and in May, it is a nice spot to sit and have a picnic lunch.
Although this event may return in May 2023, it is currently not being held as of February 2023.
For more details or to see the full program, please check this list of free Lunch Concerts from the Dutch National Opera & Ballet.