This post covers many of the great activities you can do in Amsterdam during September 2023, including several family-friendly, nighttime, and free things to do.
For other ideas, check out our post covering the best things to do in Amsterdam.
Don’t forget that a lot of the best attractions are included at no extra cost with Amsterdam Discount Passes.
We also have a post on the weather in September in Amsterdam.
TOP 10 ACTIVITIES AND ATTRACTIONS IN JULY
The following list provides several fun activities you can enjoy in Amsterdam this June, including concerts, tours, festivities, sporting events, popular summer activities, and more.
1. See a Concert
This September several notable musicians will be performing in Amsterdam.
- New Order | September 23rd
- The Hives | September 25th
- Elvis Costello | September 26th
- The Sisters of Mercy | September 26th, 27th
- 50 Cent | September 28th
- The National | September 29th
- ZeeZout Festival | September 2nd | De Tuinen van West | Mad Miran, Bored Lord, X-Coast and more
2. Take a Canal Cruise
There’s rarely a bad time to take a cruise through the canals of Amsterdam, but the summer is an especially nice time of the year for this activity.
You can choose from several different types of excursions including hop on hop off cruises, dinner cruises, evening cruises, and more.
If you’re interested in exploring the city and seeing it from the water, this is an excellent way to discover Amsterdam.
For more information about all the different options and how to save money on them, please read our post covering the best Amsterdam Canal Cruises.
3. Take a Sightseeing Tour
Here are just a few tours you may want to consider taking this July.
- Amsterdam City Center
- Red Light District
- Alternative Amsterdam
- Amsterdam Food Tours
- Amsterdam Pub Crawls
While a lot of tours will require a ticket, there are some free tours and audio guides you can take which will make it easier to save some money.
We have a list of pay-what-you-like tours here that you can take.
4. Go on a Food Tour
There’s a lot of great food to eat in this city, but if you’re looking for the best dishes, you may want to consider taking an Amsterdam Secret Food Tour.
As you wander around the city and discover some of the best places and meals to eat, your guide will provide information about the history of Dutch food and its place in Amsterdam’s culture.
This tour covers 6 different stops and provides at least 6-7 different samples including Stroopwafels, Dutch cheeses, fresh Herring, and several other Amsterdam staples such as Poffertjes and kibbeling.
In addition to the food, you’ll also have the opportunity to enjoy at least one glass of local beer or Jenever (Dutch Gin).
You can also purchase an upgraded drinks package for even more drink options.
Read more here or purchase tickets for the Amsterdam Secret Food Tour.
5. Save Money With a Tourist Pass
If you’re planning to visit at least 4-5 popular attractions per day while in the city, you could save 50% or more off general admission prices simply by using an Amsterdam discount pass.
Amsterdam tourist attraction discount passes provide access to dozens of activities, museums, tours, historic locations, and more for one flat price.
You'll get skip-the-line privileges at several attractions!
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.
6. Explore the Red Light District
This is one of Amsterdam’s most famous neighborhoods. Despite its name, the Red Light District is more than just a legal sex-worker district.
It also has art museums, a great food scene, and lovely architecture.
Though not for everyone, the Red Light District can be an eye-opening experience.
Learn more about what you can do in the district from our detailed post on Amsterdam’s Red Light District.
7. Enjoy Beer 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.
If you want to try out even more beer, the TAPT Festival Amsterdam West takes place in Rembrandt Park.
Enjoy beer, music, and more from September 14th-16th. Learn more at the TAPT Festival website.
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!
7. Go for a Bike Ride
Amsterdam is incredibly bike-friendly and one can get anywhere in the city by bike. The bike lanes are about as popular as the roads are!
Whether you want an easy means of transportation or want to live like a local, consider renting a bike for at least a day.
For those traveling with children, be sure to rent a bakfiets so they can also come along for the ride. Find out more about renting a bike in Amsterdam.
If you'd like a more comfortable and quick way to travel throughout the city, you can try a hop-on hop-off bus tour.
TIP: If you have bags with you and need to store them for a few hours while you go for a bike ride, see our post on convenient and safe bag storage locations.
8. Attend the KOHA Festival
KOHA (also known as Klassiek Op Het Amstelveld) is an open-air classical music festival.
The festival brings together talented amateur musicians who have auditioned to play for audiences.
There are also children's activities and workshops for all ages.
The festival is free and open to everyone Friday and Saturday, with educational events taking place on Sundays.
For more information, visit the Classical Festival on the Amsteveld website.
9. Free Open Air Theatre at Vondelpark
From May - September, Vondelpark hosts free open-air performances, comedy, dance, and musical concerts.
Shows take place every weekend on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, with the final shows taking place on September 9th.
Shows are typically aimed at a family audience, and some are specifically intended for a youth audience.
Check the Vondelpark Open Air Theater program for shows and schedules.
TIP: most hop-on hop-off bus tours include a stop at Vondelpark, making it easy to get here even if you’re visiting from out of town.
10. Attend Open Monumentendag
European Heritage Days Open Monumentendag (Open Monuments Day) is an annual September event in the Netherlands.
Many historic buildings and monuments open up to the public for free and often have special exhibitions, tours, and musical performances as well.
You can visit churches, museums, historic buildings, and much more, all during the second Saturday and Sunday of the month.
This year that falls on September 9th and 10th. For more information, visit the Open Monumentendag website.
11. Go to Camera Japan
This cultural festival focuses on Japanese film, but also on music, dance, visual arts, fashion, food, architecture, and more.
Activities take place in Rotterdam, less than an hour outside of Amsterdam, from September 21st-24th.
Then it moves to Amsterdam from September 28th - October 1st, taking along a selection of films to be screened.
For more information, visit the Camera Japan website.
12. See Banksy's Work at Moco Museum
The works of Banksy, the street artist and political activist whose identity is yet unknown, will be shown at Moco Museum.
The special exhibition called "Laugh Now" will include such pieces as Girl with Baloon and Flower Thrower.
The works can be visited 9 am - 7 pm Monday-Thursday, and 9 am - 9 pm Friday and Saturday.
Visit the Moco Museum website to purchase tickets and book your timeslot.
13. Attend Amsterdam Fringe
This annual festival brings loads of performers to the city where shows are put on at 30 different locations across Amsterdam.
You'll find comedy, storytelling, dance, music, theatre, and more, all brought to you by innovative artists.
As with other fringe festivals, performers and audience members come from around the world to attend this entertaining 11-day festival.
Shows take place September 7th-17th, and tickets can be purchased on the Amsterdam Fringe Festival website.
14. Enjoy Stand-up Comedy
If you like improvisational comedy, you might enjoy the Boom Chicago Comedy Show.
This English-language show has been performed by such past in-residence comedians as Seth Meyers, Jordan Peele, and Jason Sudeikis.
Alternatively, you can also enjoy some magic at Amsterdam Magic Show: Things That Make You Go Huh.
This outing includes 5-6 magic acts and an optional magical after-party.
15. Go to De Parade
De Parade is an annual outdoor theatre festival that takes place throughout the Netherlands. The festival travels from city to city, and then much like a circus, it sets up tents in a local park.
There you'll find around 80 kinds of performances covering dance, music, dramatic theatre, circus acts, cabaret, and much more.
Artists and audiences interact with each other, making this a rather informal festival, and visitors are welcome to move from venue to venue.
Food and drink are on offer, with attendees socializing and relaxing together in this family-friendly venue.
Events take place from August 18th-September 3rd. For more information, visit the De Parade website.