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AMSTERDAM CULTURE

The serene tree-lined canal streets of Amsterdam exude a beguiling countryside charm. This seemingly sleepy city bubbles with a rich cultural life that only a capital can offer. From the classical concerts of Concertgebouw to the electronic week-long fiesta of the Dance Event and from the street artists of the Dam square to the masterpieces of the old Dutch masters hanging in several dozen museums throughout the city, Amsterdam is a city where high and low art meet as if to make all art more democratic and accessible to all. The result is a choice of cultural offers so diverse and open to the public that, clichéd as it might sound, here anyone can find something to appeal to their taste and interests.

 

Music and Dance

The best place to attend world class performances of classical and philharmonic music is Amsterdam’s grand music hall – the Concertgebouw. The Muziektheater is the other equally impressive music venue in Amsterdam where to see performances by the National Ballet and Opera companies. To listen to classical music on the cheap simply pay a visit to one of the city’s majestic churches – the monumental Westerkerk or the 800-year old Oude Kerk. You will be stunned by the rich repertoire.

If you prefer to rock your body rather than sit calmly the place to be is the Milky Way (or Melkweg) on Leidseplein. The Melkweg stage has been rocked by a constellation of stars like Prince, U2 and Coldplay among others. Also a must visit is the nearby Paradiso a cult pop concert and party venue since the 60s hidden in a historic church.


Theatre and Film

The most attractive aspect of entertainment in Amsterdam is the relative lack of a language barrier. There are plenty of theatre shows staged in English, while world cinema is always shown in the language in which films were produced with Dutch subtitles. You can see films in more than 50 venues throughout the city but for the ultimate experience visit the splendid historic cinema Tuschinski. The absolute patriarch of theatre in Amsterdam is the Royal Theatre Carré that has staged musicals, ballet performances, concerts and a host of other genres and art forms beyond drama. An equally popular theatre is the Stadsschouwburg at Leidseplein square – the theatre quarter of Amsterdam per se.


Nightlife

You can plan a night of entertainment from dinner through theatre to clubbing without having to travel far. Beyond the obvious entertainment provided by the ladies practising their trade here, the Red Light District is also a hub of clubs and restaurants located within short distance from the lively Chinatown. Leidseplein is the local theatre and cinema land as well as a major night life hot spot with numerous restaurants, grand nightclubs and music venues such as Melkweg and Paradiso. Those who enjoy live music should pop to Rembrandtplein where numerous bars, nightclubs and cafes treat visitors to live gigs in a variety of genres.


The Alternative

Beside the larger venues that hold major events, the city has a varied artistic scene created by the numerous cafes, bars and clubs which promote lesser known local and international performers. Jazz, pop, classical music, performance, you can enjoy them all during an evening at the local bar, while sitting on a street-side cafe table, inside a church or in summer in one of the numerous parks.


Festivals and Annual Events

Amsterdam is a city that runs dozens of world-class festivals and events which offer visitors opportunities to enjoy anything from music to fashion. Check out our guides to Amsterdam’s Events.


 

 

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