The covid count is staying low, masks are off, but access to activities still comes with a price. What can you do for free in Amsterdam? Read on for an artist’s guide to enjoying the city for free!
Going out to the parks of Amsterdam is a delightful activity for an artist to gather inspiration, write, or draw en plein air.
You can go for a walk, sunbath, or even play some volleyball. There's also playgrounds and a splash park for kids. The park contains a bounty of natural beauty, from the shaggy willow trees to the sun setting on water, it has been a wellspring of inspiration for artists over the last hundred years. There are also several large sculptural installations sprinkled throughout the park.
With Vondelpark's central location, it often steals the show for outdoors in the city. However there are plenty of smaller parks in the city to explore. One is Rembrandtpark, (not much smaller than Vondelpark,) which includes sculptural art, playgrounds, and walking and biking paths.
If you are here during the summer, Sloterpark can be a place of refuge during a long and hot afternoon. The paths throughout the park offer cool shade for a stroll or bike ride and the lake is a refreshing spot for a dip. This park is in a quieter and more residential part of the city to round out your visit to Amsterdam.
Fruittuin van West
Go for a gander or pick your own seasonal produce at Fruittuin van West. This is a great way to suddenly find yourself immersed in the countryside of the Netherlands. Bonus: there are pigs and chickens to pet! Being in the fresh air of the abundant world will surely spark insight and inspiration for a traveling artist. Just think of Van Gogh and his paintings of farm life!
Late evening at Vongelpark
Music & Dance
Perhaps your art form includes singing, playing an instrument, or even dancing. Concert tickets can often be expensive, but don't worry, we have the place for you.
Vondelpark hosts an array of concerts, dance performances, and comedy shows during the summer. Click here to see the agenda.
This past weekend they hosted two fun but different afternoon concerts. On Saturday the indie band Waltzburg performed, giving a mellow show for the audience to groove or lounge with a beer in hand. On Sunday was the Summer Breeze Latin Festival in which the audience was a sea of salsa and laughter. Even if you have two left feet, enjoying the music and watching the dancing was worthwhile. This upcoming week there is a contemporary dance performance too.
View of Waltzburg
In the midst of salsa dancing at the Summer Breeze Latin Festival
Museum tickets can add up quickly, especially if you are traveling with a family. Even with discounts, it can be hard to budget arts into a trip. We suggest two free outdoor experiences.
This summertime sculpture biennial disperses pieces across Amsterdam, but primarily in Amsterdam Zuid (South.) The biennial's goal is to provide free art for the residents and visitors. Additionally, ARTZUID offers arts camps and classes for kids and adult arts workshops. While the biennial is not the year that this is being written, if you feel up for splurging, guided tours are offered for 20€ on Sundays.
Street Art Museum of Amsterdam (SAMA)
Of course, we have to mention ourselves! Street art blossoms and grows from the outside world, therefore it should be free to enjoy and learn from. We offer self guided tours through the app izi.travel which you can access from this page of our site. Additionally, we have a Padlet site for our current show Street Art & Democracy. While the SA&D exhibition is housed at SAMA headquarters, you can participate with the site anywhere in the world.
Also on our Padlet page, there is a more extensive map of street art throughout the city that anyone can add to! Download the Padlet app, and use this link to explore our page (no need to download the app if on a computer.) Our Padlet site is totally free to use, so don’t sweat it when you first see subscription offerings.
We hope this guide helps you on your trip to Amsterdam and that you stop by SAMA soon!