Sail 2015

We’ve just had SAIL2015 here in Amsterdam, an extravaganza of tall ships, small ships and sailing fans that occurs every five years. I went to look at ships as they came in, it’s a big thrill to see them. There are some great images collected of the event on Instagram, but the best visual of the event is this time-lapse drone-based video from Haven Amsterdam (Amsterdam Habour Authority).


Ice Skating on Museumplein

It looks something like an Avercamp painting for the 21st century, there’s a skating rink outside the Rijksmuseum. It’s open air with a model “Magere Brug” across it. There were a lot of families there when I visited in the middle of the day, the kids were loving it, some were learning to skate behind a chair. Some were falling down a lot – but as they were generally put back on their feet by a patient parent within a minute it didn’t seem to bother them. Looks like fun.

It will be there right through winter
Entrance is 3 euro
Skate hire is 5 euro for 2 hours
It’s open 7 days a week 10 am to 8pm

With the following holiday timetable exceptions
24 December 10am – 5pm
25 December 11am – 10pm
26 December 10am – 10pm
31 December 10am – 6pm
1 January 11am – 10pm

Prinsengracht Concert

Making plans for the weekend?

There’s a free outdoor concert on Saturday night on the Prinsengracht. Yes, ON the Prinsengracht. A podium is built outside the Pulitzer hotel with enough space for the performers and a small audience. Amsterdammers jam the canal with tiny boats and line the canal.

Every year it finishes with the very traditional song, “Aan de Amsterdamse Grachten” (on the Amsterdam canals) with the whole audience joining in the chorus.

If you want a good view you’ll need to get there early, the boats start tying up early in the canal. If sitting outside isn’t your thing the concert is broadcast on Nederland 2 and online at

Zombies on the Noordermarkt

Apparently my neighbourhood was invaded by zombies, I was at work – I missed it thankfully. The woman interviewed at about 5 minutes found the whole thing shocking and inappropriate since it was on a children’s playground.

Dance the Night Away

Dancing on the Noordermarkt

On Saturday afternoon when I wandered out to the supermarket I could hear salsa music.

Down on the square there was a party, lights in the trees, a live band, and couples dancing away – in full daylight.

The party went on into the night, I could hear the music wafting up the street much later as the party went on.

Expat Fair

For everyone who isn’t a tourist – next Sunday 10 October, is the Expat Fair at the Beurs van Berlage. There are stalls there from tax services, mortgage advisors, schools, clubs as well as performances on the main stage – including Boom Chicago.

Tickets are free – order online.

5 Things to do in Amsterdam for Free

Since the city is full of tourists, and the tourist industry is in full swing, here are five things that are free.

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