Amsterdam is the event capital of Europe! With more than 300 events a year, you will always find something that fits you! But finding information regarding the accessibility of these events is an impossible mission. That is why we decided to do the research for you! Below you will find a description of the accessibility of certain major events.
Amsterdam Light Festival (November-January)
Want to experience the canals of Amsterdam in a completely different way? Then don't hesitate and visit the Amsterdam Light festival. We offer a fully-accessible canal cruise, which will pass through all the amazing light sculptures designed by various international events. These Light Festival Cruises can now be booked with us.
Roze Filmdagen/Pink Film days (March)
The ‘Roze Filmdagen’ is a ten-day film festival which focuses on movies with LGBT theme. More than 100 movies are shown to almost 10.000 people each year. The festival is held at the small scale Ketelhuis theatre in Westerpark. All rooms in the theatre where the movies are shown are wheelchair accessible. It's also possible to visit the restaurant.
Open Tower Day (March)
Want to get a perfect view of the cities' skyline from different lookout points throughout the Amsterdam? Then come and visit Amsterdam on the Open Tower Day in March. Various towers and lookout points will open their doors on this day. This is a once in a lifetime moment to view the city on top of these buildings or towers. A vast majority of the buildings are wheelchair accessible with a lift. Only The church towers and other older buildings can only be reached by stairs.
Rollende Keukens / Rolling kitchens Event (May)
Come and visit the biggest food truck festival in the Netherlands. Each year, more than 100 food trucks park in the Westerpark. The park turns into the biggest food event of the city. Enjoy a refreshing beer under the warm spring sun. The whole event location is built to be wheelchair accessible. Harden paths are put down on top of the grass and sufficient space is available between the trucks. A problem you could face is the height of the food trucks, as most trucks have high windows. The owners will gladly help you when paying or receiving your food. Do keep in mind that this event can get very busy, so we advise to visit during the day and during the week.
An accessible Kings Day (April 27th, 2018)
The biggest celebration in the Netherlands Kings day. Each year millions of Dutch people go on the street to celebrate the kings birthday. On this National holiday, you will find everybody celebrating on the street wearing orange shirts, jackets, and sunglasses. Next, to people celebrating on the streets and on boats in the canals, you will also find lots of market stands throughout each town in the Netherlands. During Kingsday, the Netherlands is one big flee market.
However, nowhere in the Netherlands you will see so many people celebrating as in Amsterdam. The street is filled with small street parties, people dressed up in orange and vendors selling food. The accessibility of Kingsday in Amsterdam depends on the location and whether it's privately organized or not. The city center of Amsterdam is crowded with people which can make it very challenging to get around. On top of that, there is a limited amount of wheelchair accessible toilets and there is no guarantee that they will be clean. We advise to avoid the old city center of Amsterdam and visit the activities in other neighborhoods or cities
An example of these activities is the famous flea market in Vondelpark. In this park, you will find a market filled with families selling all sort of items. It’s a Dutch tradition to let kid sell their old items to earn extra pocket money. You will also find various food trucks and stand selling unique food items. In other words, you will experience the authentic Kings day. This park is fully accessible. Al the paths are wide and hard enough for a wheelchair or mobility scooter. There are also wheelchair accessible toilets available.
Another perfect example of an accessible and friendly event on kings day is the ‘Bredewegfestival’ in the East district of Amsterdam. On this day, you will find various stages with music from numerous local bands and artist. There will also events catered to adults and kids.
Amsterdam Pride (July-August)
The other big event in Amsterdam is the LGBTI pride event in Europe. The Amsterdam Pride consists of various event, such as the Pride Canal Parade, exclusive parties in clubs, small movie festivals, and the pride walk. It's important to know that some events of the pride are not wheelchair friendly. The Canal Parade route, which follows the Prinsengracht canal, is crowded with people watching the boats, therefore just a glimpse makes you lucky. Same as during Kingsday, there are few accessible toilets available. We've listed the locations of accessible toilets in Amsterdam in another article. We advise to make a plan before you visit, so you know which locations is best to hang out with regards to accessible facilities nearby (restaurants, toilets).
National Restaurant Week (May & September)
Each year the national restaurant organization of the Netherlands organizes a restaurant week. The perfect moment to wine and dine as king while paying peasant prices. More than 700 restaurants are serving intricate multiple course dinners for an affordable price. A vast majority of the restaurants are wheelchair friendly. It is important to note that some venues in the city center do not have accessible toilets even when the restaurant is wheelchair accessible. It's smart to call in advance. We've listed accessible restaurants on this website, however there will be much more venues that participate in this event.
The Restaurant Week gives you a good reason to enjoy a wonderful and culinary vacation in Amsterdam.
Internationaal Documentaire Film Festival-IDFA/ International Documentary Film Festivals (November)
Various organizations organize one of the biggest documentary film festivals in Amsterdam (IDFA). More than 200 documentaries are screened at various locations throughout Amsterdam. The main goal of this event is to showcase the documentary to as wide as possible audience. A perfect moment to visit Amsterdam and look and fascinating and unique documentaries.
The IDFA will take place in Pathe City, Tuschinski, The Munt, Stadsschouwburg, and other major sites. A majority of these locations are fully wheelchair accessible and there are wheelchair toilets available.
About the author
Andrew de Haan
Andrew is a graduate student from Inholland University and is responsible for marketing.