Many tourists think Amsterdam deserves its well-earned reputation as a party city. But the truth is, the city’s celebrations are entirely what you choose to make of them. Sure, the area frequently plays host to events for party-goers who love to drink and barhop, but there are also events that cater to art enthusiasts along with families with children.

Truthfully, Amsterdam has a little something for everyone. Just check out the variety in some of the well-known festivals the area has to offer.

Festival of Lights


Hosted by the historical center of Amsterdam, the annual Festival of Lights features sculptures, projections, and installations by local and international lighting artists. Individual works line the canals in Amsterdam, illuminating the walkways and waterways right through the center of the city. Museums and businesses on the route also take part in the fun by hosting a variety of activities for visitors, including everything from wine tastings to crafts for children.

‘A Bright City,’ the theme of last Festival of Lights, challenged designers to create tributes to the modern city, and it took place between November 2014 and this past Jan. 4. Although this year’s date has not been confirmed, don’t let the winter timing deter you from the outdoor festivities. British Airways points out in their travel guide that Amsterdam’s mild winters make the area ideal for tourists who want to enjoy outdoor activities.

Imagine Film Festival


The Imagine Film Festival is another standout annual event for movie lovers that celebrates a variety of genres from both classic and modern film selections. Several prizes are awarded throughout the festival for filmmakers, including The Lifetime/Career Achievement Award and the Silver Scream Award. But there are also engaging activities for the audience. Even young film lovers can get involved with the AFFF Kids project, which teaches kids about film and and the production process.

The 2015 Imagine Film Festival has been confirmed to take place from April 8 to 18 at the EYE Film Institute, and it’s guaranteed to be one that all film enthusiasts will want to check out.

Beer Festival


Of course, for those who do like to indulge in activities for grownups, we can’t leave out one of the festivals that celebrates something Amsterdam is famous for—beer. The city received part of their fame for the bubbly beverage thanks to three main breweries in the area, Heineken (as well as Amstel), Grolsch, and Bavaria.

Though they have many different celebrations throughout the year, one of the biggest is the Bokbier Festival. Awesome Amsterdam says in their article on the event that during this once-a-year celebration, the city pays homage to the beverage by hosting several beer tasting events, live music, and plenty of other entertainment.

There’s always something going on in Amsterdam. And with festivals that cover a gamut of interests, there’s guaranteed to be one that piques yours.

Let us know your about your favorite places and things to do in Amsterdam! Leave us a comment below.