A few times a year, Amsterdamâ€™s canals come to life as the site of some of the cityâ€™s best festivals. On Queenâ€™s Day, Gay Pride and this week, for the Grachtenfestival. From August 11 until August 19, head down to the canals to enjoy some classical music by the water.
A quintet on the canal (Photo credit: cerfon)
It is the 15th year of the Grachtenfestival, which quickly became a must-do on Amsterdamâ€™s cultural calendar. From its humble beginnings as a three day festivalÂ with 38 programmes, the festival has grown into a ten day happening with over 230 activities. This yearâ€™s theme is Love, and approximately 50,000 visitors are expected to come to the historic center of our city to enjoy it.
The festival is held both indoors and outdoors; on floating canal-side pontoons, on boats, in Golden Age historic houses and many other locations. Ticket prices are affordable and many open-air concerts are free for all to enjoy. The program, while focused on classical music, is a varied mix of music styles, theater productions and workshops. The festival is traditionally a platform to give young musicians a chance to shine, and this year will be no exception.
Amsterdammers gather on the canals (Photo credit: loufrances)
Check out the full agenda to make sure you catch all the best shows â€“ one highlight to look forward to is the grand finale on Sunday 19 August when the Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw will be performing an instrumental rendition of Leonard Bernsteinâ€™s classic West Side Story.
Whether you were planning on being in Amsterdam anyway or looking for a good trip for next weekend, the Grachtenfestival promises to give you a unique experience of some of the worldâ€™s most beautiful canals.Â Walk along the canals and soak in the great atmosphere or hop on a canal cruise to get really close to the action. It promises to be an unforgettable event.
One of many floating pontoons (Photo credit: cerfon)
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