Year in review: 10 of 2016’s best bits
The past year has brought lots of love and laughter to Amsterdam, gathering people with global events, world renowned exhibitions and a plethora of new openings. Here are just 10 reasons why 2016 in Amsterdam was a year to remember.
Summer of Love: EuroPride came to Amsterdam
This year’s gay pride event wasn’t just any ho-hum parade. Amsterdam Gay Pride, celebrating its 20th anniversary, teamed with EuroPride to put on one of the biggest, best and most exciting LGBT pride events that Amsterdam has ever seen. Dubbed the Summer of Love, EuroPride brought together tens of thousands of people over two weeks of parades, parties and a special edition of the colourful Milkshake Festival. Watch the Summer of Love aftermovie here!
Photo: Joris van Gennip
A’Dam Tower opened
The former home of Shell finally reopened its doors in May as A’DAM Tower, a hub of music and culture in Amsterdam. Visitors can now access the tiptop of the 22-storey tower for a breath-taking view of the city — or, for the more daring, go ‘Over the Edge’ on the A’DAM sky deck by taking a seat on Europe’s highest swing.
We hosted the European Athletics Championships
Nearly 1,500 athletes from 50 countries competed in the 2016 European Athletic Championships, held at the Olympic Stadium in Amsterdam from 6 to 10 July. It wasn’t just for the professionals, either — side events such as the Brooks 10K Champions Run and the special Kids’ Run let people of all ages in Amsterdam join in on the challenge.
Brand new museums for the city
Amsterdam has become even more of a cultural wonderland with the addition of two new museums: Moco and Ripley’s Believe It or Not. The Modern Contemporary (Moco) Museum made a grand entrance in April with an impressive dual exhibit of works from pop art pioneer Andy Warhol and renowned street artist Banksy. Ripley’s opened the doors to its cabinet of curiosities, featuring less art than Moco but way more shrunken heads.
We celebrated diversity (180 times)
Amsterdam is one of the world’s most celebrated melting pots, with people of all races and creeds living together harmoniously. This year, Amsterdam celebrated its diversity with the 180 Nationalities Project: a collection of stories from some of the city’s residents hailing from countries as close as Germany and as far as China.
Loads of new places to stay, eat and drink
With so many nationalities living in Amsterdam, it’s no wonder that the cuisine of the city is just as diverse. Amsterdam’s culinary horizons widened this year, with Meneer Nieges opening its doors at the Westerdok and café Nescio finding a home in the new Generator Hostel. There are dozens more new spots to try out, such as Happyhappyjoyjoy’s new location in Amsterdam East and Hotel Casa 400’s swanky rooftop bar, Nest, for starters — and drinks.
Keukenhof returned to the Golden Age
Everyone knows the tulip is synonymous with the Netherlands, a mark of the country’s rich Golden Age. For its 2016 season, Keukenhof Gardens looked back at the era with a 250-square-metre mosaic of a Delft Blue tile depicting the Amsterdam’s famous canal houses.
Photo: Keukenhof via Facebook
The Dutch took the European reigns
The first half of 2016 saw the Netherlands take over as holder of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union — but it wasn’t as dry as it sounds. Along with all the conferences and meetings, the EU presidency meant plenty of goings-on for Amsterdam: the Amsterdam Science & Innovation Award was given to the brightest minds of the city, while the European Student Convention saw about 150 students come together to plan for the future of education.
De Hallen got a makeover
A cultural centre in Amsterdam, De Hallen now features the novel hospitality concept Kanarie Club and a plethora of new food stalls, including FENTO, Dim Sum Thing and Taqueria Lima West. Kanarie Club, having taken over the spot once occupied by Halte 3 and Meat West, offers a place to work, eat and drink — and take a quick dip in the upstairs pool bar.
New year, new life at Artis Zoo
Congratulations were in order at ARTIS Amsterdam Royal Zoo, where a bundle of joy in the form of an elephant arrived late in the year. He is still young, so tourists in Amsterdam can visit the young, exotic animal while he is still (relatively) small.
Catherine was the Greatest
The Hermitage, a branch museum of its famous namesake in Russia, paid homage to the museum’s founder and famous Russian tsarina with an exhibition detailing her remarkable life, including a presentation of 300 personal objects and artwork from her massive collection.
The new year will bring more events and exciting things to do in Amsterdam for tourists and residents alike – watch this space for news!