Amsterdam: Celebrate “Open Heritage Day” on Sept 12-13 with free events

Posted in: Amsterdam Sights

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Amsterdam's Royal Palace will be open for free. Photo by vgm8383.
Amsterdam's Royal Palace will be open for free. Photo by vgm8383.

Every September, Amsterdam celebrates its cultural heritage with gusto. Usually set on the second weekend of the month, Open Heritage Day is a two-day event offering various attractions and a glimpse of Dutch heritage for free!

This year’s celebration, set for September 12-13, 2009, will open about 4,000 attractions all over the Netherlands.

Here are some highlights from Amsterdam:

Royal Palace
Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 147
Opening Hours: 12 – 5 PM, closed Monday
Official website

If you love sneak peeks at the inner life of nobles, the Royal Palace is the place for you. This town-hall turned royal palace from the 17thcentury is one of various buildings allocated to the Dutch royalty. However, a few areas are designated open to the public, and visitors can check out everything from the intricate interior décor to the exquisite paintings. Interesting attractions include sculptures of Apollo inside the palace and Atlas at the back of the building as well as fancy furniture from the time of Lodewijk Napoleon.

Artis Zoo. Photo by ifranz.

Artis Zoo. Photo by ifranz.

Artis Zoo
Plantage Kerklaan 38-40
Opening Hours: 9 AM – 5 PM
Official website

Given that the Artis Zoo is one of Amsterdam’s most popular attractions, shouldn’t you take advantage of the free admission on Heritage Day? Sure, but keep in mind that Artis Zoo includes a number of different buildings and only a few of them offer free entrance on this weekend.

You can check out three spots – Grote Museum, the Library and City Zoo. Here you can bond with nature, check out the expansive collection of books in the library, and be amazed by the museum’s extensive collection.

Oude Kerk
Oudekerksplein 23
Opening hours: 11 AM – 5 PM Mon-Sat, and 1 PM – 5 PM Sunday
Official website

With its majestic décor and rich historical past, Oude Kerk will appeal to culture buffs and religious folk alike. One of the oldest buildings in the city, the church certainly knows how to impress, with its Gothic architectural touches, intricate stained glass windows, and the massive ceiling. Art fans take note: Rembrandt’s marriage to Saskia in Friesland was organized in this church, and she was buried here as well.

For more information about the two-day Dutch culture extravaganza, check out the Open Heritage Day official website.

About the author

About the author: Amy K Goemans is a writer and web developer based in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Her travel experiences include Europe and Southern Africa with occasional visits to Asia. Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Antwerp, and Durban are currently her top favorite cities.

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