/ The Amsterdam Guide
Amsterdam — By Marianne on March 14, 2010 at 11:45 am
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Spend Easter in Amsterdam

If you want to spend the Easter weekend in Amsterdam, start planning now. The city is a popular destination this time of year. The days are getting longer and milder and many tourists combine Amsterdam sightseeing with a trip to Keukenhof Flower Gardens. Watch the Flower parades in the park on Easter Sunday and Easter Monday. Are you an early riser? On Easter Monday the park opens at 7 am.

Eggs, bunnies and chocolate are the main ingredients for a Dutch Easter, not much different from other countries. Children paint eggs in all colours of the rainbow. On Saturday night, when the kids are in bed, eggs in all sizes, chocolate and real ones are hidden in the house and garden.

Eerste Paasdag and Tweede Paasdag, Easter Sunday and Monday, are official holidays in the Netherlands, but Good Friday isn’t. Shops in Amsterdam centre are open on both Easter days.

What the Dutch Do on Easter Sunday

On Easter Sunday lunch or brunch is the main meal of the day. This is unusual, because the Dutch have their main meal in the evening. Painted eggs, fluffy yellow chicks, cuddly bunnies, yellow candles and vases with daffodils grace the table.

The morning starts off with the Easter egg hunt. Brunch is served after this and consists of boiled, fried and scrambled eggs, butter moulded into the shape of a lamb, all sorts of bread and a paasstol, a currant loaf with a soft almond-paste centre sprinkled with powdery sugar. The meal ends with a glass of sherry or champagne and advokaat (egg yolk, cream and brandy mixture) for the children. What’s left of the afternoon is spent at home with family and friends.

What the Dutch Do on Easter Monday

Breakfast / brunch consists of left-over boiled eggs, and yesterday’s not discovered chocolate Easter eggs. They lie hidden under chairs, behind cushion or in flower pots. Some are squashed and beyond consumption.

If the weather is fine, Dutch families spend the day out of doors, walking on the beach or in the dunes. They visit a theme park or cycle in the countryside. Bad weather means a trip to shopping centres and furnitures stores on the edge of the town. Shops in the city centre are closed during Easter. Amsterdam is the exception. Here, shops are open all year, except Christmas Day

Egg Hunt and Easter Bunnies
If Easter means bunny sighting and hunting eggs have breakfast with Bunny at Hard Rock Cafe starting at 10 am. Easter bunny will keep the kids busy decorating Easter eggs. They will get a basket filled with chocolate eggs and have their photo taken with Easter bunny, while you eat as many eggs as you can.

Outdoor Easter
Head for Keukenhof Flower Garden in Lisse. Wander through the park and be sure to stop at the windmill, climb the stairs for a floral panorama. Turn up early because you won’t be the only visitor. Get your tickets online to beat the queues.

Hotel Room Easter
If it’s a quiet Easter you have in mind, go to Albert Heijn supermarket. Stock up on Feestdagen currant loaf with soft almond paste centre, yellow candles and a bunch of daffodils. Transform your hotel room into a private Easter celebration.

WHAT: Breakfast with Bunny
WHERE: Hard Rock Café, Max Euweplein 57 (map)
WHEN: 4 April, from 10 am
COST: €12.95, children under two eat for free

WHAT: Keukenhof
WHERE: Stationsweg 166, Lisse (map)
WHEN: 18 March – 16 May

More Easter suggestions:
Easter Brunch at Amstel Hotel
Bach’s  Matthew Passion in Concertgebouw

photo credit: personal collection

2 places are mentioned in this post!
  1. The Hard Rock Cafe was established in 1999 and is located near the Paradiso
Click on the place name to learn more

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