Leisure & study in Amsterdam

When you study and live in Amsterdam, you will regularly have time to do sports, enjoy the cultural offerings, go shopping, enjoy the nightlife or spend time in nature. For newcomers to Amsterdam, it’s nice to be able to get a feel for where you can go. 

To get to know Amsterdam a little better, here is Amsterdam in One Swipe!

Sports in Amsterdam

Where can you play sports at low cost?

USC – sports centre for Universiteit van Amsterdam (UvA) and Hogeschool van Amsterdam (HvA) students

Conservatorium van Amsterdam (CvA) students can enjoy sports at the USC sports centre at a low cost. The USC is a sports centre especially for students of the UvA and HvA. The rates at the USC are affordable, but the quality is excellent, and they offer a wide range of sports. USC is affiliated with the branch association NL Actief and the Royal Dutch Strength & Fitness Association (KNKF).

Of course, there are many other possibilities for exercising in Amsterdam. Check with local gyms or fitness centres to see if they have discounts for students. Often that’s the case!

Sports Events

As a true sports city, Amsterdam hosts several sporting events throughout the year. These are the two most important sports calendars with a selection of upcoming sport events:

Running and cycling in Amsterdam

The city of Amsterdam is big and very busy. Fortunately, it offers many opportunities for running and cycling. On the municipal website you’ll find a number of marked running routes where you can go wild on your own or together. Looking for a training programme? Then these are a few of the possibilities:

Want to take it a little more seriously? Here you’ll find the running calendar for Amsterdam

Would you rather go cycling?

Parks & Sport

In Amsterdam there are no fewer than 33 parks where you can do sports and relax. 

Arts & Culture in Amsterdam

Culture at the Amsterdamse Hogeschool voor de Kunsten (AHK)

Agenda Conservatorium van Amsterdam
The Conservatorium van Amsterdam is part of the AHK. As a student of the Academy, you can therefore attend events organised by the Conservatory.The Conservatorium van Amsterdam is part of the AHK. As a student of the Academy, you can therefore attend events organised by the Conservatory. For information about projects organized by external parties in our halls, please contact the organizer in question.

Looking for a specific CvA programme? Then click on one of the following links: Classical | Jazz | Pop

Concert venues of Amsterdam

In Amsterdam you can go to concerts and live music every day. From mega concerts and music events to international musicians on world-class stages. Or opt for one of the many intimate live performances on the smaller stages. On the website www.iamsterdam.com you’ll find all the upcoming events in Amsterdam. You can also find an overview of all the concert venues in Amsterdam and the surrounding area.

Classical music
Amsterdam is the place to be for all kinds of classical music, from Renaissance to contemporary works. Well-known locations include the Royal Concertgebouw and Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ, old churches and other unique venues. On iamsterdam.com you will find an overview of upcoming and returning classical concerts and events in Amsterdam.

Opera fans will be in for a treat in Amsterdam. The city is home to De Nationale Opera, based in the Nationale Opera & Ballet (formerly known as Het Muziektheater). Various opera performances also take place at The Royal Concertgebouw and Royal Theater Carré, and in addition, there are special events in churches and the open air.

Jazz, Blues & World Music
Jazz lovers are sure to find their niche in Amsterdam – one of the best jazz cities in Europe. World-famous events have put the Netherlands on the map as the place to go for jazz, blues and world music. Amsterdam has a reputation to uphold when it comes to legendary live performances at attractive jazz venues such as the Bimhuis, Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ, North Sea Jazz Club, Café Alto and the Cotton Club. Check out which concerts are taking place in Amsterdam soon!

Pop & Rock
Amsterdam breathes live music and bands love performing in Amsterdam, so you can find great music anytime, anywhere in the city. Check out the listing of upcoming concerts below to see if your favourite band is performing soon or discover great new artists!

Festivals & Events

Cultural and Culinary Festivals & Events
Amsterdam provides the setting for hundreds of festivals each year. Don’t just think big dance festivals because they come in all shapes and sizes. Internationally renowned festivals such as the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam: IDFA, the Amsterdam Light Festival and Amsterdam Pride attract large audiences. The many culinary festivals offer delicious snacks and drinks. Culture lovers will enjoy film, dance, music and theatre at Amsterdam’s cultural festivalsFind your favourite festivals here.

Overview of cultural venues

Amsterdam boasts one of the largest cultural offerings in the world. There are hundreds of clubs, theatres, museums, music venues and cinemas to be found in the city. An overview of Amsterdam’s cultural spots:

Discounts with student pass

Your student ID card gives you much more than just access to lectures. Showing your student card will get you a nice discount at almost all cultural locations. But you can also get discounts at many stores, hairdressers, restaurants and cafes by showing your student card. Make sure you always have your student ID with you. On studentenkorting.nl you’ll find a wide range of categories where you can get a discount by showing your student ID.

Leisure time in Amsterdam

Going out

There are no fewer than 1,150 restaurants and 1,515 bars and cafés in Amsterdam. But what are the hippest hotspots? Where do you have the best views? And which restaurants are suitable for a small budget? From Michelan-star restaurants to the most delicious comfort food and special beers; you’ll find them on www.iamsterdam.nl’s restaurant overview, including a recommendation for the best of food and drink.

But of course, we’ve also found a few other lists that are perfect for a student’s budget:


With more than 5,500 stores in Amsterdam, you could visit 4 stores every day in four years of study without going to the same store twice. In short, you could possibly use some help with that. For a complete overview of shopping areas, shopping malls, or just those little speciality shops, check out iamsterdam.com’s shopping overview. You’ll find the best stop-off points, but also a complete overview of all the stores in Amsterdam. Also good to know:


Forests, parks and beaches in Amsterdam

Want to get away from the traffic and the hustle and bustle of the city? Then head off to one of Amsterdam’s nature reserves. From cosy hang-outs like the Vondelpark and the Westerpark to the spacious Amsterdamse Bos with a real goat farm.