Are you a bit low on cash after the Halloween festivities and looking for free things to do in November? Here are 5 events across the Netherlands that will help you save up some money for Christmas (because nothing says winter holidays like consumerism).

#1 Leiden Film Festival

When: November 2 – November 11

Where: Leiden

Leiden International Film Festival, AKA LIFF, is coming back for its 13th edition this year. Once again, Leiden will host some of the most incredible film premieres and parties in the Netherlands. The festival  features big blockbuster hits, both old and new, but also serves as a platform for lesser-known films.

Now while we do know that this event is not for free, it is extremely cheap for everything you are getting. I mean, the guest programmer this year is Nicholas Cage! Now tell me when was the last time you paid 9 euros to see a Hollywood celebrity in real life? Didn’t think so!

Picture by Coen Bastiaanssen

#2 GLOW Eindhoven

When: November 10 – November 17

Where: Eindhoven


GLOW Eindhoven is an extraordinary festival, where for one week only Eindhoven is transformed into one giant spectacle of light. The GLOW light art festival is an annual event in Eindhoven with light constructions by artists from all over the world. All you have to do is take a stroll through the city’s streets and enjoy the beautiful lights. What’s even more exciting is the fact that a new theme is chosen for GLOW each year. So even if it’s not your first time, there will be a lot of new things to see.

#3 Red Bull Knock Out

When: November 10

Where: Scheveningen beach, The Hague

Now this event is for all adrenaline junkies! Red Bull Knock Out is the heaviest beach race in the world, and it takes place at Scheveningen beach in The Hague. Who would have thought? Now, before you grab your daredevil gear you should be warned that you can only participate in this event as a spectator. And while that might have killed your buzz, the opportunity to see with your own eyes international top riders racing on the beach is still pretty exciting!

Photo: Flickr / Joris-Jan van den Boom

#4 Sint-Maarten/St. Martin’s Day

When: November 11

Where: All over the Netherlands

While this may not be the event you expected, it is the event you MUST know about! After all, you do not want to feel like a jerk that made a ton of children cry, right? So here’s what Sint-Marteen is. Every year, on the evening of the 11th of November, Dutch kids tour the neighborhood with their hand-crafted lanterns. They move from door to door and sing songs, in return for candy or fruit. You can think of it as trick or treating. If you have children yourself, you might want to join in on the celebration and go around with other families around your neighborhood (even though the school sometimes takes care of planning). If you don’t have children, then make sure you stock up on some candy! While it may not be your traditional event of going out, this Dutch celebration is very cute and wholesome.

Photo: Flickr/Stephan Kiessling

#5 Sinterklaas

When: November 17 – December 5

Where: Zaandijk and the Zaanse Schans

The arrival of Sinterklaas this year is on the 17th of November in Zaandijk and the Zaanse Schans. As per usual, he is expected to arrive from Spain on his massive steamboat, carrying presents for all the Dutch children. There will also be a lot of waving, smiling, and a ton of happy and excited children (and maybe some protests, but that’s for another topic). So if you have little ones of your own, or you’re just feeling young at heart, then you can go greet Sinterklaas yourself. And if you have no idea what the hell we are talking about, here is our short guide to Sinterklaas for Expats.

So there you have it! 5 free things to do in November in the Netherlands. Which event are you most excited about? Let us know in the comments below!


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