Open Garden Days

A visit to the private canal gardens

17, 18, 19 June
The Willet-Holthuysen House

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Open Garden Days 2022

The Open Garden Days are back! With this year's theme 'A visit to the private canal gardens', visitors will have the opportunity to visit a variety of canal gardens - also called the city's best kept secret, because they are not visible from the streets. The theme also refers to the historical fact that almost all of these gardens were once laid out as private gardens attached to a private house. Around 25 canal gardens - nowadays still part of a private house or belonging to an institution - will open to the public during the Open Garden Days 2022. Buy tickets for the Open Garden Days via the button below. Tickets for the Willet-Holthuysen House with 50% off can be bought at the counter.

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Origin Gardens

The Amsterdam canals dates back to the 17th century. The then heart of the city, with its narrow slums and alleys, offered too little space for the explosively growing population, which had become increasingly prosperous. A grand plan for expansion was badly needed. Most of the houses built along Herengracht and Keizersgracht were private, while many small businesses also settled on Prinsengracht. In the design of the canals, room was made for a row of trees along the quay, and building regulations gave the rules within a plot could be built.

Only half of the land could be built on, the remaining space had to be garden. In this way the structure of house and garden was determined, which is still there centuries later. The purpose of several canal houses has changed over the centuries. Companies, hotels and museums have settled in the formerly private properties. What is striking is that almost all gardens are still in use as gardens and have often retained their specific character in terms of size and appearance.

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Practical information

During the Open Garden Days tickets are available at one of the starting addresses at the door of The Willet-Holthuysen House for €20 (excl. service charges).

  • Children up to 12 years of age admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult
  • Due to the vulnerability of the houses and gardens, dogs, baby carriages, backpacks and wheeled suitcases are not allowed. Accompanied by any of these attributes, you will be denied access to the gardens. We recommend that you bring only a small (hand) bag
  • Due to sidewalks and stairs, the gardens are unfortunately not accessible to wheelchair users
  • Due to the vulnerability of some gardens it may happen that a garden is temporarily full and no new visitors are allowed in. You will have to wait outside. It is advisable to visit another garden first and return at a later time
  • The Open Garden Days passe-partout will be given to you at one of the starting addresses. This passe-partout is your entrance to the gardens and you should carry it with you at all times. The passe-partout contains all the addresses with a short description of the gardens. These addresses will not be published in advance
  • Your passe-partout is valid for 3 days, each garden can be visited once (except the garden of Museum Van Loon)