Grachtenfestival is a week-long outdoor classical music festival held every August in Amsterdam. World-famous musicians, ensembles and new talent perform in locations around the city.
The festival's grand finale, the free Prinsengracht Concert, is held on a floating barge on the Prinsengracht Canal in front of the Pulitzer Hotel. Starting that morning, thousands of boats, large and small, stake out their spots. Day-long floating parties culminate in a shimmering, magical concert held under the stars.
At the end of the evening, the Dutch join together to sing "Aan de Amsterdamse Grachten", a song about life on the Amsterdam canals - so beautiful it brought tears to my eyes.
Stake out your picnic spot on the sides of the canal, find a Dutch friend who has a room with a view, or book a canal-front room at the Hotel Pulitzer.