Can you read the title in Dutch? It says “Bacchus Wine Festival” I knew you could read it!
What is the Bacchus WijnFestival?
This is a fun, usually outdoor wine festival with wines from all over the world hosted by the wine shops and bars in Amsterdam. What is wine without food? A shame, that’s what! Food trucks and pop-ups to the rescue. There are plenty of great pairings to be had.
Imagine being in the lush forest, surrounded by nature, just outside of Amsterdam for a lively festival where you are spoilt for choice of food and wine while taking in the ambiance.
How to buy tickets for this Amsterdam wine festival
This festival is really for the locals with no signage in English at all. Though that’s completely fine with us, we’re here to help you figure it out too!
Head to the Bacchus Wine Festival website for tickets and turn on your on-page Google Translate. Not everything will translate, so here’s a quick guide: uitverkocht = sold out, reguliere kaart = regular ticket, vroege vogel = early bird (ticket), vrijdag = Friday, zaterdag = Saturday, zondag = Sunday. Those are the basics.
If you live in the Netherlands, it’s easiest to pay with iDEAL, but if you aren’t or haven’t set up your Dutch bank account yet, you can still pay with Visa or Mastercard. The tickets are through Eventbright which is familiar to many people, but if not, just download the app for the easiest access.
Getting to the Bacchus Wine Festival in Amsterdamse Bos
The beautiful and peaceful Amsterdam Forest (Amsterdamse Bos) is the host of the Bacchus Wine Festival. From Amsterdam “proper” you can take a bus that drops off right at the entrance to the forest. The buses that stop there are 170, 172, 174, 222 (Connexxion), 66 (GVB)–depending on where you are coming from. But using Google Maps or 9292 (if you have the transport app downloaded) is your best bet. The GVB bus is the only one that will work with a tourist transit pass. If you get an Anonymous Chip Card and have enough money on it, you can take the other buses as well.
Paying for food and wine
After you pass through the entrance, you’ll see cashiers and this is where you’ll exchange cash or pay with pin card (your bank card) for a card with credits on them. This year (2018) each credit is 3€ and you will pay for all wine and food with these credits on the card.
Note: Some items will require a partial credit.
Typically at the Virginia wine festivals we used to go to, the booths were run by the wineries, but these are run by shops which make for a fun twist. You had a little bit of everything, from the folks that spoke English all the time because there were folks from all over the world working and the only common language was English, to those that were definitely Dutch and then one booth even had an Aussie representing her brand from the shop. This woman literally flies around the world doing wine festivals. What a job to have! Leave me a comment if this is your dream job. 😉
Everyone was pretty friendly. Some even wanted to help figure out what wine we would like. We were some of the first people there and I definitely recommend you get there early! You could get a tasting, a full glass, or buy a bottle of the wine. We got business cards from each of the booths we really liked. When we explained we were moving to Amsterdam they said we needed to find “our” wine store, and they wanted to be it! Gotta love that.
Food available at the Bacchus Wine Festival
Yessssss! The Amsterdam food truck scene is pretty awesome. There are always markets and festivals for them to pop up at, and this one is no exception. Not everything is a proper food truck, though. We found our favorite macarons at a pop-up stand. There’s such a great variety. I’m sure it gets switched up a bit each year so there are always different pairing options. But I can’t think of anything better than an afternoon in the Dutch sunshine with wine and bites listening to music from a record-playing tractor.