How will you be ringing in the new year? If you’ve never done it before, spend New Year’s Eve in a foreign city – we promise that you won’t regret it.
Best known for its picturesque canals, vast history, and thriving cultural quarters, Amsterdam is one of the most exhilarating destinations to welcome in the new year. Whether you’re in to partying until the early hours at a warehouse rave, or vibe with something a little quieter, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Sightsee during the day
With over 800 years of history to discover, Amsterdam’s cobbled streets are rich with fascinating sights; from ancient churches and secret courtyards, to weird and wonderful museums and architecture. Despite this, the winding streets can be hard to navigate to newcomers.
To really learn the tales of the Dutch capital, we recommend that you attend a free (yes, FREE) walking tour before the clock strikes twelve. The tour will help you get your bearings in this often-confusing city, and allow you to make the most of your stay.
Binge eat Oliebollen and Champagne
New Year’s Eve in Amsterdam wouldn’t be complete without Oliebollen and copious amounts of champagne to wash it down. Eating Oliebollen, a pastry similar to a doughnut is a widespread tradition in the Netherlands and, according to ancient Germanic myth, wards of evil spirits for the year ahead. Win-win!
You can find Oliebollen at street vendors throughout the city, but be prepared to queue for this sought after delicacy.
Why champagne, you may ask? Just because.
Book dinner overlooking the scenic city canals
What better way to spend your last evening of 2019, than in a restaurant overlooking the picturesque views of Amsterdam.
Although many locals will retreat to house parties with roof terraces to admire the views of the Amsterdam new year, restaurants and bars will be jam-packed full of tourists. We recommend that you make a dinner reservation in advance to avoid disappointment.
Stroll through the beautifully lit streets
If you’ve left it too late to book a dinner reservation at a restaurant or bar with a view – fear not – there’s a handful of other ways to take in the views of the Amsterdam New Year celebrations.
We recommend taking a stroll through the winding streets of the city, beautifully lit by the Amsterdam Light Festival. This year, artists working on the exhibition are challenged to shake up the norm and create a masterpiece that works towards the theme: DISRUPT!
What’s more, for the first time in the history of the festival, a new route will also illuminate the eastern part of the city centre, with stops along Oosterdok, Oudeschans, Amstel and many more. Take a look at the new route here.
Experience quirky cocktail bars for pre-drinks
Known for its quirky cocktails that push mixology boundaries, Amsterdam is home to some of the most incredible cocktail bars in Europe. Whether you’re partial to a pornstar martini, prefer a mojito or want something a little more adventurous, there’s a cocktail bar for every type of punter.
We recommend trying the ‘Kir Royale’ at Twenty Third Bar to celebrate New Years’ Eve in Amsterdam, it’s the perfect mix of Creme de Cassis and Besserat de Bellefon champagne – yum!
Attend a New Years Eve Party
We won’t let the cancellation of Kop van Java’s firework display ruin your New Year’s Eve plans in the city.
There are many street parties and events organised in the city, but beware that NYE clubbing is much more expensive – entrances can be around €40+. However, if you’re looking to splash the cash this New Year’s Eve, here are our top 3 parties:
Flirterz NYE, The Box Amsterdam – renown for its jaw-dropping entertainment and crazy special effects, Fliterz carnival-themed Amsterdam New Year’s Eve party is the go-to place to welcome in 2020.
The Grand Ball, The Grand Amsterdam – release your inner animal with exotic live music by DJ Edgar Tempelman, swinging musicians and phenomenal dancers.
Encore NYE 2019, Melkweg – with a total of 3 areas, 3500 people and freshe Encore vibes, this will be an Amsterdam new year to remember.
If you are looking for something a little more affordable, there are many unofficial street parties on the big squares, such a Dam Square, Neiuwmarkt and Museumplein. However, if you’re heading outside to enjoy the festivities, be sure to wrap up – the average weather in Amsterdam in December is between 2.5-6 degrees C, but may feel much colder with the wind chill.
Whether you’re on a budget, want to go HAM or are happy to have a chilled evening – there’s something for everyone to enjoy in Amsterdam this New Year’s Eve. Spending the celebration in a different country is a cultural experience that every avid travel junkie should experience at least once or twice in their lifetime. So get involved!
Whatever mischief you get up to, we’re here for it.