Winter is just around the corner but don’t let that stop you making a visit to Amsterdam. Although you’ll need to pack your winter jacket and dig out a wooly hat, the colder months are a great time to visit the Dutch capital. When snow blankets the city and light installations adorn the cityscape, it’s a magical place to be – especially with a hot chocolate and pancake to keep you warm. Find out below what things there are to do this winter in Amsterdam and discover why the city is the perfect location for your winter getaway.
What is the weather like in Amsterdam during the winter?
Winter temperatures in Amsterdam are typically between 0 – 10 degrees, so you will need to pack plenty of warm clothing. But don’t let that stop you, as the temperature starts to drop so too does the number of tourists, which is great news for those travellers who hate crowds.
1. Take a boat tour during Amsterdam Light Festival
Without a doubt, one of the best things to do in Amsterdam during the winter months is taking a canal tour and soaking up the spectacular installations of the Amsterdam Lights Festival. Every year from the start of December through to mid-January the city’s parks, canals, bridges, and houses are illuminated by colourful light installations – all lovingly crafted by local and international artists. You can see a lot of the installations by foot but nothing beats meandering through the city on a boat armed with a few scrummy snacks and a glass of your favorite tiple.
2. Warm-up in a ‘brown café’ (bruin café)
For a taste of authentic Amsterdam and Dutch culture, you can’t go wrong with a visit to a bruin cafe. With many dating back to the 17th century, these watering holes are a quintessential part of Amsterdam’s culture. Much like their British counterparts, the Dutch love a traditional pub. You can find these dotted all over the city, once inside, browse the selection of beers, tuck into traditional bar snacks or sip a jenever and find out what it feels like to be an Amsterdam local.
Our favourites include:
- Cafe Chris
- Cafe Int Aep Jen
- De Zotte
- Cafe De Dokter
3. Stroll around the Christmas markets
Towards the end of November, Amsterdam starts to get festive – and we mean festive! The city’s streets begin to fill with Christmas spirit and Christmas markets spring up all over the place. From festive Dutch food and Christmas souvenirs to handmade trinkets and Dutch Donuts, there is plenty to enjoy.
On the hunt for a great coffee stop? Here’s our pick of the best places to grab a coffee in Amsterdam
4. Go Ice Skating on Museumplein
Museumplein is one of the most picturesque places to put on your skates in Amsterdam. With an epic view of the iconic Rijksmuseum and surrounded by cute Christmas Market stalls, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more idyllic Ice skating rink in Amsterdam. The ice is open to the public from the 17th of November to the 2nd of February.
5. Get stuck into some hearty Dutch winter dishes
A trip to Amsterdam in the wintertime wouldn’t be complete without some traditional Dutch food. You really can’t beat a hearty and delicious Dutch dish to warm your cockles! If you’re looking for a true taste of Amsterdam then we recommend trying:
A thick pea soup packed with onions, celery, leeks, carrots and sliced smoked sausage
Mashed potato and veg with smoked sausage or porked chop
Deep-fried dough balls filled with raisins and dusted with powdered sugar
6. Romantic walk around Vondelpark
Vondelpark is one of the most beautiful parks in Amsterdam and the perfect place for a romantic winter walk. When the park has been dusted with frost and is lit with fairy lights, it looks like something from a fairy tale. Stop by the Blauwe Theehuis, tucked away in the center of the park and treat yourself to a drink on one of Amsterdam’s largest outdoor terraces, then peruse the beautiful park. Just make sure you wrap up warm!
7. Explore some museums & galleries
If you’re looking to add a touch of culture to your winter trip to Amsterdam then we recommend paying a visit to one of the city’s museums. With over 50 to choose from you ‘ll be spoilt for choice. At Clink, we offer discounted tickets to many of Amsterdam’s museums, just have a chat with the reception team when you arrive!
8. Get groovy at the ZincBAR
Calling all party people! Don’t forget we have our very own quirky onsite bar at ClinkNOORD. Every night we hold fun events for solo travellers and groups, and we also offer some great food and drinks deals. Grab a glow in the dark gin and tonic and head to TheBOX or sing your heart out at karaoke! For all of our inhouse events check out our events page or for the ZincBAR menu click here.
See you soon!
There we have it, our essential checklist for a winter trip to Amsterdam. There’s plenty of fantastic things to get involved with so get stuck in! Don’t forget we are always on the lookout for new and exciting things to do in Amsterdam, so if your stumble upon any hidden gems make sure you get in touch with our team on Instagram or Facebook.