With Christmas lights lining Amsterdam’s beautiful canals, jolly markets to visit and Christmas cheer by the bucket load, there’s something very special about Amsterdam during the festive season. Here’s a few of our favourite things to do in Amsterdam at Christmas.
Take to the Ice
Who doesn’t love a bit of Ice Skating when the festive season rolls around? Christmas tunes, the cold air on your cheeks and twinkly lights aplenty, a skate around the ice is definitely one of our favourite things to do in Amsterdam at Christmas! Even if you aren’t a skating pro, it’s still a lot of fun to grab your mates, put on some skates and have a go. You can reward yourself afterwards with a warming mug of mulled wine or hot chocolate! Amsterdam has two ice rinks up throughout December. A visit to either will leave you feeling super festive!
You’ll find the first rink at Rembrandtplein, open until 6th January. It’s surrounded by various Christmas stands selling oliebollen (a Dutch festive treat, a bit like a donut!) and other festive yummies to keep you warm!
The other ice rink is at Museumplein where the Christmas atmosphere is second to none. Skate around the rink, taking in the views of Amsterdam’s most famous museums. The rink is open from now until February 3rd 2019.
In need of a place to warm up? Here’s our 7 favourite cosy bars to visit in Amsterdam this winter!
See Amsterdam light up
It’s is a beautiful city at any time of year, but Amsterdam is especially magical at Christmas.
If you’re visiting Amsterdam at Christmas and looking for a good way to get in the festive spirit, then we recommend wandering around the city and taking in some of Amsterdam’s beautiful Christmas light displays.
De 9 Straatjes (The 9 Streets) is a famous shopping area in central Amsterdam and the perfect place to visit some great shops and soak up the warm glow of the Christmas lights that line the streets. Most of Amsterdam’s main canals also boast plenty of twinkly lights, so it’s worth just wrapping up warm and taking to the streets and seeing what you can discover!
Amsterdam’s renowned department store de Bijenkorf is also a sight to behold come Christmas time. The imposing building is lit up with hundreds of thousands of energy-efficient LED lights, bringing a whole lot of festive atmosphere to Dam Square.
Lastly, we heartily recommend planning a visit to The Amsterdam Light Festival if you’re in the city during December or January. Each winter, this inspiring festival illuminates Amsterdam’s streets and waterways with imaginative and enchanting light installations by a host of international artists. We reckon the best way to see the various light installations is by water. Plenty of the city’s boat tour operators run trips, just look out for the ‘Official Partner’ flag.
Image courtesy of mylittleadventure.com
Visit a Christmas Market
A visit to a Christmas Market is always a great way to fill yourself with festive cheer. It’s also a nice way to do a spot of Christmas shopping if you don’t want to get sucked into the madness of ordering too many things online or getting sucked into the craziness of the high street! Amsterdam has a charming little selection of Christmas markets, each with their own unique charm.
If you’re already planning to go to the Ice Rink at Museumplein, why not tie in a visit to the Christmas Village that sits alongside it? Indulge in some festive treats, grab a glass of mulled wine, listen to live music and soak up the festive atmosphere!
If you’re looking for a super traditional Christmas Market experience, then we recommend an adventure out of the city to De Lelystadse Kerstmarkt. Just 30 minutes by train from Amsterdam, this charming market includes over 60 stands packed full of Christmas goodies to browse at your leisure.
On the hunt for some properly unique gifts for your loved ones? Then Amsterdamsche Kerstmarkt is for you. Independent makers and creators will be selling their wares in this industrial warehouse in Amsterdam Noord, decked out for the festive market.
Image courtesy of iamsterdam.com
Looking for more info on Amsterdam’s Best Christmas Markets? Have a read of our handy guide.
Spend time outdoors
Ok, this might not sound like the most obvious thing to do over Christmas in Amsterdam – but on a crisp winter’s day when the sun is shining in Amsterdam it’s a lovely place to get outside, stretch the legs and get some colour on those cheeks!
Amsterdam’s most famous green space is Vondelpark. Just a few minutes’ walk from the main hustle and bustle of the city, this leafy park is a proper urban oasis and the perfect spot for a scenic stroll during the festive season. And if you need a place to grab a drink, warm up and rest your feet, check out ‘t Blauwe Teehuis with its eye-catching flying saucer design!
If you’re looking for something with more of a wild feel, then why not venture to Amsterdam Forest and immerse yourself in nature? It’s an incredibly diverse landscape with wooded areas, grassland and open water all providing a welcoming habitat for plenty of plants and animals including rabbits, squirrels, frogs, and all sorts of birds.
We might be biased, but we reckon our neighbourhood of Amsterdam Noord is pretty great for a stroll around too. Industrial areas sit up against some stunning green areas that are definitely worth an explore!
Image via flickr.com/photos/zsnajorra
Take in some Christmas Entertainment
Music, dancing and theatre are all a big part of the festivities during Christmas in Amsterdam. When you hear those first notes of jingle bells, it’s hard not to feel Christmassy right?!
For a traditional Dutch Christmas experience why not pay a visit to one of Amsterdam’s beautiful churches? During the festive season, they invite people to come along and sing carols, or just attend. Sint Nocolaaskerk and Mozes en Aäronkerk are both running carol events over Christmas.
You can also check out Concertgebouw’s schedule of Christmas performances if you’re looking for some classical music in your life this Christmas in Amsterdam. If dance is more your thing, the Dutch National Ballet is putting on what is likely to be a magical performance of Cinderella.
Image courtesy of winterparade.nl
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