Christmastime is a great time to travel abroad and Amsterdam makes a terrific holiday destination.
Amsterdam’s Dutch architecture gives the city a quaint vibe that looks stunning when dressed up in lights and decorations. And there are plenty of seasonal activities going on that makes this time of year ideal for visiting.
If you are thinking of spending your holiday vacation in this bustling Netherlands city, here are some activities you won’t want to miss out on.
What’s the Weather Like in Amsterdam at Christmastime?
Before delving into Amsterdam Christmas activities, let’s take a look at the city’s weather. This will give you a good idea of what you can and can not do, and it will also let you know what you should be packing.
Amsterdam can get quite cold during the winter but temperatures rarely dip below 20 degrees. It is also likely to rain or snow with a 30% chance of participation on any given day. Therefore, you may just be in the city in time for a white Christmas.
Things to Do In Amsterdam at Christmastime
Now let’s find out what fun things you can do during your trip.
Take a Tour of the City
Amsterdam is known for its stunning architecture and spanning canals. The scenery is beautiful any time of year, but it is especially lovely when it is decorated for Christmas. Therefore, a tour of the city is in order.
Bicycling is one of the most popular forms of transportation in Amsterdam. You can see the city like a native by hopping on a bike and riding around. Bike paths can take you through the heart of Amsterdam, to Central Station and Dam Square.
However, if temperatures are too cold, you can also get around on the city’s many buses, trams, trains, buses or ferries.
The Amsterdam Light Festival
An annual tradition in Amsterdam, the Light Festival transforms the city into a winter wonderland. It runs from November to January and every year brings an innovative technique that lights up the city in a whole new way. The festival attracts thousands of tourists each year and brings a modern flair to an otherwise traditional landscape.
Experience Dutch Cuisine
Dutch cuisine is simple and straightforward, but they have many pastries that are ideal for getting you in the Christmas mood. Be sure to check out markets that sell traditional treats like olieballen and appelbeignets. These are both deep fried snacks that are especially popular during the holiday season.
Катанне на каньках
Amsterdam may not offer snowy mountainsides for ski activities, but they make up for it by setting up two ice skating rinks during the winter season. The first one, Leidseplein, is surrounded by Christmas stands that put you in the middle of the holiday fun. The second, Museumplein, is located in close proximity to Dutch museums, Rijksmuseum and Stedelijik museum. You can make a whole day of your outing by visiting these museums after you skate.
And while we’re on the topic of museums, Amsterdam is a culturally rich city that is full of museums you will want to visit while you are in town. Here are a few that are worth checking out.
· Rikksmuseum: This museum has every type of art you can think of
· Anne Frank Museum: Find out more about the life of this brave little girl
· The Van Gogh Museum: If you love Van Gogh’s art, this museum is a must visit destination
· Youseum: This museum provides a unique look at our social media centric world
· Dutch Costume Museum and Dutch Costume Photo Studio: This is a great stop for anyone fascinated by Dutch dress and customs
A canal cruise is another great way to take in Amsterdam’s sights and sounds. You can sit back and enjoy cruising through the city’s many attractions including seeing the Light Festival from a different angle. Many cruises offer a warm cup of coffee or a cold glass of beer to their patrons.
Amsterdam is a great city for performing arts. It is packed with theaters and venues.
The RAI Theater is known for hosting the biggest Swan Lake Ballet bringing in 48 swans as opposed to the usual 16.
While performances may vary each season, there are plenty of options for seeing live shows during the holiday season. Popular venues in Amsterdam include the following:
· Kononklijk Theater Carre
· DeLaMar Theater
· Theater Amsterdam
· Theater Bellevue
· CC Amstel
· De Toverknol
Check out what these theaters have going on prior to scheduling your trip. That way you can plan accordingly.
Amsterdam is a great shopping destination. At Christmastime special markets open up all over the city. The most famous of these are located in Rembrandtplein and Leidseplein but there are locations in Haarlem, Lieden and all over Amsterdam.
The markets are decorated for the Christmas season infusing guests with the intoxicating spirit of giving. They are great places for picking up cultural items and handmade knickknacks that your loved ones are sure to enjoy.
In addition to the great Christmas markets, Amsterdam also has a variety of shops that are worth checking out. Nine Streets (D Neigen Straatjes) and Kalverstraat are both great destinations for shopping centers and walk through boutiques.
For many people, it’s just not Christmas without midnight mass, or at least some sort of church experience. Amsterdam has a wealth of beautiful churches that encourage people to come by for services and to sing carols. Saint Nicolaaskerk and Vondelkerk are among those known for offering unique experiences and amazing architecture.
New Year’s Eve Fireworks Display
If you plan on visiting Amsterdam for the holidays, be sure to stick around for New Year’s Eve for their annual fireworks display that takes place at Dam Square. In addition to fireworks, you can also expect live performances and dancing until the wee hours. The spectacle lights up the entire Amsterdam sky so you can see it from just about anywhere if you prefer to avoid large crowds.
If you are thinking of taking a Christmas vacation, Amsterdam is the place to be. With so much to see and do, you are sure to have a great holiday season. Which of these activities will you be adding to your list?