Top Things to Do in Amsterdam in December
Got plans to visit Amsterdam this December? Well you’re not gonna be strapped for things to do cos when the Christmas season hits this city, it means your itinerary is gonna be jam-packed. Have a go at ice-skating with an epic backdrop, check out the incredible Amsterdam Light Festival and mooch the markets for festive Dutch food and souvenirs. Check out these awesome things to do in Amsterdam in December to see off your 2018 travels in the best way possible.
See Dam in all its glory at Amsterdam Light Festival
Until 20th January
The Amsterdam Light Festival is an absolute beauty, with 35 different pieces of illuminating art giving the city a new found glory. Hanging under bridges in the canals, lighting up architecture, curling around buildings, Amsterdam at night never looked so good. To make the best of the festival and see every piece there is, follow the 8.5km route on their website starting at Beursplein. Otherwise, the canal tours are also an ideal way to see some of the most enchanting pieces from the water.
Skate your heart out at Ice* Amsterdam
From 17th November - 3rd February
You know Christmas is coming when the ice rink turns up in front of the iAmsterdam sign on Museumplein. Opening in November and running all the way up until the start of Feb, there’s plenty of time to visit Dam and have a go on the ice with the Rijksmuseum as an iconic backdrop. Not the most confident on the ice? It’s all good, grab a chair and you’ll be gliding around in no time.
Eat your way around Pure Winter Markt
Sunday 19th and Sunday 23rd December
Pure Markt is one of Amsterdam’s most popular markets, but when it hits December 19th and 23rd, things get pretty festive. All year round at Pure Markt, eating and drinking is the main draw, so when the Winter Markt comes around, Christmas treats, mulled wine and wintry snacks is what it’s all about. It’s only open for two days on the Christmas season, so get down there quick and expect a bit of chaos and you get from stall to stall because it’s just THAT good.
Gawp at the Christmas Tree on Dam Square
8th December lights turn on
The Christmas tree on Dam Square is pretty damn impressive and definitely worth a look. Towering 20 metres in front of the Royal Palace, it’s absolutely covered in lights, 40,000 of them to be exact. If you’re about on 8th December, head to the square to see the switch on where festivities will be in full swing.
Get your thrills at Amsterdam Winter Paradise
21st - 30th December
From 21st - 30th December, The RAI in Amsterdam will transform into a beautiful winter wonderland for you to enjoy and have some fun with your friends. This delightful Christmas event is not just a market, but a whole festive experience including ice skating (with 2 huge ice rinks this year), amazing views of the city from a ferris wheel, bonfires and snow sledding.
See in 2019 with a bang
You’ve made a good choice if you’re planning on heading to Dam for New Year’s Eve this year. The city is gonna be throwing some of the best parties in Europe. Some seriously impressive fireworks will be set off at the stroke of midnight by the official countdown at Kop van Java. Be there in good time to get the beers flowing at the beer tents, and dance along to DJs from 11pm. Once that’s all over, carry on the party at one of the Flying Pigs to see in 2019 with an epic party the piggy way.
Mooch the Christmas Markets
Get your festive feels at one of Amsterdam’s Christmas markets, eating and drinking your way around while checking out the cute little Dutch trinkets being sold. Find out the best of the city’s Christmas markets by reading our article here.
Tick Christmas shopping off your to-do list
Get your Christmas shopping done amongst the twinkling fairy lights and extravagant window displays. The Nine Streets Christmas Lights are beautiful, Nine Streets (Negen Straatjes) is the place to head for your Christmas shopping. This is the prime shopping spot in Amsterdam where boutiques and clothing shops line the city’s 3 main canals.
Need a hostel in Amsterdam? Check out The Flying Pig Downtown hostel, right in the heart of the Red Light District
Article by Darcy King