Best Things to do in Amsterdam in February
Planning to visit Amsterdam in February and want to know what to do while you’re there? Being the coldest month on the city’s calendar, we’ve rounded up some of the best winter activities, sticking mainly indoors, so you can retreat from the cold and enjoy what the Dutch capital has to offer in the off-season. Not only are flights and accommodation cheaper in Amsterdam during February, but there are also less queues and crowds so you can embrace the city’s main sights and attractions without any stress. Here’s what to do in Amsterdam in February…
Chinese New Year
If you’re coming to the city in early February, then you’ll still get to experience the Chinese New Year buzz. 25th January marks the Year of the Rat so why not celebrate the start of the New Year at one of Amsterdam’s best, affordable Chinese restaurants? Plus, let’s be honest - when a sudden craving for sweet n’ sour chicken kicks in, you can’t ignore it wherever you are in the world. There’s nothing like a sizzling beef or a wonton soup to warm you up on a cold, winter's day.
Check out the best affordable Chinese restaurants in Amsterdam
Travelling to Amsterdam for Valentine’s Day? There are plenty of romantic things to do in the Dutch capital that will create some lifelong memories. From a cute little canal cruise to a romantic dinner with a view, a weekend city break in Amsterdam is the perfect Valentine’s retreat. The 14th of February is conveniently a Friday this year, so you can have the whole weekend to enjoy the city (taking less time off work). Need ideas? Head to one of the city’s best dim sum restaurants, enjoy a tasty brunch, go to the Heineken Experience, explore De Pijp and some other romantic neighbourhoods, head to the best viewpoints in the city or enjoy some Dutch beers in the city’s coolest pubs and bars.
February is the last month to enjoy the city’s ice rinks. Our favourite in the city is ICE Amsterdam which is located on Museumplein, near the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum. Open until 2nd February, this is the perfect winter activity if you’re going to be in Amsterdam early Feb.
Planning to visit later in the month? Another awesome place to skate in Amsterdam is the Jaap Eden ice rink which is open up until March. Located in the east of the city, this place has an indoor rink, outdoor rink as well as a beginner’s area where you can practice your skills on the ice.
Cosy Dutch restaurants
There’s nothing like comforting Dutch home-style cooking when it’s freezing cold outside. Amsterdam’s cosy Dutch restaurants are a great place to introduce yourself to the local cuisine. Buzzing with locals and affordable, hearty food - what more could you want on a winter city break? Bitterballen, Dutch steak, hot beef stews, cheese platters, stamppot, traditional fish stew, sausages and schnitzel with beer, there’s a reason people visit Amsterdam when it’s cold. Check out the best affordable Dutch restaurants in Amsterdam for some inspiration…
Check out the thrift shops
Escape the winter chill and buy some stylish layers at one of Amsterdam’s coolest thrift shops. The sustainable shopping scene in the Dutch capital is above average with some trendy second-hand shops where you’re guaranteed to walk out with a funky new wardrobe addition. From vintage denim jackets, printed shirts, low-cost designer steals and chunky knits, the thrift shops in Amsterdam get a massive tick from us. Especially considering we’re trying to make a conscious effort to shop more sustainably this year…are you?
Check out the best thrift shops and vintage stores in Amsterdam
Chocoa Festival (Chocolate Festival)
Many of Amsterdam’s festivals don’t kick off until the spring or summer but one that we’re a big fan of is coming to the city on 22nd - 23rd February. The Chocoa Festival is a festival dedicated to all things chocolate, taking place at Amsterdam’s Beurs van Berlage, a concert venue in the heart of the city. If you’re a chocoholic then this festival is your dream come true where you’ll get to learn about the chocolate-making process (from the bean to the bar), discover new flavours with over 85 stands and of course, take part in a lot of tastings!
Anne Frank House
One of our favourite things to do in Amsterdam is to pay a trip to the Anne Frank House which is located in the Jordaan neighbourhood. This experience is worth doing at any time of year, and it’s a real eye opener into the life of the famous diarist Anne Frank during her time in hiding. The building at house 263 on the Prinsengracht canal is the actual townhouse where Anne hid in Amsterdam during the Nazi Regime. The story is deeply saddening but also fascinating - you may shed a tear or two. A ticket will give you access to her old bedroom, the museum, the story of her family and information about their living conditions while they were living in the Dutch capital.
Here’s our Guide to the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam
Amsterdam is famous for its coffee shops. Whether you’re a beginner to the city’s popular coffeeshops, or you already know what you’re doing, keep warm in one of the cosy joints (get it?) throughout the city and get the real Dam’ experience. If you don’t know where to start, we’ve rounded up the coolest coffee shops to smoke in when visiting Amsterdam. Not a weed smoker? Check out what to do in Amsterdam if you don’t smoke. It’s not for everyone!
Article by Shereen Sagoo