Not sure what to do for the holidays? A Christmas in Amsterdam offers a variety of amazing events and attractions for the season. From viewing holiday lights from the canal to perusing the Christmas markets, the largest city in The Netherlands is a beautiful city to celebrate the festivities. Spend a holiday in Amsterdam that you will never forget!
Amsterdam Light Festival
Running through January 20, the Amsterdam Light Festival illuminates the canal, featuring holiday-themed sculptures and light displays rising high above the water. Thousands of lights are used to create the beautiful displays along the canal and nearby locations. International artists designed exhibits that go beyond your typical holiday lights, using recycled plastic bottles as a “Parabolic Lightcloud,” as well as creating a giant-sized set of red lips. If you love lights during the holidays, a Christmas in Amsterdam may just be for you.
You can view the light festival by walking along the canal, or enjoying a bicycle tour (a popular activity in Amsterdam). But, the best way to take in the sights may be from the comfort of a cruise boat in the canal. Enjoy a hot chocolate or an adult beverage as you tour the lights from the comfort of a heated tour boat. This is one luxurious way to spend a holiday in Amsterdam!
European Christmas markets offer visitors amazing opportunities to shop like locals. With Christmas markets scattered around the nation’s capital, you can combine shopping with taking in the beautiful sights. In addition to finding the perfect gift for that special person, sample the holiday cuisine. Christmas markets offer delicious treats, such as appeltaart, with layers of cinnamon-flavored apple slices in a bed of tasty dough. Strropwafel is a syrupy waffle that’s been around since the 18th century. Chocolate lovers will rejoice while oversampling chocoladeletters, treats in the shape of a letter that date back to the Middle Ages. A holiday in Amsterdam will be a sweet one indeed!
While spending a holiday in Amsterdam, visit with Sinterklaas. The Dutch version of Santa Claus, Sinterklaas – aka Sint Nikolaas – is based on Catholic Saint Nicholas. Dressed in traditional red clothing and sporting a white beard, Sinterklaas is said to arrive in the country in November and then tours the country on horseback. The Dutch believe Santa Claus is based on Sinterklaas.
With the city’s holiday festivities showcased with lights, outdoor ice skating, and Christmas markets, Amsterdam’s concert halls are full of the sounds of the season. While a variety of shows highlight the season’s music, visitors can enjoy classical versions of traditional Dutch, German and English carols with the Bach Choir and Orchestra of the Netherlands. Christmas in Amsterdam never sounded so sweet!
When spending a holiday in Amsterdam, taking a tour of the Dutch windmills is a must! Rent a car, or maybe hire a driver, to tour the countryside. Better yet, why not take a guided tour of the windmills, along with a tour of the countryside, including visiting traditional fishing villages.
Where to Stay
Visitors can choose from a plethora of classic hotels and guesthouses to stay at during a holiday in Amsterdam. The Pulitzer Hotel Amsterdam provides a comfortable, luxurious experience. The hotel sits near two major canals, with several rooms offering views of the canalside. Winding its way through 25 buildings, the hotel’s rooms vary in size and style. Its location offers a short walk to the Anne Frank House or the royal palace. With rooms starting at 235 Euro (about $268 USD), the hotel offers a luxurious stay at a comfortable price.
Where to Eat
Most visitors want to sample the local cuisine when they spend Christmas Amsterdam and the city is full of great dining options. La Oliva’s menu includes tapas and wine. Restaurant Greetje takes Dutch food to a new level, such as stewed rabbit with mashed sweet potatoes and carrots.
As the holidays quickly approach, Amsterdam provides a beautiful backdrop to a wonderful experience, with great food, culture, and unique seasonal attractions. Will you be planning a holiday in Amsterdam? Be sure to see our article on avoiding the crows in this busy city. Then book your trip for a Christmas in Amsterdam the entire family will love.