4 Best Attractions in Amsterdam to Visit in Winter

top attractions in amsterdam

Updated On: November 23, 2023 by   MariseMarise

Amsterdam is the perfect destination for a winter trip. There are some top attractions in Amsterdam you would want to visit in this beautiful season. You might want to go ice skating, visit the city’s famous museums, or even just enjoy some hot chocolate and the cosy atmosphere of the city centre. Here are some of the top attractions in Amsterdam recommended for you.

A Day Trip to Zaanse Schans and Volendam

new year in Amesterdam

Zaanse Schans, a picturesque Dutch village on the banks of the Zaan River, is one of the top attractions in Amsterdam. It has been so meticulously conserved that it now serves as an outdoor museum. Zaanse Schans is a dramatic tribute to the industrial and residential region of the Netherlands. It is dotted with active windmills and old homes from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. 

This picturesque town formerly had more than 600 working windmills and enterprises. Now, Zaanse Schans offers some unusual attractions, including a bakery museum. Among other things, there is a clog museum, a workshop, and a nearby cheese farm. Only a 20-minute drive separates this Dutch treasure from Amsterdam. Both tourists and residents should go on this fun day trip at least once in Winter.

Van Gogh Museum

new year in Amesterdam

Amsterdam’s extensive network of canals, winding bike lanes, and 17th-century Dutch charm beckon the wandering soul. The city has kept up with the times while preserving its traditions. The beaches, tulip gardens, and exciting nightlife there would tempt anyone. 

But a trip to the renowned Van Gogh Museum, a twenty-first-century monument to the life and works of the brilliant Van Gogh, is essential to seeing this “Venice of the North”; it’s one of the must-visit top attractions in Amsterdam. The four-storey museum is home to art galleries where Van Gogh’s and his contemporaries’ creations—including those of Monet, Gauguin, and Millet—are exhibited. Even though Vincent Van Gogh’s genius was fleeting, he was one of the essential artists in the history of Western art. 

Theo Van Gogh received his brother Vincent’s artwork when he committed suicide in 1890. But following Theo’s untimely passing, his widow Jo Van Gogh-Bonger took it upon herself to promote Vincent’s works in some ways. The Van Gogh Foundation was founded by her son, Vincent Willem Van Gogh. 

The state of the Netherlands constructed the opulent Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam next to the Rijksmuseum in 1973. More than 200 of the artist’s paintings are on show in the museum. It includes hundreds of letters, drawings, and other personal items.


new year in Amesterdam

A collection of one million works of art can be found at the Rijksmuseum in the Netherlands, one of the most famous art museums in the world. It is a must-see attraction in Amsterdam, with more than 2 million visitors each year. The Netherlands’ national museum, called The Rijksmuseum, is one of the top attractions in Amsterdam that gets even better during Winter.

The Netherlands has a rich artistic heritage from the Middle Ages. Dutch painters Rembrandt, Frans Hals, and Johannes Vermeer are among the artists whose works are displayed in the museum. The Night Watch, The Milk Maid, and The Threatened Swan are notable works of art on show at the Rijksmuseum.

Nearly a million works of art are in the Rijksmuseum’s original collection. However, the number of items on show now is just 8000 and spans the 800-year history of Dutch art. The artworks are available in 80 galleries. The most significant art museum in the Netherlands is the Rijksmuseum. The museum receives about two and a half million visitors annually. It ranks among the top tourist attractions in Amsterdam.

Thoroughly exploring the Rijksmuseum is a difficult task. To see everything on show, you might need weeks. Visitors can get a close-up look at the rich history of the Netherlands at the Rijksmuseum—the shown works of art date between 1200 and 2000. 

The Milk Maid by Johannes Vermeer, the Gallery of Honour, Rembrandt’s Self-portrait, The Great Hall, Vincent Van Gogh’s Self-portrait, Rembrandt’s The Night Watch, and Cuypers Library are some of the highlights of the collection. Additionally, the Rijksmuseum hosts frequent exhibitions. International loans and Rijksmuseum collections are featured in the shows. 

During your visit to the Rijksmuseum, you can enjoy theatre performances, workshops, family games, and guided tours. The public can now visit the museum and view Operation Night Watch. This unique restoration initiative uses technology to repair Rembrandt’s masterpiece Night Watch. Visitors to the museum can view the repair activities in progress.

ARTIS Royal Zoo

Another one of the top attractions in Amsterdam is the ARTIS Royal Zoo, which is a magnificent fusion of culture, nature, and legacy. There are different areas of the zoo. Each section can be explored in depth and at your own pace. Take in the sights of zebras, giraffes, springboks, ostriches, and other animals coexisting peacefully on the Savannah. At the Butterfly Pavilion, be astounded by the many fluttering and various species of butterflies.

Let’s say you want to know more about the mysteries of space. Head to the ARTIS Planetarium for a cosmic adventure that starts at 3 PM on weekdays and 1 PM on weekends. Additionally, you can access the ARTIS Aquarium, where you may see various animals like sharks, seahorses, piranhas, and tropical fish. Explore the Amsterdam Canal to learn more about the harm that plastic has caused to aquatic life.

Walking around the historic city park with its old trees and diverse plants is calming and relaxing. On Artisplein, you can unwind by the fountain as well. If you want refreshments, go to de Plantage, a café-restaurant inside the building.

Other Winter Things to Consider in Amsterdam

There are several other noteworthy attractions and activities in Amsterdam during the winter season; we detail the additional ideas here:

Amsterdam Light Festival:

Description: A breathtaking spectacle of illuminated artworks adorning the canals and streets of Amsterdam, transforming the city into a mesmerizing winter wonderland. This enchanting winter wonderland showcases the creativity of renowned artists from around the globe, transforming the city into a captivating canvas of light and colour. Stroll along the canals and marvel at the captivating installations, each piece telling a unique story and evoking a range of emotions.

Should You Visit?: Yes, if you’re seeking an enchanting and visually stunning experience that will capture your imagination.

National Tulip Day:

Description: A vibrant celebration of the Netherlands’ renowned tulips featuring an abundance of these colourful blooms displayed in a temporary garden in Dam Square. Embrace the vibrant celebration of National Tulip Day, an event that pays homage to the Netherlands’ renowned tulips. On the third Saturday of January, Dam Square transforms into a colourful oasis adorned with over 200,000 tulips in a dazzling array of colours and varieties. Wander through this ephemeral garden and admire the delicate beauty of these iconic flowers, capturing the essence of Dutch spring.

Should You Visit?: Yes, if you’re a fan of tulips or want to experience a unique and picturesque event during the Dutch winter.

Winter Festival Amsterdam:

Description: A festive and dynamic winter celebration with activities, including evening canal cruises, ice-skating, snowball fights, cross-country skiing, performances by Dutch artists, food trucks, a Ferris wheel, and indoor or outdoor skating rinks. The city transforms into a winter wonderland from late December to early January, offering many activities. Indulge in an evening canal cruise, glide gracefully across ice skating rinks, engage in snowball fights, or test your skills on cross-country skis. Enjoy performances by renowned Dutch artists, savour delectable treats from food trucks, spin the Ferris wheel, or experience the thrill of indoor or outdoor skating rinks.

Should You Visit?: Yes, if you’re looking for a lively and exciting way to immerse yourself in the winter spirit of Amsterdam.

Amsterdam | Netherlands | Things to Do in Amsterdam | Amsterdam Attractions

Shopping at the 9 Straatjes:

Description: A charming and upscale shopping district known as the “nine little streets,” offering a diverse array of boutiques, art galleries, designer shops, and restaurants, providing a delightful experience for retail enthusiasts and those exploring Amsterdam’s trendy neighbourhoods. Step into a world of refined elegance and unique treasures at the 9 Straatjes, a charming and upscale shopping district in Amsterdam’s heart. Known as the “nine little streets,” this area offers a delightful blend of boutiques, art galleries, designer shops, and restaurants, catering to discerning shoppers and those seeking a taste of Amsterdam’s trendy neighbourhoods. Discover hidden gems, admire exquisite craftsmanship, and indulge in retail therapy amidst the vibrant ambience of this fashionable quarter.

Should You Visit?: Yes, if you’re a discerning shopper seeking unique and stylish gifts or souvenirs or simply want to stroll through a charming and aesthetically pleasing neighbourhood.

Amsterdam’s Christmas Markets:

Description: A delightful gathering of Christmas markets across Amsterdam, renowned for their handmade crafts, traditional Dutch cuisine, and festive atmosphere. Some notable markets include Ice*Village Amsterdam, Funky Xmas Market, and Pure Winter Markt Amsterdam. Embrace the enchanting allure of Amsterdam’s Christmas markets, a collection of festive gatherings that capture the essence of the holiday season. Wander through these charming markets, adorned with twinkling lights and filled with the enticing aromas of traditional Dutch treats. Browse handcrafted ornaments, savour authentic Dutch cuisine, and immerse yourself in the cosy and festive atmosphere. Notable markets include Ice*Village Amsterdam, Funky Xmas Market, and Pure Winter Markt Amsterdam, each offering a unique blend of holiday cheer and local charm.

Should You Visit?: Yes, if you’re eager to immerse yourself in the cosy and festive spirit of Christmas in Amsterdam, savour traditional Dutch treats, or find unique holiday gifts and decorations.

Museum of Willet-Holthuysen:

Description: A beautifully preserved canal house museum offers a glimpse into wealthy Dutch families’ lives in the mid-1800s. During the winter, it hosts a Christmas exhibition with live music and festive décor. Step back in time and explore the opulent lifestyle of wealthy Dutch families in the mid-1800s at the Museum of Willet-Holthuysen. This beautifully preserved canal house museum offers a glimpse into the grandeur and elegance of a bygone era. Admire the meticulously crafted interiors, adorned with exquisite furniture, artwork, and decorative objects, each piece narrating the story of a family’s wealth and social standing. During the winter, the museum hosts a captivating Christmas exhibition featuring live music and festive décor, transforming the space into a magical winter wonderland.

Should You Visit?: Yes, if you’re fascinated by Dutch history, architecture, and interior design or want to experience a traditional Dutch Christmas celebration.

Wereldkerstcircus at Royal Theatre Carré:

Description: A dazzling and captivating circus spectacle featuring acrobatic performances, white horses, contortionists, trapeze artists, and more. It’s held during the holiday season and is a family-friendly event. Prepare to be spellbound by the captivating performances of the Wereldkerstcircus at Royal Theatre Carré, a dazzling spectacle that will mesmerize audiences of all ages. This traditional circus extravaganza features a mesmerizing array of acrobats, white horses, contortionists, trapeze artists, and more, captivating onlookers with their daring feats and artistry. Held during the holiday season, this family-friendly event is a cherished tradition that has delighted generations of visitors.

Should You Visit?: Yes, if you’re seeking a thrilling and entertaining experience that amazes and delights children and adults alike.

Winter Paradise (Het Amsterdamse Winterparadijs):

Description: A winter wonderland transformed from the RAI area, offering snow, tube slides, sledging, multiple skating rinks, and festive food options. Embrace the joys of winter at Winter Paradise (Het Amsterdamse Winterparadijs), a magical transformation of the RAI area into a winter wonderland. Experience the thrill of snow tubing, sledging, and multiple skating rinks, each offering a unique winter experience. Indulge in festive food options and immerse yourself in the season’s merriment, creating unforgettable memories amidst the enchanting winter ambience.

Should You Visit?: Yes, if you’re longing to experience the joys of winter activities in a truly magical setting, enjoy traditional Dutch winter treats, or simply want to let loose and enjoy the festive spirit of the season.

Groote Museum:

Description: An interactive museum encouraging visitors to explore interconnectedness with the world and other life on Earth. It features exhibits focusing on various parts of the human body and their connection to the universe. An interactive museum that invites visitors to delve into the wonders of the human body and its connection to the universe. Engage with interactive exhibits, explore the intricacies of the human anatomy, and gain a deeper understanding of our place within the vast cosmos. This captivating museum offers a unique perspective on the world around us,

Should You Visit?: Yes, if you’re curious about the human body’s connection to the universe, enjoy interactive and educational experiences, or seek a unique perspective on the world around us.

International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA):

Description: The world’s largest documentary film festival, held over 12 days in November, showcasing films that offer non-Western perspectives and cultures.

Should You Visit?: Yes, if you’re passionate about documentary films, intrigued by diverse cultural viewpoints, or seeking thought-provoking and insightful cinematic experiences.

In conclusion, visiting some of the top attractions in Amsterdam in Winter can be an enriching experience for everyone in the city at this time of the year. The museums are uncrowded, which makes for a more enjoyable visit,; it is perfect – even for a day trip. There are many great performances on stage, and restaurants offer special menus. It’s a fantastic time to visit Amsterdam. This guide is also of great help for visiting Amsterdam.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *