Your Guide to an Amazing Winter in Amsterdam!

Winter in Amsterdam

Updated On: November 08, 2023 by   ConnollyCoveConnollyCove

Nothing beats spending winter in Amsterdam. It is a multicultural city where you can enjoy many festivals, especially during January. In particular, since the trading hub for spices has traditionally been in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. In recent years, Amsterdam has become a centre for art and technology. However, it is still a traditional city with excellent parks, lovely canals, and the Het Concertgebouw concert hall.

There are few foreign visitors to Amsterdam in January because it’s one of the coldest months of the year and the end of the international holiday season. However, during this time, you can visit tourist destinations and attractions without dealing with the summer crowds. Additionally, you benefit from lower hotel and travel rates.

Choose between visiting the Van Gogh Museum to see the “Sunflowers” or going to the Amsterdam Ice Bar for a wild night of partying. Eat a platter of loaded fries from a street vendor or savour experimental food at a Michelin-starred establishment. The best way to experience Amsterdam in January is outlined in the following article.

Winter in Amsterdam

Keep the excitement going by planning an impromptu trip to Amsterdam for 2023 after the Christmas rush has subsided and the New Year has arrived. The Dutch capital offers lots of entertaining activities throughout the entire month of January. There are fewer visitors and lines to enter some of the city’s major landmarks and attractions during the off-season. If you’re considering visiting Amsterdam in January, we’ve compiled a list of the top events and things to do.

Amsterdam Light Festival

Your Guide to an Amazing Winter in Amsterdam!

Amsterdam Light Festival takes place in winter, with the theme “Imagine Beyond,” the eleventh iteration of the event transports you to the world of fantasy. Amsterdam’s canals are home to light sculptures that can be seen along, around, and inside of them. With a Light Festival boat around the canals of Amsterdam during this edition, it will be possible once more to view the works of art from the water. You can envision whatever you want in the future. 

Along with your dreams, aim higher than the present. Enjoy the light art and let it inspire you. In addition to water flowing upward, there are talking lamps and virtual bridges. The Light Festival bike tour offers a Dutch perspective on Amsterdam’s light art installations. 

The most picturesque areas of wintery Amsterdam are visited during this one-and-a-half-hour guided Light Festival bike tour. Your guide speaks Dutch and English. Every day of the Light Festival, the trip leaves at 5 o’clock. The journey begins and ends in Amsterdam at A-Bike Nieuwe Nieuwstraat 19d. Free coffee and tea are served after the tour.

The pieces of light art can be viewed from the quay as well. The works of art are situated along a specially designed 6.5-kilometre walking path. The walking tour has the option of an audio guide included or not (in English or Dutch).

Ice Skating in Amsterdam

new year in Amesterdam

As soon as the temperature in the Netherlands lowers, the Dutch start fantasising about being able to skate on the canals in Amsterdam. There are many spots in Amsterdam where you can hone your skating abilities at the Winter Festival Amsterdam, even if the channels don’t freeze that year. Although skating on Amsterdam’s frozen canals during the winter is a magical experience, it does not happen yearly. 

The temperature must be below 0 degrees for four straight days to make the ice thick enough to skate. When the weather is favourable, specific channels are closed to boat traffic. We’re crossing our fingers that it will happen this year.

But a trip to a skating rink is always included while visiting Amsterdam in the winter. There are various ice rinks, and the experience is distinctive. The ideal locations for ice skating during the Winter Festival in Amsterdam are listed below.

Ice skating on Museumplein

new year in Amsterdam

On the Museumplein, directly in front of the renowned Rijksmuseum, is where you’ll find Ice Amsterdam. This temporary ice rink is all decked out in winter decorations, including Christmas trees, a winter market, unique lighting, and even an exact reproduction of Amsterdam’s Skinny Bridge. You should get some drinks or food if you prefer to avoid skating. Additionally, there is a Christmas market at the Museumplein from 14 December until 26 December.

Ice rink on the Rembrandtplein

An excellent skating rink is available on the cosy Rembrandtplein in the heart of Amsterdam. Swing by this ice rink and take in the distinctive ambience of this Amsterdam square while you skate. On and around the ice rink, many events happen annually. Along the skating rink is several food stands where you can get the tastiest winter treats and beverages in addition to skating.

Amsterdam Winter Paradise

The most authentic winter experience you can have, is at this significant event in Amsterdam. The Winter Paradise is roomier and more expansive than ever. At least 3400 m2 of ice fun is available. There are spectacular performances by renowned Dutch artists.

Winter activities abound at the annual Amsterdam Winter Paradise. Everything is possible at the Winter Paradise, including a sizable indoor and outdoor skating rink, a Ferris wheel, a merry-go-round, and cross-country skiing. Of course, you can also peruse the Christmas market stalls and savour the varied menu of food and beverages at the eateries and food trucks. Well-known Dutch performers perform on stage daily to round out the winter event.

Canal Cruise Amsterdam at Night

new year in Amsterdam

The winter months in Amsterdam are particularly appealing for a canal trip. You can, even more, appreciate the lovely lighting in Amsterdam’s city centre because it gets dark early. You can see the illuminated canal houses and their reflection on the water of the canals very well from the boat.

The lovely surroundings and canals of Amsterdam captured the hearts of the Golden Age painters. Here’s your chance to experience the same level of inspiration as you do as you gaze out the window of a boat at the stunning architecture, glistening lights, and midnight waterscape. An audio tour will provide further information about Amsterdam’s history while you are on a canal cruise. 

Christmas Markets in Amsterdam

The Amsterdam Christmas Market is spread across some places in the city. In addition to shopping, many Christmas markets also include a wide variety of other (winter) activities. Take a spin on a Ferris wheel, go ice skating on an indoor rink, or savour the best food and beverages at one of the cosy food stands.

We’ve provided you with a list of a couple of Christmas markets in Amsterdam below, Including the market’s location, how much it costs to enter, and a list of all the things you can do there. Young and elderly can participate in all the extra activities while still enjoying the unique Christmas ambience in one of Europe’s most stunning cities. There are little Christmas markets, which typically only last one or two days, and giant Christmas markets, which can frequently be visited for several weeks.

Christmas Market Amsterdam Ice Village

It is close to the Ice Amsterdam ice rink on the distinctive Museumplein. Young and elderly may both enjoy the magnificent Dutch winter mood at the exclusive Christmas Village, which has a unique atmosphere and a lovely ice rink. There are numerous Christmas shops around the ice rink where you can get the finest goods, a hot chocolate, and, of course, a plate of typical Dutch “poffertjes.”

Funky Xmas Market

The Sunday Markets are a well-known phenomenon in Amsterdam. In December, the distinctive Funky Xmas Market will be back. Do you wish to buy Christmas presents while looking for unusual gifts in a festive setting? After that, visit the Funky Xmas Market in Amsterdam’s Westergasterrein to indulge in wonderful holiday sweets, one-of-a-kind items, live entertainment, mulled wine, and hot cocoa.

National Tulip Day Amsterdam

new year in Amsterdam

You are fortunate to be in Amsterdam on the third Saturday in January. Usually, there aren’t any tulips in bloom in January, but Amsterdam celebrates National Tulip Day on the third Saturday of the month. The Dutch are marking the beginning of the tulip season with this unusual ceremony. 

Tulip blossoms will be marketed in the flower shops starting from that day. Visitors can freely pick tulips in a garden created explicitly for this purpose. About 200,000 tulips are set in the free pick-up garden. 

You can pick some lovely tulips for your hotel room in Amsterdam’s pick-up garden on Museum Square. You can also take some fantastic photos with the blossoming tulips. The tulips available for purchase in the tulip garden are indoor plants. 

Tulips are being grown by farmers in large greenhouses starting in November or December. The tulip fields close to Amsterdam begin to blossom only at the end of March. For more information on all tulip events this spring, please visit the Tulip Festival Amsterdam website.

In conclusion, visiting Amsterdam in Winter can be a unique, unforgettable experience for everyone. The city is uncrowded; you’ll get the best rates from hotels, and more importantly, you will not miss the fantastic events.

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