Although you’ll need to pack plenty of warm layers, a winter break in Amsterdam is one of the best ways to see the city at its most majestic as the canals are lit up with thousands of festive lights, and the unique Christmas celebrations get under way. If you’re planning to take a trip to Amsterdam this winter here’s a handy guide to some of the best seasonal events, to help you plan your visit.
Leidseplein Ice Rink, November 2nd – 12th January
Open-air ice skating is always a favourite winter event, and every November in Amsterdam the city’s best ice rink can be found at the Leidseplein. The rink will also be surrounded by tempting food stalls and festive markets, making it a must-see on any late year visit to Amsterdam.
Arrival of Saint Nicholas, November 18th
Each year the children of Amsterdam eagerly await the arrival of Saint Nicholas, surrounded by his servants on the deck of a ship bound for Amsterdam’s harbour. There will often be hundreds of thousands of children lining the harbour when he makes his appearance, and a huge parade then follows Saint Nicholas into the centre of Amsterdam to the Leidseplein, where he will be greeted by Amsterdam’s mayor. Customarily five tonnes of candy will be given away throughout the day so if you’re visiting Amsterdam with your kids, don’t miss out on this sweet celebration.
Flower Market, Throughout December
Amsterdam’s famous floating Bloemenmarkt, or Flower Market transforms into a winter wonderland during December, as its tulips are temporarily replaced with Christmas trees of all shapes, sizes and even colours! Whilst you might not be able to take a tree home with you on the plane it’s still a wonderfully unique experience, and as Amsterdam’s famous Christmas Palace store is just seconds from the Flower Market you won’t have to go far to scratch that festive shopping itch.
Christmas at Castle Keukenhof, December 6th-9th
You’ll find numerous Christmas markets in Amsterdam in the run up to Christmas, but arguably the very best is found at Castle Keukenhof only between the 6th and 9th of December. This magical market features dozens of stalls, stands and chalets filled with fantastic Christmas gift ideas plus delectable Dutch festive foods to taste – and take home! What’s more, as well as the great shopping opportunities there’s also a winter fair, an ice rink and an animal petting zoo, plus the castle and its gardens become adorned with thousands of fairy lights for a Christmas market experience you won’t soon forget.
#Disclosure: This post includes a sponsored link. However all the contents are my own.
#Photo credit: davydubbit