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5 reasons to visit Amsterdam this winter

15 December 2016

Amsterdam: city of canals, free spirits and King’s Day in the spring. But did you know there are a lot of fun things to do in winter as well? Check out our list of great things to do and reasons to visit Amsterdam this winter. The perfect holiday with friends, a weekend away with your boyfriend or a midweek break with your family. And do not forget to bring your gloves, hat and warm coat: it’s cold, baby! The Netherlands is known for its cold winters; temperatures can drop to below freezing, so a scarf would definitely be no unnecessary luxury!

Image: Amsterdam Light Festival

1. Amsterdam Light Festival

From 1 December 2016 onwards, the Dutch capital is illuminated once more during the Amsterdam Light Festival. Amsterdam will be in the spotlight for fifty days! Artists from the Netherlands and from abroad will illuminate the city with their spectacles. So do not hesitate and take one of the canal tour boats and be amazed by an illuminated Amsterdam – you have never seen the city like this before! The Water Colours route: as if you are sailing through an illuminated wonder world. Would you rather walk through Amsterdam? Then follow the picturesque Illuminade walking route, which is inspired by nature this year. Watch the intriguing laser show that illuminates the Maritime Museum, cross the Rainbow Bridge and be amazed by the beautiful colours.

Image: Ice*Amsterdam

2. Ice Ice Baby!

Ice skating: a must-do when you are in the Netherlands and it is freezing! It does not happen very often, but perhaps you will be lucky this year and you will be able to skate on the Amsterdam canals. If it is not cold enough: no worries! Museum Square (in Dutch: Museumplein) has the most fun ice skating ring in the city: Ice*Amsterdam. Sweep below the illuminated drawbridge. If you want to take a rest after your workout, you can warm up with some hot cocoa.

Image: VideoBlocks

3. Ho, Ho, Ho, merry X-mas!

This holiday will be amazing for all Christmas lovers, as Amsterdam is its prettiest with lights! There is a huge Christmas tree at Dam Square, as well as dozens of stalls with the most kitsch Christmas decorations you could hope for – selling Dutch doughnut balls (called ‘oliebollen’) and delicious hot mulled wine. Also remember to have a drink at Leidse Square, where you will find the best bars. 
Do you want to visit more than one Christmas market? Check out our article about the top 7 best Christmas markets in the Netherlands.

Image: Amsterdam Delicious, oliebollen

4. Dutch food!

There are a couple of things that you simply have to taste before you go back home. Start your feast with a Dutch croquette, which you can get from a fast food wall – yes, you read that right! There are fast food walls full of delicious fried food all over the city. Eat your croquette on a bun or simply from your hand – there is no way you could skip this classic Dutch delicacy. And do not forget to taste a deliciously greasy Dutch doughnut ball, called an ‘oliebol’! You can buy these during the entire holiday period, and they are available with or without raisins. As a dessert, you can try ‘poffertjes’: tiny pancakes with a huge amount of powdered sugar. It makes our mouths water just thinking about it! 

Image: Stayokay Amsterdam Vondelpark

5. Sweet dreams!

If you would like to enjoy Amsterdam a little longer, come join us in one of our three hostels. View the hostels now!