Visiting Amsterdam in winter is an amazing experience. In winter, the city looks magical and there are many things to do!
Furthermore, going here in winter is often cheaper than at other times of the year! And because winter in Amsterdam is quieter, you feel more like a local!
Also, Amsterdam is a city with many events in winter that are great to attend.
Here, you find everything you should know about winter in the capital of the Netherlands!
Table of Contents
What’s the winter weather like in Amsterdam?
When it's winter in Amsterdam, it can get cold, but not very cold. The average temperature in winter is about 43°F / 6°C. But sometimes it is freezing in Amsterdam.
Also, it can rain a lot during the winter. On average it rains about 11 days per month in winter. Furthermore, it can be windy in Amsterdam.
Because of the temperature, you will rarely see a lot of snow in Amsterdam. There are only a few days each winter when it is snowing.
But when it's snowing, it's definitely magical.
What to wear in winter in Amsterdam?
Since it can get cold in Amsterdam, I would recommend taking warm clothes with you. Also, because of the rain, a raincoat can be convenient as well. And don't forget to bring an umbrella!
Where to stay in Amsterdam in winter?
There are many good neighborhoods in Amsterdam to stay in. You have De Pijp, City Center, and many others.
During the colder months, it can be convenient to stay in the city center. Many sights are in the city center, so in that case, you have to travel less.
Furthermore, if it gets too cold or if you want to rest, it is easier to go back to your accommodation.
But you can stay in every district in Amsterdam in winter. It doesn't matter that much. It's very easy to get around in Amsterdam.
How to get around in Amsterdam during winter?
During winter public transport in Amsterdam is still very good. You can get everywhere very fast.
In the city, you find a metro system, many trams, buses, ferries, and local trains. All are useful in Amsterdam! For this, it can be convenient to get the Amsterdam Travel Ticket.
When you stay in the city center, you most likely only use trams. But because the city center is small, you can also walk everywhere! This is even more convenient and you can better see the beautiful city of Amsterdam in winter!
Things to do during Amsterdam in winter
There is a lot to do in Amsterdam in winter. Below you find a selection of the best activities.
1. Visit the Amsterdam Winter Paradise
A visit to the Amsterdam Winter Paradise is one of the best things you can do in Amsterdam during the winter. This spectacular festival is all about the winter season.
Every year you can go to RAI Amsterdam for an indoor and outdoor spectacle. There is a lot you can do here. There are so many winter activities!
One of the activities you can do here is ice skating. You can do so on the inside and the outside ice rink.
Another thing to do here is riding a huge Ferris wheel from which you have a better overview of the event!
Furthermore, you can go curling. There is an opportunity to ski on real snow.
You can also roast marshmallows over a fire. It's definitely amazing that you can roast marshmallows when it's winter in Amsterdam!
Moreover, there is a Christmas cinema where you can see all kinds of Christmas movies.
Also, there are many après-ski parties with lots of artists. And you can stay for dinner as many restaurants have their own pop-up restaurant here.
2. Go ice skating
You can go ice skating at the Amsterdam Winter Paradise, but there are many other places for ice skating.
For example, you can go to Museum Square for a large ice rink in front of the Rijksmuseum. There is music as well here, and there are plenty of options for food and drinks. Also, the view of the Rijksmuseum is great.
Another place for ice skating is at the Jaap Eden Ice Rink. This is a large ice rink in the east of Amsterdam that you can visit in the winter months. You'll find here a large rink and an indoor hall.
Besides these examples, there are more ice rinks in Amsterdam. And sometimes the canals of Amsterdam freeze and people skate on the natural ice. But this is very rare and the last time was many years ago.
3. Visit a museum at Museum Square
Visiting a museum is always a good idea when you are visiting the city. There are a lot of good museums in Amsterdam. Here you can learn a lot about history and see the most beautiful artworks.
But when it's winter in Amsterdam, a visit to the museums is even better! The collections are worth visiting. But besides that, the museums are a place where you can warm up.
Some of the museums at Museum Square include the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum. The Stedelijk Museum and the Moco Museum are also great. Each one of these is great to visit during winter!
Even if you're only one day in Amsterdam, going to a museum is definitely worth your time!
4. Shop at a Christmas Market
When it's winter in Amsterdam, there are several Christmas markets. At many of these Christmas markets, you can shop for all kinds of products depending on where you go.
Something that all have in common is the Christmas feeling you get when you visit them!
One of the best Christmas markets for shopping is the Funky Xmas Market. You find here products of local artists.
This Christmas market is amazing! With all its Christmas decorations and special Christmas stalls, it's very unique!
5. National Tulip Day
Every third Saturday of January it is National Tulip Day in the Netherlands. This day is the start of the new tulip season! It's lovely if you like flowers.
The Tulip is the most common flower in the Netherlands. When you think of Tulips you think of the Netherlands, and vice versa.
During National Tulip Day you have to go to Dam Square! Everyone can go here to pick up their free tulip! There are about 200,000 tulips waiting for you!
6. Discover the Amsterdam Light Festival
This festival is all about lighting. You find light displays throughout Amsterdam. From bridges to buildings to streets, all get light decorations.
It is not a normal festival as there is no entrance fee. There's also not one specific place where the festival is. The city becomes the festival in winter. And you can walk there!
7. Do a canal cruise
Doing a canal cruise is one of the best things to do in Amsterdam in winter. During a canal cruise, you can see the city from a large boat.
During this tour, you learn a lot about Amsterdam. Furthermore, in only an hour or so. It's a fun way to learn a lot about the city.
If you're in Amsterdam in winter, this activity is even better. And when there is snow it is the best! The winter vibes of the city are lovely to see. Furthermore, the canal houses look very picturesque!
Going on a canal cruise is also one of the most fun things to do in Amsterdam at night!
8. Eat oliebollen
An oliebol is a traditional Dutch and Belgian snack. During Christmas time you find large stalls selling them everywhere!
Oliebollen are very tasty! They are best when you top them with powdered sugar! Also, they come in two types. You can get them with and without raisins.
People often buy only one and eat them on the spot. But it is also a tradition in the Netherlands to buy a bunch and eat them with family and friends during New Year's Eve!
9. Walk through the city and see the Christmas lights
Sometimes the simplest things to do are best. Such as a walk through the city!
In Amsterdam, a fun activity is to walk along the canals in the city center. This is always a great thing to do. But during the winter months, you can see a lot of Christmas lights everywhere.
Also, if it happens to snow when you are in Amsterdam, the city looks even more beautiful. The white snow fits very well with the picturesque houses of Amsterdam! This makes the photogenic places of Amsterdam more photogenic.
10. Enjoy fireworks during New Year’s Eve!
Fireworks are an important part of Dutch culture during New Year's Eve. Every citizen can get their own fireworks and set them off themselves.
Also, the city itself organizes a firework show for all to see. This is a spectacular event with lots of beautiful fireworks.
Furthermore, you can go to a higher point in the city to see the fireworks in the Amsterdam sky. There are many restaurants and bars where you can do that. For example, the Sky Lounge at the Hilton hotel is great for this.
11. Listen to Christmas Carols
There are a few churches in Amsterdam where you can listen to Christmas Carols. This is a great Christmas experience!
Furthermore, the churches look amazing, which adds to the experience. Visiting a church during winter in Amsterdam is also a great thing to do in itself.
One example of a church where you can go for this is the Vondelkerk!
12. See the large Christmas tree at Dam Square
Every year, there's a large Christmas tree at Dam Square. This is one of the most magical things to see in Amsterdam in winter! It's the perfect way to get into the Christmas spirit.
It's in the center of Amsterdam and the tree is very impressive. Also, going to Dam Square is one of the best things to do in Amsterdam in general.
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