Love Christmas markets? Hop aboard one of our sleighs (read: plane) and get festive in Amsterdam. Just a short flight and you’ll be immersed in a twinkling city filled with Christmas markets, oliebollen, festive trees and sweet, sweet stroopwafels. The Dutch capital really pushes the canal barge out when it comes to Christmas, with events, markets and ice rinks open throughout the festive season. Grab your santa hat and let’s get festive.
Amsterdam’s festivities start mid-November when the iconic department store Bijenkorf switches its lights on. With the Christmas vibe continuing right up until New Year’s Day, there’s still plenty of time to see everything.
Even the grumpiest Grinch will be won over by this Christmas extravaganza. Thousands of fairy lights will twinkle amongst market stalls, light up the beer village and shine on the stars in the karaoke village. If all that sounds too hectic, why not chill out in a Jacuzzi, get a bird’s eye view from the Ferris wheel or get cosy at the Christmas cinema.
Funky X-Mas Market
Every Sunday designers and artists ply their wares at the Westergasfabriek. But on the 10th of December, things take on a seasonal twist. The place in Amsterdam to pick up pieces of handmade art and unique gifts.
This festive market centred around Amsterdam’s Museumplein, gives you the chance to get your skates on. The ice rink, stalls and festive street food all adds up to a serious amount of Yuletide fun. Add in the quirky sport of human bowling and this is a market not to be missed.
Amsterdam Light Festival
This stunning light festival brings a sea of colour to the city’s skies. Stroll around the streets and soak up the festive atmosphere on the Illuminade walking route - or hop aboard a canal cruise for a shimmering journey that shows Amsterdam off at its best.
When you’ve had your fill of mince pies, pancakes and glühwein, hit the streets to see some of Amsterdam’s top sights. With festive events scheduled across the city, you’ll never be too far away from the festive cheer.
Hit the ice
When the temperature hits minus four centigrade for more than four days in a row, Amsterdam locals and tourists can take to the city’s waterways in a very different style. With your skates or shoes on you can glide along the ice-covered canals for free.
Red Light District
An almost compulsory stop on everyone’s Amsterdam to do list, the Red Light District highlights the seedier side of Amsterdam. An experience none-the-less - and while you might not do any Christmas shopping here, there will at least be fairy lights strewn amongst the windows.
IJ-Hallen Flea Market
While this definitely isn’t a Christmas market, it’s one of Amsterdam’s best places to bag a bargain. Stock up on quirky and hard to find stocking fillers - at knock-down prices.