Things to Do in Amsterdam in Winter

Things to Do in Amsterdam in Winter

Amsterdam is a wonderful city to explore during the winter season, with plenty of activities and attractions to keep you entertained. Visiting museums is a popular activity in Amsterdam during the winter. The Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum, and Anne Frank House are just a few of the famous museums that are worth a visit. These museums offer a great way to escape the cold weather and indulge in some culture and history.

For those who prefer to stay warm, Amsterdam has many cosy cafes and bars to choose from. These places offer delicious hot drinks like glühwein and hot chocolate and provide a welcoming atmosphere to relax and enjoy the winter ambience.

Lastly, a winter boat tour of Amsterdam's canals is an exciting way to see the city's famous landmarks from a unique perspective. The boats are covered and heated, so you can stay warm while taking in the beautiful scenery.

Rijksmuseum: Dutch Art, history, Culture combined

The Rijksmuseum is a true cultural gem of Amsterdam that features an extensive collection of Dutch art and history. The museum boasts over 8,000 pieces of artwork and artifacts, including works by Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Frans Hals. The museum offers a glimpse into the country's history, with collections from the Middle Ages to modern times. With audio guides available in multiple languages, visitors can take a self-guided tour and explore the galleries at their own pace. The museum's stunning architecture and interior design add to the overall experience, making it a must-see attraction for art and history lovers.

Van Gogh Museum: Post-Impressionist Art at its Finest

The Van Gogh Museum is a must-visit destination for art lovers. It showcases the works of one of the most celebrated and renowned artists of all time, Vincent van Gogh. The museum houses the world's largest collection of Van Gogh's paintings, drawings, and letters. Visitors can explore the museum's permanent collection, which includes many of his most famous works, such as "Sunflowers" and "Starry Night." The museum also features temporary exhibitions that showcase the work of Van Gogh's contemporaries and artists who were inspired by him.

Anne Frank House: Step into Her Tragic Story

The Anne Frank House is a poignant and powerful museum that tells the tragic story of Anne Frank and her family during World War II. The museum is located in the house where Anne and her family hid from the Nazis for two years. Visitors can tour the house and see the hidden rooms where the family lived, as well as artifacts and exhibits that tell the story of their time in hiding. The museum is a moving tribute to the strength and resilience of the human spirit and a reminder of the horrors of war.

Heineken Experience: Beer-Making Journey With Tastings Included

The Heineken Experience is a fun and interactive attraction that takes visitors on a journey through the history and production of one of the world's most popular beers. The tour includes a visit to the brewery's former site, where visitors can learn about the brewing process, participate in interactive exhibits, and taste different types of beer. The Heineken Experience is a must-visit for beer lovers and anyone interested in the history of the iconic Heineken brand.

ARTIS: Wildlife and Nature Up Close

ARTIS is one of the oldest and most beautiful zoos in Europe, located in the heart of Amsterdam. The zoo features a wide variety of animals, including mammals, birds, reptiles, and fish, as well as a botanical garden. Visitors can explore the zoo's many exhibits and learn about the animals and their habitats. ARTIS is a great place for families and animal lovers, and it also hosts regular events and activities for visitors of all ages.

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Efteling: Fairytale-Inspired Theme Park Fun

Efteling is a magical and enchanting theme park that's perfect for families and couples alike. The park is inspired by fairytales and features many attractions and rides that bring these stories to life. Visitors can explore the park's many themed areas, including the Fairytale Forest, the Flying Dutchman, and the Efteling Theater. The park also hosts regular events and shows, making it a great destination for a day of fun and adventure.

Amsterdam Christmas Markets: Festive Shopping and Treats Galore

Amsterdam Christmas Markets in winter is the perfect place for festive shopping and treat lovers. It is one of the most enchanting times of the year in Amsterdam when the city transforms into a winter wonderland with festive lights and decorations everywhere. The markets feature traditional Dutch crafts, gifts, and foods like stroopwafels, oliebollen, and hot chocolate. From late November until early January, the markets are held in different locations throughout the city. Visitors can stroll through the charming wooden stalls and take in the festive ambience of Amsterdam.

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Amsterdam Light Festival: Illuminated Canal Cruise Spectacle

The Amsterdam Light Festival is another magical winter event that brings the city to life with stunning illuminations, sculptures, and installations. It's a perfect romantic activity for couples to experience the beautiful canals of Amsterdam lit up by colourful and artistic lights. The festival is held from late November to mid-January, and visitors can either walk the route or take a boat tour through the illuminated canals.

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Amsterdam Canal Cruises: Scenic Waterway Sightseeing Tour

Amsterdam Canal Cruises are an excellent way to explore the city from a unique perspective. The cruise provides a relaxing and scenic journey through Amsterdam's canals while offering an opportunity to learn about the city's history and architecture. The canal cruise is a popular activity among couples as it allows them to sit back and enjoy the beautiful views of the city while enjoying a drink or snack. There are several types of canal cruises available, from standard daytime cruises to dinner cruises and even themed boat rides.

What to Pack For Amsterdam in Winter?

When planning a trip to Amsterdam in winter, it's important to pack accordingly for the colder weather. Here are some essential items to pack for your trip:

  • Warm clothing: Amsterdam can be quite chilly in winter, so be sure to pack warm clothing such as a coat, gloves, and a hat.
  • Comfortable shoes: Amsterdam is a walking and cycling city, so comfortable shoes are a must. Make sure they are also warm and waterproof.
  • Umbrella: Amsterdam is known for its rainy weather, so pack an umbrella to stay dry.
  • Camera: Amsterdam is a picturesque city, and the winter season offers unique photo opportunities with the winter lights and decorations.
  • Power adapter: If you are travelling from outside of Europe, be sure to bring a power adapter to charge your electronic devices.

While the colder weather may limit some outdoor activities to do in Amsterdam in winter, there are still plenty of things to do and activities to enjoy, such as ice skating, winter markets, and the Amsterdam Light Festival. By packing the right items, you can make the most of your trip to Amsterdam in winter.

FAQ's About Things to Do in Amsterdam in Winter

Is Amsterdam worth visiting in winter?

Yes, Amsterdam is definitely worth visiting in winter! While the weather may be colder, the city still offers plenty to see and do, including winter markets, ice skating rinks, and beautiful winter decorations throughout the city. Additionally, visiting during the winter months can offer a different perspective on the city, with fewer crowds and a more peaceful atmosphere.

What are some of the best outdoor activities to do in Amsterdam during winter?

Best outdoor activities to do in Amsterdam during winter:

  • Ice skating: Several outdoor rinks throughout the city, including at Museumplein and Jaap Edenbaan.
  • Winter markets: Christmas markets at Leidseplein and Rembrandtplein offer a festive atmosphere and unique shopping opportunities.
  • Amsterdam Light Festival: A must-see with stunning light installations throughout the city.
  • Walking tours: Explore the city's historic canals and architecture on foot.
  • Cycling: Rent a bike and explore the city's parks and neighbourhoods.

What are some of the top indoor attractions to visit in Amsterdam during winter?

Top indoor attractions to visit in Amsterdam during winter:

  • Rijksmuseum: One of the world's best art collections, including works by Rembrandt and Vermeer.
  • Van Gogh Museum: Art museum dedicated to the works of Vincent van Gogh.
  • Anne Frank House: A sobering look at the city's history and the life of Anne Frank.
  • Heineken Experience: Brewery tour with beer tastings and interactive exhibits.
  • NEMO Science Museum: Interactive science museum with hands-on exhibits.
  • Tropenmuseum: Museum of world cultures and ethnography.

What are the best spots to see the winter lights and decorations in Amsterdam?

The Amsterdam Light Festival is a great place to see stunning light installations throughout the city. Other spots to see winter decorations include the Dam Square, Leidseplein, and the shopping streets of Kalverstraat and Nieuwendijk.

Are there any winter festivals or events in Amsterdam?

In addition to the Amsterdam Light Festival and the Christmas markets, there are several other winter festivals and events in Amsterdam. The National Tulip Day, which takes place in January, features a pop-up garden in Dam Square. The Amsterdam Winter Parade is a month-long festival with food, drinks, and entertainment.

What are some traditional Dutch winter foods to try in Amsterdam?

Stamppot is a traditional Dutch winter dish made with mashed potatoes and vegetables, such as kale or sauerkraut. Oliebollen, or Dutch doughnuts, are a popular winter treat, often sold at outdoor markets. Another winter favourite is erwtensoep, a hearty pea soup. Finally, speculaas, a type of spiced cookie, is often enjoyed during the winter months.


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