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Why you should visit Amsterdam in winter time

When most people think of Amsterdam, they picture the carefree atmosphere of summer. Floating through the iconic canals, view the historic buildings and visit tulip fields in cheerful colours.

However, there is a hidden aspect to this enchanting city that often goes unnoticed: Amsterdam in winter. We'll take you on a journey through the streets and canals of this magnificent city during the colder months to show you why a winter visit to Amsterdam is an experience not to be missed.

Christmas time in Amsterdam

During the holiday season, Amsterdam turns out to be a magical winter wonderland and the city decorates its cobbled streets and canals with countless lights. There are several Christmas markets where you can enjoy the best food and, of course, a glass of hot mulled wine.[1]

AMSTERDAM WINTER PARADISE Het Amsterdamse Winterparadijs is a big winter event in Amsterdam, which is held in the RAI Amsterdam. With lots of lights, entertainment, food, drinks and snow! You can even skate a few rounds on the ice rink.
When and where: Het Amsterdamse Winterparadijs | RAI Amsterdam | 14 December 2023 – Saturday 30 December 2023[2]

Feel the city of Amsterdam in winter

Picture yourself strolling along Amsterdam’s canals, wrapped up in a warm scarf, and then stopping at one of the many canal-side cafes. Enjoy a hot cup of Dutch hot chocolate while watching the world pass by through the misty windows. Of course you want to come home with some nice Christmas gifts or new clothing. Shop for unique handcrafted gifts, nice vintage or hit the PC Hooftstraat for the classy stuff and haute couture. Want to escape the winter cold for a while? Visit the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum, both located at Museumplein.

Amsterdam Light Festival

Amsterdam Light Festival is an annual winter spectacle that transforms the city into an enchanting wonderland. International artists show stunning light creations that livens up the canals and streets. The artworks illuminate the city in a way you won't experience at any other time of year. You can sail past all the light artworks in a comfortable, heated canal boat.[3]

Amsterdam Light Festival
Amsterdam Light Festival in the old town of Amsterdam

The ferry from the UK to Amsterdam

The cruise ferry (it's quite luxurious!) from DFDS sails from Newcastle-upon-Tyne to IJmuiden, located about 25 km from Amsterdam. Are you a foot passenger? Book a bus transfer in advance (€10 one way). The bus takes you all the way to Amsterdam Central Station.

Visiting Amsterdam by ferry in winter is a unique and unforgettable experience that allows you to see the city in a different light. A wonderful winter break!

Read all the ins and outs about the ferry crossing from Newcastle to Amsterdam

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