Christmas in Amsterdam

photo by CC user martin55 on Flickr

Ever wondered why Amsterdam was voted number 2 in the world as the best place to spend Christmas?

Festive Market Stalls

From December to early January, Amsterdam is filled with markets for everyone wanting to get those last minute gifts. From ice-rinks to food stands to seasonal gifts, you will find everything you could want. Christmas at Castle Keukenhof, from 12 – 14 December, is one of the largest Christmas market events filled with beautiful lights, great food and carolling. It is a whole other kind of shopping experience.

The Classics

For those wanting to soak up some culture, there are plenty of Christmas concerts that take place all around Amsterdam. Plays, operas, orchestras, ballets; you will be spoilt for choice. And let’s not forget snowman building on the banks of Prinsengracht and the Amsterdam Light Festival, 33 light based sculptures that can be found around this beautiful city.


For all the kids and the young at heart, you can never go wrong with the great Sinterklaas. The traditional name for Saint Nick, Sinterklaas is the stately white bearded, red robed man that brings happiness and joy to all. And let’s not forget gifts. With his origins in the Netherlands, no one celebrates him better than those in Amsterdam where the largest Saint Nick parade in the world takes place.

If you’re lucky enough to be on a house boat, you will be able to see him arrive in style on a boat, sailing down the Amstel. Thereafter he hops onto his beautiful white horse Amerigo, with whom he travels down the streets, throwing cookies and candies to all the kids. This all culminates with a musical programme for all to enjoy.

The Christmas Tree on Dam Square

Not only will the fun fair of Dam Square be a fun and unforgettable experience but, standing at an unbelievable height of 20 meters and wrapped in about 4km of lights, the Christmas tree in front of the Amsterdam Royal Palace is definitely a wonderous sight to behold.

Clearly, there are few places better than Amsterdam for Christmas this year.

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