Best Places to Visit in Amsterdam in December
Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands, is a vibrant city that offers a multitude of attractions year-round. However, visiting Amsterdam in December is particularly special, as the city comes alive with holiday cheer and offers a unique festive atmosphere. In this blog post, we will explore the best places to visit in Amsterdam during the month of December.
1. Dam Square
Dam Square is the heart of the city and a bustling hub of activity. During December, it transforms into a winter wonderland with an ice rink and a Christmas market. Enjoy skating on the ice, browse through the stalls for unique gifts, and indulge in traditional Dutch treats like oliebollen (a deep-fried doughnut) and hot chocolate.
Museumplein is a square surrounded by the city’s most important museums, including the Van Gogh Museum, the Rijksmuseum, and the Stedelijk Museum. In December, the square hosts an enchanting ice sculpture exhibition, where you can marvel at intricate ice creations. Additionally, the surrounding museums often have special exhibitions and events during this time.
3. Amsterdam Light Festival
The Amsterdam Light Festival is an annual event that takes place from late November to early January. It showcases stunning light installations and artworks displayed throughout the city. Take a leisurely stroll along the illuminated canals and enjoy the mesmerizing display of lights reflecting on the water. It’s a truly magical experience!
4. Christmas Markets
Visiting the Christmas markets in Amsterdam is a must-do in December. The city has several markets offering a wide array of festive products, delicious food, and warm beverages. The most popular markets include the Koningsplein Christmas Market, the Amsterdamsche Kerstmarkt in Westergas, and the Funky Xmas Market. Immerse yourself in the festive spirit and pick up some unique souvenirs.
5. Ice Skating at Museumplein or Leidseplein
Ice skating is a beloved winter activity in the Netherlands, and Amsterdam provides ample opportunities to enjoy this traditional pastime. Rent skates and glide on the ice at Museumplein or Leidseplein. These temporary ice rinks offer a fun-filled experience for locals and tourists alike. Don’t worry if you’re a beginner; there are often instructors available to help you find your balance.
6. De Wallen
De Wallen, also known as the Red Light District, is a famous area in Amsterdam. While it may not have a direct connection to the holiday season, it’s worth exploring to experience a different side of the city’s culture. Walk through the narrow streets, admire the historic buildings, and learn about the area’s unique history. Remember to be respectful of its residents and the rules and regulations in place.
7. Anne Frank House
The Anne Frank House is an important historical landmark in Amsterdam. Although it’s a popular tourist attraction year-round, visiting during December offers a chance to reflect on the past and remember the impact of the holiday season. Learn about Anne Frank’s story and the resilience of the human spirit. It’s a powerful experience that shouldn’t be missed.
8. Canals of Amsterdam
The canals of Amsterdam are a UNESCO World Heritage site and provide a stunning backdrop throughout the year. In December, take a canal cruise or simply enjoy a leisurely walk along the waterways. Admire the beautifully decorated houseboats and bridges, which add an extra touch of magic to the city during the holiday season.
Vondelpark is the largest park in Amsterdam and a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. In December, it transforms into a winter wonderland with Christmas lights and decorations. Take a peaceful stroll, have a picnic, or even build a snowman if the weather permits. It’s the perfect place to relax and enjoy the serene beauty of nature.
10. Dutch Cuisine
No visit to Amsterdam would be complete without indulging in some delicious Dutch cuisine. Warm up with a hearty bowl of erwtensoep (pea soup), try some Dutch pancakes or stroopwafels, and savor the traditional winter dish, stamppot. Don’t forget to pair your meal with a local beer or a warming glass of Dutch jenever (gin).
Visiting Amsterdam in December is an enchanting experience filled with festive traditions, beautiful decorations, and unique cultural events. Whether you’re exploring the Christmas markets, admiring the light displays, or immersing yourself in the city’s history, you’ll be captivated by the magical atmosphere. Plan your trip to Amsterdam this December and create unforgettable memories.
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