We all know that many European city break destinations are quieter during the winter months, but that is not the only incentive to travel outside of the peak summer season. Amsterdam is particularly lovely during the winter, and offers a variety of winter activities. The local people enjoy the winter months, and unfazed by the chilly weather, still attending events and partying as hard as ever. If you are contemplating a trip to Amsterdam during winter, but need a bit of convincing, then read some of the reasons why you should treat yourself to that wintery getaway.
1. Winter Events - Amsterdam’s social calendar is busting with great events to attend during the winter. There are a variety of key events that you may look to visit, including Amsterdam Fashion Week in February, with established and emerging new talents showcasing their designs, the annual Reggae Festival, also held in February, which takes place at the Heineken Music Hall. The festive period over Christmas and New Year is also widely celebrated, and a visit to Amsterdam during this time is particularly magical and special.
2. Go Ice Skating - The Dutch locals love their ice skating and welcome the cold weather that freezes their lakes and canals. A great location to partake in a spot of ice skating is the Museumplein, where the usual artificial lake is converted into an ice skating rink from December right through to late February. Whether you skate in day or evening, you will be sure to have an amazing time, with hot beverages and food served around the area from food stalls. There is a €5 fee if you need to hire equipment, but if you bring your own then you can skate for free.
3. Live in a Houseboat - Staying in a canal houseboat can be such an exciting and authentic experience, living like a traditional Amsterdam local. During the summer, houseboats often get booked up early and can be expensive; therefore staying during the winter can give you the opportunity to experience this unique accommodation while not breaking the bank. Get close to nature and watch the canal world pass you by from the warmth of your heated Amsterdam houseboat.
4. Have a Break in a Coffee House - Escape from the cold and warm your insides with a nice hot beverage. There is a café culture in Amsterdam; however you do have a selection of establishments to retreat to. Amsterdam cafés serve traditional hot drinks and bakery goods, brown cafés are traditional pubs for something a bit stronger, and coffeeshops are the famous smoking bars that legally serve cannabis to their customers.
5. Shop at a Christmas Market - Amsterdam celebrates the festive period in style, and there is a wide selection of Christmas markets available to visit throughout the city. Beautifully illuminated with twinkling lights, and full of Christmas trees and festive charm, a visit to Amsterdam over Christmas is not complete without taking a trip to a traditional market. Perhaps the most popular market is held for one day only on the 19th December along Albert Cuypstraat. Its 300+ stalls sell a variety of souvenirs, food, and festive decorations.
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