10 Reasons to Visit Amsterdam During Winter

Winter is coming: This is great news for anyone visiting our amazing city. It is truly a magical time to experience our Dutch capital. In the evening the city transforms into a cosy place to have a warm drink and admire the scenery. We Dutchies are a master at hearty comfort food and fairy lights are twinkling everywhere in the city. Read on to discover some reasons why visiting Amsterdam in the winter is worth the trip!

1) Amsterdam turns in to a fairy tale in the snow

Amsterdam with a blanket of white is truly stunning in White. The city turns in to a Christmas card worthy place when covered in snowflakes. It makes the city the perfect background scenery for a romantic getaway.

If snowman conditions occur to make sure to visit one of the many city parks where you can eat your heart out and display your snowman-making skills in peace or if you just want to enjoy the flakes with no interruptions! Check out the larger parks like Vondelpark or Westerpark if you get a chance, or let us take you there on your own private tour with one of our local guides.

Ice skating on the canal belt- Capture by our photographer Victor Lacken

2) The city transforms into a light show

Every year Amsterdam Light Festival turns the city into an outdoor art gallery in the winter months. Magical light installations that cover canals, landmarks from November to January. A great way to see it is with on the water on a private boat tour sipping on a warm beverage.

Amsterdam light festival on the canals


3) You can (sometimes) ice-skate on the frozen canals

It’s is not a yearly occurrence but if the conditions are right ( generally when the temperature dips to below 4 degrees for four nights in a row) the canals are blocked off enough then for ice to form. Then the magic happens and the ta-da: a gem of an ice rink.

If this magic doesn’t happen, no worries there are enough opportunities to ice skate including the vast ICE*Amsterdam outside the Rijksmuseum, and the Jaap Eden ice rink.


Ice skating on the canals


4) Everything is ‘gezellig’

Cosy pubs, Fairy lights and dark nights, Amsterdam is truly: “gezellig”, the word we use for convivial or cosy, a warm feeling that embodies a sense of belonging. Pronounced ‘he-zell-ick’, this word has no literal English translation. We use it in many different ways from describing something cosy, relaxing, friendly and so on. You will hear this a lot if you visit Amsterdam in winter time or any time really!


5) Book a private winter wonderland tour

Amsterdam has many winter gems that we would love to show you. It’s a great way to get the most out of your stay!

Get in touch with us to create your own bespoke winter wonderland experience.


6) The streets are peaceful

In winter time it calms down in Amsterdam. Meaning: less time waiting in line at one of our major museums and a lot more chance of bagging a spot in the variety of restaurants and bars that the city has to offer. This is a perfect time to explore places like Anne Frank House, Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum,

7) Comfort food

Hearty and satisfying, our cuisine is made for cold days. From traditional Stampot which consists of mash, veggies, and meat. Dutch food is made to warm you up!

8) Markets

Christmas is a big deal in Amsterdam. Everything brightens up and decorations are everywhere. The holiday season is full of activities to do when you visit! If you love exploring the streets to make sure to visit one of the many Christmas markets.

9) Oliebollen

These sweet yummy balls of doughy goodness are available from street vendors all winter long. Eat them while you can!


10) It’s a Perfect Valentine’s Retreat

Amsterdam has been voted many times as one of the most romantic cities in the world. What better place to enjoy a romantic getaway with the one you love?