Essential Information for Visiting Amsterdam in December
Why to Visit Amsterdam In December
In the month of December, Amsterdam celebrates events like Sinterklaas which is followed by Amsterdam Light Festival, Kerst (Christmas day) and Tweede Kerstdag which is celebrated on the second day of Christmas.
To add to the extravaganza, during December in Amsterdam one can enjoy the Tango music festival called Tango Train along with various new year parties celebrated with dance and comedy shows. December is also a time to indulge in seasonal delicacies of Amsterdam like koek en zopie (cake and a spiced alcoholic drink), warme chocolademelk (Dutch hot cocoa), and Gluhwein (German mulled wine) and take home the sweetest memories of this beautiful city.
Amsterdam Weather in December
The month witnesses the highest amount of precipitation during the year which includes both snow and rain. The days are short and the sunset usually happens around 4:30 pm in Amsterdam in December. For most of the day time in December, the skies are cloudy or overcast with only a few hours of direct sunlight to be cherished during the day.
Due to the rains and chilly temperatures it is often advised that tourists pack an umbrella along with heavy winter coats, long sleeved shorts, sweaters etc. to be prepared for any unpredictable change in weather. Saying all of it, Amsterdam in December offers the perfect weather for those who are winter babies and wish to enjoy the chilly winds wave their magic on this beautiful city.
Things to do in Amsterdam in December
Stroll Around Christmas Markets
A visit to the Christmas markets is one of the best things to do in Amsterdam in December with your friends and family to enjoy the Christmas spirit. These are innovative seasonal markets which are organised this time to help you indulge in the Christmas festivities. Apart from offering you some splendid Christmas souvenirs and delicious street food, these markets are a hub of recreational activity with events like live music, DJ music, winter cinema etc.
-Funky Xmas Market,
-Slot Assumburg Castle etc.
Experience the Artworks at Amsterdam Light Festival
Find yourself amazed with the beauty of Amsterdam in December by watching the Amsterdam Light Festival which is held from mid-November to mid-January. Amsterdam Light festival is organised for about 7 weeks in a year and one of the best ways to see the beauty of the city without paying a penny.
Showcasing a dazzling work of light art, this is a stunning event to see some amazing artists from all over the world bringing life to the night landscape of Amsterdam. Walking along the canal ring of Amsterdam, this event is sure to leave everyone spellbound as they see the light sculptures emerging from water and sparkling in the sky.
Across the square from Amsterdam Central Station.
Concerts at Het Koninklijk Concertgebouw
One of the most remarkable places to visit in Amsterdam in December is the Royal Concertgebouw of Amsterdam. This is a place which has been known to host many famous musicians of the world in its concert hall that boasts of incredible acoustics and an enchanting vibe.
It is lauded as one of the best concert halls in the world due to its high quality programming and its unique sound. If you are a classical music fan with the love for orchestras, Concertgebouw is a great place to escape the winter chills and enjoy a dramatic performance while Amsterdam is doused with its quota of rainy days.
Concertgebouwplein 10,1071 LN Amsterdam.
-Guided tour etc.
The ticket gives the right to skip the line and enter the museum without any waiting.
This Rijksmuseum entrance ticket lets you witness over 8,000 objects throughout 80 galleries. The museum houses more than 5,000 paintings, and mesmerizing pieces of art from famous Dutch artists. Some of the artworks like the Milkmaid by Vermeer and Night Watch by Rembrandt and regarded as priceless. The museum has a huge spectrum of works like still lifes, biblical scenes, portraits, and more.
Rijksmuseum: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, daily
The Rijksmuseum Gardens, Rijks Shop, and Café are also open to visitors without a ticket from 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
Museumstraat 1, 1071 XX Amsterdam, Netherlands.
How To Get There:
By tram: Take line 2/5 to Rijksmuseum stop and walk for 1 minute
By bus: Take No. 347/357/397/N47/N57/N97 to Rijksmuseum stop and walk for 1 minute
Children aged 0-18 years can book child Rijksmuseum entrance tickets.
About the attraction:
The Van Gogh Museum reflects the history and culture of the wonderful country of the Netherland. This iconic museum is the world's largest collection of Vincent Van Gogh's artworks that made him a legendary artist of Western art.
About Van Gogh Museum Entry ticket:
The Van Gogh Museum entry ticket gives you hassle-free entry into the Van Gogh Museum. Skip the line and see Amsterdam's most famous place with ease. Get to know Vincent Van Gogh's artworks in-depth through his amazing artistry that is a symbol of his hopes, emotions, passion, and dreams. You will also be seeing the mystic paintings including Sunflowers, Almond Blossom, and his most recognizable Self Portrait among many others.
Van Gogh Museum is one of the best attractions in the city and will definitely leave you spellbound.
- 21 Jun-1 Sep: 9:00am-7:00pm (Sunday-Thursday), 9:00am-9:00pm (Friday-Saturday)
- 2 Sep-27 Oct: 9:00am-6:00pm (daily, except Fridays), 9:00am-9:00pm (Fridays)
- 28 Oct-22 Dec: 9:00am-5:00pm (daily, except Fridays), 9:00am-9:00pm (Fridays)
- 23 Dec-31 Dec: 9:00am-7:00pm (Sunday-Thursday), 9:00am-9:00pm (Friday-Saturday), except public holidays
- 25 and 31 Dec: 9:00am-5:00pm
- 1 Jan: 11:00am-7:00pm
- Museumplein 6, 1071 DJ, Amsterdam.
- By tram: Take line 2/5 to Van Baerlestraat stop and walk for one minute
- By bus: Take No. 758 to Museumplein stop and walk for one minute
Children aged 0-18 can enter the venue, free of charge
Go to the Natural History Museum for Ice Skating
Ice Skating in winter makes the National History Museum one of the Places to visit in London in November. As London’s most spectacular winter attraction, both the main and the kid’s ice rinks, with the backdrop of the museum, are spectacular and enjoyable for both adults and children indulging in skating activities. Adding to its charm is the traditional carousel next to it.
The Natural History Museum Cromwell Road, London.
Entry to Museum is free.
-The museum is open daily from 10 am to 5:50 pm, Last entry at 5:30 pm.
-Closed from 24th to 26th December.
This is the canal cruise in Amsterdam ticket for the 1 Hour canal cruise ride in the wonderful city to Amsterdam.
During the Dutch Golden Age the Amsterdam canals were planned. The Dutch golden age was an era of great achievement in fields of the arts, sciences, trade, and engineering for the Netherlands. Amsterdam’s canal district is a UNESCO World Heritage. You will be mesmerized by the sights that you're gonna see.
Witness the grand merchant houses and churches and pass under the beautiful bridges that are located on the waterways. You will pass from the Herengracht, Keizersgracht and Prinsengracht, the most famous canals in Amsterdam. There is a lot to see and explore. You can enjoy Amsterdam Canal Cruise with your family and friends.
Don't worry if you don't understand English, a multi-lingual GPS audio guide will help you and give commentary on the way.
How to reach:
The pier is a 1 min walk from Central Station.
Location: Prins Hendrikkade 25, 1012 TM Amsterdam, Netherlands
- Summer (23 Mar-30 Oct): 9:00 am-10:00 pm, daily
- Winter (31 Oct-22 Mar): 9:30 am-9:00 pm, daily
- From 29 Nov 2018-20 Jan 2019, there is no cruise after 4:30 pm
- Cruise departs every 20-30 minute
One of the most popular destinations in Amsterdam, the Anne Frank House, displays the hardship that Anne Frank, her family, and four other Jews went through during World War II. It lies on the Prinsengracht canal in central Amsterdam, Netherlands, and is famous as the building used by Anne Frank and her family to hide from Nazis during wartime. It is believed that they stayed there in the Secret Annex for more than two years.
The Secret Annex was in the rear of the building and the entrance to the secret place was concealed by a movable bookcase. All of the eight occupants stayed there in constant fear and followed a restricted and well-planned schedule to keep themselves hidden from Nazis. Anne Frank penned down all her fears, experiences, and schedules in a diary that was gifted to her just a few weeks before the attacks started on Jews. On the fateful day of 4 August 1944, they were located and sent to various concentration camps. Anne's father, Mr. Otto Frank was the only survivor of them and decided to publish Anne Frank's wartime diary in 1947 in memory of his late daughter.
This diary is now one of the most selling bestsellers worldwide. He maintained the building as a memorial until it was transformed into a museum in 1960. The Secret Annex was preserved as it is, and still has the belongings of Anne and other members hiding there. The museum has in-display all-important and authentic documents along with photographs, images and personal belongings of all those who stayed there or helped them in isolation. The biggest attractions of this museum are Anne’s original red and white diary and other notebooks that she wrote during her stay in secret annex.
Whether you want to set the stage on fire with Lady Gaga, or go to a fancy awards ceremony with Doutzen Kroes, the museum promises to indulge you in all your celebrity fantasies with its life-like wax figures.
However, what you may be aware of is the Interactive IamArt exhibition that lets you explore and wander around in the iconic paintings of Dutch artists like Van Gogh, Escher, Picasso, Piet Mondariaan, and Rembrandt van Rijn. Herman Brood’s studio also lets you create your art!
Timing: Open from 10:00 AM to 08:00 PM every day
Entry fee: Starting from 21 euros / INR 1,600 per person
Location: Dam 20, 1012 KW Amsterdam
The Red Light District museum is a former 17th-century brothel situated near the oldest church in the city which dates back to 1213. It reflects the deepest and darkest secrets of the most famous and controversial profession in the history of the world. Red Light District is the only museum of prostitution in the world that will leave you with a deep understanding and immense respect for the profession of prostitution.
About Red Light District Secrets Museum ticket:
Get the tickets to Red Light District which is a one of a kind attraction and explore it at your pace. Step inside the building and get fascinated by the red striking lights, discover the hidden tales of the prostitutes of the city and see how was a day in their life. Explore the museum just as you want and witness interesting features inside like models of pleasure items used in the brothel and a wall that has written confessions from visitors from around the world.
10:00 am - 12:00 am, daily (last admission: 11:00 pm)
Museum of Prostitution, Oudezijds Achterburgwal 60, 1012 DP Amsterdam, The Netherlands
How to reach:
Take Tram 4/14/24 to 'Dam' stop and walk for 5 minutes
When you book the off-peak ticket, please note that you will only be allowed entrance between 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
The Red Light District Secrets Museum ticket is only suitable for guests aged 18+
Dam square is one of the most famous destinations in the city center of Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands. This place is the heartbeat of the city, it stays lively for most of the time during the whole day and will always be hosting some event for your entertainment. Being one of the most popular tourist spots you can just follow the crowd of tourists from Amsterdam Central station to the Damrak that leads you to Dam Square.
The square street connects the main artery streets Damrak and Rokin and provides passage to the main shopping streets of Kalverstraat and Nieuwendijk. You can also hop on to a tram line as most of them traverse the Dam Square. Dam square is a wide boulevard that is having Royal Palace of Amsterdam on one side and the National Monument on the other. It also provides several shopping facilities, food stores, restaurants, and souvenir stores.
Take a walk across the Dam square and you will find a lot of fun things to watch like comedy shows, fire shows, live music, dance shows and lots of other activities that will keep you occupied throughout the evening.
You can also opt for a bicycle ride. The prices of the things here will be on the higher side, so make sure to dig a hole in your pockets on your visit to the square. It’s advisable to carry an international debit/ credit card like MasterCard, American Express, etc. so that you don’t face any trouble while paying bills.
Tourists can also walk through the kitchen to get a glimpse of what is being cooked for the animals. The highlight at the zoo is the monumental Heimans Oak dating from 1750. For wildlife photographers and those travelling with kids, Artis Zoo is one of the no-miss Amsterdam tourist places.
Timings: 9.00 am - 5.00 pm Thursday - Wednesday
Grab a bite of olienbolen and enjoy one of the most mouth watering delicacies of Amsterdam in December. Oliebollen is an absolute delight for the foodies and this amazing treat is best served during New Year’s eve in Amsterdam. This drool worthy snack is served on many street stores and best enjoyed with a hot cup of coffee. The traditional Dutch delicacy is the best comfort food to enjoy in Amsterdam when you want to enjoy a calorie laden laid-back day on your vacation.
-Hollandse Gebakkraam Heinekenplein.
-Traditional recipes etc.
Walking Along the Canals
One of the most surreal things to enjoy a day in Amsterdam in December is taking a casual stroll along the canals of Amsterdam to witness its picturesque beauty. Dotted with a landscape filled with beautiful buildings along the crescent shaped waterway, these canals of Amsterdam are sure to leave you spellbound. While taking a walk through these canals, one can spot many notable places of Amsterdam and admire their architecture. While wandering through this gorgeous stretch, one will come across various boutiques and restaurants that offer a place to sit, shop and grab a quick bite.
Canal ring of Amsterdam.
Get Cosy in a Brown Café
Relive the old-world charm with a visit to a brown café in Amsterdam. A brown café is a place in Amsterdam which people visit to grab a drink after office hours or to meet with friends during the evenings.These places are an essential part of the Dutch culture, with its noticeable wooden interiors, brown walls and serving traditional snacks. The brown cafes are some of the best places to visit in Amsterdam in December to enjoy the cosy ambience while it's chilly outside and make new friends in the city.
-Café De Twee Zwaantjes,
-Café ‘t Smalle,
-Café De Pieper,
-Café In ‘t Aepjen,
-Café ‘t Loosje,
-Café Reynders etc.
-Traditional Dutch snacks etc.
Ice-Rinks In Rijksmuseum
This is a great venue to hone your skating skills along the canals. Next to it there is a cafe named Beasseie Winters offering a wide range of Dutch delicates and international dishes. Ice-Rinks In Rijksmuseum brings the seasonal frozen winter sparkle back every year in mid of December and January, to fill the jollity and charm all around with a great atmosphere.
Apart from skating, these well-handled ice rinks provide many engaging activities like human ice-bowling, sledge slalom, ice petanque, curling and ice hockey.