Whether you’re looking for a pre-holiday get-away or a festive shopping spree, Amsterdam is a great place to visit in November or December. Check out my top 6 reasons why:
1. Festive shopping at de 9 Straatjes
In the heart of Amsterdam’s canal district you’ll find the quaint shopping area “de 9 Straatjes”, or in English, the 9 streets. Situated along Amsterdam’s historic 17th century canals, this charming area of the city is home to
designer boutiques, vintage shops, gift stores, trendy bars and much more. Stroll along the cobbled streets, from Singel to Prinsengracht, as you search for unique gifts for your loved ones.
2. Sip gluhwein at the Christmas Market
Check out the festive market stalls and indulge in seasonal treats at Amsterdam’s outdoor Christmas market. You’ll find vendors located at Rembrandtplein and along Leidsestraat from early December until the end of January.
3. Experience the Sinterklass Parade
Sinterklass is a much loved holiday figure, similar to Santa Clause, who hails from Spain and delivers toys to children in the Netherlands on December 5th. The launch of his festive season begins with the Sinterklass Parade in mid-November, when Sinterklass, and his rather controversial helpers “Zwarte Piete” (Black Pete), arrive by boat to Amsterdam and parade through the city centre. Read more about Sinterklass.
4. Turn on the Lights Amsterdam!
Every year, Amsterdam’s De Bijenkorf department store puts on a theatrical outdoor show in Dam Square to mark the launch of the holiday shopping season. This professional (and free) show has become well known for its dramatic aerial acrobatics and has become a highly-anticipated tradition in the city.
Check out the 2014 Turn on The Lights show!
5. Admire the lights
The Amsterdam Light Festival illuminates city streets and canals with artistic light displays throughout December and January. Discover the displays on foot or by boat in one of the tour routes in the city. Read more about the Amsterdam Light Festival.
6. Strap on some skates
After a day filled with festive Christmas shopping, it’s time to take some time to yourself and what better way to do so then by strapping on a pair of skates? Checkout the rink at Leidseplein for a relaxing skate with friends, or the rink at the Rijksmuseum where you’ll also find the occasional friendly game of ice hockey in the evenings. Read more about ice skating and skate rentals in Amsterdam.