December in Amsterdam is magical and a great time to celebrate the holidays. Here’s what to do and see to make the festivities more pleasant.
Good news for those who want to visit Amsterdam in Winter: the Dutch capital is a city full of experiences no matter the time of day, but it is especially enchanting in December.
Travelers interested in art and history, those curious about cuisine and drink, and those eager to kick back and discover a fantastic city will all find something to love in Amsterdam. It's lovely all year round, too, because each season brings unique activities and attractions. Here are a few remarkable features of a December visit to Amsterdam.
Related: 10 Reasons Amsterdam Should Be On Your 2022 Bucket List
The weather in Amsterdam in December can be somewhat variable, but tourists should generally prepare for lower temperatures and higher amounts of precipitation. The temperature in Amsterdam in December typically ranges between 0 and 2 degrees Celsius; however, dress warmly because the temperatures might dip to near zero degrees Celsius.
If travelers plan to go to the city in December, they should bring a raincoat because it rains 14 out of the month's 31 days. It is possible to have magnificent snowfall in Amsterdam during the holiday season, but this is only sometimes the case.
Amsterdam is still lovely to come at Christmastime, rain or shine. When snow falls, the city looks like a winter wonderland adding a romantic air to any trip there. Visit one of the city's major parks, like Vondelpark or Westerpark, for a full mile upon miles of snow experience.
Amsterdam's snowy streets aren't the only reason the city is picture-perfect in December. Fewer visitors during this month of the year make it a great time to explore the city at one's own pace. It can be challenging to have a genuine experience in Amsterdam during the other seasons, particularly the summer when the city sees its most significant number of visitors.
In contrast, the winter months—especially December—provide a slower, more sustainable pace that allows tourists to blend in almost seamlessly with the locals. One of the best things about visiting Amsterdam in the winter is all the fun events happening throughout the city. In addition, December is a great time to visit Amsterdam because hotels are cheaper and flight costs are lower than during other times of the year.
Related: 10 Things To Do In Amsterdam That Only Locals Know
In December, the city of Amsterdam's famed canals takes on an extra shimmer, making for an unforgettable experience for holidaymakers. One of the most lovely things to do is to take in the Amsterdam Light Festival, where some of the world's most unique and magnificent light displays are showcased along the city's famous canals each winter.
The entire city transforms into a stage for this celebration between November and January. Relaxed visitors may now take in the city's ambiance thanks to the abundance of bright, vivid, and occasionally multicolored strands of lights draped up and down on buildings and along storefronts and sometimes hung in the air directly across the canals that crisscross the city.
Active tourists can participate in one of Amsterdam's most popular winter pastimes: ice skating. If risking it on the canals isn't their thing, visitors can skate at Rembrandtplein or Rijksmuseum. From November until early February, the Rijksmuseum, one of the most popular sites to rent skates, sets up shop in Museumplein against the beautiful backdrop of the museum.
Additionally, the lively drinking square of Rembrandtplein is home to a temporary ice rink where visitors may buy refreshments and seasonal wares. Visitors and residents can enjoy their time at the ice rink while sipping mulled wine and snacking on traditional winter treats provided by the many restaurants and cafes located around Rembrandtplein.
Amsterdam's many winter markets provide the perfect opportunity to get into the holiday spirit while enjoying some retail therapy and delicious Dutch sweets. Museum Square hosts one of the city's best markets, with a massive ice rink and numerous booths selling a wide range of goods and services and providing entertainment in the form of live music and refreshments.
Furthermore, the Amsterdam Winter Paradise is always a blast, thanks to its abundance of festive winter activities and joyful holiday spirit. As well as the traditional Christmas market, the Amsterdam Winter Paradise features an enormous indoor and outdoor skating rink, a Ferris wheel and merry-go-round, and cross-country skiing.
Amsterdam is one of the top museum cities in Europe, making it an excellent option for a rainy day inside activity. All three museums—the Van Gogh, Anne Frank House, and Rijkmuseum—are conveniently located near one another. The Rijksmuseum is one of the world's top museums and one of Europe's largest and most comprehensive.
A trip to the Van Gogh Museum is a must for anyone remotely interested in art; similarly, the Rembrandt House Museum, despite its modest size, is a beautiful experience for art enthusiasts. Though it is technically not a museum, a visit to the Anne Frank House is essential because of its historical significance and humbling effect.
Visitors can take a relaxing cruise around Amsterdam's canals throughout the year with one of several boat companies. However, the city takes on a new vibe during Christmas, and some cruise lines even provide festively themed extras for their passengers. At the annual Amsterdam Light Festival, boat tours around the city's canals are a popular option.
Faith Katunga is a Malawian freelance travel and fashion journalist and content creator based in Milan and Spello, Italy, following her post-graduate studies at the University of Bologna. Faith owns and maintains holiday rental houses in Umbria and Puglia and travels extensively throughout Italy and the world. She has written for Italy Magazine and blogs about Italy and beyond on her Travel and Fashion blog, The Witty Poet. Follow her adventures on her blog and Instagram.


Shop Sephari