Best things to do during winter time in Amsterdam


Even in the winter time, Amsterdam has a lot of fun things to offer. It does get a little bit cold for some evening activities, but luckily Amsterdam has plenty of cosy night clubs and bars to keep you warm during the night. With the Amsterdam Nightlife Ticket you get free access to 20+ night clubs and bars. Check the Special Events Calendar and buy your tickets now!

The days are getting colder, darker and wetter. Winter is coming. During the winter months, there is plenty to do and experience in Amsterdam, so it is the right time to visit the Dutch capital. In winter, Amsterdam is a lot quieter, so you can explore the city even better that way. That is why we have made a selection of the most fun activities for the colder winter months!

Amsterdam Light Festival

Every year, the Amsterdam Light Festival puts the spotlight on Amsterdam's city centre through light artworks by international artists, architects and designers. It takes place in December and January and is definitely worth a visit. See the magical light installations during the walking tour, or choose to take a canal cruise. Tip from us: Do this when it starts to get dark. In the evening, all the lights of the artworks come out beautifully, transforming Amsterdam into a fairytale city you know from the Disney movies. 

Amsterdam Nightlife also offers several canal cruises. Add the canal cruise to your Amsterdam Nightlife Ticket here and enjoy the Amsterdam Light festival from the canals.

Stay Warm

Despite Amsterdam looking beautiful in the winter months, it's also nice to escape from the cold and stay indoors every now and then. Luckily, Amsterdam has enough things to do and visit that will keep you nice and warm. 

Go play darts 

Something else fun to discover is the modern darting experience at Oche. At Oche, you can play darts like you've never done before. They have swapped the classic dartboard with a modern digital dartboard. You can choose from as many as six different games modues with different challenges. 

 You can visit Oche not only for their unique darts game, but also for delicious snacks and drinks. Chef Niels van Halen has created a delicious menu and the bar provides the tastiest cocktails, wines and beers. It’s the perfect activity for a cold winter day. 

Visit a museum 

Amsterdam is a city with a lot of history, cultures and foreign influences. So it also has many museums. Choose to go back in time at a historical museum or go for a modern museum that will upgrade your Instagram feed. Amsterdam Nightlife offers both. Take a look at the Moco Museum for beautiful modern art and street art Banksy or take a peek into the rooms with digital art. The WONDR, Youseum and The Upside Down are also beautiful museums focused on experiencing all the senses, with lots of unique photo opportunities.

More interested in history? At the Heineken Experience, you will be taken through the history of this Dutch brewery, which has now become the world's most premium beer brand! Or experience an exciting and creepy adventure at the Amsterdam Dungeon. Here you will be taken back in time to the dark past of the Netherlands.   

Game night

Challenge yourself and others at one of Gamestate many game halls. Venture into the world of virtual reality at VRGH Arena. It is the only place in the Netherlands to offer a full-body VR experience, with no less than six different gaming zones. Or go bowling, laser gaming or miniature golf in Hawaiian atmospheres at Aloha.

In the mood for a little more excitement? Solve the most exciting mysteries in one of Amsterdam's many escape rooms. Investigate the mysterious disappearance of Amsterdam's best adventurer Eliza at Escape Room Logic Looks. Or rather a horror escape room in the Catacombs of the Posthoorns Church? We also have fun escape rooms for people who prefer not to have a heart attack during their day out. At Escape Factory, they have a wide range of escape rooms, all with fun themes such as the wild west, wonderland, The Godfather and more!

Go to the cinema

Nothing planned yet? The cinema is always a fun activity and especially if you have had enough of the cold weather outside for a while. At Pathé, you can enjoy the best films and snacks in the evening as well as during the day. Put on your most comfortable outfit and enjoy a quiet chill evening in Pathé's luxurious lounge chairs. Or perhaps a romantic date night? Pathé City now also has loveseats, where you and your partner can sit on a nice big chair.

With your Amsterdam Nightlife Ticket you will receive a free popcorn for during the film of your choice! 

Enough choice if you ask us and this is not even all! Take a look at the Discover page to check out all the experiences, restaurants, and extras. And add these to your Amsterdam Nightlife Ticket for an unforgettable time.

Have a drink at the coolest bar of Amsterdam 

Is it not yet cold enough outside? Then visit the coolest place in Amsterdam, Amsterdam Ice Bar. A bar made entirely of ice in a space of -10 degrees! Drink your drinks in cups made of ice as you take a discovery journey to the Arctic. The Ice bar recreates the experiences of the crew on Nova Zembla, an explorer ship that was stuck in the Arctic for almost a year. How does it feel to sit in this cold and stay warm by drinking alcoholic beverages? But don't worry! When entering the bar, you will be given a warm jacket and thick gloves to help you stay warm! 

Amsterdam Ice bar can also be booked in our Nightlife Account. Click here to book your tickets. The ticket includes three drinks.

Discover All Restaurants, Bars And Nightclubs

Not ready to go home after your visit to the Ice Bar and feel like warming up? There are plenty of restaurants, bars and nightclubs nearby where you can go for a bite, drink or dance.  

Dutch cuisine is really made for cold days and nights. From Dutch stew to pancakes and Dutch cheeses for dessert. Amsterdam offers many restaurants where you can enjoy these (heart) warming dishes. But fortunately, this is not the only cuisine Amsterdam offers. Amsterdam has many different cultures and influences, which is also reflected in the huge range of restaurants offering cuisines from all over the world. 

Amsterdam's nightlife is also diverse and offers many different options. The best way to make the most of your night it is with the Amsterdam Nightlife Ticket, which gives you free access to more than 20 participating nightclubs and pubs. Check the Special Events Calendar here to see which club events are taking place during your visit. 

celebrate the new year 

The holidays and the year are almost over. Luckily, there are plenty of parties in Amsterdam to end the year and start the new year with a bang. Visit one of the many parties in nightclubs and pubs or go to a big New Year's Eve festival. This year, we are also organising three NYE parties ourselves, which you definitely want to attend! A New Year festival at the biggest music centre near Europe: Q-Factory An indoor and outdoor festival at Oerknal or celebrate New Year at HUSH Nightclub. Check the NYE Blog for more information

On New Year's Eve, it is a tradition to light fireworks at midnight. It is illegal in Amsterdam to set off fireworks yourself, but the municipality of Amsterdam puts on an fireworks show at several locations

Visit winter wonderland 

RAI Amsterdam is completely transformed into a winter paradise once a year. The ultimate winter experience in one place. Ice skate under thousands of lights on the indoor and outdoor skating rink, slide down a real snow slide, enjoy the magnificent views of Amsterdam in the Ferris wheel or from the carousel. Afterwards, celebrate the evening in a real après-ski village or at the winter party with various Dutch celebrities. 

You will experience a true winter wonderland with snow, Christmas trees, hot chocolate and oliebollen. Every year, Amsterdam catering establishments open a pop-up restaurant! So there are plenty of places to eat and drink under one roof. 

This year, winter will be brought to Amsterdam from 15 December to 1 January. The Amsterdam Winter Paradise is easy to reach by public transport and by car. Admission to the paradise does require a ticket for a specific day.

The Best Events Of 2024

Visiting Amsterdam this year?

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Go ice skating

Every year it's hope and fingers crossed, will it snow and freeze? With the right weather, the canals will be closed, allowing a layer of ice to form, resulting in the country's most beautiful skating rink. But even if the weather doesn't allow it, there are several places in Amsterdam where you can skate nicely. 

Every year, ICE Amsterdam provides a magical skating rink on the museum square. Skating under the Magere Brug with a view of the Rijksmuseum, it is a cosy and warm place for young and old to spend their winter day. It is also a fun place to visit for non-skaters. You can enjoy the special winter atmosphere while drinking hot chocolate in a Bistro. In December, you can find the cutest gifts at the winter market on the museum square. Walk around the market and then warm yourself by one of the braziers while enjoying an oliebol. 

The skating rink on Rembrandtplein has also become a regular tradition. The skating rink is set up in a full winter atmosphere every year. Lots of lights, wooden chalets and snow cannons. The typical winter delicacies, the surrounding restaurants and the Rembrandtplein itself, make the skating rink a magical winter getaway in the center of Amsterdam.

visit amsterdam's christmas markets

Starting in December, the coziest days of the year finally arrive: the holidays! The Christmas markets are also building up again in Amsterdam and ready for your visit. Although Amsterdam may not be known for its Christmas markets like Cologne and Düsseldorf, it certainly has some nice Christmas markets worth visiting!  

If you are looking for the most original Christmas gifts or the most special products, the Funky Christmas Market is the place to be. This market is characterized by its special range of products and live music. It is not the typical stalls with Christmas balls or decorations, which you know from other Christmas markets. The Funky Christmas Market takes place at the Westergasfabriek at 18 December 

At the winter edition of the Pure Market, you will mainly find lots of homemade and sustainable products. With lots of (food) stalls and cozy winter settings. 

The monthly Museum Market is known for its unique products by (Dutch) designers. During the winter edition, special Christmas gifts and products are not missing. Enjoy the finest designer must-haves, art and handmade jewelry, while a band plays in the background. A visit to the Museum Market is fun to combine with a round of ice skating at ICE Amsterdam! 

TIP:  With an Amsterdam Nightlife Ticket Package, you receive unlimited access to over 20+ clubs and bars,  different experiences, nightlife extras, welcome drinks/shots, and 2 special nightlife package items: Champagne bottle & Canal Cruise!

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