Winter Fun in Holland!

What to do in the Netherlands in Wintertime?

Winter is coming. The temperatures start to drop, the days are become shorter and shorter. The heating is turned on and outside it’s getting dark while inside we like to have candles and perhaps even an open fireplace.It might not be the time of the year you would think about visiting Holland, but there are lots of fun things to do!

Amsterdam Light Festival 2019 [November 20 – January 20]

29 Light Artworks can be found in Amsterdam city center from 20 November 2018 – 20 January 2019. This 7th edition of the Amsterdam Light Festival, consists of 53-day-long exhibition of light artworks are switched on daily from 5 – 11 PM. (The only exception is New Year’s Eve when the Light Festival lasts only from 5 – 8 PM).

This is fantastic since in wintertime we have very short days in the Netherlands. You can book a walking or VIP Cruise boat tour to enjoy the art!

Contact Amsterdam VIP Tours for your options and availability. Best way to see the Light Art would be with a private VIP Cruise..

Ice Rink Museumsquare Amsterdam [November 18 – February 5]

Perhaps the most beautiful ice rink in the Netherlands and at a unique location in Amsterdam. Hire some skates and hit the ice or just watch others having fun on ice.You should not miss this place in wintertime. The replica of the Skinny Bridge over the Amstel river is a great picture opportunity!

Opening hours: Sunday – Thursday from 10:00 AM – 9 PM.
Friday and Saturday from 10:00 AM – 10 PM.

Amsterdam Winter Tour

Midwinter Celebrations in De Rijp [14, 15 & 16 December 2019]

The 9th Midwinter party will take place on the weekend of 14, 15 and 16 December 2018. A wide variety of musical, artistic and cultural performances can be expecte in various locations in the center of the village. Local citizens will be wearing nostalgic clothing. This will give the village the appearance of the Leeghwater time and the period of Jan Boon.

Hours: Friday evening 14 December from 7 – 9 PM, Saturday 15 December from 11 AM – 10 PM and Sunday 16 December from 11 AM – 6 PM.

If you happen to be in Amsterdam this weekend it is a great idea to combine a visit of De Rijp with our Countryside Tour.

Winter Christmas Markets 2019

If you are crazy about Christmas shopping, you will love visiting one of our countries Christmas Markets. This German tradition is becoming more and more popular in our country as well. Our favourites:

1) Haarlem Christmasmarket near Amsterdam [8 and 9 December 2018]

The Haarlemmer city center will be transformed in a largest and cosy Christmas market. This year it will be 25th year the market is held! About 300 stalls on the the Grote Markt around the Large Church. Christmas songs can be heard from the speakers. The Dickens orchestra and other choirs be found performing in various beautiful monumental locations.

In 2017 the Haarlem Christmas market was nominated the best Christmas market in the country. A very pleasant market to visit!

2)  Heemskerk Christmas Castle Fair [November 29 – December 2]

One of the most beautiful locations in north Holland forms the scene of a Christmas market. A cozy experience in and around an ancient castle. The farmlands around Slot Assumburg have recently been transformed into a unique event area including park, sports facilities, modern visitor center and a historic castle garden.

Around 20,000 visitors are expected to visit this winter world at Slot Assumburg in Heemskerk. More info: Heemskerk Christmasfair.

3) Christmasmarket in magical Maastricht [December 1 – 31]

Maastricht is about a 2,5 hour drive from Amsterdam, a delightful atmospheric city, with cozy shops to make some Christmas shopping already! A reall Dutch gem to visit and an absolut winterfairytail… Every year about 1 milion people visit this Christmasmarket in Maastricht. There will be a completely covered skating rink, a ferris wheel, and lots of traditional activities.

On the Vrijthof you can find wooden stalls with treats as oliebollen and gluhwein. You can also buy beautiful gifts. You can also skate on a skating rink of 1000m2 and there will be a 45 meter high Ferris wheel and a merry-go-round with a floor. The children can also have fun with a great covered giant slide.

4) Original Valkenburg Christmarket in a cave! [November 16 – January 6]

From December 16 this market may not be missed if you visit Maastricht this winter! The Christmas market in Valkenburg takes place in the ‘City Cave’ (Gemeentegrot). The corridors of the cave are attractively illuminated and form the heart of the Christmas market in Valkenburg. The cave is owned by the municipality of Valkenburg and can be found at the foot of the Cauberg mountain. Also in the Velvet Cave and the Mergelrijk Grotto are nice Christmas markets!

5) The Hague [December 14 – 23]

The Royal Christmas Fair is located on the romantic Lange Voorhout in the center of The Hague, the historic heart of the city. It is surrounded by the Binnenhof, Palace Noordeinde, several embassies, museums, and atmospheric shopping streets (like Denneweg, Plaats and Plein square). Open every day from 12 – 9 PM. Great excuse to visit the lovely city of The Hague. More info: Royal Christmas Fair The Hague.

Make sure you also visit the city of The Hague and Delft when you plan to visit this Fair.

6) Dordrecht Christmasmarket [December 16 – 18]

In the historic city center of Dordrecht you can enjoy an ultimate Christmas atmosphere in the Midwinter weekend of December 16 – 18. Between hundreds of stalls and multiple stages with a beautiful backdrop of hundreds of monuments of the city and the iconic inland ports.

Want help to visit the Christmas Markets of your choice? Contact Amsterdam VIP Tours for a personalized plan! We help you ‘make most out of your Amsterdam stay’!

Custom Tours | Private Cruises | Cityhost | Airport Transfers
Email: info (at) 
Call: 0031 (0)6 42119900

Winter in Amsterdam

Every year the Dutch keep hoping for a cold winter, in order to be able to skate on ‘natural ice’. The last week it has been freezing cold, but not cold enough. Tonight seems to be the last freezing night sofar.

The last winter the Amsterdammers were ice skating on their worldfamous canals was in February 2012. Here’s a picture:amsterdam_winter_2012 So from now on it will start getting warmer, and the days will start to get longer again. In wintertime the days are very short in the Netherlands, whereas the summers have very long daytime!

Amsterdam VIP Tours  |  0031 6 42119900  |

Winter Markets in Amsterdam 2016

In Amsterdam the wintertime days are very short. Winter is cold and dark in the Netherlands. Fortunately nice events are planned in wintertime, so you will still have a great time when visiting our lovely city. Next to the ‘Amsterdam Light Festival’, also wintermarkets will be organized in December. Hereby some nice 2016/2017 winter trip suggestions by Amsterdam VIP Tours:

Funky Xmas Market

On December 11 the Regular Sunday Market at the Westerpark will be turned into a special Funky Xmas Market. Specialty products, live music, Glühwein (mulled wine – hot with spices) and hot chocolate with cream (and rum) of course! Open from 12 – 6 PM. Address: Westergasfabriek, Polonceaukade 27, Amsterdam

NeighbourFood Market

You will find the tastiest winter food while wandering along the cosy market stalls and vintage products during NeighbourFood Market at the Westergasfabriek on December 17 and 18. There is also a children’s program, with workshops and performances by singer-songwriters. (17 December 12:00 – 8:00 PM & 18 December 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM).

Pure Wintermarkets

For ecological products and durable gifts you can go to the Pure Winter Market in the Amstelpark and Frankendael Park in Amsterdam on Sunday 11 & 18 December from 11 AM – 5 PM.

Christmas Village on Ice

In addition to the ice-skate rink at the Museumsquare, there will be Christmas markets, live entertainment and delicious food from December 17-30. Go ice skating or outdoor shopping with the Rijksmuseum in the background! Address: Museumplein, Amsterdam.

Christmas Market Haarlem

If you want to get away from Amsterdam for a day, it might be nice to visit the city of Haarlem, only a half hour away from Amsterdam. On December 10 and 11 you can experience one of the largest Christmas markets in the Netherlands here. The large Christmas village on the Marketsquare will have over 150 market stalls. There is plenty to choose from art, fashion and design, great food and of course local Christmas decorations. There will also be music, since choirs will be singing Christmas carols. Adress: Grote Markt, Haarlem.

Winterfair Alkmaar

Want to go a bit further? The quaint town of Alkmaar offers a Winterfair on December 11 from 11 AM. From December 15-18 there will be a Christmas Market in the old town of Alkmaar (until 10 PM!). Address: Paardenmarkt, Alkmaar.

Combine your stay in Amsterdam with one of these nice events. Don’t forget to book a private tour or cruise in Amsterdam as well, to make the most out of you stay!

Amsterdam VIP Tours  |  0031 6 42119900  |
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Amsterdam Light Festival

Amsterdam Light Festival Watercolors Illuminade

The ‘Amsterdam Light Festival’ started this weekend and will last untill January 17.

Where the days in Amsterdam are very long in summer, the days get dark late afternoon in wintertime. That’s why since a couple of years the city organizes this Winter Festival with lights. This way you will see Amsterdam in a whole other light! Every year different artists make Light Art in the city. This year the theme is ‘peace and friendship between European countries’. This because Amsterdam will be hosting the EU meetings in 2016.

Illuminade Walking Tour (December 10 – January 3)

This winter, the Illuminade evening walking tour will take you past 20 light artworks, through the culturally rich neighborhoods Weesper and Plantage. The outdoor exhibition showcases artworks by (inter)national talent, specifically created for the Amsterdam Light Festival. Bright projections on historical buildings, dynamic lighting systems in city parks and works that you can actually walk through. Pleasantly giving extra dimensions to the public space. Your Amsterdam VIP Tourguide will be more then happy to show you arround. It can be enjoyed daily from 5 – 10 PM.

Watercolors Cruise (November 28 – January 17)

Tours can also be done by boat on a Watercolors . The Light Art adds a whole new dimension to the historical city. Enjoy sailing the Herengracht and Amstel with spectacular light sculptures along the way. Several canalboat operators offer a special tour along the lights. Of course you can also get a private boat for a more intimate experience. Contact us for the options and we will customize a unique Amsterdam tour for you!

That’s why in wintertime it is nice to do a canalcruise by day and by night. The experience will be completely different…

Amsterdam Ligth Festival

More information: Amsterdamlightfestival