Amsterdam Sights
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December in Amsterdam

 December facts 
  • Great period of time to do holiday shopping. Many streets and canals are illuminated with lights.
  • The cultural arts calendar includes special holiday performances.
  • Sinterklaas in Amsterdam.
  • Amsterdam's rainiest month. Carry always an umbrella.
  • Olieballen & Poffertjes Stands -- Stalls selling these traditional fried doughnuts (olieballen) and small, puffy pancakes (poffertjes) are everywhere this time of year (the sweet smells are their best advertising). Wash them down with rich, Dutch hot chocolate.
  • Ice-skating rinks at Leidseplein, Museumplein (in front of the Rijksmuseum), and Buikslotermeerplein.

 December Festivals & Events 
eve of December 5
On this night ("St. Nicholas Evening"), Dutch children place their shoes and boots by the fireplace in hopes that Sinterklaas will fill them with treats. Most Dutch celebrate on this day by exchanging gifts and enjoying family meals. Read more about the Sinterklaas story and tradition. (Dutch)

December 10, 2016-January 1, 2017


Dutch National Ballet combines music and dance into a wonderful feel-good ballet for the whole family in Het Muziektheater.
Dutch National Ballet

December 15, 2016

Volga Cossack Choir

Listen to Russian Christmas carols, popular songs, like Kalinka, Volga Bootsman and Stenka Rasin, in de Waalse Kerk by Russian choir with virtuoso soloists and deep male voices.
Volga Cossack Choir

November 30, 2017-January 21, 2018 | 6th edition
Amsterdam Light Festival
Walk or sail alongside to light sculptures created by leading artists, beautifully illuminated buildings, bridges and boats and surprising light projections on buildings.

Amsterdam Light Festival

December 25
Christmas Day
While Sinterklaasavond is the main celebration of the Dutch holiday season, more and more Dutch people are also celebrating and exchanging gifts on Christmas Day. Some businesses and attractions will be closed.

December 26
Tweede ('Second') Christmas Day
Also known as "Boxing Day" in other countries, the Dutch observe this day as a holiday. Some businesses and attractions will be closed.

December 17-30, 2016

Ice*Village Amsterdam

winter wonderland on Museumplein with a Christmas market, traditional Dutch Christmas food & drinks and live entertainment with the Rijksmuseum as background.

IJsbeelden Festival

December 10, 2016-February 5, 2017 | 1st edition
Dutch Ice Sculpture Festival

a large family winter event at Arena Park with the world's best ice sculptures

IJsbeelden Festival

December 31

New Year's Eve

Admire the fireworks and celebrate Oud en Nieuw (New Year's Eve) with the Amsterdammers. Or visit a NYE party or event in nearly every club, restaurant, bar or hotel.

end August-end April

Ajax Amsterdam Football Club

Spend a Sunday amongst frenzied fans of the famous Ajax Amsterdam football team. Ajax plays in the impressive, modern ArenA south of the city.
read more


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Festivals & Events

Temperature in Dec
Average high:   6°C   43°F
Average low:    2°C   36°F

Sunrise-Sunset in Dec
Dec 1:    8:27 am - 4:32 pm
Dec 31:  8:51 am - 4:37 pm

Zwarte Piet and Sinterklaas

The feast of St Nicholas is one of the most festive occasions of the year in Amsterdam and the rest of Holland. Read more on the Sinterklaas tradition

Best NYE Party in Town