Due to the abundance of lakes, rivers, and canals in Amsterdam, the Dutch have a special bond with ice. Every winter, anticipation for the possibility of skating on real ice increases as soon as the temperatures fall below freezing. Locals organize a variety of events on the frozen canals once it is judged safe, including dance parties and speed skating championships!
Amsterdam in the winter
The three coldest months of the year in the Netherlands are December, January, and February. The average lows on the coldest days are 0°C (33°F), and the average highs range from 5°C (42°F) to 6°C (43°F). If you go to the city in the winter, it will probably snow.
The Amsterdam canals have only frozen three times in the last ten years, in 2012, 2018, and 2021. Therefore, when it happens, locals and tourists alike rush out onto the ice to enjoy something absolutely unique: walking or ice-skating on the frozen canals of Amsterdam!
Things to do in Amsterdam when the canal freeze
Amsterdam, where the freezing of the city’s canals is a result of extremely low temperatures. Due to the canals’ extreme freezing, which has transformed them into a playground for adventurous activities, the Dutch people have continued to celebrate and enjoy the winter despite the unfavorable weather conditions. The general population and a huge number of ice skaters have flocked to the frozen canals in great numbers.
One of the most unusual things to do in Amsterdam in the winter is to stroll around on the frozen canals. Walking on the ice while being surrounded on both sides by canal houses that are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site is an amazing experience.
Stay in a houseboat
I advise staying on one of the canals in a houseboat for the best canal experience. There are only two suites: Van Gogh and Rembrandt. This freshly constructed boat offers huge windows, a comfy bed, and all the conveniences that will make your stay comfortable, including an en-suite bathroom, heated flooring, a Nespresso coffee machine, and a mini-bar. It also has wonderful hosts and a great location in the old city center. You may step right out of your suite onto the ice when the canals freeze!
Best places to ice skating in Amsterdam
A huge skating rink that occupies the center of Rembrandtplein is surrounded by snow cannons, chalets, and sparkling lights during the winter. Head to the winter plaza for a drink of mulled wine and local treats after spending the afternoon attempting to stay upright on the ice. The plaza looks especially special lit up as dusk falls. The local eateries and nightclubs also ensure an amazing Dutch winter evening.
Open: From February 23 through March 31, 2022, from 10:00 to 23:30
Jaap Eden Ice Rink
Amateurs and professionals alike flock to this enormous rink in Amsterdam Oost to sharpen their skills. The 400-meter track is perfect for aspiring speed skaters because you can glide through several laps in your own lane without having to swerve for kids. But don’t worry. There is also an indoor rink and a beginner’s zone if you haven’t mastered your double axles yet.
Check the schedule for ice hockey games, discos, and a variety of other public events because Jaap is the home of the Amstel Tijgers.
Open: October through March
Amsterdam Museumplein Ice
Every winter, Amsterdam’s famous Museumplein is turned into a winter wonderland in preparation for the arrival of Ice*Amsterdam. Everyone is invited to have the opportunity to skate while taking in spectacular views of the Rijksmuseum at what is maybe the coziest skating rink in the city.
If non-skaters just want to see the icy mayhem, they can get a warm mug of hot chocolate or nibbles at the bistro. Additionally, a Christmas market with roaring fireplaces and cheery stalls may be found in December.
Open: November to February
It is scheduled to return to RAI Amsterdam in 2022 after a brief absence during the pandemic. There are additional options for cross-country skiing, curling, a tube track, slides, a cinema, a theater, and a huge Ferris wheel in addition to the enormous indoor and outdoor rink, which in previous years was no less than 2800m2. Or, if you don’t really want to exert yourself, go to the après-ski village for some mulled wine and a snack by the fire. We’ll meet up with you at the silent disco or karaoke bar!
Open: December to January