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Why Does Winter Make Amsterdam The Perfect Capital?

The arrival of winter is welcome news for anyone considering visiting Amsterdam. A lovely time to visit the Dutch capital is during the winter, when the weather is chilly, the food is hearty, and everything is illuminated by fairy lights. Here are just a few explanations for why winter wonderland in Amsterdam. Of course, winter festivals in Amsterdam are indispensable.

How is the wintertime climate in Amsterdam?


The weather in Amsterdam is fairly mild, so it doesn’t become as cold as most people think it will. However, Amsterdam has significant amounts of rain and wind during the winter, so you should wear thick clothing. It’s best to attempt self-waterproofing.

Amsterdam doesn’t get much snow, and the canals hadn’t been iced over for eight years before last year. Nevertheless, it’s best to avoid cycling in Amsterdam if the temperature falls below freezing because doing so might be risky, especially if you’re a novice biker who might tumble on the black ice. The majority of Amsterdam bicycles lack snow tires.

Winter temperatures range from 4 to 9 degrees Celsius (low 30s to upper 40s Fahrenheit), with rain falling on roughly 23% of days on average. In general, the rain doesn’t persist very long, but if you’re worried, it’s a good idea to have an umbrella. Just be aware that the windchill may make it feel colder.

The Reasons Why Winter is the Best Season in Amsterdam

In the snow, Amsterdam appears to be from a fairy tale.


Without a doubt, Amsterdam looks magnificent in white. When covered with snowflakes, the city, which is already unbearably beautiful at the best of times, resembles a scene from a Christmas card and provides an incredibly romantic backdrop for any visit. Visit one of the larger parks, like Westerpark or Vondelpark, for the best snowman-building conditions. There, you’ll discover endless stretches of pure white snow just ready to be rolled into balls. This is absolutely a winter wonderland in Amsterdam.

The streets belong to you.

Wintertime in Amsterdam is less crowded, which results in shorter lines at the big museums and a greater likelihood of securing a table at your preferred pub or restaurant. Winter is the best time to visit the Rembrandt House Museum, Rijksmuseum, and Van Gogh Museum, where you can escape the cold before settling into a warm brown bar. Rembrandt House and Rijksmuseum are free to visit with a City Card.

Ice skating is possible (sometimes) on frozen canals.


It doesn’t happen frequently, but when the conditions are right—typically, four nights of temperatures below 4 degrees—canals are sealed off to allow enough ice to build. And there it was—the most stunning ice rink on earth. If the canals don’t freeze over this winter, there are still many other places in Amsterdam where you can go ice skating outside, such as the huge ICE*Amsterdam rink outside the Rijksmuseum and the Jaap Eden ice rink.

Everything is gezellig

Winter in Amsterdam is definitely gezellig with its gloomy nights, sparkling fairy lights, and cozy pubs. The word “hezellick,” which is pronounced “he-zell-ick,” is at the core of Dutch culture and encompasses everything from “cosy” and “quaint” to “friendly” and “relaxing.” It has no literal English translation. You’ll hear it a lot if you visit Amsterdam in the winter because it can be used to describe any circumstance or thing that makes you feel good on the inside.

The city is transformed into a light show.


The annual Amsterdam Light Festival, which runs from November to January, turns Amsterdam into a sizable outdoor art gallery with spectacular light installations adorning canals, streets, and landmarks. A customized boat cruise for the Amsterdam Light Festival is the finest way to experience the full extravaganza.

The holiday markets in Amsterdam are fantastic.


More independently and uniquely than many other European cities, Amsterdam does a great job with its holiday fairs. Every weekend leading up to Christmas, a new market, from the traditional to the modern, will appear somewhere in or near the city, selling lovely produce and beautifully made food and drink in distinctive settings. Learn more about the Christmas markets in Amsterdam. This is a perfect winter wonderland in Amsterdam

It’s the ideal romantic getaway.

What better place to spend Valentine’s Day with your significant other than Amsterdam, which is frequently rated as one of the world’s most romantic cities? Learn more about the Valentine’s Day activities in Amsterdam.

Sinterklaas is arriving in the area.


The Dutch Father Christmas is not afraid of the spotlight, in contrast to other parts of the world where he only makes an appearance after children have gone to bed. In reality, he enjoys making a grand entry. Every winter, he enters the city on a parade of floats and boats that is hailed by more than 400,000 onlookers. The Sinterklaas procession will be held this year on November 15, 2020, while the actual St. Nicholas’ Day celebration will be on December 5. Are you curious as to what separates the two large men in red? Read our Sinterklaas vs. Father Christmas spotters guide.



Oliebollen is the top reason to travel to Amsterdam in the winter. You should consume as many of these mouthwatering balls of doughnut bliss as you can while you still have the opportunity because they only appear once a year. Purchase them from a street seller when they are still hot and coated with sugar, and then purchase more. Want some motivation? Visit our article on where to find the best oliebollen.

You are free to eat as much as you want.

Dutch cuisine was created for chilly days and nights because it is robust, hearty, and filling. Dutch cuisine is made to warm you from the inside out, from stamppot (traditional Dutch mash) to snert (thick pea and ham soup) and everything in between. These cozy winter eateries can inspire you.

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Maris Lopez
Maris Lopezhttp:////
Hey there! I'm Maris, an American girl who is passionate about adventure, the outdoors and all things travel!


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