Christmas in Amsterdam 2022

by Tanja
Christmas tree Amsterdam Dam

Get ready for Christmas in Amsterdam 2022. Find the best Christmas markets in and nearby Amsterdam, cruise the canals during the Amsterdam Light Festival and try typical Dutch delicacies.

Go ice skating at the Museumplein.

The Museumplein is the heart of Christmas celebrations in Amsterdam. The pond in front of Museumplein turns into a charming ice rink surrounded by a Christmas market where you can eat Dutch traditional seasonal food such as oliebollen and glüwein, as well as German sausages and beer.

Are shops and museums closed in Amsterdam on Christmas in 2022?

Almost all shops, museums and restaurants in Amsterdam will be closed on Christmas Day 2022. However, the Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum, Hermitage and Stedelijk Museum are open for visitors.

December 26 is Second Christmas Day (‘Boxing Day’). In bigger cities, like Amsterdam, most shops, museums, and restaurants are open. In the rest of The Netherlands, shops are closed on Christmas Day.

Things to do in December in Amsterdam in 2022

Finding things to do in December in Amsterdam, is not difficult! There are many markets where you can shop for Christmas presents. Try to find one of the maker markets at De Hallen or Pure Market. At these special markets you can find beautiful handmade gifts. Often these special items are sold to you directly by the maker. For a list of dates and places, check Events in Amsterdam in December 2022.

Cruise the canals during the Amsterdam Light Festival

From 1 December 2022 until 22 January 2023 the Amsterdam Light Festival takes place. Amazing light sculptures, projections, and art installations are placed in and around the Amsterdam Canals. The light art installations are best enjoyed on a canal cruise.

The Amsterdam Winter Paradise

The Amsterdam Winter Paradise is the ultimate Winter Experience for families. The activities take place indoor and outdoors at Amsterdam RAI, a huge space. You can go ice-skating and ride a 40-meter toboggan slide through a snowy paradise with real snow and tubes! There are Christmas movies, hot wine, and live shows. Regular tickets are best bought online.

The Amsterdam Winter Card includes tickets to the Amsterdam Winter Paradise, a canal ride at the Amsterdam Light Festival, an audio guide app and a 10% discount on other attractions.

Ice skating at Amsterdam’s favorite Ice Village at Museum Square 14 – 26 December

Busy at weekends at the ice rink at Museumplein.

Among the locals as well as tourists, the ice rink at Amsterdam Museumplein is a real favorite! The pond in front of the Rijksmuseum is a skater’s paradise when it transforms into an ice rink all of the month of December. There is even a miniature version of Amsterdam’s famous Skinny Bridge.

The entire Museumplein turns into a winter market: Ice Village. You can try typical Dutch winter food at small eateries such as oliebollen and shop for souvenirs and special Christmas gifts at the Christmas market on weekends. A lovely area to enjoy the Christmas spirit in Amsterdam!

Christmas markets in and near Amsterdam 2022

For an up-to-date list of Christmas markets in Amsterdam 2022, please check the Amsterdam Calendar of Events 2022. Most markets have special decorations during their markets in December. Good examples are the Funky Xmas Market (indoor) at the lovely Westergas or Pure Market at Park Frankendael (outdoor). Both are on 18 December.

Albert Christmas Cuyp

Albert Cuyp is Amsterdam’s favorite old-school market. It lies in the heart of De Pijp, a fun neighborhood with lots of cafés to go for food and drinks. The week before Christmas, the Albert Cuyp market dresses up seasonally with lots of extra lights and a heavy dose of Christmas spirit.

Sausage on the Christmas market in Amsterdam.
German and Duch sausages help you stay warm during Christmas in Amsterdam.

The best Christmas markets in The Netherlands however are held in other cities and not in Amsterdam. Combine a visit to a nearby town in December:

Christmas market in Haarlem

Haarlem is less than 30 minutes away from Amsterdam and easily accessible by train and bus. Haarlem is known for its charming streets and small boutiques, great for fashion. Visit this neighbor city of Amsterdam from 9 to 11 December, when there the lovely old center transforms into one big Christmas village.

Monnickendam Christmas market

Recommended Christmas markets near Amsterdam 2022 are the Flea & Sunday Christmas market in the village of Monnickendam. Monnickendam is an old fisherman’s village that is worth a visit. So why not combine it with a Christmas market? Most gifts are second-hand or otherwise sustainable. The market is at the Bierderij in Monnickendam.

A Dickens Christmas at Zaandam

Enjoy a Charles Dickens-themed Christmas market at Zaandam. At the old chocolate factory, you will find many market stands, food, drinks, live entertainment, and a nostalgic Ferris wheel. From 10 – 20 December, 16.00 – 21.00. Free entrance.

More Christmas markets in the Netherlands

Want more? Read more about the best Christmas Markets in the Netherlands.

Christmas food from Holland

Like elsewhere, food and drinks are a big part of the festive season in Holland. In the streets of Amsterdam, you will find many ‘oliebollen‘ trucks. You can try a variety of the ‘oil balls’: dough fried in hot oil. It’s a special food that is only eaten at this time of year, especially on New Year Eve. If you are a real foodie, I also highly recommend taking this food tour.

Christmas bread from the Netherlands: Kerststol.

Speculaas

Sweets are also popular: cookies named ‘speculaas‘ and many Dutch treats, often filled with almond. Other seasonal sweets from the Netherlands are ‘tulband‘ (cake), ‘kerststol‘ and chocolate of course.

Glüwein

Spiced hot red wine is also popular. It’s sold at many Christmas markets in Amsterdam under its German name: ‘glüwein’.

Christmas dinner in the Netherlands

At home, a classic Christmas evening in the Netherlands starts with an appetizer of French bread, sausage, and French cheese or raw herring with onions. A classical menu in the Netherlands includes shrimp cocktail, roasted meat or poultry with cranberry sauce, Brussels sprouts, chicory. This is followed by a dessert, Irish coffee (coffee with whiskey and cream) and chocolate. All served with lots of red wine!

Christmas in The Netherlands

The spirit of Christmas enters the Netherlands after the traditional Dutch feast of Saint Nicolas (Sinterklaas, Santa in Holland) on December 5. From mid December, schools in The Netherlands close for 2 weeks. Families prepare their homes for this special time with candles and a really decorated Christmas tree. In The Netherlands, Christmas is a real family celebration.

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve, December 24, is ‘Kerstavond‘, but Christmas eve is not celebrated in the Netherlands. Christians might attend a traditional Christmas mass followed by hot drinks with family or neighbors.

Christmas Day

December 25, it is ‘1st’ Christmas Day. This day is an official holiday. Most people will visit their family to enjoy a Christmas dinner. The next day (26 December) it is ‘2nd’ Christmas Day, also a holiday! The festive period ends with New Year Eve. In Amsterdam, it is celebrated heavily with fireworks.

Christmas market in Leiden.

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16 comments

courtney November 13, 2017 - 09:24

IS THIS INFORMATION CORRECT?

Turn on the Lights’, 18 November 2017

Christmas in Amsterdam Dam Square
Christmas Lights at Bijenkorf, Amsterdam Dam Square.

The Christmas spirit enters Amsterdam when the lights on the gable of luxury department store Bijenkorf are lit. Every year, a crowd gathers on Dam Square to witness the event. In 2017, the event, Turn on the Lights, is on November 18.It is a great event to see.

In 2017, the Spanish theatre company Grupo Puja entertains the crowd with a show of acrobatics, music and light. Fireworks accompany the turning on the lights.

Reply
Tanja November 13, 2017 - 11:46

Hi! I made a mistake! It’s Thursday 16 November 2017. Sorry! Thanks for your comment.

Reply
Arijeet October 2, 2017 - 08:33

Hi, we are planning to visit Amsterdam from 23rd to 25th December 2017. How about the city on Christmas day? Is everything closed on 25th? How about the public transport?

Reply
Tanja October 2, 2017 - 11:14

Hi,
On Christmas day, most of the shops in Amsterdam will be closed. Some tourist/souvenir shops might still be open. The bigger museums like Rijksmuseum are open. Public transport is functioning as normal. Enjoy your holidays!

Reply
Lea October 2, 2017 - 18:48

How about on Boxing Day? Will shops and restaurants be closed?

Reply
Tanja October 23, 2017 - 10:27

On Boxing Day, shops and restaurants in the centre of Amsterdam will be open as normal.

Reply
Courtney September 11, 2017 - 10:01

I’m going to Amsterdam on the 28th-31st December. are there any Christmas markets at this time?

Reply
Tanja September 13, 2017 - 18:16

It’s really too soon to say anything about Christmas in Amsterdam.

Reply
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