Celebrating Christmas in Amsterdam is certainly a once in a lifetime experience and something you will cherish for years to come. This Dutch holiday starts sometime around the 14th of November- thanks to Sinterklass and the “Zwarte Pieten” (Black Peters). Sinterklass is the Dutch version of the popular “Santa Claus”. The celebration goes on till the first week of December when the original holy day of Saint Nicholas is celebrated. Traditionally, Dutch families gather together to exchange gifts during the holiday season. In fact, gifting funny and somewhat insulting poems is also a popular family tradition among the Dutch during this period.
Amsterdam is a wonderful place for a Christmas holiday because of the various opportunities to have a great time. You can choose to go shopping in the Christmas Markets, you could go ice-skating or just enjoy a nice cup of coffee under the beautiful fairy lights that decorate most shops and restaurants during Christmas. There are over 26 markets in Amsterdam and plenty of small stalls that are open rain or shine. Here are some of the best Christmas Markets in Amsterdam.
Leideseplein Christmas Market
Even the journey to the Leideseplein Christmas Market can be incredibly romantic. It is not the largest Christmas market in the continent, but this market proves that quality actually wins over quantity. The food stalls in this market are certainly worth a mention and every dish is a sumptuous treat. While in Amsterdam especially during Christmas, you must surely savour the bratwurst and currywurst sold in the market. If you look around you can also find plenty of local craft and buy some great gifts for those back home. There is lots to choose from and the workmanship is excellent. Apart from the food stalls, the ice rink draws a lot of crowds. Since this market provides such easy access to amazing, mouth-watering food as well as handicrafts, it is incredibly popular among travellers—even those who are not too fond of shopping!
Funky Xmas Market
The Funky Xmas Market is more of an idea than a concrete location. It is an interesting market that offers a lot of Christmas gift ideas. Special, one-of-a-kind products are aplenty and there is food, wine and live music as well to heighten the joyous spirit of Christmas. This is quite an exciting place to go shopping because of the great atmosphere. The market is teaming with energy and the sheer variety of products available make it one of the best markets in the city. This bazaar is located at Westergasfabriek, 1014 BE Amsterdam. You can hop onto a tram to reach this market or alternatively cruise along the canals too!
The Flower Market or the Bloemenmarkt is a popular market where Christmas trees are sold. Even if you’re not buying a Christmas tree, it is certainly worth visiting this market. The Christmas Palace—an emporium that has all the essential festive goodies is quite close to the Flower Market, so you also have a potential shopping destination when you visit the flower market.
If you plan on holidaying in Amsterdam during Christmas, ensure that you experience as many Christmas markets as possible. The joyous spirit is so contagious, it is sure to lighten your spirit!