December in Amsterdam – Events & Festivals

December in Amsterdam: short days (sunset falls at 4.30pm), snowy canals, winter holiday markets and ice skating rinks. If you do not mind the cold days, then December might be a good time to visit Amsterdam because of the low hotel rates and flight tickets! Find out what’s on in Amsterdam during December, with our guide to the best events and major annual festivals. Please visit our What’s on in Amsterdam Event Calendar – December in Amsterdam for smaller events and club nights.

Sinterklaas avond - December in AmsterdamSinterklaas Avond

 December 5
 Family celebrations on December 5, also known as ‘Sinterklaas Avond’ or ‘Pakjesavond’. On this day Dutch children receive gifts and sweet treats from ‘Sinterklaas’. ‘Sinterklaas’ is real Dutch child-loving figure and looks a bit like Father Christmas or Santa Claus.

December in Amsterdam Light FestivalAmsterdam Light Festival

 2014 / 2015, November 27 – January 18
 various locations in Amsterdam
 or more than fifty days, the historical center of Amsterdam will be the unique décor for this international festival. The Amsterdam Light Festival consists of two main pillars: the boat route, Water Colors (November 27  – January 18) and the walking route, Illuminade (December 11 – January 4). More detailed information about Amsterdam Light Festival.

Christmas - December in AmsterdamChristmas

 December 25 & December 26
 Various locations in Amsterdam
 Many festive events are planned in Amsterdam during the holiday season: ‘Turn on the Lights’, ‘World Christmas Circus’, Winter parade, Ice Rinks, classical musical performances, small Christmas markets and the ‘Amsterdam Light Festival’. More detailed information coming soon.

Amsterdam New Years EveNew Year’s Eve

 December 31
 Various locations in Amsterdam
 Amsterdam welcomes the New Year with many parties. On New Year’s Eve people are celebrating the event in clubs and at home. After midnight they party on the streets and squares like Dam Square and the Newmarket with a lot of firecrackers and fireworks. More details coming soon.

 Weather forecast and climate for December in Amsterdam

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