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18 Important Issues to Do within the Netherlands This Winter Receive US

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Exploring the Netherlands at any time of the yr is worth it with its unimaginable historical past, fabulous traditions, and trendy, luxurious locations. Springtime with tulips and flowers, summertime with sunny climate, and the crisp mornings of autumn are all interesting to vacationers.

A winter journey may very well be simply as gratifying regardless of not being the primary decide of many. From the Christmas markets to the town’s historic landmarks, such because the Anne Frank Home and the Van Gogh Museum, you’ll find tons to do within the Netherlands in winter.

18 Essential Things to Do in the Netherlands This Winter


Finest PageantAmsterdam Mild Pageant
Finest Out of doors ExerciseChristmas Markets
Finest for HouseholdMadurodam
Finest MealsChocolate letters!
Finest Metropolis to KeepAmsterdam

1. Expertise the Amsterdam Mild Pageant

Amsterdam Light Festival in Herengracht , Amsterdam
julia700702 / Adobe Inventory

Go to Amsterdam throughout winter to take pleasure in a contemporary metropolis with unimaginable historical past. The vacation season is stuffed with fabulous Dutch meals and actions, resembling sizzling chocolate at lots of the space’s eating places.

The Dutch capital goes all out to create a wonderful expertise for guests and locals throughout this time of the yr. Candy treats appear to be in all places right here. However the sweetest factor of all is the one and solely Mild Pageant.

The Amsterdam Mild Pageant consists of numerous lights adorning the town streets, alongside the canals, and on lots of the metropolis’s landmarks. It’s the primary and final phrase on festive magic.

See Associated: The place to Keep in Amsterdam

2. Rejoice Nationwide Tulip Day in Amsterdam

National Tulip Day in Dam Square, Amsterdam, Netherlands
ake1150 / Adobe Inventory

Assume you possibly can solely see tulips at Keukenhof Gardens? Assume once more! Take pleasure in Nationwide Tulip Day, celebrated on the third Saturday in January, when a whole lot of 1000’s of tulips are introduced into Dam Sq. in Amsterdam.

There’s a free public selecting backyard, so you possibly can brighten up your own home or lodge room even in winter. If you’re in Amsterdam for this enjoyable pageant, contemplate taking a Historical Highlights Walking Tour to benefit from the journey.

See Associated: The Final Information To Keukenhof Gardens for Tulip Season

3. Discover Mini Madurodam

Entrance to Madurodam, The Hague
Björn Wylezich / Adobe Inventory

Go to Madurodam, typically referred to as the “Miniature Netherlands,” for a terrific time out with children. It’s a miniature park and vacationer attraction that has attracted greater than 50 million folks because it opened its stunning doorways within the Nineteen Fifties.

What’s so fascinating is that it’s a 1:25 scale mannequin of lots of the nation’s fabulous websites, together with most of its historic cities. It’s a unbelievable option to study the historical past of the nation and it additionally will get decked out for the vacations!

Keep toasty whereas testing their charming vacation shows. It’s a terrific spot to discover throughout your journey to the Netherlands.

4. Take pleasure in Magical Enjoyable in Maastricht

Aerial View of Maastricht, Netherlands
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Maastricht is the most important metropolis in Limburg and is thought for a lot of issues, together with its Christmas markets which are set alongside the town’s previous cobbled streets and tucked across the Gothic church buildings that appear to be at each flip. Saint Servatius Basilica is certainly price stopping by when you’ve got the time.

Whereas this can be a traditionally charming metropolis, extra trendy developments alongside the Maas River create a way more city really feel. However if you’re extra into the traditional aesthetic of the town contemplate reserving an evening on the swanky Hotel Monastère Maastricht.

For festive enjoyable, discover Magical Maastricht, the town’s major Christmas festivities held in Vrijthof Sq.. The Maastricht Christmas market begins November fifteenth and runs by way of New Yr’s. It’s the right complement to Maastricht’s inherent magnificence.

5. Get Presents From Dutch Christmas Markets

Skate Rink and Market and Amsterdam
lexan / Adobe Inventory

Many cities all through Europe have a Christmas Market. Nonetheless, the Amsterdam Christmas Market “Ice Village” is among the most treasured within the Netherlands for its conventional meals, handcrafted gadgets, and classy items. It’s stuffed with native tradition, Christmas music, and pageant lights and is one in all my favorites in Europe.

Do not forget that virtually each space of the nation celebrates the vacations in its approach, however I firmly imagine the (admittedly German) custom of Christmas markets is the perfect. Listed here are a few of the high markets within the Netherlands:

  • Sinterklaas Market in Amsterdam, often known as “Funky Christmas Market”
  • Amsterdamsche Kerstmarkt additionally in Amsterdam
  • Royal Christmas Truthful within the Hague 
  • Christmas Market in Dordrecht
  • Christmas Markets in Valkenburg
  • Christmas Market in Haarlem

6. Go Ice Skating in Giethoorn

Group Ice skating in Outside Rijksmuseum
fukez84 / Adobe Inventory

Wish to discover Giethoorn from the water? Although a canal cruise isn’t doubtless, you possibly can at all times ice skating all through the village in winter! The small village of Giethoorn is a wonderful place to go to throughout the vacation season and in early January.

Usually famous for its boat-filled waterways main as much as nearly each residence, the canals flip into walkways excellent for ice skating throughout winter. In Giethoorn, skating is especially fascinating. There are not any roadways on this metropolis, so ice skating turns into the simple option to get round.

7. Climb Martinitower in Groningen

Top of Martinitower in Groningen
Maria Douwma / Adobe Inventory

Situated within the northern portion of the nation, the chilly climate hits Groningen fairly closely by mid-November and thru March. But, there are a number of causes to go to this metropolis. The structure within the Gothic church buildings right here is sufficient to go to in its personal proper, because of the beautiful detailing.

The most effective methods to see the Christmas lights and festivities in Groningen, in addition to the encircling space, is by climbing the Martinitoren. It’s the tallest constructing within the metropolis, and spectacular views abound!

You may see the bustling folks within the Grote Market just below the tower when you attain the highest and the frosty views of the city and the encircling countryside.

8. Tour the Hoensbroek Fortress

Hoensbroek Castle in the Netherlands
Gina / Adobe Inventory

Christmas is greater than only a celebration of the beginning of Christ. Christmas is custom upon custom, compounded and constituted of a whole lot of traditions, finally celebrating the winter solstice. So the place greatest are you able to see what Christmas from yesteryear was celebrated?

For a grand time out, tour the Hoensbroek Castle, one of many oldest castles within the nation, relationship again to 1250. You’ll see the Christmas traditions of years in play, with magnificent festive lighting and décor.

See Associated: Castles within the Netherlands for Historical past Buffs

9. Take a Tram Tour of The Hague

Ridderzaal Inside the Binnenhof, The Hague
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Whereas Amsterdam is the Dutch capital, The Hague is the seat of presidency and no much less steeped in historical past and architectural splendor. There’s rather a lot to maintain you occupied right here, however one in all my favourite issues to do in winter is to discover The Hague’s festive decor.

It’s a bit of extra refined and “grownup” versus the Amsterdam Mild Pageant – and that’s not me bashing both one, I really like each. However the festive really feel one will get from the decor is markedly totally different.

On the one hand, the Mild Pageant feels extra like a real pageant, with a greater diversity of wacky issues to see. Then again, The Hague’s lights make you’re feeling such as you’re in a postcard of the town in winter – it’s simply so charming.

The Hague Hop-on Hop-off Tourism Tram runs all year long, and when the climate is nice, this is a superb option to see the town’s lights, in addition to its greatest sights, together with the Homes of Parliament, Peace Palace, and the seaside (if you happen to’re some form of madman).

10. Discover Winterwelvaart in Groningen

Ships in Winterwelvaart  during winter / Adobe Inventory

I’ve made no bones about my love for Christmas Markets, and if you happen to’re on the lookout for a superb initiation, Amsterdam is the place to be. However that’s not the place my private favourite is.

The Christmas exhibition, Winterwelvaart in Groningen, tops my listing, not least as a result of Groningen’s magnificence enhances it. This is among the greatest Christmas markets within the area because it really turns into a magical time with ice skating, craft and meals stalls, and ample Christmas lights.

Should you can keep in Groningen, please do, so you possibly can immerse your self within the festive appeal. This Historical Stylish Holiday Home ought to make it easier to get within the temper.

11. Take a Windmill Tour in Giethoorn

Giethoorn Windmill  during winter
Finest Dutch Photographs / Adobe Inventory

Visiting Giethoorn, recognized for its canals and windmills, is magic within the winter as a result of there are not any crowded streets or bustling automobiles right here. As a substitute, it’s fairly stunning from mid-December on, with an opportunity of crystal-like snow blanketing the realm.

Winter is ideal for a windmill tour. These quintessential options of the Netherlands are charming sufficient, however the appeal ramps up considerably beneath a crystalline layer of frost or a dusting of snow.

Take a windmills day tour to see how they work and admire the previous structure. Take pleasure in heat chocolate and Dutch doughnuts at one of many small bakeries after an extended day on this winter village, after which tuck your self away in mattress at Waterresort Bodelaeke Giethoorn.

12. Discover Bourtange Marktplein in Bourtange

Aerial view of Bourtange, Groningen in the Netherlands
Nataraj / Adobe Inventory

Situated in Westerwolde, Bourtange is a small village of nearly 450 folks positioned near the German border. First constructed within the fifteenth century for army use, it has grow to be a quaint, picturesque group. Whereas you’ll not discover a number of massive metropolis actions right here, for some, this is among the greatest methods to take pleasure in Dutch tradition and historical past.

The market in Bourtange is a wonderful expertise. Discover the small outlets within the Marktplein, the place a candle manufacturing facility can be positioned.

Dutch sweet is a deal with to take residence right here, and throughout the winter months, you’ll absolutely take pleasure in chocolate letters and different tasty treats. Go to one of many museums right here, together with the Museum De Baracquen and the Terra Extra.

Want a spot to crash? Take a look at B&B De Konik Bourtange.

13. Rejoice New Years in Marken

Lighthouse in Marken, Netherlands surrounded with snow
Ahmad Images / Adobe Inventory

Marken is a surprising island within the Netherlands, excellent for a little bit of historic appeal and a rural really feel. Throughout the winter months, it might be a bit more difficult to achieve the island, however there’s nonetheless cause to go to right here.

On New Yr’s Eve, you’ll find numerous celebrations on the native pubs and eating places. After New Yr’s, you’ll discover that the town turns into a bit much less crowded, and whereas the chilly climate will get in, Dutch tradition doesn’t cease. That’s when visiting the realm’s museums, such because the Marker Museum with its six historic homes, may very well be perfect.

As difficult as reaching Marken within the winter, it may be as difficult to depart. So why not keep a couple of nights on the Bed and Breakfast De Pepersteeg till the climate clears up?

14. Go to the Seaside at Scheveningen

Ferris Wheel on a Pier in The Hague, Scheveningen
tselykh / Adobe Inventory

Scheveningen is among the eight districts that make up The Hague. Those that come throughout a lot of the yr accomplish that to discover the superior seaside right here.

Throughout the winter, it’s too chilly to really spend time within the water (except, once more, you’re a madman), however you possibly can stroll alongside the waterfront and gaze on the majestic North Sea. It’s so spellbinding you may wish to discover someplace to remain the place you possibly can admire the waters from the heat, resembling Ocean House Scheveningen.

Whereas not as giant as Amsterdam’s Christmas Markets, Scheveningen has a variety of smaller outlets and native eateries that go to right here properly price it.

There’s no dangerous time to come back, however if you happen to come earlier than mid-November, you should still be capable to get onto the seaside to see the realm’s hottest attraction earlier than the very chilly climate kicks in.

15. Attend World Christmas Circus

Performance at World Christmas Circus Amsterdam
DirkJan Ranzijn / Flickr; CC BY-ND 2.0

Christmas is a joyous event – I imply, contemplate the variety of melodies that includes the phrase “pleasure” alone. And as far and broad as I’ve traveled over the vacations, there are few locations extra joyous to expertise the Christmas spirit than this subsequent one.

Throughout the vacation season, the well-known Carre Theater in Amsterdam hosts the World Christmas Circus. This can be a 135-year custom that continues to at the present time and is a feast for the senses. For lovers of stay efficiency and all issues Christmas, look no additional!

16. Take Some Pics at Kop van Java-eiland

Java-eiland in the Netherlands
Alain Rouiller / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 2.0

Should you’re on the lookout for a spot to take some distinctive festive snaps to recollect your journey, you may wish to make a journey to Kop van Java in Amsterdam in December. Actually “head of Java island,” this peninsula, surrounded by water, is superbly decked out in its festive regalia in wintertime.

It’s a terrific place to seize snaps of the town, in addition to all kinds of boats and ships. Most of them shall be sporting their vacation decorations, too!

17. Seize Sweet at a Sinterklaas Parade

Sinterklaas Parade in Amsterdam, Netherlands
TTStock / Adobe Inventory

In Amsterdam, in addition to different areas of the nation, a Sinterklaas Parade usually happens across the center of November and is seen because the heralding of the Christmas season. They’re actually good enjoyable regardless of being a bit of…questionable in at this time’s day and age.

Wearing crimson with an extended white beard, Sinterklaas or Sint-Nicolaas are sometimes confused by Individuals because the European Santa Claus.

Based mostly on the real-life Saint Nicholas, patron saint of kids, massive bearded Sinterklaas is definitely his separate entity, working in tandem with Santa Clause over the vacations to make sure all the great children get what’s coming to them.

One other massive characteristic in these parades is Sinterklaas’ greatest buddy and assistant, “Zwarte Piet,” or Black Pete. Depicted as a black Spanish Moor, sporting Renaissance garments, who helps Saint Nick give out sweet to good children, Black Pete is an all-around good man, beloved by youngsters. He’s additionally problematic as heck, historically being portrayed by a white particular person sporting blackface.

18. Shout “Bah Humbug!” on the Dickens Pageant

Crowd in Dickens Festival, Netherlands
Dickens Pageant / CCFacebook

One of the vital well-liked and vital works of Christmas literature in historical past is Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol. The messages there are simply as poignant now as they had been when it was written, and I’ll admit a couple of Christmas tales get me within the temper in addition to this one – and I’m not alone.

Each vacation season, a unique TV community pumps out a brand new “reimagining” of the traditional story, theatres maintain stay readings, and everybody tends to be a bit of nicer to one another to keep away from being labeled a Scrooge! However nowhere on Earth goes as barmy for festive hauntings as Deventer.

Situated within the Overijssel province, Deventer hosts the Dickens Pageant every winter. Throughout this bumper celebration of Charles Dickens and his works, the city will get dressed up as Dickensian characters!

19. Strive All of the Festive Dutch Meals

Oliebollen at Rembrandtplein
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Ensure you spend a while exploring the festive meals right here! There are a couple of must-try treats current all through the nation which are fabulous methods to have a good time the vacations.

  • Banketletter: Often known as “Dutch letters,” these conventional pastries are baked within the form of letters of the alphabet, though historically, they arrive in “S” shapes.
  • Chocolate letters: Usually discovered throughout the Sinterklaas season, these are a favourite for kids, however employers typically hand them out when firms break for the vacations.
  • Chocolate Dutch Child: These chocolate Dutch pancakes listed here are decadent and wealthy. They’re in contrast to what chances are you’ll discover within the U.S. on account of their higher-quality components, significantly the wealthy chocolate.
  • Mulled wine: Fairly the frequent selection when having fun with a night drink, mulled wine is among the hottest choices throughout the vacation season. For youths, sizzling chocolate is almost at all times provided.
  • Oliebollen: Dutch doughnuts, these tasty treats are very yeasty and comprise every thing from apples to raises in them. These deep-fried items of heaven are the right deal with, particularly when lined with powdered sugar.
  • Conventional Dutch Christmas dinner: This dinner is usually constructed round proteins, together with turkey, venison, goose, or hare. One meat will take heart stage, whereas there may be usually a second meaty dish, too. You may anticipate Christmas bread, referred to as Kerstbrood, to be served alongside a variety of greens and mashed potatoes.

See Associated: Finest Amsterdam Meals You Must Have


What’s the common temperature throughout winter within the Netherlands?

Amsterdam climate can change rapidly. Throughout the coldest a part of the yr, the typical low temperatures are round 33 levels Fahrenheit, although it may well get a lot decrease a couple of days a yr. The best are typically round 42 and 45 levels Fahrenheit. There’s typically snow when visiting Amsterdam in December or later.

What sort of clothes ought to I pack for a winter journey to the Netherlands?

Put on lengthy pants and layers when visiting Amsterdam in December and properly into the winter months. It might be greatest to put on heat coats because the winter wind can blow closely. You should definitely deliver layers, sweaters, gloves, and hats to assist keep heat.

Are there any out of doors actions within the Netherlands throughout winter?

There’s a lot to do open air within the Netherlands in December and the remainder of the yr, together with ice skating, climbing by way of the snow and snowshoeing if the winter is harsh sufficient. Christmas festivals and markets at all times characteristic stay music, present stalls, Christmas tree shows, and plenty of festive decorations to take pleasure in.

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