Amsterdam through British eyes

5 Things to do in Amsterdam in Winter

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Winter in Amsterdam is one of the best times of year. From ice skating to Christmas markets, there is plenty to do to give you that warm festive feeling on a cold winter’s day, especially in the run-up to Christmas. Mulled wine anyone? Here I share with you some of my favourite things to do in Amsterdam in winter.

Go ice skating: In the winter of 2011 it was so cold that the canals had actually frozen over, and I experienced skating on them for the first time. Two years later, and it looks like it won’t be such a harsh winter. However, ice skating rinks pop up all over the city so you’ll be able to try it out even if it doesn’t get so cold that the canals freeze.

Go to one of the Christmas markets: There are markets all over Amsterdam, but I really like the Christmas markets, especially little pop-up ones that have a good mix of different stalls on offer (like the Funky Xmas Market), and I also really like going to the food markets at this time of year for seasonal produce.

Stuff yourself on Oliebollen: In the winter Olieballen stands appear almost overnight all over the city. One of my favourite winter snacks, an Olieballen is a bit like a doughnut without the jam, and you can get them filled with raisins or just plain. Ask for them to warm it up for you (it’s more delicious this way) and then enjoy getting covered in icing sugar. Be quick though, come January and the stalls are all gone.

Go to the Amsterdam Light Festival: Every year from December to January, Amsterdam is brought to life with lights. With several different events and things to do, the one that you can’t miss is the Illuminade walking route, which runs from 12th December to January the 5th. On the Amsterdam Light Festival website, they have a walking route that you can follow. Don’t forget your camera.

Go on a walk around the canals: Amsterdam is beautiful in any season, but for me, a cold sunny day in winter is one of my favourites. The best part? Rewarding yourself with a nice hot chocolate, or a glass of mulled wine to warn up in one of Amsterdam’s cosy cafes

What are your favourite things to do in Amsterdam during winter?

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