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Must-dos in Amsterdam in winter

There are few cities more charming than Amsterdam. Especially during winter, when the Christmas lights transform the entire city into a scene from a fairytale. There's enchantment around every corner. If you want to make the most of your city trip, you should definitely add these must-dos to your list!

1. Skating on the Museumplein

In winter, the Museumplein is more than just a place of culture. There is also a magical skating rink, including a replica of the famous Magere Brug, or 'skinny bridge'. After skating round the Ice*Amsterdam rink a few times, you can warm up in the bar with a nice hot chocolate… or some mulled wine.

2. A winter cruise along the canal

If you're in Amsterdam, you'll almost certainly take a cruise along the canal. Our tip? This winter, opt for a cruise after sunset. The city lights – and the Amsterdam Light Festival! – will be reflected beautifully on the water. It's an extra touch of magic, guaranteed!

3. A drink by the fireside

Fires crackle in many Amsterdam bars during winter. Wherever you find yourself in the city, there's always one nearby. Wander into the cosy Hannekes Boom close to Centraal Station, plonk yourself down by the fire in the welcoming Café Zurich in Amsterdam-West, or warm up by the hearth in the hip Pllek in Amsterdam-Noord. You'll get a beautiful view of the river IJ for free.

Pllek Amsterdam
Pllek, Amsterdam-Noord
Christmas tree at Dam Square, Amsterdam

4. Christmas shopping

If you're still looking for a great Christmas gift or a new party outfit, Amsterdam is also the place to be. Forget about the large chain stores and head for the cute boutiques in the 9 Straatjes, find an interesting knick-knack in the Jordaan and gaze at the huge Christmas trees in shopping centres like Magna Plaza or De Bijenkorf.

5. Stay indoors ;)

Amsterdam is, of course, a wonderful city to wander around in. But if it's really too cold, or the rain has ruined your plans, there's still more than enough for you to enjoy. You could, for example, treat yourself with a trip to the cinema. And if you think there's nothing special about that, just wait until you see the spacious auditorium at Pathé Tuschinski. The room's splendour will be drawing your attention away from the film before you know it!