Amsterdam is a bit mysterious in the middle of winter. People from all walks of live come to it in droves but it’s like witnessing a secret meeting. There are people everywhere but the conversations are private. People bundle up to stay warm or pack into coffee shops where patrons mumble quiet conversations by candle light. Those that are outside are only there because the city is so beautiful even in the stillness of December. So why is Amsterdam the perfect place to spend Christmas Eve?
Amsterdam Light Festival
The Amsterdam Light Festival is a huge event that showcases the beauty of Amsterdam and its art movement. From what I hear it’s something that you can’t miss because each year there’s something new and unique to see. This year the Amsterdam Light Festival extends past the water canals. You can find the list here.
There are tons of markets scattered throughout the streets of Amsterdam. Many stalls sell holiday items while others showcase flea market finds. I love spending my time browsing the stalls and imagining how I would decorate my home. These little markets are popular here and almost always bring in lots of people. The best time to search the stalls are early in the morning. That way you can snag the best of the best before they get picked by someone else.
Amsterdam goes all out when it comes to decorating because it’s the best time for tourists to grab the perfect photo. Most streets have festive lights and special displays. In the heart of Amsterdam sits a huge Christmas tree! The best places to snap photos are a bit obvious. Kalverstraat is the main street for shopping addicts. The windows here are huge and filled with fantastic displays. Do be careful though because street is always packed with people!
Amsterdam is known for active streets and a wild nightlife but there are places still enveloped in an overwhelming peace. Head into the smaller streets for a seat at a quiet cafe. There you can enjoy a piece of life that the typical Dutchie has. I don’t know about you, but I love experiencing a city the way a local would. Sander and I often walk the quieter streets instead of the busy ones. That way we avoid the tourists and appreciate what Amsterdam is about.