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What are the best Christmas Markets in Amsterdam in 2018?

Amsterdam Christmas market with Carrousel

Amsterdam Christmas markets make your stay complete and even more romantic.

Amsterdam is a beautiful city full of culture and romantic things to do (such as Amsterdam Christmas markets) as a couple, and a lot of people ask me: does it snow in Amsterdam during the winter? Amsterdam gets snow each year, but only for a few days! It is so beautiful and crisp, just imagine lush blankets of snow against roads and on the rooftops as the sun is low above the horizon. During winter, the sun sets as early as 4pm, and the beautiful cold weather is perfect for people that like to snuggle together and drink some gluhwein, and you can enjoy the wonderful Christmas Markets in and around Amsterdam during the festive season as a couple. To me, there is nothing more romantic than enjoying a festive break with your partner, and December is a great time to visit Amsterdam if you don’t mind the cold weather and want to sit close with your partner to warm up!

Amsterdam by nigh shows how romantic Amsterdam is

Amsterdam Christmas markets are on the rise

Though Christmas markets are not originally from Amsterdam, the love of these great markets in Amsterdam is rising! Over the last few years, the markets have grown and become much more popular. In Amsterdam, we celebrate Christmas with small gifts, and in 2018, there is a great selection of markets that reflect our growing love for the festive season. Despite the growing popularity of these Amsterdam Christmas markets, they aren’t on TripAdvisor – so I have curated this list of my favourite markets in and around Amsterdam, so you and your partner can enjoy your winter break in Amsterdam.

And after a visit to one of the Christmas markets, warm yourself at our romantic boat tour with hot chocolate and behold the illuminated canals in the dark!

Woman at an Amsterdam Christmas market

My favourite Christmas markets in Amsterdam

The monthly Sunday market in Amsterdam is held every month, and displays the great work of local artists, designers, and other various creatives. In early December, however, the Funky Christmas Market caters to more festive and romantic needs! As a couple, you can take a stroll around this great market to find little stalls with traditional products, fascinating curios and special gifts and art for your partner. There are also stalls where you can find lovely, traditional Dutch food and drinks, so don’t forget to enjoy a hot chocolate with your partner to warm up as you listen to live music and shop! To get to the Funky Christmas Market, head to the Westergasfabriek and enjoy the quirky collection of handmade gifts and a wonderful atmosphere on the 16th of December 2018, anytime between 12pm and 6pm.

Christmas market in Amsterdam

Every year, the Museumplein of Amsterdam transforms into a wonderfully charming Christmas village with a large ice rink, markets, festive food and live entertainment. This is a romantic thing for couples in Amsterdam at Christmas, and I love to ice skate. I love how close I feel to my partner, and the Ice*Village Amsterdam is a great way to connect with your loved one during Christmas in Amsterdam. There are so many wonderful stalls here, and couples can keep warm with lovely drinks such as hot chocolate, and indulge in great traditional snacks. The Ice*Village is open from the 14th to the 26th of December 2018 from 11am till 8pm, which means that couples can enjoy the Ice*Village at the start or the end of their day, and still explore all the other wonderful things in Amsterdam, too. I really love the location of this Amsterdam Christmas market, too! Set against the Rijksmuseum, this market is absolutely stunning, and there’s no shortage of things to do here – there’s something for everyone, from fashion stalls, decorations, and an abundance of traditional Dutch Christmas food and drink.

Ice skating at the Museumsquare

Featuring small and independent stalls filled with wonderful food and great gifts, the Amsterdamsche Kerstmarkt is a great place for couples in Amsterdam to visit on the 22nd and 23rd of December. This market is a folksy event, with lots of great entertainment, authentic produce, and wonderful festive themes that has open doors until 1 am on both days, so you can shop for last minute gifts for your loved one, and couples can enjoy live entertainment, good wine, and lovely entertainment all evening. This market is easy to get to via the free ferry from behind the central train station in Amsterdam.

And give your feet a rest after all that strolling and join our romantic boat tour with Dutch snacks and beautiful stories and wonderful sceneries.

More than an Amsterdam Christmas market

Not specifically a market, the Winterparade is another wonderful place to be during December in Amsterdam. This wonderful event centres around a 120-metre long table, where couples and guests are served great food and drink by talented actors, dancers, and musicians who flaunt their crafts for the evening’s entertainment! This is a great place for couples who would love to experience the magic of Amsterdam with other people around them, and the food here is absolutely wonderful. Tickets range in price from twenty-two euros to forty-five euros, but the entertainment, venue, and food are all more than worth it! The dinner at the event is interspersed with a programme filled with surprising performances, and chefs, waiters, and waitresses even climb the tables to make unexpected appearances! I have visited the Winterparade myself, and I thoroughly enjoyed the energetic and festive atmosphere here. If you’re visiting Amsterdam between the 19th and 22nd of December 2018 or the 25th to the 29th of December 2018, be sure to visit this wonderful event that’s hilarious, pleasant, and enjoyable! The venue itself is also magnificent, with beautiful archways and chandeliers, held in a historic church: the Zuiderkerk of Amsterdam. This church is normally not open for visitors so a great change to visit this church.  This year, the theme is the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, and this theme is weaved intricately into the events of the evening,

Another romantic winter experience for couples in Amsterdam is the Amsterdam Winter Paradise, during the daytime and the evening. It’s a great thing for couples to do in Amsterdam, and there are so many different activities here and things that are worth seeing! Entry is only five euros, and a regular ticket (which includes lots of things) is only seventeen-fifty euros, and it’s a little bit outside of Amsterdam but still easy to get to. To me, the Winter Paradise is a must-see for anyone that loves Christmas. You can ice skate both inside and outside, and rent skates there, too. You can spend the entire day here, and you and your partner can enjoy a movie together, enjoy nice drinks and participate in various other activities as a couple, too. One of my favorite features of the Winter Paradise is that even if you’re not in Amsterdam during the snow, you can still enjoy a magical white Christmas with real snow at the event! This event runs from the 21st to the 30th of December 2018, even on Christmas day!

If you still have a desire to see some beautiful displays in Amsterdam, couples can explore the Amsterdam Light Festival. While the sun is setting around 4pm, couples can see almost  30 specially-made light artworks, and I find it’s best to see the artwork from the canals. The Winter Light show takes place between the 29th of November to the 20th of January. There are three artworks in particular that I am very excited about, and this show is so popular that it’s now in its 7th year! If you don’t want to take a romantic boat ride with your partner, you can also enjoy this show by walking around, holding hands near the canals and I think this is a beautiful way to get close to your partner during the festive season. The artworks that I am particularly interested in this year are meaningful pieces that I believe all couples will like to look at: the Spiders on the Bridge, the Parabolic Light Cloud, and Starry Night (of course inspired by the famous painting of Vincent van Gogh!). For tickets go to  Winter Light Art Festival on a Boat.

 

An illuminated artwork of the Amsterdam Light Festival

Christmas must do’s outside Amsterdam

A must-do experience in Amsterdam during December is the Haarlem Christmas Market, which is one of the largest Christmas markets in the entirety of the Netherlands. The Haarlem Christmas Market is easy to get to via the train and is just a fifteen-minute train journey, and then a ten-minute walk to get to the center of Haarlem, where the market is! There are hundreds of stalls, and couples can enjoy the wonderful Christmas atmosphere as you wander through the market, listening to the sounds of traditional Christmas carols. Haarlem is a great city to visit, and you can enjoy a whole day in Haarlem on the 8th of 9th of December, when the market is held. There are wonderfully tasty holiday treats to indulge in, and this is one of my favourite markets to visit as even the air smells festive!

Every year, The Hague transforms into a perfect winter wonderland complete with stalls, theatre groups, and storytellers. The Hague has a long history and is a very classic city that is much quieter and much wider set up then Amsterdam. The home of royals and politicians, The Hague is a stunning city and is an hour from Amsterdam via the train. To get a taste of the royal treatment, it’s essential that you visit the Christmas market here, where the streets are lit up with twinkling lights, and you can combine your visit to this market with a wander around this historic city. There are more than a hundred stalls here, so you and your partner can shop for Dutch gifts and enjoy the wonderful atmosphere of The Hague. The Royal Christmas Fair is held between the 14th and 23rd of December, and it’s open between 12pm and 9pm.

If you and your partner crave something a little smaller than the Royal Christmas Fair, you can celebrate lichtjesavond or ‘light night’ in Edam, an authentic, traditional Amsterdam village. Here, you and your partner can enjoy this very special market that stays open until 9pm on the 14th of December.  The lights around the village are absolutely stunning, and couples can warm up with mugs of hot chocolate and browse for Christmas gifts whilst enjoying the twinkling lights around the town square. You and your partner can take your time and stroll around this quaint market for as long as you like, and I love how traditional this village is. You can visit the Facebook page for Edam here, where you can find out all sorts of information about the Christmas events.

Christmas decoration at an Amsterdam Christmas market

A little further outside Amsterdam than some of my recommendations on this list, the Floating Christmas Market is the only Christmas market of its kind within the Netherlands! It’s a large, floating festival during Leiden’s winter wonder week, and it’s just forty minutes from Amsterdam by train. This market has almost 100 stunning winter chalets that you together can explore for shopping, drinking and eating. There are many artists here that sell their designs and crafts, and you can indulge on lovely mulled wine or a warming hot chocolate whilst listening to nice, live music. This market is hosted between the 14th and 15th of December, so it can fit into most people’s schedules when they come to visit Amsterdam during the Christmas period. To me, this is the perfect place to feel the spirit of Christmas, and it is such a wonderful place for you and your partner to hold hands and enjoy the beautiful displays.

snowman at an Amsterdam Christmas Market

If you are curious about a romantic tour, you can find out more on my website where I offer lovely, romantic tours for couples in Amsterdam, where couples can feel the magic of this city on the water. Just imagine you and your partner being on the quiet electric boats, sitting close together with heated seats and warm blankets, and just enjoying the marvelous views of Amsterdam while the sun is setting. Are you curious? For bookings go to the Romantic Waters Boattour

In December, Amsterdam is a perfect scenery for every couple

A lot of people ask me: is December a good time to visit Amsterdam? Some people find Amsterdam very cold during the winter, but to me, the coldness outside makes your romantic break in Amsterdam so much better. It’s a great time to visit as there are so many wonderful Christmas markets for couples to enjoy, and the winter magic of Amsterdam means that couples can get close, and the winter has its own romantic charm, especially when it snows in Amsterdam. I feel that 2018 is a great year for couples looking to experience Christmas in Amsterdam, and there are so many interesting things to do both inside and outside of the city, from shopping to drinking, to dining and ice-skating, there is definitely something for every couple looking to enjoy a Christmas in Amsterdam! I have lots of articles on my website where you can find more interesting things to do in this city about love and culture, and I hope that these Christmas markets will be on the top of your to-do list when you visit Amsterdam! Check out our choice of Romantic Amsterdam restaurants, to top off your romantic holiday.

Ice skating on the Amsterdam Canals

Summary of romantic things to do in Amsterdam

What’s there to do in Amsterdam in December, such as Christmas markets and more? Well:

  • The Funky Christmas Market  at the Westergasfabriek and enjoy the quirky collection of handmade gifts and wonderful atmosphere on the 16th of December 2018, anytime between 12pm and 6pm.
  • A wonderfully charming Christmas village at the Museumplein with a large ice rink, markets, festive food and live entertainment from the 14th to the 26th of December 2018 from 11am til 8pm.
  • The Amsterdamsche Kerstmarkt at the Kromhouthal is a great place for couples in Amsterdam to visit on the 22nd and 23rd of December.
  • The Winterparade is a wonderful event where guests are served great food and drink by talented actors, dancers and musicians. If you’re visiting Amsterdam between the 19th and 22nd of December 2018 or the 25th to the 29th of December 2018, be sure to visit this wonderful event that’s hilarious, pleasant, and enjoyable!
  • The Amsterdam Winter Paradise in the RAI where you find. This event runs from the 21st to the 30th of December 2018, even on Christmas day!
  • The Amsterdam Light Festival. Experience this magical event during my romantic water tour and see more than 30 specially-made light artworks. It’s running between the 29th of November to the 20th of January.

People on the Romantic Amsterdam Boat tour