Amsterdam is a wonderful place to ring in the New Year. Many holiday season travel pundits even rank it among the top 10 cities in the world for New Year’s Eve celebrations. While many other European cities are rather quiet during the last week of the year, Amsterdam is extremely lively, brimming with travelers from all over. Since this is one of the city’s busiest tourist periods of the year, the best hotels are already booked up by November, so be sure to plan well in advance if you want to be part of the party.
Amsterdam New Years Image: #Eelco (flickr)
On New Year’s Eve in Amsterdam, the streets of the compact and delightfully walkable city core are alive with revelers, and you can expect to hear plenty of spontaneous fireworks going off here and there. As midnight approaches, many people cram into one of the city’s numerous bars or clubs, where the scenes tend to be describable using the Dutch word gezellig, which roughly translates to warm, cozy, and friendly. Another popular Amsterdam New Year’s Eve trend is to gather in one the city’s renowned squares, with Rembrandtplein, Nieuwmarkt, and Leidseplein squares figuring among the best places for open air revelry.
If seeing the official Amsterdam New Year’s Eve fireworks display is what you have in mind, then you’ll want to wander over to the Oosterdok area, where the VOC ship The Amsterdam and the Scheepvaartmuseum serve as the background for a jubilant midnight pyrotechnical display. Before the fireworks light up the sky in the Oosterdok area, there is a New Year’s Eve Singalong. The festivities really start to get underway at around 11 PM, and entrance is free.
Plenty of bars and clubs throw their own Amsterdam New Year’s Eve parties, so it can be a good idea to see what’s on tap around town when planning your end of the year visit. Many of these parties have a general theme, so they are able to appeal to a wide variety of tastes and preferences, and since they can extend well into the morning hours, don’t be surprised if the sun is coming up when you finally make it to bed. Admission fees are required for many of the New Year’s bar and nightclub parties in Amsterdam, and more often than not, you can save some money by purchasing your tickets in advance.
Top image: Amsterdam Marketing