Amsterdam at Christmas--Help!

Oct 29th, 2001, 06:48 AM
  #1  
Anna
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Amsterdam at Christmas--Help!

My boyfriend and I will be spending the week of Christmas in Amsterdam. I have a million questions, but I'll only burden this post with a couple: will most of the coffeeshops and restaurants be open on Christmas and Boxing Days? what are some fun things to do at that time of year? BTW, I've been to Amsterdam several times in the spring and summer before, but decided to brave the bracing cold this year. My understanding was that the Dutch celebrate "their" Christmas (Sinterklaas) several weeks earlier, but have begun celebrating the 25th as well. It would be a shame to show up and have everything be closed. Thanks so much for any info you can provide! =)

P.S.--I did a search of other posts, but none directly addressed this issue. Thanks again.
 
Oct 29th, 2001, 07:42 AM
  #2  
Sjoerd
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The Netherlands celebrates both Christmas Day (25/12) and Boxing Day (26/12). All shops, offices and banks will be closed on both days. Most Dutch people celebrate these days with their family (normally one day with family and other day with family-in-law). Restaurants are open, but for the nicer places you need to reserve in advance. There are many tourists in Amsterdam during the last weeks of December, and in the "tourist belt" all restaurants and coffeeshops are open.
Sinterklaas is celebrated on the 5th of December, and many families invite Sinterklaas to give presents on that day. You are right that some families now also exchange presents for Christmas.
The week between Xmas and New Years Eve is one of the nicest weeks in Amsterdam normally. Lots of locals don't work that week, and the atmosphere is very festive and "gezellig". Have a nice time!
 
Oct 29th, 2001, 08:00 AM
  #3  
Anna
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Sjoerd, thank you very much for the information. That was exactly what I needed to know. And thanks for being patient with a (somewhat) ignorant, but well meaning, tourist. =)
 
Oct 29th, 2001, 01:36 PM
  #4  
coco
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Anna,
I think it was maybe 1995, l996 we flew Christmas day from NY to arrive Amsterdam knowing we'd be missing Christmas (but we're adults and didn't cry too much!). Lo and behold–we got Christmas anyway! Lights and boughs of greenery, ribbons and bows everywhere, especially on the bridges! Bazillions of people out and about and every restaurant booked full. Even our hotel restaurants (Pulitzer) were full so we hit the pavement: at the 3rd or 4th place we attempted (the nice fondue place), they were so sweet, in response to our tale of woe they set up a table and 2 chairs halfway in the entrance and made us feel right at home. A very warm memory. PS: I seem to think that after the 26th all the shops, museums etc were open--otherwise, what else did I do?!?!
 
Oct 29th, 2001, 03:38 PM
  #5  
BillJ
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In the mail today is my Nov/Dec issue of National Geographic Traveler Magazine, and one of the cover stories is "Amsterdam at Christmas." I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but the pictures look neat. I think you can find this mag in any bookstore. Have a great time.
 
Nov 7th, 2002, 09:57 AM
  #6  
Pam
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Thanks for that tip - I too am considering Christmas in Amsterdam....I will definately pick that up
 
Nov 8th, 2002, 01:36 PM
  #7  
Ballboy
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topping
 
Nov 26th, 2002, 12:48 PM
  #8  
xyz
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topping for anon
 
Dec 1st, 2002, 03:40 AM
  #9  
hazel
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We will be in Amsterdam at the end of Dec. so were interested in the suggested article in National Geographic Traveler magazine but could not find it. Was it another travel mag maybe? Thanks!
 

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