Amsterdam in December

Nov 24th, 2010, 11:30 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 106
Amsterdam in December

Me & my husband are flying to Dubai in the 1st week of December and have a 2 day stopover in Amsterdam. Please pour in suggestions on how to make the most of our time there. Also, was really keen on visiting the windmills and Clog & Cheese making factory..Since it is winter was wondering if it is really worth visiting the Zaans Schaans Windmills?? Is everything open?? What else can be done in just 2 days in the city and around.??
Piya is offline  
Nov 24th, 2010, 11:43 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 8,351
2 day stopover - two full days or is that day one arrive, day two in Amsterdam, day three fly out?

Zaanse Scahans is open Tuesday to Sunday, some things are open there on a Monday there but mostly not.
With two days and short hours of daylight I would stick to the city rather than venturing off to ZS - though you can do that easily enough by train - it is a 20 minute train ride and a ten minute walk - if it really is a must see.

Plenty to do in the city itself, everything will be open, even if those two days are Christmas and Boxing Day. well - the shops will be shut Christmas Day, but the museums are open!
hetismij is offline  
Nov 24th, 2010, 11:44 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 8,351
Zaanse Schans. Sorry fingers won't do as they are told!
hetismij is offline  
Nov 24th, 2010, 12:41 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 2,911
hetismij,
Did you get Christmas mixed up with St. Nicholas' day?

Piya,
The short stay in Amsterdam question has been asked so many times here. I suggest that you use the search box above for the phrase *hours in Amsterdam*. You will have an afternoon of reading, and when you get there you can't have a bad time even if it is raining.
spaarne is offline  
Nov 24th, 2010, 12:51 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 8,351
No Spaarne I didn't. Shops close early on December 5th but are open as normal until about 5pm. Museums are open as normal on December 5th, as they are on December 25th and 26th.
The only day they close is January 1st for the Van Gogh and Rijks, and Yom Kippur for the Anne Frankhuis.
hetismij is offline  
Nov 24th, 2010, 02:41 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 2,911
hetismij,
The OP said she would be in Amsterdam in the first week of December. So mentioning Christmas and Boxing Day (Tweede Kerstdag) Dec 25 and 26 is off subject and confusing. Only people who have lived in the NL or Dutch speaking areas would know the significance of Sint Nicolaas, aka Sinterklaas (Santa Claus), and Zwarte Piet (Black Peter) who arrive from somewhere on December 5 and give the kids candy and gifts.
spaarne is offline  
Nov 25th, 2010, 01:19 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 8,351
I was merely pointing out that even in December everything is open - OP asked if everything was open and yes all month everything is open. Why wouldn't it be?

Sinterklaas arrived a couple of weeks go, and the evening of December 5th is a family event so doesn't affect normal life at all, except for the shops closing a little earlier than normal. Not only children get presents then either - it is the main gift giving day, rather than Christmas day.
hetismij is offline  
Nov 25th, 2010, 05:46 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 2,911
I was merely pointing out that even in December everything is open - OP asked if everything was open and yes all month everything is open. Why wouldn't it be?
Huh? Christmas Day? Second Christmas Day? Even on New Year's Eve most of the bars and restaurants are closed.

Sinterklaas arrived a couple of weeks go
Huh? December 5 is still 10 days out.

Looks like double Dutch to me.
spaarne is offline  
Nov 26th, 2010, 08:33 AM
  #9  
TC
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,859
Just spent 3 days in Amsterdam. Here's what we did:

Day 1: Arrived late afternoon AMS airport. Took train to Central Station. Hotel Crowne Plaza, Central Station is within a 4-5 block, easy walk from CS. Settled into hotel and had drinks. Walked around neighborhood. The city is decorated for Christmas with lots of lights and shopping. Dinner at a nice little Argentine steak house nearby.

Day 2: Walked from hotel to Rijksmuseum, wonderful shops along the way, beautiful neighborhoods. If you don't feel like strolling, you can take the tram or the canal boat to the Museum stop. Spent a couple of hours in the museum. It is partially closed for remodel, but what is open is lovely and doesn't take too long. After museum we took a late afternoon canal boat (Hop On/Off) back to Central Station. It is a beautiful ride at dusk to see the canal houses and bridges lit. Drinks at the hotel. Walk to restaurant. Dinner at Lucius. http://www.lucius.nl/ AMAZING!

Day 3: Spent much of the day on the Hop On/Hop Off canal boat, touring the city by water. The boats are enclosed, so a good thing on cold or rainy days. We even saw a wind mill on the "orange line" route. Afternoon at Van Gogh Museum, flower market, Winter Plaza, art shops. Dinner at Blue Pepper, Indonesian.

I think Amsterdam is a city quite easy to enjoy in just a day or two. You won't see everything, but you will feel like you've seen the city. Its a wonderful place for walking (I've done it in January) or taking public transport to get anywhere. Staying near the CS (also the canal boat departure point) is excellent.
TC is offline  
Nov 26th, 2010, 08:43 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 91,124
The one thing I didn't do in Amsterdam that I regret missing, take a canal boat tour.
suze is offline  
Nov 26th, 2010, 12:41 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 8,351
Spaarne, you have lived in the Netherlands so you should know that Sinterklaas arrives several weeks before his birthday. He actually leaves for Spain on his birthday, December 6th.
He arrives by Steamboat (or helicopter in the case of our town) together with his Pieten, and his white horse, Amerigo. Every year he officially arrives in a town which is televised, and later in the day, or the following weekend he arrives in all the towns and villages where all the children greet him. They put their shoe out that night and receive a small gift.
He also visits them at school, and at any clubs they are a member of also during the time he is in the Netherlands. They receive a small gift and pepernoten, taai-taai and other sweets, and again often put out their shoe at night for another little gift.
December 5th the family gathers and all receive their presents, which are disguised as surprises with accompanying poems reviewing the persons year. For instance if you are bad at getting up in the morning your surprise - made by the giver may be a huge alarm clock. It will contain your actual gift - which has nothing to do with the surprise.

It is a normal working and school day and all the festivities take place in the evening. Children often go to school an hour later the next day.

Even on Christmas day and Boxing Day a lot of restaurants are open as normal, and do not need a reservation, especially the ethnic restaurants. if you want a special meal you need to book, but I have even known snackbars open.
Hotel restaurants tend to be open.
Certainly most tourist things like museums are open over Christmas though as I said they are shut on January 1st - though even then Anne Frankhuis is open.
hetismij is offline  
Nov 30th, 2010, 02:12 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 2,911
hetismij,
Spaarne, you have lived in the Netherlands so you should know that Sinterklaas arrives several weeks before his birthday.
I checked with my friend in Haarlem. You are absolutely correct. When I lived there as a bachelor of 35 I did not pay attention to the comings and goings of Sinterklaas.
spaarne is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:07 AM.