Christmas in Amsterdam

Old Oct 28th, 2002, 11:46 AM
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Christmas in Amsterdam

I'll be in Amsterdam for a week over Christmas. Although I've been there a couple of times before, I've never been at Christmas.

Can anyone tell me any special Christmas experiences to look out for there, or in any towns within travelling distance of Amsterdam?

Also, what are the Christmas lights and decorations like?

Thanks in advance.
Old Oct 28th, 2002, 12:05 PM
Eye Spy
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Remember that December 25 and 26 all businesses and stores will be closed. There are Christmas lights everywhere; go to the Bijenkorf department store on Dam Square for some Christmas shopping and atmosphere. You can make day trips to anywhere in Holland. You may want to visit Leiden, Den Haag (The Hague), Rotterdam or even go to Antwerp, Brugge and Ghent with a return in the evening.
Old Nov 18th, 2002, 02:19 AM
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Hi, Danny!

I have been in Amsterdam at Christmas, and it was very pretty with all the decorations and lights. Some of the canal boats are kitted out in Christmas finery, and some canal houses are outlined in lights.

Try the "olliebollen", little warm doughnut-like darlings, from stalls. They're a real Dutch Christmas speciality.

It would also be fun to take a trip to Madurodam, "The Netherlands in Miniature", near Den Haag. When we went, it was all lit up and decorated with Christmas stuff. They have a website that you can check for opening hours, etc. You could combine this with a visit to Delft or Den Haag, a very worthwhile day trip.

Have fun. It really is fantastic there at Christmas.
Old Nov 18th, 2002, 03:28 AM
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It probably won't be cold enough to skate yet, but some towns set up small skating rinks in the center of town which have a great festive atmosphere - Amsterdam sometimes does, and Delft will have one this year on the Beestenmarkt. You can rent skates or just watch. On Dec. 17 the city of Gouda has a beautiful celebration with music, in which the huge tree, a gift from a sister city in Norway, and the entire city hall are candlelit. The American Book Center ( usually has some English-speaking Christmas activities in Amsterdam and The Hague. For great seasonal music, try the Bagijnhof in the center of Amsterdam.
Old Nov 19th, 2002, 06:02 AM
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Dear Eye Spy, Gyorgy and Jen,

Thank you so much for responding to my post. You have provided me with a neat list of must-sees and must-dos for our time in Amsterdam at Christmas.

One more question: can anyone recommend a good restaurant to go to for Christmas dinner? I have already phoned my favourites to try to reserve a table, but they'll be closed on Christmas Day. We can't afford anything at the top end of the range, unfortunately, so we're looking for something in the moderate bracket. I would much appreciate any input here.

We have booked tickets for The Nutcracker at the Muziektheater for the Christmas Day matinee performance, so it would be nice to continue the day with a romantic dinner.

Thanks again!
Old Nov 21st, 2002, 01:01 AM
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If you don't get any good dinner suggestions do a search for Restaurants in Amsterdam. I'd recommend an Indonesian restaurant (rijstafel).
Also, you might want to be prepared - I believe the Nutcracker by the National Ballet is not the traditional Nutcracker, but a (very well-received) variant called 'Nutcracker and Mouse King'.
Old Nov 25th, 2002, 01:31 AM
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Topping for Danny.
Old Nov 25th, 2002, 11:56 PM
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Here are some websites you might want to check out for information on restaurants: (Dutch people say it's the best source of restaurant information; also in English) (a second-floor restaurant across from the Munt/mint)
(click at more>> under Eating & Drinking)
And in Haarlem, recommended:
Quatre Mains

Old Nov 26th, 2002, 12:33 PM
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Whatever you decide about restaurants, be sure to make a reservation ASAP. I think that the 25th would not be so bad, except that many many restaurants are closed. The 26th, however, is like the 2nd day of Christmas and "everybody" goes out to dinner that night. There was a wonderful post on here some time back by some Americans who'd arrived that day and were turned away from one place after another until some kindly restauranteur set up a little table for them in the doorway. It's beautiful there at Christmas, enjoy!
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