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December highlights in Amsterdam

Browse I amsterdam's December highlights for an idea of the seasonal festivals, Christmas performances and other holiday season events in store throughout the month.

Amsterdam festivals, events & exhibitions in December

Amsterdam gears up for the season with Sinterklaas, Christmas and New Year's Eve, the taste of chocolate letters, pepernoten and speculaas on the tongues of children, mulled wine on the tongues of the older kids, a rosy glow in the cheeks of everyone and plenty of Christmas markets, holiday concerts, plays and performances for all.


Holiday season top 12

This holiday season there's no shortage of festive events going on in Amsterdam. Christmas markets, winter festivals, classical concerts, ice skating,...

Amsterdam Light Festival

Amsterdam Light Festival
01/12/2016 - 22/01/2017
The Amsterdam Light Festival is set to return on 1 December 2016, running until 22 January 2017, (literally) putting Amsterdam's b...

New Year's Eve parties

Celebrating the new year brings a fresh start full of opportunity, new leaves and blank slates. How will you celebrate? Amsterdam's list of parties is...

Dutch Ice Sculpture Festival

Nederlandse IJsbeelden Festival
10/12/2016 - 05/02/2017
One of the Netherlands’ most spectacular winter events comes to Amsterdam this year: the Dutch Ice Sculpture Festival. Watch as th...

Classical Christmas

This holiday season in Amsterdam get into the festive spirit with classical music from some of Europe's finest musicians. From the hallowed halls of c...

Christmas markets

The nights may be long and dark in winter, but you can always brighten up any day with a visit to a Christmas market in Amsterdam and the surrounding ...

Christmas tree on Dam Square

A majestic Christmas tree returns to Amsterdam this year to take its traditional place towering above Dam Square in the city centre. The lights on the...

Chamber Music Festival Amsterdam

30/12/2016 - 01/01/2017
Devoted to the enchanting world of chamber music ('kamermuziek' in Dutch), this classical music festival will take place at Amster...

World Christmas Circus

Koninklijk Theater Carré
22/12/2016 - 08/01/2017
Featuring only the crème de la crème of the circus world, the internationally renowned World Christmas Circus returns to Amsterdam...

Disney On Ice

RAI Amsterdam
28/12/2016 - 31/12/2016
'Disney on Ice: 100 Years of Magic' is a figure skating celebration of all things Disney. The company's most recognisable films an...


Although he looks a bit like Father Christmas or Santa Claus, ‘Sinterklaas’ (Saint Nicholas) is a very Dutch character loved by children and adults al...


Marking World Aids Day on 1 December, Amsterdam's Paradiso hosts its annual charity extravaganza in aid of the Dutch Aids Fund.


22/12/2016 - 30/12/2016
The winter version of the classic festival full of live acts and performances.

Masters of LXRY

RAI Amsterdam
09/12/2016 - 12/12/2016
Masters of LXRY presents its glorious wares at Europe’s biggest premium lifestyle fair. The event has come to be known for bringin...

This Art Fair

Beurs van Berlage
27/12/2016 - 30/12/2016
Between shopping in the sales and spreading holiday cheer, don’t miss This Art Fair (formerly Art in Redlight). The eclectic art f...


RAI Amsterdam
Valhalla seamlessly fuses two things that aren't traditionally linked: electronic music and circus communities. The best and brigh...


Diverse Locaties / Various locations
25/12/2016 - 01/01/2017
Warm up the wintry days between Christmas and New Year with a week of dance at the TangoTrain. Both old and new varieties of tango...

Calefax - PAN

Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ
As the year draws to a close, it’s something of an annual tradition for the players of the Calefax Reed Quintet to head to Muziekg...

Loretta Fahrenholz

Stedelijk Museum
11/12/2016 - 05/03/2017
?Up-and-coming German artist Loretta Fahrenholz combines art and film in her powerful 'performative documentaries'. See her new wo...

90 Years Miss Monroe

De Nieuwe Kerk Amsterdam
01/10/2016 - 05/02/2017
In the year that would have marked her 90th birthday, this exhibition pays tribute to a true celebrity icon: Marilyn Monroe. It ca...

Catherine, the Greatest

Hermitage Amsterdam
18/06/2016 - 15/01/2017
A collection of more than 300 paintings, sculptures and personal objects of Catherine the Great make their way from St Petersburg ...

Daubigny, Monet, Van Gogh

Van Gogh Museum
21/10/2016 - 29/01/2017
Enter the world of Charles-Francois Daubigny, a 19th-century painter who influenced Van Gogh and other famous Impressionists. The ...

Frans Post. Animals in Brazil

07/10/2016 - 08/01/2017
The exhibition 'Frans Post: Animals in Brazil' showcases Brazilian landscapes from the 17th century at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterda...

The Art of Banksy

Beurs van Berlage
18/06/2016 - 08/01/2017
Head to the Beurs van Berlage in the heart of Amsterdam to experience The Art of Banksy. On display until 8 January 2017, this exh...

The Buddha

23/09/2016 - 31/01/2017
Having drawn 70,000 visitors in Leiden, this eye-catching exhibition brings the story of the Buddha to the Tropenmuseum in Amsterd...

Ana Moura

Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ
Sultry-sounding Portuguese songstress Ana Moura makes a return to Amsterdam to delight an audience at the Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ o...

Rats on Rafts & De Kift

Dutch post-punk group Rats on Rafts and arty punk veterans De Kift, who have been successfully collaborating since 2013, recently ...

All Ellington

Celebrate the musical magic of Duke Ellington during this special performance at Amsterdam's Bimhuis on 29 December 2016.

Best of Boom 2016

Boom Chicago
After more than 20 years of laughs and cultural silliness in Amsterdam, the Boom Chicago comedy crew presents 'Best of Boom'. This...

VR Winter Wonderland

Boom Chicago
09/12/2016 - 04/02/2017
The Boom Chicago comedy crew are celebrating Christmas a little different year: virtually. Join them at Boom Chicago in Amsterdam ...


Nationale Opera & Ballet
09/12/2016 - 29/12/2016
Acclaimed theatre director Pierre Audi has teamed up with visual artist Anish Kapoor to bring Wagner's epic 'Parisfal' back to lif...

The Nutcracker

Koninklijk Theater Carré
For many, Tchaikovsky's 'The Nutcracker' ballet encapsulates all that's great about the holiday season. Catch it at Royal Theatre ...

Swan Lake

Schouwburg Amstelveen
Witness 'Swan Lake' like never before with experimental theatre director Jakop Ahlbom's take on the classic ballet. Here Ahlbom co...

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