Whether you’re a party animal or a romantic, young of years or young-at-heart, a big spender or on a budget, Amsterdam is a great city to ring in the New Year. The Dutch know how to have a good time and the capital is a gezellige (warm and friendly) host. If you make one last resolution this year, decide to spend New Year’s in Amsterdam.
Celebrations across Amsterdam
The compact, easy to navigate city centre lends itself particularly well to impromptu street parties with throngs of people from all over the world joining in the festivities. Nieuwmarkt (Chinatown), Leidseplein and Rembrandtplein are all popular hotspots in the city centre and clubs throughout the city host events catering to all musical tastes.
The Oosterdokis traditionally the location for the city’s official celebrations, with the VOC Ship The Amsterdam and the Scheepvaartmuseum forming the backdrop for a spectacular New Year’s Eve event and dazzling fireworks display. If you're out elsewhere in the city, fireworks traditionally illuminate the night sky above the Amstel – an attractive spot from which to enjoy the spectacle on the skyline is the Magere Brug (Skinny Bridge).
Eat, drink and be merry
Locals and visitors alike usually enjoy dinner before heading out to celebrate. Many restaurants offer special menus and a wide range of dining options to suit every budget and taste. If you like clubbing you’ve come to the right place, as Amsterdam is brimming with bars and clubs!
All that activity needs some energy to fuel it! On New Year’s Eve (and the month leading up to it), the Dutch enjoy traditional sweet treats called ‘oliebollen’ (delicious round doughnuts coated with icing sugar) and ‘appelflappen’ (tasty apple fritters). They can be found at stands across the city. Be sure to get your fill as they tend to disappear come the New Year and besides, the diet can always start next year…
New Year's Day
Has indulgence left you feeling a little bloated or bleary-eyed? Spend the first day of the New Year on a tranquil cruise of the canals, take a brisk walk through the Vondelpark or go Dutch and rent a bicycle to meander through the charming cobble-stoned streets of the Jordaan. A host of Amsterdam museums are also open on New Year's Day so you can get your fill of culture. And if you’re feeling a little let down now that festive December has passed into sombre January, the good news is that the January sales in Amsterdam are tremendous for bargain-hunters and shopaholics alike!
Ringing in the New Year around Amsterdam's city centre and canals is a spectacular experience. Whether you're exploring the city with friends or family, or heading to pubs and clubs, it's important to celebrate safely. For this reason, some of the most popular city spots will be equipped with first aid posts, dealing with everything from dehydration to minor injuries. You'll find the first aid posts at:
- Dam Square (positioned along the street at Beursplein)
- Nieuwmarkt (by the Nieuwmarkt police station)
- Leidseplein (by the police station at Lijnbaansgracht 219)
- Rembrandtplein (by the square)