Dine at the beautiful Duin & Kruidberg country estate
The glorious grounds, pristine dining rooms and towering Christmas tree in the main hall make the Duin & Kruidberg country estate a stunning location to spend Christmas with family, colleagues and friends. Executive Chef Alain Alders and his team, from the estate’s Michelin-star Restaurant De Vrienden van Jacob, will be responsible for the evening’s flavours. There’s also plenty on offer for the little ones, including Santa – in person! Find out more at devriendenvanjacob.nl.
Enjoy a serenade while you snack at the Foodhallen
Amsterdam’s beautiful indoor food market, the Foodhallen, has a special musical programme for Christmas week. Expect gospel choirs, Christmas ballads, signature dishes from beautiful stalls and lots of hot chocolate (or glühwein). Read more at dehallen-amsterdam.nl/agenda/, or just head over there and find out.
Looking for a hotel? Many have a Christmas menu
If you’re looking for a place to stay over the holidays, or just want to enjoy a dinner at a beautiful hotel restaurant, the city has plenty of options for you. Conservatorium Hotel, Corendon City Hotel Amsterdam, Intercontinental, The Dylan and Okura are among the many hotels in the city that offer special holiday menus. Check out our hotels page for further inspiration.
Light up the winter
Take a 40-minute clipper ride from IJburg harbour to Fort Pampus, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to enjoy their Winter Lights dining experience. A tour of the 19th-century fortress built on Lake IJmeer is followed by dinner in the pavilion, where candles and an ever-burning fire provide wintry atmosphere and warmth. The dishes are prepared using produce sourced from within the Stelling van Amsterdam, focussing on seasonal and sustainable ingredients. After dinner and a belly-warming glass of Schippersbitter, you can cosy up by the fireplace or explore the island at your leisure before cruising back home.
Take a cooking class and throw your own dinner party
If you’re thinking of a night in, then why not take a cooking class and throw your own dinner party? The city has tons of workshops, offered by both hotels and individual chefs. Options for you to consider include the Okura hotel’s Taste of Okura with masterclasses on things like game and mushroom, Esther’s Cookery where you can learn to cook everything from Jewish to Italian food, Food by Michel’s excellent Lebanese food workshops or one of Cook Your Life’s varied courses and sessions.
Cruise into Christmas
Who needs a sleigh? It is just as festive to glide into the Noel night on your own private Rederij Belle saloon boat as you weave through Amsterdam's picturesque waterways. In December, the canals are adorned with twinkle lights and glowing art installations as part of the Amsterdam Light Festival and, if the weather permits, you might even get to see the gabled houses lightly dusted in snow. Regardless of the weather outside, inside the heated cabin will be warm and cosy. After a satisfying sail, the boat will dock and the waitstaff will bring you a delectable three-course dinner to enjoy on board. Book your dinner cruise at rederijbelle.nl/en.
Get a little cheesy
De Kaaskamer, one of Amsterdam's most beloved cheese shops, has opened up a pop-up fondue shop in Westerpark. What better way to warm on a brisk winter day than over a bubbling bowl of world-class Dutch, French, Swiss, goat’s cheese or Mont d’Or fondue? Dunk a piece of savoury sourdough into the mouthwatering and wash it down with the recommended wine pairing for a superlative cold-weather meal. The pop-up will be open until March 2020 so you have time to experiment with all the fondue varieties. Reserve your table in advance at dekaaskamerfondue.nl.
Live your fairy-tale fantasy at In de Waag
Set in the bustling Nieuwmarkt, this castle in Amsterdam's city centre was built in 1488 and provides just the sort princely panache you want from a truly top-shelf holiday dining experience. Throughout December, the restaurant will be serving a three- to five-course set menus with hearty fare like wild duck breast and blackberry gravy. There are also vegetarian and custom options. Reserve your spot at indewaag.nl/en/christmas-in-de-waag.
Step back in time
Located on an island in Markermeer Lake, Vuurtoreneiland (Lighthouse Island) can only be reached by boat. Luckily, the intimate ship feels more like a warm floating bar than a ferry. From October to May, the winter restaurant opens in a fort that once served as barracks to protect the capital against Prussian raids. The setting, on a rugged island that's home to Amsterdam's only lighthouse, brings an austere winter atmosphere while within the fort, blankets and a crackling fire keep diners toasty. Dinner is prepared on a wood-fired stove and consists of five-courses that highlight winter vegetables, meat and fish. Reserve at table at vuurtoreneiland.nl.