Celebrate New Year's in Amsterdam

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.

Celebrations across Amsterdam

New Years eve rooftop Amsterdam CC BY 2.0 Thomas Ricker via Flickr

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. 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).

In the past, the city's official New Year's Eve fireworks have taken place to the backdrop of striking VOC Ship The Amsterdam and the National Maritime Museum. This year, however, it's happening at Kop van Java. Not to worry, though: the celebrations will be just as lavish and impressive as ever, and – as always – you can expect a surprise or two. 

The national New Year's Eve countdown is taking place at The Hague this year. It'll be shown live on TV, which is great if you prefer to enjoy the celebrations from the comfort of home.

Eat, drink and be merry

Oliebollenkraam Amsterdam CC BY-SA 2.0 Franklin Heijnen via Flickr

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. Don't forget to indulge in the traditional oliebollen (delicious round doughnuts coated with icing sugar) and appelflappen (tasty apple fritters), which can be found at stands across the city. And if you like clubbing you’ve come to the right place, as Amsterdam is brimming with bars and clubs!

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!

Party safely

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) and Rembrandtplein (by the square)

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