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Christmas lights at the Canal 2016
Image from Koen Smilde

Tips for New Year's Eve in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is one of the most popular cities in Europe to celebrate the New Year in, with options for every kind of reveller. From raves to rooftops and fireworks to fizz, here are five ways to end the year with a bang.

Take in the [electric] fireworks

If you’ve left it too late to get into a sky-high restaurant or bar, you could soak up some of the revelry in the streets. Museumplein will be home to an electric fireworks display, set to be an innovative showcase of light and colour. With a packed programme beginning with a pre-party at 18:00 for children and 22:00 for everyone else, turn up early or stay home and watch it live on Videoland or RTL 4, 5, 7, 8 & Z. If you do want to make it to the show but not Museumplein, there's a traditional fireworks display also taking place near the Sloterplas, best enjoyed from the Meervaart Theatre. 

Party into the new year

Amsterdam Dance Event ADE 2015 Fireworks
Image from Darryl Adelaar

There are hundreds of parties and club nights taking place in Amsterdam on New Year’s Eve, from elegant black-tie affairs to large-scale warehouse raves. Popular places to dance your way into the new year are the annual Awakenings bash at Gashouder and Ratatouille’s mini winter festival. You can find plenty more New Year’s Eve parties in our NYE event guide, but don’t wait – tickets for New Year’s Eve parties in Amsterdam tend to sell out early.

Indulge in a sumptuous banquet

See out the year in a sparkling finale with an exquisite dinner at one of the city's grandest hotels, the Anantara Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky Amsterdam. Dinner packages include the New Year's Eve dining experience at Grand Café Krasnapolsky, including a four-course menu complete with lashings of caviar, soul-warming mains, a champagne toast and a sumptuous dessert. Or treat your loved ones to an unparalleled six-course culinary journey at The White Room by Jacob Jan Boerma, the hotel's Michelin-starred restaurant.

Read the full festive brochure for 2023 here

Feast on oliebollen and champagne

Image from Koen Smilde Photography

No Dutch New Year’s Eve celebration would be complete without mountains of these deep fried dough balls, and a good supply of champagne to wash them down with. Eating oliebollen (oily balls) at midnight is one of the most widespread New Year’s Eve traditions in the Netherlands, which has its roots in an ancient Germanic myth in which oliebollen are consumed to ward off evil spirits. Like we need an excuse. You’ll find them sold at street vendors throughout the city (see our list of the best oliebollen in Amsterdam), but do be prepared for a bit of a queue on New Year’s Eve.

Book a restaurant with a view

Zoku rooftop greenhouse terrace
Image from Ewout Huibers

Many Amsterdammers will retreat to a house-with-a-roof-terrace party on New Year's Eve, but if you don’t happen to know many locals then a bar or restaurant with panoramic views will work just as well. Restaurants and bars like ZokuMr Porter at the W Hotel, Moon or Madam in the A’DAM Tower, Canvas at the Volkshotel, Sonora Bar at Nhow Hotel or the LuminAIR at the Hilton Doubletree will all make for a memorable New Year’s Eve – remember to book up early. Read this guide to rooftop bars for more.

Join the New Year’s Dip on 1 January

January 1, 2019, Zandvoort, North Holland, the Netherlands. Traditional Dutch New Year's diving in the sea. People gather on the beach and all run to swim in the sea.
Image from Vitalinka

The New Year Swim attracts brave swimmers from all around to begin the new year with an icy dip in the North Sea at a range of coastal locations in the Netherlands. One of the biggest celebrations takes place at Zandvoort aan Zee, just half an hour west of Amsterdam, where thousands of revellers gather to strip off and run into the water together. Even if you’re not brave enough to make a splash, you can enjoy the party atmosphere from dry land with a steaming bowl of pea soup. Ready for the New Year? See our tips for spending New Year's Day in Amsterdam