What's On in Amsterdam This Month

Amsterdam Light Festival
Amsterdam Light Festival | © Julia700702 / Shutterstock
Tom Coggins

During the final month of the year, Amsterdam’s cultural calendar becomes noticeably more festive, in anticipation of the holiday season. As always, we’ve gathered the best events taking place in the city this month, which include several Christmas markets, an open-air light festival and the city’s New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Culture | Ice* Amsterdam | 17 November - 3 February


© Roman Boed / Flickr

During the colder months of the year, an open-air ice rink appears on Amsterdam’s Museumplein, on the southern side of the Rijksmuseum. This popular attraction looks like a Christmas card come to life, thanks to its stunning location and wintery charm. Ice skates are available to hire on-site and several festive stalls surround the ice rink and sell a range of Christmassy gifts and snacks.


Between late November and January every year, dozens of fluorescent artworks are installed on Amsterdam’s canals for the Amsterdam Light Festival. These artworks are largely site-specific and often employ light to accentuate Amsterdam’s built environment in various ways, for instance, by illuminating its bridges or docklands. Although all the artworks are visible from dry land, for the best views, it is worth hopping aboard a boat tour tailored around the festival.

📍Various locations

Amsterdam Light Festival

Shopping | Christmas Markets | 1 December - 31 December


Get in the holiday spirit by heading over to one of Amsterdam’s Christmas Markets. Like other Christmas Markets in the Netherlands, these winter attractions sell goods commonly associated with the Dutch festive season, including cookies laced with wintery spices called speculaas and special, deep-fried doughnuts known as oliebollen. Gifts and souvenirs are also present, ranging from wooden toys to handmade jewellery. The largest Christmas Market in Amsterdam stands on Rembrandtplein, but others are also found on Leidseplein and Museumplein.

FILM | International Queer & Migrant Film Festival | 5 December - 12 December


Movies that deal with queer and migrant experiences take centre stage at this film festival, which is held in Amsterdam as well as other nearby cities. During its weeklong run, the festival screens a full program of feature-length movies and shorts created by international filmmakers, whose work focuses on queer individuals’ and communities’ stories from around the world. Aside from screenings, the festival will also involve talks, dinners and workshops. Tickets: €9.00 (per event)

THEATRE | World Christmas Circus | 20 December - 6 January


© Erik Zachte / WikiCommons

This long-running Christmas circus takes place at Amsterdam’s prestigious Royal Theatre Carré every year over three weeks between the end of December and early January. The elaborate shows centre around dazzling acrobatics and daring stunts, executed by esteemed circus performers. This year, the World Christmas Circus will celebrate the 250th anniversary of the circus’s adaptation into an art form by Philip Aster, by staging several special equestrian performances, involving death-defying feats of horsemanship. Tickets: €20.50 to €72.50

Art | This Art Fair | 27 December - 30 December

Building, Art Gallery

This annual art fair showcases work by up-and-coming and established artists side-by-side, creating space for the public to experience contemporary artwork ranging from paintings to performance pieces. Around 120 artists will present their work at the fair and many items are available for purchase. In addition to its main exposition, This Art Fair also organises talks and masterclasses concerning cultural entrepreneurship. Tickets: €14.50

FOOD | Winter Parade | 19 December - 29 December

Art Gallery, Church, Building, Cathedral

© Dohduhdah / WikiCommons

During this banquet-slash-theatrical spectacle, guests are seated around 120 metre-long tables, upon which gourmet meals are served and performances conducted. Over the course of the evening, actors, musicians and dancers climb onto the aforementioned table, where they then stage shows ranging from R&B operettas to choral singing. After their plates are cleared, guests are invited to continue the festivities by sticking around for a silent disco. Tickets: €46


As you might expect from a city well-known for its nightlife, Amsterdam hosts a wide range of events during the final night of the year. Almost every pub, bar and club in the city will have something special lined up for the 31st, usually involving music, booze and bucket-loads of party poppers. There’s a huge fireworks display near Centraal Station, too, which illuminates the entire city at the stroke of midnight.

📍Various locations

Fireworks above Amsterdam’s de Gooier windmill
culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.