Amsterdam is a beautiful place at any time of the year, but it often gets shortchanged during the winter months.  The reasoning could be due to the cold weather and the fact that people do not want to wander around the canals and over the bridges, for fear of freezing!  Or, it could just be that travelers are looking for warmth and sunshine, which Amsterdam is not always blessed with during the winter months.

The Weather in Amsterdam During the Winter Months

Beautiful early morning, Amsterdam
Beautiful early morning, Amsterdam

First, lets clear up any misunderstanding about the winter weather in Amsterdam.  This stunning area of the world can get fairly chilly starting in November, and that bite to the air stays in place for months.  During that time, rain is quite possible, and is often seen on a daily basis.  However, travelers must understand that the weather in this part of the world can change in an instant.

Therefore, visitors may be scurrying past the raindrops during a downpour one day, and the next day they will be searching for their sunglasses as they try to keep the glaring sun from blinding them as they take a stroll through a park the following day.

Now, there may be a flurry of snow on occasion in Amsterdam, but with all the water in the canals, it never sticks around for too long.  Visitors are encouraged to snap a picture of it while it lasts, as a photo of an architectural delight with snow covering it is quite rare.

Required Items to Pack

Those who do choose to visit Amsterdam in the middle of the winter will want to take plenty of heavy clothes, including a hat, scarf, gloves, and a heavy coat with them.  A pair of sturdy winter boots are also an excellent option, as they will make all the walking easier, while keeping the feet warm.

One other item that everyone may want to stick in their bag is an umbrella for those impromptu rain showers.

Cuisine to Devour During a Stay in Amsterdam During the Winter

Winter meal: stamppot
Winter meal: stamppot

The cuisine in the Netherlands was created with the cooler winter temperatures in mind, which is why no one will have a problem warming up inside after just one bite.  One popular option is snert, which is a thick pea soup filled with smoked sausage.  Stamppot is another great choice, as it is filling mashed potatoes mixed with vegetables and served with meatballs, rockworst, or a number of other side dishes.  Pepernoot can always be found during the month of December, and everyone must try to find those spicy and chewy biscuits before they leave the area.

Reasons Everyone Needs to Visit Amsterdam During the Winter

While this capital city is full of sights and sounds at any time of the year, they all appear crisper during the winter months.  The arches of the bridges are covered in lights, which sparkle under the nighttime sky and their reflection dances in the water below.  The cultural events in the city also ramp up at this time of the year, which means that visitors can capture light shows, parades, and special events at world-class museums, theaters, and other venues.

Christmas in amsterdam
Christmas in amsterdam

The one thing that everyone will love at this time of the year though is all the Christmas markets.  These can be found scattered around the city in the squares, and while they are filled with numerous Christmas items, most people can be seen clamoring for the sausages and the fresh tasty stroopwaffels.

No one should ever miss the Amsterdam Light Festival, which is the premier winter event in the city.  Thousands of lights can be seen throughout the city, whether on buildings or in displays, and visitors can enjoy the art fairs and ice sculpture competitions that take place at the same time.

Everyone should add Amsterdam to their list of winter travel destinations, as this area of the world offers more than people think, despite the cold.