If you’re in Holland over the Christmas period, it’s well worth hanging around for New Year in Amsterdam. The whole city turns into a massive party with fireworks, concerts and events all over the town.

Amsterdam’s compact, easily navigable centre lends itself particularly well to impromptu street parties. Throngs of people from all over the world join in the festivities after roaming out into the night. The Nieuwmarkt square in Chinatown, Leidseplein and Rembrandtplein are all popular gathering points. These places bustle from 9pm with people drinking beer or mulled wine and sampling the Dutch spherical winter speciality, the oliebol. When the moment comes, they wish each other Gelukkig Nieuwjaar.


Where to stay

    • Getting around Amsterdam on New Year's Eve

      Amsterdam’s public transportation system stops at around 8pm on New Year’s Eve, with only limited bus services resuming around midnight. If you don’t want to pay for a taxi – which are in short supply – make sure you’re close to your chosen venue by 8pm. You may want to check the GVB (Amsterdam public transit) website to see whether your accommodation is on a limited bus route for the return.

    • For party people

      Every year, electronic music fans head for the Awakenings Festival in the cavernous Gashouder venue in the Westerpark. Football fans should make for the newly renamed Johan Cruijff Arena for a ritzy dinner-and-drinks deal far from the madding crowd. Wherever you’re going, consider booking the services of the amazing Amsterdam Disco Taxi (+31(0)6 54 69 8187), replete with monster sound system, karaoke and disco ball.

    • For quiet souls

      While Amsterdammers with low-key intentions will retreat to a roof-terrace house party, venues with panoramic views also do the trick. Restaurants and bars such as Moon and Madam in the A’DAM Tower, Canvas at the Volkshotel, Mr Porter at the W Hotel and the Sky Lounge at the Doubletree by Hilton make for a comfortable, if pricey, New Year’s Eve in Amsterdam.

    • New year’s eve fireworks

      The countdown to midnight happens from near the Scheepvaartmuseum (Maritime Museum) on the waterfront, where the official fireworks display take place. At midnight all Hell breaks loose when the fireworks start and everybody in Amsterdam, in fact the entire country, runs outside to let off their own fireworks.

    • Best places to see the fireworks

      Find yourself a restaurant or bar high up with a view and watch the fireworks in comfort and style. A couple of good, though pricey options are the Sky Lounge bar on the 11th floor of the Hilton Doubletree, Mr Porter Steakhouse at the W Hotel and Madam, on the 20th floor of the A’DAM tower.

    • The morning after

      Pick your way through the damp red papers left over from last night’s bangers as you walk through Vondelpark or stroll the canals. Eat one final sugar-dusted oliebol or, if you’re really brave, track down Amsterdam's New Year's Day swim. The Dutch are a trading nation, so if you want to consume, many shops are open on New Year’s Day.

Local Traditions

  • ALocals cross their fingers after buying a ticket for the special Amsterdam New Year’s Eve lottery.
  • Be gone, shedding spines! Neighbours get together and burn their Christmas trees en masse.
  • The diet can wait: Amsterdam locals can’t get enough of oliebollen, deep-fried dough balls dusted in powdered sugar, which are sold from temporary stalls.

Book your city break

Save money when you book your train and hotel with Eurostar*

All bookings are subject to the relevant terms and conditions made available at the time of booking. A current copy can be found here for hotels and for Train + Hotel packages respectively. For any further questions, please refer to our help pages.

We are a Member of ABTA which means you have the benefit of ABTA’s assistance and Code of Conduct. All the standalone hotels and Train + Hotel packages we sell are covered by a scheme protecting your money if the supplier fails. Other services may not be protected and you should ask us what protection is available.

Essential Travel Information: For travel advice including general health advice, check www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

Eurostar Holidays Limited is a company registered in England and Wales under company number 11005481. VAT Registration number 286 2413 93. Registered at Kings Place 90 York Way, London, N1 9AG. Eurostar Holidays Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Eurostar International Limited.

*Savings based on Train + Hotel package bookings on Eurostar.com when compared at the time of booking to the price of the same standalone train and standalone hotel booked separately on Eurostar.com. 

Image credits: © Shutterstock; © Shutterstock; © Getty; © Awakenings Festival; © Chantalle Laurent; © Shutterstock; © Getty