Is winter a good time to visit the Netherlands? Yes, why not! The weather can be unpredictable with sun, rain, snow, and cold temperatures, but the landscapes will be beautiful and there will be plenty of things to do and see… Also, the massive crowds that you will see in summer will disappear! Tip: Christmas time is a great time to visit the Netherlands!
This list with 10 fun winter outdoor activities in the Netherlands will hopefully convince you to visit our beautiful tiny country during winter time. Enjoy!
Visit the Dickens Festival in Deventer
A Dickens festival is weekend gathering, open to the public, which attempts to recreate an English city from the time of Charles Dickens. In December, parts of the great town Deventer will be transformed into the time of Charles Dickens. The cozy streets will be full of Christmas decoration and filled with actors who walk around in traditional clothing. Super exciting! Visit this website to get to know everything about the Dickens Festival in Deventer, the Netherlands.
Go Ice skating at the Amsterdam Canals, Ice Rink of the Rijksmuseum or at the Openlucht Museum
When you are lucky and the winter is really cold, you can go ice skating at the Amsterdam canals. When it is not cold enough, you can also visit the Museum square in Amsterdam to ice skate at the ice rink in front of the Rijksmuseum or the Openlucht Museum in Arnhem. Afterwards, go get a hot chocolate!
Sled Up Snow-Covered Hills or Dikes
This is obvious only possible when it is snowing, but so much fun! Since flood control is an important issue in the Netherlands, we have many thousands of dikes. Set yourself upon the sled and flew down the hills or dikes with apparent glee!
Visit the Biggest Christmas Market of the Netherlands
You can find the biggest Christmas market of the Netherlands in December in Dordrecht. Dordrecht is a cozy cobblestoned city with beautiful canals and not overrun by tourists. Visit the market, buy some Christmas gifts, and get into a café to order a cup of gluhwein.
Hop on a Canal Boat and Take a Look at the Amsterdam Light Festival
Hop on a canal boat and take a look at the spectacular Amsterdam Light Festival! At this festival, artists from all over the world create amazing artworks around a specific theme using light, which are displayed along the city centre. Of course you can also explore the Amsterdam Light Festival by foot or by bike.
Feel Magic at the Winter Efteling
The Efteling is one of the most famous attraction parks of the Netherlands! It opened in 1952 and is among the oldest theme parks in the world. It is the largest themepark of the Netherlands and focus on (Dutch) fairytales. In winter, the Efteling is even more magical! Think of thousands of lights, winter treats, bonfires, Christmas trees, and snowy pines…..
Explore a Dutch Zoo
When the weather outside is gloomy, it is the perfect opportunity to visit one of Netherlands’s many zoo’s. Check out one of the top 15 Dutch zoos!
Try a Traditional Winter Dish; Oliebollen
During December and early January, you’ll find oliebollen (deep fried sweet dumplings) stands all around the city. These fried balls are a traditional Dutch New Year’s Eve snack. Be sure to eat them when they’re warm and don’t hesitate to ask for powdered sugar on top.
Curious about other Dutch foods? Read our Dutch food bucket list with more than 30 foods from the Netherlands that you should try when you visit our beautiful country!
Walk along the cannels
This is so simple, but as Netherlands is not too chilly, you can also just go outside and enjoy a stroll along the canals in Amsterdam or Utrecht for example. When you get too cold, just look for a cozy café for a warm tea or a local beer.
Pick some Tulips
On the third Saturday in January is National Tulip Day. Every year, over 200,000 tulips are brought to Dam Square. You can enter the square for free and pick some tulips to bring home with you. How exciting!
Do you know any other exciting activities to do during winter in the Netherlands?
Read our other posts about the Netherlands:
- The EYE Hotel in Utrecht, a gem for the Eye
- The best route for exploring street art in Utrecht
- The Manteling: a nature hike & picknick
- 5x hiking in Zeeland, the Netherlands
- Climbing to the top of Utrecht’s Dom Tower!
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