As the nights role in and rainy days fill the weekends. The google searches tend to turn towards sunny getaway: a new adventure for Summer to get us through the drizzle and downpours. I myself am guilty of this, usually booking a summer holiday in December, before Christmas has swallowed my overdraft.
It’s so easy to forget the beauty of Winter, particularly in the UK where we tend to see rain rather than snow. But there are endless pre and post Christmassy cultures to explore: especially in Europe. Amsterdam, arguably has the most under-rated Wintery experience, not pandering to typical gimmicky gifts but exploring what this time of year means through food, drink and low-key events.
Ice Village, Museum Quarter
Set in the picturesque Museum Quarter, the Ice Village opens itself up from the 17th of November to the 3rd of February 2019, with their skating rink as the centre attraction. Climb up the ‘I am Amsterdam’ sign and spectate or grab a pair of boots and enjoy 45 minutes of blissful skating – be careful not to fall tho, nobody wants to be walking round with a wet behind when the rink isn’t in sight!
Since Christmas is basically just one long all-you-can-eat buffet, why not explore Dam’s delicacies? The infomous stroopwafel is found at every traditional Christmas market across Europe so why not give the originals a go? Fresh from the oven, you can’t go wrong.
Anyone with a sweet tooth will love the array of Christmas markets dotted around the centre, from traditional hard boiled to chocolate candy apples, there truly is something to leave anyone’s mouth watering and wanting more.
Museum Wandering (where its warm):
Sometimes exposing ourselves to the elements can get a little too much and there’s nothing wrong with hiding indoors for a while. Amsterdam not only has a designated Museum Quarter, but the Anne Frank museum, Banksy exhibitions and more red-light-district stores than you’ll be able to count.
For a limited time only the Rijksmuseum has got an exquisite Samidin exhibition: photographing ‘the cafe’, showing societal friendships. For a summary of Netherland culture and talented photography, this one certainly seems worth checking out.
Buying a unique Christmas gift is harder than ever, with anything at the click of a button, its always possible you’ll end up with the same gift from both your aunties. By shopping outside of your hometown, you’ll find hundreds of bespoke gifts from Artisan market stalls or European clothes stores with items you just can’t buy anywhere else.
Stores like Brandy Melville and the Flower Markets are the perfect place to get you started!
Have you experienced the Winter Wonderland hidden behind every corner of Amsterdam? Leave a comment below!