Whats On

What’s On in Amsterdam (December 2024)

December sees the start of the festive holiday season in Amsterdam – with presents given out on Sinterklaas and then the run-up to Christmas and New Year.

Let’s take a look at what’s on in the city for visitors, locals and expats in December 2024…

Winter Highlights in Amsterdam (December 2024)

Amsterdam Light Festival – 13th edition of the popular light installation event in Amsterdam is running 28 Nov 2024 to 19 Jan 2025 around the theme of rituals. The best place to view the lights is from the water.

amsterdam light festival cruise
Amsterdam Light Festival canal cruise (source: Lovers Canal Cruises)

Museums, Exhibitions & Attractions in Amsterdam (December 2024)

Our House – A museum of electronic music culture in the centre of Amsterdam. Take a 75 minute digital storytelling journey and explore the evolution of dance music via interactive installations, shows and performances. Book Our House tickets here

our house amsterdam
Our House Amsterdam

Amaze Amsterdam – An immersive audio-visual experience with 7 stages which varies from intense, interactive to relaxing. Excellent for a group activity. Special winter holiday shows. Located in an old industrial nightclub in Amsterdam’s West Port district. Book Amaze Amsterdam tickets here

amaze amsterdam
AMAZE Amsterdam

Body Worlds – Fascinating display of 200 human body ‘plastinate’ specimens at the venue on Damrak in central Amsterdam. The permanent exhibition is The Happiness Project and also includes an InBody scan. Book Body Worlds tickets here

body worlds amsterdam
Body Worlds Amsterdam

STRAAT – A totally unique experience. The world’s biggest street art and graffiti museum in a 8,000m² warehouse at NDSM wharf in Amsterdam which showcases some 180 artworks, all made on-site. Book STRAAT tickets here

straat museum amsterdam
STRAAT Museum Amsterdam

Nxt Museum – The first “new media art” museum in the Netherlands which has large-scale, multi-sensory immersive exhibitions. Located in the Amsterdam North district. Book Nxt Museum tickets here

Van Gogh Museum – Iconic museum with the world’s largest collection of Vincent van Gogh paintings. Book Van Gogh Museum ticket here

Rijksmuseum – The Rijksmuseum’s rich collection (including Rembrandt’s Night Watch) is a must-see in Amsterdam. Book Rijksmuseum tickets here 

Madame Tussauds Amsterdam – Get your celebrity fill by visiting the ever-popular wax work museum on Dam Square. Book Madame Tussauds Amsterdam tickets here

madame tussauds amsterdam harry styles
Madame Tussauds Amsterdam – new Harry Styles figure

Amsterdam Dungeon – Interactive show featuring excellent actors and audience participation. Takes you through dark dungeon-themed rooms from Amsterdam’s murky past – scary but with a comic element. Book Amsterdam Dungeon tickets here

Anne Frank House – The canal house on Amsterdam’s Prinsengracht canal where Anne Frank wrote her famous teenage wartime diary whilst hiding from German occupation. [For further insight, book an Anne Frank walking tour here]

WONDR Experience – A fun and immersive pop-up experience in Amsterdam for both adults and children alike. Book WONDR tickets here

The Upside Down Museum Amsterdam – Large interactive museum and Instagram experience which includes 25 mind-bending rooms. Located near RAI Amsterdam. Book Upside Down Museum tickets here

upside down museum amsterdam
Upside Down Amsterdam

Stedelijk – Amsterdam’s main modern and contemporary art museum. Book your Stedelijk tickets here

MOCO Museum – The popular modern and contemporary art museum on Museumplein. Banksy: Laugh Now has a diverse selection of works from the anonymous British street artist. In addition MOCO Masters features the likes of Warhol, Basquiat and Koons. Book MOCO Museum tickets here

Rembrandt House – Visit the house where Rembrandt lived and worked. Book Rembrandt House tickets here

Rembrandt’s Amsterdam Experience – A new video art experience about the life of the famous painter and reconstruction of Rembrandt’s studio on Rozengracht. Book Rembrandt’s Amsterdam Experience tickets here 

Wereldmuseum AmsterdamMartial Arts, exhibition about the traditions and stories of various forms of martial art including kung fu, karate, capoeira, kickboxing, pencak silat and Nguni stick fighting. Runs 31 May 2024 to 31 Aug 2025. Book Wereldmuseum Amsterdam tickets here

Scheepvaartmuseum (Maritime Museum)Food For Thought, exhibition taking a close look at world food production through the lens of photographer and film maker Kadir van Lohuizen. Extended run until 5 Jan 2025. Book Scheepvaartmuseum tickets here

Royal Palace – Visit the grand Royal Palace on Dam Square including the impressive Citizen’s Hall. Book Royal Palace tickets here

ARTIS Amsterdam Royal Zoo – One of the city’s premier visitor attractions – a magnificent zoo set in a large park in the picturesque Plantage area of the city. Book Artis Zoo tickets here

ARTIS Groote Museum – The fascinating new Groote Museum allows you to explore your place in the living world with beautifully presented installations and exhibits. Book your Groote Museum tickets here

ARTIS Micropia – The world’s only museum dedicated to microbes and micro-organisms. Book Micropia tickets here

House of Bols – Stimulate your senses at the Cocktail & Genever Experience – featuring the Lucas Bols brand, which has been making liqueurs in Amsterdam since 1575. Book House of Bols tickets here

house of bols amsterdam genever experience
House of Bols Amsterdam

Rijksmuseum Schiphol – Amsterdam airport hosts a small selection of works from the Rijksmuseum collection. The museum is located on Holland Boulevard (between Lounges 2 and 3 in non-Schengen departures) and is open 24 hours a day to passengers. Free entry

Amsterdam City Passes

These all inclusive passes may save you money on a well planned Amsterdam itinerary.

Most museums + city transport
Includes attractions + tours
I amsterdam City CardGO City Amsterdam All-Inclusive Pass
iamsterdam city card appgo city
1/2/3/4/5 days2/3/5 days
24 hours basis
calendar day basis
€60/€85/€100/€115/€125€114/€139/€189
70 museums + transport + canal cruise + bike rentalOver 25 attractions/tours + canal cruise + bike rental
excludes Anne Frank House / Van Gogh Museum / tours
excludes Anne Frank House / Van Gogh Museum / transport
Book here Book here
I amsterdam City Card infoGO City Amsterdam Pass info

Sport in Amsterdam and Netherlands (December 2024)

Football:
Ajax home fixtures at Johan Cruijff ArenA Amsterdam:
2024/25 fixtures to be announced

It is possible to take a classic stadium tour of the Johan Cruijff Arena in Amsterdam. Book Johan Cruijff Arena Tour tickets here or book a VIP 2 hour tour here

Inline Skating:
Friday Night Skate – 20km organised skate around the streets of Amsterdam held every Friday night (2030, weather permitting) from Vondelpark Pavilion.

See the full annual sport calendar for Amsterdam

Comedy & Shows in Amsterdam (December 2024)

Amsterdam Magic Show – Monthly magic and comedy show with international performers. At Boom Chicago’s Rozentheater, Rozengracht in Amsterdam. Date to be announced.

Boom Chicago – Great night out at the popular comedy and improv theatre show in English – with bar and table service. At the Rozentheater in Amsterdam.

Classical Concerts & Theatre in Amsterdam (December 2024)

Internationaal Theater Amsterdam (ITA) – Amsterdam’s renowned theatre company performs shows in Dutch which have live English surtitles above the stage – for Thursday night shows at the Stadsschouwburg theatre.

Holiday Season 2024 in Amsterdam and Netherlands

Sinterklaas (St Nicholas, patron saint of Amsterdam) is celebrated in the Netherlands on December 5th. In mid-November, Dutch TV shows him “arriving” by steamboat from Spain dressed in a red bishop’s robe and carrying a pastoral staff. Sinterklaas then parades through town on a horse accompanied by his helpers, the Pieten (Petes).

sinterklaas in the netherlands
Sinterklaas and the Petes

In the last few years there has been a growing controversy and debate about the depiction of the black Petes (zwarte Pieten) due to perceived racial/colonial overtones. Although many Dutch support the character, subtle changes in appearance have since been made by creating the ‘chimney-soot’ Petes (Schoorsteenpieten).

Dutch children put out a shoe next to the fireplace and receive small presents such as pepernoten spiced biscuits or chocolate letters (with the initial of their first name). If you are invited to a Dutch Sinterklaas party you will probably have to buy a present for at least one of the guests and perhaps write a personal poem to accompany the gift!

New Year’s Eve 2024/25 –  Despite a consumer ban on fireworks, Amsterdam will host a lights and firework show on Museumplein to bring in 2025.

World Christmas Circus – Popular circus event held every Christmas holiday at Carré Theater in Amsterdam. Dates to be announced.

Holiday On Ice: A New Day – Popular family show on ice at RAI Amsterdam. Dates to be announced.

Other Events in Amsterdam and Netherlands

De Balie – The multimedia venue near Leidseplein in Amsterdam hosts regular events about current affairs, politics and culture.

Market Events in Amsterdam

Pure Markt – Regular market event with high quality produce, music, food stalls and other activities. 22 Dec 2024 (1100-1700) at Park Frankendael. Free entry

Sunday Market – Market events with a mix of fashion, design, arts, food and kids stuff. Sinterklaas market on 1 Dec 2024 (1200-1800) at Westergas, 8 Dec 2024 (1100-1700) at De Hallen, Funky Xmas Market on 15 Dec 2024 (1200-1800) at Westergas. Free entry

IJ-Hallen – Large weekend flea market event held at NDSM-wharf in north Amsterdam with 500 indoor stands. Dates to be announced.

The Maker Market – Weekend market features creative handmade products including jewelry, art and live music. Runs in the covered passage of De Hallen Amsterdam on 21 Dec 2024 (1100-1700) and 22 Dec 2024 (1200-1700). Free entry

Rock & Pop Concerts in Amsterdam & Netherlands (December 2024)

Nik Kershaw – 7 Dec, Q-Factory

Amsterdam Transport Passes

The following multi-day transport tickets can help you get to the various events in and around Amsterdam:

Best Value & Validity
Best for AMS airport
Best for Excursions
GVB day ticketAmsterdam Travel TicketAmsterdam & Region Travel Ticket
GVB Day/Multi-Day ticketsAmsterdam Travel TicketAmsterdam & Region Travel Ticket
1/2/3/4/5/6/7 days1/2/3 days1/2/3 days
€9-€41€18/€24/€30€21/€31.50/€40.50
Valid on all GVB transport (trams/metro/buses) in AmsterdamValid on all GVB transport (trams/metro/buses) in AmsterdamValid on all GVB transport (trams/metro/buses) in Amsterdam
Valid on Schiphol airport train + 397 airport busValid on Schiphol airport train + 397 airport bus
Valid on regional NS trains + EBS/Connexxion/Arriva buses in region
24 hours basisCalendar day basisCalendar day basis
Digital + Card versionsCard onlyCard only
Order here Order here Order here
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The AmsterdamTips.com What’s On in Amsterdam has been running monthly since 2008. Disclaimer: While we make every effort to keep this listing up-to-date, events can always be cancelled or re-scheduled at short notice. Please double-check with the event organisers.

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