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 2022…
Festivals in Amsterdam (December 2022)
Amsterdam Light Festival – 11th edition of the popular light installation event in Amsterdam is running 1 Dec 2022 to 22 Jan 2023. This year’s theme is Imagine Beyond and the lights will be on daily 1700-2300. The best place to view the lights is from the water. Book a Light Festival canal cruise here
Museums & Exhibitions in Amsterdam (December 2022)
Fabrique des Lumières – Immersive exhibitions of classical, modern and contemporary artists using cutting-edge technology with light projections and music. Inaugural exhibition is Gustav Klimt, Gold in Motion, with works from the Viennese artist and his contemporaries like Friedensreich Hundertwasser. Runs daily at Westergas Amsterdam, 22 Apr 2022 to 5 Feb 2023. Book Fabrique des Lumières tickets here
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
Van Gogh Museum – Iconic museum with the world’s largest collection of Vincent van Gogh paintings. Golden Boy Gustav Klimt. Inspired by Van Gogh, Rodin, Matisse… large-scale exhibition of the celebrated Austrian artist runs 7 Oct 2022 to 8 Jan 2023. Book Van Gogh Museum ticket timeslots here
Amaze Amsterdam – An immersive audio-visual experience with 7 stages. Located in an old industrial nightclub in Amsterdam’s West Port district. Book Amaze Amsterdam tickets here (open Wed-Sun).
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 150 artworks, all made on-site. Book your STRAAT tickets here
The Upside Down Museum Amsterdam – Large interactive museum and Instagram experience which includes 25 themed rooms. Book Upside Down Museum tickets here
Nxt Museum – The first “new media art” museum in the Netherlands which has large-scale, multi-sensory immersive exhibitions. UFO – Unidentified Fluid Other, exhibition examining the boundaries of the physical and virtual worlds. Runs 11 Jun 2022 to 31 Aug 2023. Located in the Amsterdam North district, open daily. Book Nxt Museum tickets here
Rijksmuseum – The Rijksmuseum’s rich collection (including Rembrandt’s Night Watch) is a must-see in Amsterdam. Clara and Crawly Creatures, exhibitions about Clara the 18th century rhinoceros plus 140 objects with an animal theme. Runs 30 Sep 2022 to 15 Jan 2023. Book Rijksmuseum tickets here
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
Our House – A brand new 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. Open Wed-Sun. Book Our House tickets here
Once Upon a Time Amsterdam – Pop-up museum on Museumplein which houses an exhibition of exquisite clocks from the late 18th and early 19th century, part of the Parnassia Collection. Runs 21 May 2022 to 29 Jan 2023 (open Fri-Sun). Book Once Upon a Time 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.
Hermitage Museum – Love Stories – Art, Passion & Tragedy, exhibition featuring more than a hundred portraits about love, passion and tragedy from the late sixteenth century until today. Runs 17 Sep 2022 to 8 Jan 2023.
Museum of the Mind (Outsider Art) – This museum at the Hermitage showcases extraordinary art by unconventional artists who have not been formally trained. 31553580 (obsession) for Numbers & Schematics, exhibition about the world of logic, art and structure. Runs 22 Sep 2022 to 27 Aug 2023.
Stedelijk – Amsterdam’s main modern and contemporary art museum. STEDELIJK BASE is the permanent installation featuring around 400 pieces. Anne Imhof – YOUTH, installation featuring art, architecture, light and sound. Runs 1 Oct 2022 to 29 Jan 2023. Book your Stedelijk tickets here
De Nieuwe Kerk – The Century of Juliana, a Queen and her Ideals, major exhibition about the former Dutch Queen who reigned 1948-1980, with over 100 art objects from the Royal Collections. Runs 15 Oct 2022 to 9 Apr 2023.
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
Tropenmuseum – Ethnographic museum featuring fascinating exhibitions on non-Western cultures. Book Tropenmuseum tickets here
Royal Palace – Visit the grand Royal Palace on Dam Square including the impressive Citizen’s Hall. Note, closed 24 Oct to 9 Dec 2022. Book Royal Palace tickets here
Museums of the Canals – Waterkracht, exhibition about the water in Amsterdam’s canals and how its quality has improved. Runs 17 Jun 2022 to 29 Jan 2023. Book Museum of the Canals tickets here
Oude Kerk – Ibrahim Mahama: Garden of Scars, installation exhibition by the Ghanaian artist featuring over 800 memorial stones. Runs 5 Nov 2022 to 19 Mar 2023.
FOAM Photography Museum – Mous Lamrabat, Blessings from Mousganistan, exhibition of the Moroccan photographer. Runs 27 May to 4 Dec 2022. Book FOAM tickets here
Huis Marseille – 4 Exhibitions: Jochen Lempert: Natural sources; Nhu Xuan Hua: Hug of a swan; Diane Severin Nguyen; Danh Vo Archive of Dr. Joseph M. Carrier 1962–1973. All run 10 Sep to 4 Dec 2022.
EYE Filmmuseum – Fiona Tan, major retrospective exhibition of the Indonesian-born filmmaker runs 1 Oct 2022 to 8 Jan 2023.
Stadsarchief – The Amsterdam city archive presents Amsterdam Ancestors: In Search of Our Family Histories, an exhibition featuring the family stories of various primary school children from Amsterdam. Runs 9 Jun 2022 to 8 Jan 2023. All Those Amsterdam People… Photos 1935-1975, exhibition of lively photos from the 20th century. Runs 27 Oct 2022 to 12 Feb 2023.
ARTIS Groote Museum – Opened in late spring 2022, 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
Jewish Museum – Eden and the Golden Rule, virtual reality exhibition with the theme ‘Don’t do anything to other people that you wouldn’t want them to do to you.’ Runs 7 Jul to 31 Dec 2022. A Place of Our Own, photo exhibition from Iris Hassid featuring four young women living and studying in Tel Aviv. Runs 24 Jun 2022 to 29 Jan 2023. Book Jewish Cultural Quarter tickets here
Fashion For Good Museum – Learn where your clothes come from and discover the innovations shaping the future of fashion. Book Fashion For Good tickets here
Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum – Stay Stoned: Madness, Cannabis & Tattoos, long-term exhibition running 18 Jun 2022 to 23 Feb 2023. Book tickets here
COBRA (Amstelveen) – Corneille 100, exhibition of the Cobra artist marking 100 years since his birth. Runs 3 Jul 2022 to 15 Jan 2023.
Teylers Museum (Haarlem) – Hockney’s Eye, exhibition of British artist David Hockney including drawings, paintings, photographic and digital artwork. Runs 23 Sep 2022 to 29 Jan 2023. Book Teylers Museum tickets here
Micropia – The world’s only museum dedicated to microbes and micro-organisms. Book Micropia tickets here
Amsterdam City Passes
|Iamsterdam City Card||GO City Amsterdam Pass||Amsterdam Digital Pass|
|1-5 days||1/2/3/5 days||–|
|€65 – €135||€51 – €99||€62|
|70 attractions + transport + canal cruise + bike rental||25 attractions + canal cruise + bike rental||Rijksmuseum + Van Gogh Museum + canal cruise|
|Book here||Book here||Book here|
Sport in Amsterdam and Netherlands (December 2022)
No domestic matches due to the World Cup 2022 and winter break.
Netherlands fixtures (Round of 16) at FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar:
Netherlands vs USA 3 Dec 2022 (1600 CET – Amsterdam time)
Apollo Amsterdam home fixture (BNXT League) at Apollohal in Amsterdam:
Apollo Amsterdam vs Aris Leeuwarden 14 Dec 2022 (2030)
Amsterdam Tigers home fixtures (IJHL Eredivisie) at Jaap Eden Hal Amsterdam:
Amsterdam Tigers vs Yeti’s Breda 3 Dec 2022 (1745)
Amsterdam Tigers vs Unis Flyers Eredivisie 17 Dec 2022 (1745)
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
|Advertise your event here – reach a dual audience of Amsterdam-bound international visitors and expats living/working in the Netherlands. For more info and to receive our events media rates please contact us here|
Comedy & Shows in Amsterdam (December 2022)
Boom Chicago – Comedy and improv shows in English playing at Rozentheater on Rozengracht. Book Boom Chicago here
Classical Concerts & Theatre in Amsterdam (December 2022)
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.
Dutch National Ballet – Performances of The Sleeping Beauty at the National Opera Ballet Theatre in Amsterdam between 20 Dec 2022 and 2 Jan 2023.
Soweto Gospel Choir – The South African choir brings their energetic Heart of Africa show to the De La Mar Theatre in Amsterdam on 26 Dec 2022.
Auditory Reset – Series of intimate monthly concerts at A Lab Amsterdam designed for experiencing deep concentration/mindfulness experience/reset. Runs 13 Dec 2022 (1800).
Holiday Season 2022 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 Zwarte Pieten (black Petes).
In the last few years there has been a growing controversy and debate about the depiction of the black Petes due to perceived racial/colonial overtones. Although many Dutch support the character, subtle changes in appearance are being made such as 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 2022/23 – The new year will again be likely to be a more subdued affair with restrictions in place and a likely ban on fireworks.
World Christmas Circus – Popular circus event held every Christmas holiday at Carré Theater in Amsterdam. Runs 21 Dec 2022 to 8 Jan 2023.
Holiday On Ice Supernova – Popular family show on ice at RAI Amsterdam. 28 Dec 2022 to 2 Jan 2023.
Other Events in Amsterdam and Netherlands
Ice*Amsterdam – Get your skates on and hit the spectacular ice rink on Museumplein in the shadow of the Rijksmuseum. Running 12 Nov 2022 until 5 Feb 2023.
TEDxAmsterdamWomen – Live speaking event at Theater Amsterdam on 1 Dec 2022.
De Balie – The multimedia venue near Leidseplein in Amsterdam hosts regular events about current affairs, politics and culture.
Amsterdam Dinner Cruise – 120 minute evening cruise around Amsterdam’s canals with a 3 course meal and drinks. Runs every Thu/Fri/Sat (1930) until 16 Dec 2022. Check Dinner Cruise availability here
Market Events in Amsterdam
Pure Markt – Regular market event with high quality local and seasonal produce, music, food stalls and other activities. Winter market edition on 18 Dec 2022 (1100-1700) at Park Frankendael. Free entry
Sunday Market – Sunday market at Westergas with a mix of fashion, design, arts, food and kids stuff. Scheduled for 4 Dec 2022 (1200-1800) and 18 Dec 2022 (1200-1800). Free entry
IJ-Hallen – Large weekend flea market event held at NDSM-wharf in north Amsterdam with 500 indoor stands. 10-11 Dec 2022 (0900-1630).
Rock & Pop Concerts in Amsterdam (December 2022)
Gilbert O’Sullivan – 8 Dec, Carré
Amsterdam Travel/Transport Resources
Prepare for your trip to Amsterdam in advance.
Unlimited GVB Day/Multi-Day tickets – 1 to 7 day ticket (€8.50 to €37). Valid on all GVB transport (trams/metro/buses) in Amsterdam on a 24 hour basis. Book GVB 1-7 day tickets online here and pick-up in Amsterdam.
Amsterdam Travel Ticket – 1/2/3 day card (€17/€22.50/€28) combines airport train/bus journey with unlimited GVB transport in Amsterdam. Valid on a day (not 24 hours) basis. Book online here and pick-up in Amsterdam.
Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket – 1/2/3 day card (€19.50/€28/€36.50) for unlimited travel in entire Amsterdam region. Valid on a day (not 24 hours) basis on NS trains (in region), regional buses and Amsterdam GVB transport. Book online here and pick-up in Amsterdam.
Hotels – Book your Amsterdam hotel here via Booking.com, which offers a wide selection of hotels and free cancellation if your plans change. It also has a range of Amsterdam hostels for those on a budget.
Taxi – Sneleentaxi is a reliable taxi firm offering rides anywhere in the Netherlands – including around Amsterdam and to/from airports. It offers competitive fixed fares. You can book with Sneleentaxi here
International Trains – You can check timetables, prices and make bookings for all the international train services to/from the Netherlands at the NS International site
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.