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…
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 Vienesse artist and his contemporaries. Runs at Westergas Amsterdam, 22 Apr to 31 Dec 2022. Book Fabrique des Lumières tickets here
STRAAT – A unique experience. The world’s biggest street art and graffiti museum in a 8,000 square metres warehouse at NDSM wharf and showcasing some 150 artworks, all made on-site. Book your STRAAT tickets here
Amaze Amsterdam – A new 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).
Our House – A brand new museum of electronic music culture in the centre of Amsterdam. Explore the evolution of dance music via interactive installations. Book Our House tickets here
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, open daily. Book Nxt Museum tickets here
Rijksmuseum – The Rijksmuseum’s rich collection (including Rembrandt’s Night Watch) is a must-see in Amsterdam. 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
Van Gogh Museum – Popular 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 runs 7 Oct 2022 to 8 Jan 2023. Book Van Gogh Museum tickets here or book a private tour
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.
Fashion For Good Museum – Learn where your clothes come from and discover the innovations shaping the future of fashion. You can find concrete ways to take positive action and shop for sustainable products. Book Fashion For Good tickets here
Museum of the Mind (Outsider Art) – This museum at the Hermitage showcases extraordinary art by unconventional artists who have not been formally trained.
Stedelijk – Amsterdam’s main modern and contemporary art museum. STEDELIJK BASE is the permanent installation featuring around 400 pieces. Book your Stedelijk tickets here
MOCO Museum – The popular modern and contemporary art museum on Museumplein. Banksy: Laugh Now (includes Beanfield) is now a permanent exhibition along with MOCO Masters (Warhol, Basquiat, Koons etc). Book MOCO Museum 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
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. Book Royal Palace tickets here
EYE Filmmuseum – Fiona Tan, major retrospective exhibition of the Indonesian-born filmmaker runs 1 Oct 2022 to 8 Jan 2023.
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. Book Jewish Cultural Quarter 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
Body Worlds – Display of human body plastinate specimens at the permanent venue on Damrak. The exhibition focuses on happiness. Book Body Worlds tickets here
Micropia – The world’s only museum dedicated to microbes and micro-organisms. Book Micropia tickets here
|The Iamsterdam City Card (1-5 days) offers free entry and discounts to numerous Amsterdam museums and attractions. It also includes a free public transport pass, a canal cruise and bike rental as well. It costs €65 to €135. Read our full Iamsterdam City Card review here and learn how to maximise the card.|
Sport in Amsterdam and Netherlands (December 2022)
No domestic matches due to the World Cup 2022 and winter break
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
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Festivals in Amsterdam (December 2022)
Amsterdam Light Festival – 11th edition of the popular light installation event in Amsterdam is expected 2 Dec 2022 to 23 Jan 2023.
See our complete festival calendar for Amsterdam
Comedy & Shows in Amsterdam (December 2022)
Amsterdam Magic Show – At Boom Chicago’s Rozentheater, Rozengracht in Amsterdam. Book Amsterdam Magic Show tickets here
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. Note, many shows have been cancelled in December.
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.
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. Should run from mid-November 2022 until mid-January 2023.
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 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
Museum Market – Museumplein hosts this Sunday market with arts and crafts, food and music. 11 Dec 2022 (1000-1800), to be confirmed. Free entry
IJ-Hallen – Large weekend flea market event held at NDSM-wharf in north Amsterdam with 400 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.
Iamsterdam City Card – Tourist pass which includes a GVB multi-day ticket as well as admission to many Amsterdam attractions. 24/48/72/96/120 hour cards (€65-€135). Book the Iamsterdam City Card online here
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.