How to enjoy your Christmas holiday at Student Experience Amsterdam

Are you staying at Student Experience Amsterdam for Christmas and New Years' eve? Amazing! The holiday season is a wonderful time to be in Amsterdam, so get out and enjoy the fun. In this article, you will find some activities that will make it a December to remember. 

Visit Het Amsterdamse Winterparadijs 

Het Amsterdamse Winterparadijs is a good tip for the residents of our Zuidas location because it is so close. From December 15 to January 1, the RAI transforms into a winter wonderland with indoor and outdoor ice-skating rinks, dining galore, and a giant Ferris wheel that looks out over Amsterdam. Here you can fully experience Dutch culture at its finest with delicious snacks, artists and activities. 

Go for a walk  

Amsterdam becomes even more beautiful during the Christmas season. Wrap up into something warm and stroll through the city during the coziest month of the year. See the Spui Square with its history and cozy terraces, walk through the beautiful and picturesque Nine Streets, taste a delicious Christmas snack, and feel the folklore of the Jordaan District. Or take the free Winter Wonder Walk. This audio tour lets you discover the Museum Quarter in a fun way. The walk starts at the Hope artwork in front of the Rijksmuseum. You will learn more about this quarter and its buildings while listening to the audio tour. 

Visit the Amsterdam Light Festival 

The annual Amsterdam Light Festival illuminates the city with brilliant light artworks during the winter. Artists from all around the world are creating light installations, especially for this event. Selected art pieces are exhibited for two months and can be seen along the canals. You can explore the festival on foot or by bike. However, aboard a special Amsterdam Light Festival canal cruise is the most enchanting way to take in the lights. Amsterdam Light Festival is by far one of the best things to do in Amsterdam during Christmas. 

Eat oliebollen or appelflappen

You can find several great festive treats in Amsterdam during the holidays. Surely you've already seen the stalls with various treats around the city, but the delicacy that is the most popular among the Dutch are the oliebollen. Oliebollen, literally translated as 'Oil Balls', are similar to doughnuts, only they are made in the shape of a boll. Normally enjoyed warm with a lot of powdered sugar on top. It is a custom for the Dutch to have oliebollen on New Year's eve, which explains the super long queues at most of the oliebollen mobile stalls setup. Are you going to an oliebollen stall? Also, try an appelflap. This yummy traditional Dutch pastry is made of dough filled with apples, raisins, sugar, and cinnamon. You will most definitely love this treat. 

Catch up on your favourite tv series or movies in the lounge 

The best way to spend the dark days between Christmas and New Year's eve is by enjoying your favourite series or movies with your friends in the Student Experience lounge. Are you up for the good old annual round of Harry Potter, Home Alone or Lord of the Rings? Or are you a sucker for the new Christmas Movies that air in 2022? Our favourites are Falling for Christmas (Netflix), Christmas With You (Netflix), Christmas Full of Grace (Netflix), Your Christmas or Mine? (Prime Video), A Christmas Story Christmas (HBO Max), Santa Camp (HBO Max), Spirited (Apple TV+) or The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (Disney+)? Whatever you do, grab your blanket, drink tea, and enjoy being lazy. You deserve it.  

Go ice skating  

If there's one thing almost every Dutchie loves and that makes them go crazy, it's ice skating. Luckily, Amsterdam is the home of a few ice-skating rinks. The most popular rinks are on the Museumplein, just behind the Rijksmuseum, and on Leidseplein. However, the largest one is Jaap Eden, with an outdoor area of 400 meters. It's a bit further away from the city center, but worth visiting if you want to do some serious ice skating. It's located at Radioweg 64 and is a 30-minute ride by public transport from Amsterdam city center. 

See Fireworks on New Year's Eve 

Amsterdam is one of the several municipalities in the Netherlands that has opted to ban the personal use of fireworks for safety purposes. But there is still a way to enjoy the New Year's Eve spirit! The municipality of Amsterdam hosts fireworks shows in Amsterdam at various locations that are free to attend. Check out the festivities at Leidseplein, Dam Square, Rembrandtplein or Nieuwmarkt. Remember that these spots are popular and will attract crowds. So be early! If you are celebrating New Year's Eve at Student Experience, keep in mind that the rooftops are unfortunately not open.