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First winter trip




Hoi allemaal, I am planning a trip in December, probably just prior to the christian's holiday. I know the days are short and this will be my 7th or 8th trip so I know most of the basics. Photography has always been one of my activities but with days so short I am thinking that this won't take up a lot of my time this trip.

I would appreciate tips from you guys for a trip at this time of the year. I will be entertaining my son a good bit but am open to suggestions. We will be doing side trips but again with so many hours of darkness....


Thanks in advance.

Peace
Hoi allemaal, I am planning a trip in December, probably just prior to the christian's holiday. I know the days are short and this will be my 7th or 8th trip so I know most of the basics. Photography has always been one of my activities but with days so short I am thinking that this won't take up a lot of my time this trip.

I would appreciate tips from you guys for a trip at this time of the year. I will be entertaining my son a good bit but am open to suggestions. We will be doing side trips but again with so many hours of darkness....


Thanks in advance.

Peace


Winter?

One word...poffertjes!
Hells yeah poffertjes fo sho.

December should be a fine time to visit, I found Amsterdam to have a special quietness about it in the winter, the streets are less packed. The run up to christmas should be kind of exciting.

I found that the winter sun brings longer shadows and a diffused light that I didn't notice too often on summer trips. The lack of leaves on the trees means that canal house that was obscured in the summer is now in full view.

One misty evening around 10 ish I stopped on the bridge at the top of groenburgwal and raamgracht. For a few moments I was alone and reveled in the stillness and quiet fog, twas magical.

Many times I saw photographers taking advantage of the winter light.


MF
I always go in winter but have done summer as well. Winter is my preference as it's less manic everywhere. One trip I took in winter did nothing but rain constantly, a big bore. But all the other winter trips have been superb. I usually go in February when it's probably the least busiest month in A'dam, but December is no doubt good with Xmas looming. It's good to experience the city both seasons as a tourist, imo. Hope to do Prague this way too. The cold morning mist over the canals at day break in A'dam make great photos with decent specialised lenses and filters, but you gotta get up early, it felt like a had the whole RLD to myself once, when I went out with my SLR before breakfast and watching the city wake up infront of my stoned eyes. LOL
Sounds great, thanks all. I am getting excited now, may even look into a new camera!

Peace
I've been going in December for 7 years or so. What everyone has already said is quite true. It really feels like the real Christmas Season compared to the USA. Few tourists unless you are there when the Italians & Spanish have a religious holiday & come for a long weekend. Just remember that it doesn't get light until about 9 AM & dark around 4 PM.
Yeah, that's the part that sorta worries me, especially with two teens.

Peace
Wait until April. Come for the Channels party. They'd like that better, more to do then.
Hi Bo,

It is a truly grand time to go....less tourists, prices a little lower, lots of room at the inn (or the clubs, museums and restaurants for that matter). Almost everything is open over the holidays as well.

There are several Christmas concerts that will be worth going to even if you aren't Christan. The Westerkerk's concert on Tweede Kerstdag (Boxing Day) usually at 10 am is NOT to be missed. Be on time though as they lock the door as I have found out the hardway.

There are Gregorian chants at the big church next to the Barbizon (Sint Nicolaaskerk) that are awesome. Schedule is on the door.

Lots of exhibitions and displays at the museums.

The winter light is fabulous for photos.

And if you can stay over New Year's eve, well that will be a blast and a half.

Good luck.

Regards. Roland
Perfect Roland, just what I was looking for. Mmmm a spliff and some gregorian chants, sounds great.

Sorry Birdman, the kid's school schedule etc. dictates the travel time. Be more fun to be soloish in April anyhow, Ya never know what the future may hold.

Peace
There are things for the kids to do as well. I am not that fussy about Artis but the aquarium there is fabulous.

You can also go to the museums that you might not go to when by yourself....Nemo, Scheepvaart, Our Lord in the Attic.

If they are over 16 they could even go to a club or two like Danssen bij Janssen.

There is also a Christmas circus every year at the Carre. Big top style and world class. Get your tickets when you arrive as most shows sell out. Many people dress up. Treat for the kids (and the aduklts as it is a tradition) is an ice cream cone during the break.

I would also check "what's on" in September to see who is in town in December. Big names abound but tickets could sell out early.

If you need a day trip for the kids the Zwartemarkt in Beverwijk about 25 minutes by train has more stuff (new, used and foreign) in a bazaar type setting than you can shake a stick at. It will take you a whiole day to go through all the stalls. The second hand market is on Saturday.

Finally there is an outdoor Christmas concert in downtown Gouda about 40 minutes by train. Check the date and time and go in time for something to eat. The centre of town is darkened and only lit by candles in the windows of homes and stores. About 25,000 people go and sing carols. It is an amazing experience especially when your are 420'd.

And the chants are terrific. A full cantorum at Christmas so usually 12 voices (sometimes a few more) instead of 8.

Regards. Roland
know nothing about summer but we spent 4 weeks in Jan./Feb. this year, i thought evenings were the best for photos, the weather was nice, the evening sun was rays and the night sky (say till midnight) was a VERY nice blue, unlike i've never seen before..........just play it by ear, your eye knows what it likes
Go for New Years, you won't regret it. Dam square was off the hook.

Max is right the leaves on the trees are not there and the architecture really is something to behold.

Less tourists too.
Fewer.

(Grammar Police E100 fixed penalty ticket issued)
With 2 teens in tow...their creature comforts will dominate their hierarchy of needs...broken-in, comfortable footgear, light layers of clothing, with a good gore tex rain jacket...an apropriate backpack is a must for each.
Have them do some studies, either with guide books and maps or Lost Planet DVD's or whatever ya can scrounge up....before...the trip!
Arm them with a map overlayed with tram numbers and routes....each much have their own strippenkaarts. Establish enroute rally points and times when all are separated/lost...everyone must have a watch..and...
Stop at the Orange store and buy 3 preloaded phones for use while there. Easier to track lost pups and gives them the security of having to just call dad when disoriented when separated.
Leave the umbrellas at home...as you well know.
Insist on eating breakfast, nobody wants to look at shit when their stomachs are raisin hell...
Having grown up in Northern and Central Europe, my gut memories are cold, dark and grey days so winter travel there is a non issue to me..you'll all have a great time!
Excellend advice all!! I love this website (and you guys).

We are all studying Nederlans but I never thought of studying maps and tram routes...that's a VERY GOOD idea. Keep 'em coming!

peace
Fewer.

(Grammar Police E100 fixed penalty ticket issued)
Hey guys, right now I'm trying like hell to arrange my return trip for mid Nov. (return 22 Nov)...any info re weather, hours of daylight, anything special happening???
Seems the airfare from O-town to A-dam is 'bout half of the summer rate, so's the hotel...so what's the catch? Annual ugly chick convention every Nov.???
Toke on!
bigbob
Even worse than the UC convention...the Cannabis Cup.


Peace
Take in a concert at Concertgebouw. I don't know if the free Wednesday afternoon ones are going on then but I bet you can find out.
Hey Bo isn't Trek going around that time? Don't pay any attention to the dark at 4 and light at 9 a.m. We live for months like that here in Chitown. Have the kids keep journals. Then THEY could post in trip reports....heheh. You are getting some good ideas here.
Cheech
I'll third the sentiments above, one must truly .

It's been more than 10 years since the canals froze over you might just get lucky with a freak early cold snap.

Ahhh skating down the Prinsengracht in the moonlight.
warm tea was my everything during the winter trips. coffeeshops become shelter from the cold and the tea becomes a sort of blood nectar
yikes, you were lurking outside my front window!
i agree there is something oddly beautiful and sentimental about the winter light. in the dead of winter the sun sets so southish, it's almost right at the end of the groenburgwal, sinking in vague shifty bands of platinum almost purple ... i don't know what to make of it.
love
s g collins
Fewer.

(Grammar Police E100 fixed penalty ticket issued)


I'm only doing it for your own good.

BTW - where did you get that photo of NYNY?
Iâ??ve got to agree with the above comments about winter Amsterdam trips. December is my favourite time of year for visiting the city.
There arenâ??t that many tourists around so you donâ??t have to queue that long to get into museums etc and you can get a seat easily in any coffeeshop. Amsterdam is at itâ??s most eeriily beautiful in the winter light. You canâ??t beat walking off a chilly canal into your favourite coffeeshop to order a hot chocolate and spark up a J.
Itâ??s nice being in town for Sinterklaas day, thereâ??s no funnier sight than a group of Zwarte Pieten bicycling down the street. I like that a lot of the trees are covered in fairy lights, the Christmas decorations are up and you can buy warm oliebollen from the stalls set up around town too.
Your children will also enjoy the skating rinks on leidseplein and museumplein and my favourite hot chocolate and warm olliebollum to keep spectators like me warm.
Has anyone mentioned bicycling? With a heavy wool coat, scarf and a Tibetan wool cap with the braids, it is still do-able in winter. And the lights over the streets in the Jordaan and Haarlemmerstraat are always pretty. Amsterdams Historisch Museum is fun, with some interactive stuff. In another Channels thread, there are several links for bowling around town.
Bicycling is a given, on every trip, all the time. Not much for bowling as we don't even do that here. AHM for sure. Thanks
Every year there is no freeze means more chance... as previously mentioned, it seems to average out every 10-11 years the weather in Holland gets cold enough for the canals to freeze over. I hope you have one of those magical years!
One of my favorite stories as a kid was "Hans Brinker or the Silver Skates" by Mary Mapes Dodge. I'd imagine your kids would enjoy the read... Dad might too...
I so need one of those. Its pretty weird how the more sick i am, the more i crave oliebollen.
I so need one of those. Its pretty weird how the more sick i am, the more i crave oliebollen.

Sick Myrtje? But I thought you were on your way to Barcelona? Hope your trip hasn't been cancelled!

:-)
I so need one of those. Its pretty weird how the more sick i am, the more i crave oliebollen.

Sick Myrtje? But I thought you were on your way to Barcelona? Hope your trip hasn't been cancelled!

:-)

I got back this saturdaymorning actually (was supposed to get back friday night, but missed my flight, of course). I had the best time ever, and miss it so much. Its not much of a surprise im sick though, slept about 15 hours in 7 days haha.
I got back this saturdaymorning actually (was supposed to get back friday night, but missed my flight, of course). I had the best time ever, and miss it so much. Its not much of a surprise im sick though, slept about 15 hours in 7 days haha.

O that's great. Not that you're sick but that you had your trip to your beloved Barcelona! Glad you had a great time.

15 hours in 7 days? Well you're young;the body can cope.

:-)
Hey Bo,
Looking forward to seeing you then. All of the above goes for me too. I'll lend you a few cell phones. No charge just top them up. I can give you the numbers before you come.

Don't worry about it getting dark at 4:30. It never gets totally dark in Amsterdam. The golden street lamps come on and you can see the streets without a problem.

Dag
TAK
My last tip is thermal underwear,preferably long ones. Although I am scottish and used to the cold, the wind chill factor in December can freeze your bits off.
I am not at all worried about the weather...I was born and raised in Buffalo, NY. We went to places with weather like Amsterdam in the winter to get away from the bad stuff, lol.


Peace
I got back this saturdaymorning actually (was supposed to get back friday night, but missed my flight, of course). I had the best time ever, and miss it so much. Its not much of a surprise im sick though, slept about 15 hours in 7 days haha.

O that's great. Not that you're sick but that you had your trip to your beloved Barcelona! Glad you had a great time.

15 hours in 7 days? Well you're young;the body can cope.

:-)

Well apparently it cant, hence the fact im sick. But ill get over it. And move there.
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