Last weekend I had a mini staycation in Amsterdam in celebration of my 43rd birthday. I stayed in the elegant Pulitzer Hotel , did some Christmas shopping and got pampered in the Akasha spa. Amsterdam is so sparkling and cozy during the most wonderful time of the year. Window shops and streets are beautifully lit, the Amsterdam Light Festival embellishes the canals with light art installations and the restaurants and hotels are boasting with impressive Christmas trees. Here’s a short round up of Amsterdam at Christmas time, what to see and where to go.
Magna Plaza shopping Center
The most beautiful Christmas tree photo opp is at the Magna Plaza shopping Center. The mall is beautifully decorated with a three levels high Christmas tree. – Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 182I
High Tea at The Duchess
For an extravagant high tea with Christmas flair, go to The Duchess. The entourage is luxurious and the teas and foods are amazing! I had my birthday high tea here! – Spuistraat 172
Shopping at De Bijenkorf
There’s no other department store in the Netherlands that does Christmas like De Bijenkorf. I can literally spend hours in the store. The store windows are a sight and the lighting is spectacular.
Breakfast or lunch in the Nine Streets
The Nine streets are the most fun streets in Amsterdam to shop for gifts and unique designs. In December it’s extra special as most of the facades are adorned with Christmas decorations. The independent designer shops and gift boutiques line the streets together with small cozy lunchrooms and coffee places. My favourites are PLUK Amsterdam and Ree 7, both in the Reestraat.
Take a carriage tour along the landmarks
Amsterdam is best explored by foot or bike but during the holiday season there’s another unique option: by horse-drawn carriage. It adds romance and it takes you past some of the most popular landmarks. The carriages can be found in front of the Royal Palace, which is also a nice photo opp. – Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 147
The Conservatorium Hotel
I always step inside the Conservatorium Hotel, whether it is to shop at Skins Cosmetics, have a drink, lunch or dinner, or to go to their spa. It’s a welcome haven away from all the bustling to take a rest and refuel. I also love the different exclusive shops in the corridor!
Amsterdam Ice Village
The Amsterdam Ice Village is so much fun to create memories! There’s an ice skating rink and a Christmas market where you can shop, eat and drink. What is Christmas without spiced wine, hot waffles and hearty warming foods? – Museumplein – http://icevillage.nl/
Drinks at Pause at the Pulitzer Hotel
End your day at Pause in the Pulitzer Hotel. They have a beautiful winter garden with heaters and blankets where you can go over your day and plan the next. The huge Christmas tree is another great photo opp! – Prinsengracht 323
Amsterdam Light Festival tour
The Amsterdam Light Festival is an annual highlight that lasts until January 20, 2019. The city holds 30 light art installations dispersed in the city. This year’s theme is ‘The Medium is the Message’, the famous statement by the Canadian scientist Marshall McLuhan. The role of light in conveying a message and the city of Amsterdam as a medium for telling stories are central to this edition. You can either do a walking tour or a canal boat tour. https://amsterdamlightfestival.com