If you’re planning a trip to Amsterdam for New Year’s Eve 2018, you’re in for a real treat. The atmosphere around the city on December 31st is one of the best in the world, with people gathering in the squares, drinking and dancing in the bars and watching the city’s spectacular fireworks display. You don’t have to see in 2019 in Amsterdam by spending a small fortune, so check out our favourite NYE events for 2018 that won’t break the bank and will guarantee you the most incredible night ever!
Don’t miss out on the best things to do in Amsterdam for New Year’s Eve, check these out.
KOP VAN JAVA FIREWORKS
In Amsterdam, one of the main places people flock to (and for good reason) is the Kop Van Java where the official New Year countdown to midnight takes place, followed by a spectacular fireworks display. Unlike a lot of cities, this jaw-droppingly dazzling display is free for everyone to see in person, making the pyrotechnic show an even more perfect thing to do on New Year’s Eve in Amsterdam. This year’s New Year theme is ‘Amsterdam Unite’ so look out for hints of the theme representing the 180 different nationalities that live in the city. Get there after 11:30pm as this is when it opens, or head to Javaeiland, the Noordwal or the Janschaeferbrug for other great views of the show.
STREET PARTY IN THE PUBLIC SQUARES
Each and every New Year’s Eve in Amsterdam, it’s the city’s public squares that are the most buzzing. Hosting unofficial street parties until midnight, the atmosphere around them is unmissable! Some of the most famous parties are in Dam Square, Nieuwmarkt and Rembrandtplein, but the biggest is usually Leidseplein Square. Start off the night with a bar crawl around the square, watch the fireworks at midnight and then carry on the party at Belushi’s. That’s a pretty ideal New Year’s itinerary if you’re asking us.
STAY IN A HOSTEL
For an awesome party atmosphere 24/7, choose to stay in a hostel for New Year’s Eve in Amsterdam, the biggest party night of the year. Be sure to get in there quick though, as accommodation for this night gets booked up in advance and you definitely don’t want to miss out. There are three hostels we recommend. First is The Winston, located in the heart of the Red Light District and with a 24 hour reception so you can party as late as you want and have a big free breakfast when you book direct. Secondly and thirdly are the Flying Pig Uptown and Flying Pig Downtown hostels, both in awesome locations in Amsterdam and both with unbelievably good atmospheres and a 24 hour reception, too.
Keep in mind that public transport stops pretty early on New Year’s Eve at 8pm. So it makes sense to choose somewhere within easy walking distance to celebrate the end of 2018.
One of the most traditional Dutch snacks in winter is Oliebollen, so when you’ve made the trip to Amsterdam for New Year’s Eve, this is a must-try. Oliebollen are delicious, sweet, deep-fried dumplings that are made from dough and filled with raisins, sultanas or currants. They’re sold are countless street food stands and Dutch bakeries across the city around Christmas and New Year, so you won’t be able to miss them! Apparently people eat them more on New Year’s Eve as they believe it will ward off any evil spirits.
NEW YEAR’S EVE PARTY AT BELUSHI’S
One of the biggest New Year’s Eve parties in Amsterdam for 2018 without doubt at Belushi’s bar. Not only is it ideal for backpackers looking to party on a budget, but the location couldn’t be better, being just a stone’s throw away from the Red Light District. For New Year’s Eve 2019, Belushi’s will be hosting epic live DJs and dancers as well as awesome drinks deals and a giant confetti shower at the stroke of midnight. This is set to be the best affordable New Year’s Eve party in Amsterdam, just keep an eye on the website for sneak peaks on what else you can expect…
GO FOR A ‘NEW YEAR’S DIVE’ ON JANUARY 1ST
Take your mind off that grimy New Year’s Day hangover and go for a proper Dutch New Year’s Dive! We should warn you though, it’s not like diving into a heated pool, you’ll be running into the ice-cold Amstel River water, but it’s all for taking part in a real local tradition! It’s an event that hundreds of brave locals do every January 1st, and is a sponsored event by the Dutch food brand Unux.
There are over 150 spots around the Netherlands that host this pretty crazy tradition, so there’s all the opportunity for you to join in too!
GO OUT OUT
Going out out is a fun New Year’s option, just be warned that they are pretty pricey ESPECIALLY on this day of the year. Do your research before you show up to the club on the door and get hit with an expensive surprise!