Best Things to do in Amsterdam for New Year’s Eve

How to see in 2020 in our favourite Dutch city

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  • 23 December 2019
  • • 4 min read

Heading off on a Dutch getaway this New Year’s Eve? Amsterdam is one of the greatest cities in the world to spend the biggest night of the year, whether you want to party into the early hours, or you’re after more food and a little less beer. If you’re in Amsterdam for New Year’s Eve, you’ll be spoilt for choice with the number of incredible events going on to guarantee you see in 2020 with a bang! From parties in the squares to Dutch New Year traditions, here are the best things to do in Amsterdam for New Year’s Eve 2019… 

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Party in the Squares

Amsterdam’s public squares get wild on New Year’s Eve and are definitely the best place to kick off your night out in the city on December 31st. Follow the sound of crowds and pumping music to the most buzzing squares in the city and stop for a few drinks and to soak up the atmosphere in the lead up to the midnight countdown. Dam Square, Rembrandtplein, Leidseplein and Nieuwmarkt are the most lively squares on New Year’s Eve, so head to the bars in one (or a few) of them from 9:30pm to party Dam style. 

Go clubbing

If you love to party hard, you’ll already know that Amsterdam’s nightlife is epic. After some drinks in the squares and once the midnight countdown is done, head over to one of the city’s famous clubs for a night out you’ll never forget. Just bear in mind that clubbing in Amsterdam on New Year’s Eve is not a cheap option, so check up on entry prices before you set your heart on it. 

New Year’s Eve at Belushi’s

Don’t fancy wading through crowds in the squares? Get tickets to a themed New Year’s event to start and end your night at. Belushi’s Bar is right by the Red Light District and will be throwing a huge Hell-Fire Party with a devilish dress code. Get there before 10pm for 2 for 1 spirits!

Eat Oliebollen

Oliebollen is a traditional Dutch sweet treat which is brought out usually for the winter months. The simple snack is pretty much just a deep-fried ball of raisin, current or saltana-packed dough, topped with a generous sprinkle of icing sugar. Get a taste of them at street food stalls around the city on New Year’s Eve, prime time for a warm sugary treat on a cold evening outside. 

Amsterdam Light Festival

Every year around this time of year, canals, walkways and squares across parts of Amsterdam turn into incredible light shows. For those that aren’t big on going out drinking for New Year’s Eve, the Amsterdam Light Festival is a great alternative option. Follow the map on the festival’s website for the best route around the light installations, all focussed around the theme of ‘Disrupt!’. Designers from all over the world have come to Amsterdam to illuminate the city with their mesmerising designs which are staying put until early January 2020. 

Dive into the New Year

It’s not technically a New Year’s Eve event, but this one is a must if you’re in the Netherlands for 1st January. The New Year’s Day Dive is for the brave ones to run into the Amstel River’s icy cold waters and take a dip to see in the new year (and hopefully get rid of the previous night’s hangover). Over 150 places across the Netherlands put on New Year’s Day Dive events, so wherever you may be in the country, there’s no excuse to miss it!

Stay in a hostel

There’s no better time of year to stay in a hostel. New Year’s Eve is all about celebrating the year you’ve had and heading into the new year with new memories! Stay in a hostel to spend your final night of the year meeting new people and partying into the night - nothing beats a hostel atmosphere. St Christopher’s at the Winston is our Amsterdam hostel, but the two Flying Pig hostels are also in fantastic locations. Just be sure to book your bed quick as accommodation in big cities like Amsterdam get snapped up fast for New Year’s Eve!

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