Markets are always a great option for traditional shopping, not only at this time of the year. However, thanks to the decoration and the Christmas atmosphere, it may be during December and January when they also acquire that magical touch that accompanies the city. If you are looking for traditional food, snacks and warm drinks against the cold, you must go to the Leidsestraat, Leidseplein and Koningsplein streets. The most typical and popular markets happen, however, on Sundays: The Sunday Markets, which usually occur around three locations: Westergasfabriek, the Jburg harbor (Krijn Taconiskade) and Roest Café. During the holidays, every Sunday they celebrate shows and various celebrations. An alternative to traditional markets is Bloemenmarkt floating market, on one of the canals. In it, dozens of green pines wait to be bought and decorated by the fireside of the Amsterdammers.
FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS
Despite its youth (in 2014 edition is actually the third one), the Amsterdam Light Festival is a real holiday tradition in the city. During the days in which it takes place, the streets of downtown are lit with sculptures by famous and new artists and several routes, one through the illuminated with gleaming boats channels and another walking down the decorated streets and culminating in the famous Dam Square and its great tree. Dates goes from November 17, 2014 until January 18, 2015.
The Parade Festival is one of the most famous festivals in Holland during the summer, an internationally famous event. In the winter season, Amsterdam hosts the Winterparade with a number of shows, concerts and performances that take place indoors, to escape the cold. Tickets are available from October and can be purchased through the official website.
The National Ballet offers every Christmas a play for the enjoyment of the entire family. This year, from December 12, 2014 until January 1, 2015, its version of Cinderella has been chosen.
Thanks to the low temperatures of Amsterdam during winter, it is sometimes possible to skate on the ice of the frozen canals, converted into tracks. However, this situation is not always available, but the fun can continue: there are different places to skate across the city. The most famous skating area is Jaap Edenbaan, although there are also smaller ones in Museumplein and Ledisplein. In the vicinity of these places, there are numerous stalls and cafes to get warm after the activity. A good hot chocolate or a cup of coffee is the best choice!
CLASSICAL MUSIC CONCERT
Christmas is also an important date in Amsterdam if our tastes lean toward classical music. There are numerous halls where different concerts and corals occur. For the full schedule, see the website.