New Year’s Eve in Amsterdam is actually called “Oudjaarsavond” – which means Old Year’s Evening. Amsterdam is possibly the best place on the planet to spend New Year’s Eve if you are looking for a night full of energy and excitement. The entire city comes to life, with thousands of people filling the streets to celebrate and welcome in the new year.
Most bars and clubs do not open their doors in Amsterdam on New Year’s Eve until close to midnight. The major parties get underway around 11:00 p.m. and last until 2:00 a.m. or later. Many locals do not even venture out until the countdown to the new year is ready to begin. It might be wise to leave earlier, however, to ensure that you are able to reach your destination before the clock starts counting down. There is a great deal to do and see on New Year’s Eve in Amsterdam, so rest up the day before.
Several areas in Amsterdam are worth checking out on New Year’s Eve, including Nieuwmarkt Square, Dam Square, Rembrandtplein, and Leidseplein. All of these locations have plenty of cafes and shops nearby, and are great places for viewing the city-wide fireworks. Nieuwmarkt Square is one of the hottest party destinations on New Year’s Eve, and is also the most crowded location to spend the night. Partygoers set off fireworks all over the square, so be prepared to duck and run if the need arises. Be certain to bring a bottle of champagne with you to toast in the new year.
Organized fireworks take place in all of the major squares in Amsterdam. Smaller fireworks events can also be found all around the city, as both young and old take great delight in setting off their own shows.
If massive crowds are not your style, you might be interested in visiting the NEMO museum. The roof of the museum is open to the public and provides an excellent view of the fireworks going on around the city. This is a great family location, and should be the first choice when looking for a spot to watch the displays with small children.
Bridges around the city also provide nice views of the fireworks. Arriving early is key to getting a comfortable spot to watch the fireworks.
Bars and Clubs:
Nearly all of the bars and clubs around Amsterdam will be offering some sort of special New Year’s Eve party. The W Hotel is hosting an upscale event, complete with dinner, a bottle, and live music for about 1,700 dollars per person. If you need something less expensive but equally fun, be sure to drop into the Leidseplein comedy club, Boom Chicago, which is throwing a “Roaring Twenties” party on New Year’s Eve. For adult entertainment, there is always the Hooker’s Ball in the Red Light District.
Amsterdam is not usually known for fine dining, but the city offers a number of excellent restaurants to choose from. Every type of cuisine is available no matter where in the city you are. Many restaurants are open late, so stop in to stock up on energy before joining in the New Year’s celebrations. If you would like to book a table at one of the more upscale restaurants in the city, especially those nearest to the festivities, be sure to call in advance to ensure table availability.