Itinerary: Amsterdam in wintertime
Glittering lights reflecting in the canals, hot chocolate in cosy cafés… Amsterdam in wintertime has a special kind of charm. And the Amsterdam Travel Ticket helps you make the most of it and explore all corners of the city by public transport (it’ll even get you into town from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, and you can choose from one, two or three-day variants). Don’t forget to take those hot chocolate breaks, though! Read on for itineraries, routes and more inspiration.
- Find inspiration for a visit to romantic wintertime Amsterdam.
- Explore the city and get around comfortably and easily with the Amsterdam Travel Ticket.
- See the major sights with Tram 2, a renowned tram route passing many of Amsterdam’s top attractions.
Unlimited travel with the Amsterdam Travel Ticket
The Amsterdam Travel Ticket is an all-in-one ticket designed to make your life easy. Get it at the NS service desk at Schiphol, at AKO bookshops, the Holland Tourist Information or all GVB desks in Amsterdam. In addition to covering the journey from the airport with an NS (Dutch Railways) train, it offers unlimited travel in buses, trams, metros and ferries operated by the Amsterdam transport company GVB, so you can explore all of Amsterdam without ever worrying about fares. Speaking of trams, here’s a secret tip: Tram 2 has been proclaimed one of the world’s most beautiful tram routes, passing by many major sights.
Museumplein: Rembrandt, Van Gogh and more
One of the important places Tram 2 will take you to is the Museumplein, home to Amsterdam’s most famous museums: the Van Gogh Museum, the Stedelijk Museum and the Rijksmuseum. The latter holds many major works by the Dutch Masters, including Rembrandt’s ‘The Night Watch’. Start your day early to beat the crowds; you can even buy your ticket online to save time. Afterwards, take a stroll along Spiegelstraat with its many antique shops and art galleries. Then, hop back on to Tram 2, in the direction of Amsterdam Central Station, and stay on it until you get there – it won’t take long.
Cool Amsterdam: north of the river
For the next part of the itinerary, leave the beaten track and cross the water – the River IJ, pronounced ‘eye’, to be exact. Board a ferry (a 15-minute ride) from behind Central Station and head to the NDSM Wharf. This former shipyard is now home to cool lunch spots such as Pllek, Noorderlicht and IJ-Kantine, and glorious views of Amsterdam’s skyline just across the water.
Amsterdam’s romantic canals
Take the ferry back into the picture-postcard version of Amsterdam in the city centre and take a walk along the UNESCO-listed historic canals. They are especially beautiful in winter as the setting sun casts long shadows and little bridges are decorated with glittering lights. And if you’re lucky enough to be in town during the Amsterdam Light Festival, make sure to catch some of the amazing light installations after dark. Is it time for that hot chocolate yet? The Nine Streets are chock-full of cute little cafés, and great for people-watching, too. Another really romantic Amsterdam sight is the Magere Brug, the ‘skinny bridge’, crossing the River Amstel – it’s beautifully illuminated in wintertime. From Central Station, get there with Tram 4, hopping off at the Keizersgracht stop on Utrechtsestraat.
Time for a beer in De Pijp
Amsterdam might be famous for its romantic canals, but there’s something else it has to offer, too. That’s right – Heineken beer. The Heineken Experience is the brand’s former brewery, still offering tours and tasters. Tram 16 or 24 (from Central Station) or 7 or 10 (from Leidseplein) will get you there. Need to line the stomach? The Heineken Experience is located in the lovely (and lively) De Pijp neighbourhood, home to a staggering variety of restaurants, cafés and bars. And should you miss your last tram home, don’t worry – the Amsterdam Travel Ticket covers night buses, too.