Hotspots in the Netherlands

The end of the year is nearly there and this also means that Christmas and New Year's Eve are coming up. In the Netherlands, this is also very noticeable. Christmas trees are being decorated, shopping malls are crowded and oliebollen (typical Dutch treat) stalls pop up shops everywhere. During this time there is a lot to do. Below we highlight a number of activities and events that are fun to visit during this holiday season.

Christmas Markets
Around Christmas, Christmas markets are held in many cities. These can last a few days, but sometimes also several weeks. You can often find Christmas markets in squares in major cities in the Netherlands, such as Amsterdam, The Hague or Maastricht.

At the markets there are various stalls where you can find and buy all kinds of things. For example, you can find Christmas items such as candles and baubles but also nice and lovely presents. There are also many stalls selling food and drink, with mulled wine in particular being popular. It is advised to check carefully online whether the market (in connection with COVID-19) will go on.

New Year's Eve
New Year's Eve is also celebrated in different ways in the Netherlands. For example, in recent years more and more fireworks shows are organized during this time of the year. In Rotterdam, there is the largest fireworks show in the Netherlands every year. From the quay you can enjoy a spectacle of hundreds of fireworks which are set off from the Erasmus Bridge. A beautiful and impressive light show! Also in cities like Amsterdam, The Hague and even in Westland, firework shows are often organized.

In the Netherlands, bonfires are also created in several places, the most famous being Scheveningen and Duindorp. Every year these two villages compete to build the biggest possible stack of pallets. While enjoying a fireworks show, you can then see it being set on fire during New Year's Eve. The pile that was made during New Year's Eve 2014-2015 (a pile of 15 by 15 meters, with a total of 30,000 pallets) is still listed as the largest bonfire in the world in the Guinness Book of Records.

New Year's Dive
Do you want a fresh and powerful start of the new year?
As a fresh start to the new year, every year thousands of people come to the beaches of the Netherlands to take a refreshing dive into the sea: the New Year's Dive. On January 1 around 13:00 everyone (often with an orange Unox hat on their head) runs into the sea. Scheveningen is one of the places that attracts the most people annually, but also in 's-Gravenzande and Monster you can run into the sea together with thousands of people.
Often the rescue team is ready afterwards to warm you up with a nice hot chocolate.

Note: Some activities are not (yet) possible at this time due to the current corona measures in The Netherlands.