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The Amsterdam Dance Event has come to an end. Time for the city to get ready for the next big thing: the holiday season! In the Netherlands we celebrate Sinterklaas at the beginning of December, after which the city will be transformed into a winter wonderland on December 6th. Are you coming to our capital for a city trip? We have listed a number of tips for you.

Christmas markets

For some Christmas shopping, ice skating and hot chocolate you can go to the big squares in the city. There are also a number of one-day Christmas events. For example, go to the popular Sissy-Boy Christmas market on the Amstelveld on December 8th, where you will find brocante, innovative design and exotic art. On 16 December the Funky Xmas Market will take place at the Westergasfabriek and on 22 and 23 December the Amsterdam Christmas market in the Kromhouthal at the IJ will be the place to be for some Christmas fun.

Christmas concerts

Whether you are a fan of classical music or want to attend a classical concert for the first time, in December the best classical musicians from Europe perform in churches, pop temples and concert halls throughout the city of Amsterdam. The Dutch Philharmonic Orchestra will perform a Christmas concert in the Concertgebouw. Or you can go to the Noorderkerk Concert ‘Händel’s Messiah’ or get enchanted by the Erard Ensemble in the Amstelkerk.

Christmas tree on the Dam

There is a twenty-meter high Christmas tree with over 40,000 LED lights on Dam Square every year. During ‘Turn on the Lights’ in mid-November the light in the tree and hundreds of thousands of lights on the façade of department store De Bijenkorf are turned on and illuminate the square and the Royal Palace. Together with the Christmas decorations in the lampposts, they make this spot in Amsterdam truly magical.

Shop windows of De Bijenkorf

Still on the look-out for gifts or the perfect outfit for New Year’s Eve? You will certainly succeed in Amsterdam! As December approaches, the most beautiful Christmas shop windows appear. Don’t forget to pay a visit to department store De Bijenkorf, where in November the shop windows for the festive season will be revealed. A team of creative’s has worked almost all year to create this piece of art.

Amsterdam Light Festival

Another must do is a walk or boat trip along the enchanting light installations of international artists during the Light Festival. It is an annual event which takes place from 29 November 2018 to 20 January 2019. The theme is ‘The medium is the Message’. Over 600 artists have tried to answer the question ‘What role has light as a medium or as a message?’ by creating 30 works of art.

Are you still in Amsterdam after Christmas? There are some great New Year’s Eve parties in our capital as well. So if you are able to extend your stay a bit…

Spend the holidays in Amsterdam

With its beautiful canals, countless lights and the special light artworks of the Amsterdam Light Festival, Amsterdam is the place for a holiday this December. Htel Serviced Apartments will also be completely immersed in Christmas spheres. Especially for this festive month, Htel Serviced Apartments created a holiday special. 

• 3 nights’ (Amstelveen) or 7 nights’ (Amsterdam) accommodation apartment of your choice
• Bottle of mulled wine at the apartment
• Traditional Christmas bread on arrival

You can book this special until 30 December 2018. Are we going to see you soon for a dose of Christmas fun in the form of Christmas shopping, ice skating and hot chocolate in our capital? View the offer here.

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With almost 35,000 kilometres of cycle paths, the country of the Netherlands is truly a country of cyclists. The city residents know that the best way to get around and discover Amsterdam is by bike. Almost 63% uses their bike every day. We would like our guests to experience Amsterdam like the locals do, so we have collected 15 great spots for you to cycle to!

  1. Street art tour

Park your bike near the Spuistraat and walk through the side streets full of coloured artworks. Or cycle to the NDSM-werf (shipyard) across the IJ. You will find former ship halls here which offer a raw environment where the street art colours seem extra powerful. In the Marnixstraat behind the fire station there is also an inlet full of graffiti artworks.

  1. Vondelpark

The Vondelpark is the largest park in Amsterdam. Many activities are organized here and you will find various cafes here. Cycle through it at ease, past ponds and bridges, and stop for a snack and a drink at, for example, the Blauwe Theehuis (Blue Teahouse).

  1. Port area

Four recreational cycling routes run through the port of Amsterdam called ‘Havenfietsen’. The routes have been created, each with its own character and are provided with information boards at prominent points in the port.

  1. I Amsterdam

You can’t ignore – even if you wanted to – the red and white I Amsterdam letters on Museum Square. They are more than 2 meters high and extend in width over 23.5 meters! The letters have quickly become the symbol of the city. Visitors to Amsterdam photograph themselves in, around and on top of the letters.

  1. Along the Amstel River

Amsterdam owes its name to the Amstel, so a ride along the river is a must do during your visit to our capital. Cycle along the Blauwbrug (Blue bridge) and along imposing canal houses, the National Opera and Ballet and Koninklijk Theather Carré (Royal Theatre). You can also pass the city borders and cycle towards Ouderkerk aan de Amstel to discover the natural environment.

  1. Through the Jordaan

The Jordaan is a real working-class neighbourhood. Young entrepreneurs, artists and students like to meet in one of Amsterdam’s typical pubs here. You will also find the famous gay monument, the Johnny Jordaanplein (square) and stately mansions along the beautiful canals.

  1. De 9 straatjes (9 streets)

The 9 Straatjes, located in the Jordaan and in the middle of Unesco World Heritage, count numerous monumental shops. Trade, craftsmanship and culture predominate in these streets. You will find small, original and exclusive stores here.

  1. Dam Square

At Dam Square in the centre of Amsterdam you will find the Paleis op de Dam (Palace on Dam Square), the Nieuwe Kerk (church) where high-quality exhibitions are organized, Museum Madame Tussauds, the war memorial and the luxury department store De Bijenkorf. Have a break on one of the benches or the stairs of the palace and look at the diversity of street artists before you move along.

  1. Amsterdamse bos

In the Amsterdamse Bos (forest) you can find more than 50 kilometres of cycle paths. For example, follow the red poles, this is a cycling route of 14 kilometres long along some of the most beautiful spots in the forest. Make a stopover for something to eat or drink at one of the two farms in the forest.

  1. Jewish Cultural Quarter

Impressive synagogues, buildings and memorial places adorn the streets of the old Amsterdam Jewish quarter. In the heart of the neighbourhood is the Jewish Cultural Quarter, formed by the Jewish Historical Museum, the Portuguese Synagogue with the ancient library Ets Haim, the Hollandsche Schouwburg and the National Holocaust Museum.

  1. De Diamantbuurt (De Pijp)

Near the Jewish Cultural Quarter is the Diamantbuurt (Diamond Neighbourhood). In the past, many diamond cutters used to work for the Koninklijke Asscher Diamant Maatschappij. Today, emperors, kings, queens, presidents and other dignitaries visit the building to marvel at all the beauty. Unfortunately you can’t go inside as a tourist, but the building itself is already admirable.

  1. Weesperzijde

If you’re in the area anyway: the Weesperzijde – on the other side of the Amstel – was voted the number 14 of most beautiful streets in Amsterdam by the readers of the newspaper Het Parool!

  1. Prinseneiland

The Bickerseiland, Prinseneiland and Realeneiland are also called the Western Islands of Amsterdam. They form a world themselves. The Prinseneiland is not yet discovered by tourists, but definitely worth a visit. You will see beautifully renovated warehouses and buildings that used to serve as storage facilities for grain, tobacco, wine and salt.

  1. Chinatown

Like many big cities, Amsterdam also has a Chinatown. The first Chinese who settled in Amsterdam worked on large passenger ships. When this industry slowly disappeared, the Chinese opened shops and eateries in this neighbourhood. The best Chinese products and food can be found in the old city centre. It is also the place to celebrate Chinese New Year in Amsterdam.

  1. Nieuwmarkt (Chinatown)

In 1614 part of the canals in Chinatown were drained and the Nieuwmarkt was created. The square fills daily with stalls and every Saturday you will find a variety of organic products on the organic market. On the square you will also find the striking building ‘De Waag’. And the largest Buddhist temple in Europe, built in traditional Chinese palace style, is just around the corner at the Zeedijk.

Special offer: free use of our Htel bikes!

This year, Htel Serviced Apartments celebrates its 15th birthday. The coming weeks we celebrate with special promotions. In October: free use of our Htel bikes when booking a stay at Htel Serviced Apartments! Htel Serviced Apartments is the perfect place to stay during a holiday in Amsterdam, so you can visit all of the above yourself. More information about the terms and conditions and to book your apartment: click here.

 

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