A new month, a new year! Amsterdam is an eventful city no matter the season, weather or month. So even in January, what most describe as an off month, there are plenty of things to do and places to go. Yes it gets cold, and yes the holidays are over but the streets are still decorated with pretty lights, giving a warm feeling when it gets dark. Read on to find out what the weather in Amsterdam in January is like, what events you should not miss out on and what the best places are to eat. We’ve covered it all!
Weather in Amsterdam in January
January is often the coldest month of the year in Amsterdam. From rain to an occasional sunny day and from snow to frost. What locals hope to happen, is that it gets cold enough for the waters to freeze. Ice skating on natural ice over the Amsterdam Canals is definitely one of the coolest experiences ever! The average temperature is 5 degrees Celsius by day and 0 by night, so It’s best to pack all that’s comfortable and warm!
Starting the New Year the freshest way possible: New Year’s Dive
For years now it has been a tradition in the Netherlands to dive into the new year by taking a New Year’s Dive into the North Sea Ocean on January 1st. If you want to take part in the official event a short trip to Scheveningen Beach is totally worth it. Over 10.000 people participate every year. Expect an amazingly cheerful atmosphere with live music and lots of comfort food & beverages to get you warm after the cold dive. Those who don’t want to travel outside of Amsterdam can head over to the Sloterplas, where a smaller version of the event takes place. Make sure to bring something warm for after the jump. This will definitely be a unique way to start of the new year!
January 1st at Scheveningen Beach or Varkensbaai, Sloterplas
Events and things to do in January
Cold days ask for heartwarming fun. Our Best Attractions list will guide you through all there is to do in Amsterdam, with plenty of options taking place at comfortable inside locations. But before you do so, read on to find out what January in Amsterdam has in store for you!
Last chance: Amsterdam Light Festival
Up until the 20th of January you have the chance to visit the Amsterdam Light Festival. Over 30 artworks and installations designed by artists from all over the world have been lighting up the city center from November on. You can admire all that the festival has to offer by taking a stroll through the city or during a special canal boat tour.
Dutch traditions: National Tulip Day
The Netherlands and Tulips go hand in hand. On Saturday 19 January you have the chance to celebrate the kick off of the tulip season in a very unique way. The iconic Dam Square will turn into a huge colorful tulip garden for National Tulip Day, where you can hand-pick up to 20 tulips. Expect there will be live entertainment, traditional Dutch music, bites and drinks. This promises to be a fun experience for both young an old!
Dam Square – 19 January at 1:00 p.m. until all tulips are picked
Horse spectacle: Jumping Amsterdam
The spectacle Jumping Amsterdam will be back in town from 24 to 27 January with a bigger show than ever. The 60th anniversary Diamond Edition promises four days of high level jumping, dressage and exciting shows. The RAI Amsterdam will turn into a horse lovers paradise, with lots of activities, entertainment and an event hall offering delicious food and beverages. Take the kids on Sunday for the special kids program with interactive shows and competitions between famous riders and artist.
RAI Amsterdam – 24 to 27 January
Turn up the heat: Flamenco Bennial
From 18 January on, Flamenco Bienniale will bring some heat to Amsterdam. All over the Netherlands there will be dance and music performances by the best local and International flamenco artists. The event will showcase the developments in flamenco with over 50 shows by both well-known and young performers. Expect an extensive program of shows, workshops and lectures for young and old. Get to know the old traditions, contemporary dance and even flamenco yoga!
Where and what to eat
January is a month for fresh starts, healthy New Year’s resolutions and balancing out all of those holiday parties from December. There’s a good possibility you went way over budget and over your needed daily calories, so to help you out with that we listed some healthy restaurants in Amsterdam for you. Or, if you don’t care about all of that, skip the first 3 and head on to the fairly priced hotspots in town!
Guilt-free endulding at Healthybelly
Of course, all food is guilt-free but Healthybelly makes it a little easier for you to really feel that way about it as well. Located in the Jordaan you’ll find this fairly new concept store filled with gift items, interior design and healthy cookbooks. On the menu you’ll find dishes like Pancakes, Acai bowls and their oh so tasty burgers. They have options for both vegetarians, vegans and carnivores. So whatever you’re in for, this is a good place to be. And even if you’re just looking for a quick coffee stop: they serve coffee using beans from one of the best coffee roasters in town: Lot sixty one.
Tweede Egelantiersdwarsstraat 12h
Good times at The Meets
At The Meets the chefs prepare their dishes following the 80/20 rule: 80% plant-based, 20% animal-based products. With the use of fresh locally sourced products and organic ingredients, they prepare delicious healthy dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. A perfect day starter is the Pink Lady Bowl with dragon fruit, banana, berries, almond milk and granola. Two other favorites are the Tuna Burger with wasabi mayo and the Pad Thai with vegetables, homemade tamarind sauce and peanuts. Both delicious and healthy!
Cornelis Troostplein 3
Brunch hotspot: Pluk
Pluk Amsterdam has two locations in the heart of the bustling Jordaan, open for breakfast and lunch. Their light and green interior makes for a perfect spot to relax in between sightseeing or shopping. On the menu you’ll find lots of healthy options like Acai and yoghurt with fruits, avocado toast and fresh juices. Oh, and their Poké Bowl is worth the try as well! Next to that their concept store offers nice gift and interior items and delicious sweet treats to take home with you.
Reestraat 19 / Berenstraat 19
Must try: Vegan Junkfood Bar
Ok, this might not really be the kind of healthy you are looking for, but it is vegan! The Vegan Junkfood Bar creates amazingly tasty dishes with no use of animal ingredients at all. Good for you, good for the animals, good for the world. Even if you’re a true carnivore you’ll be amazed by the taste of their stacked burgers and loaded shawarma fries. They’re just as good, if not better, as the original meaty ones. And, with three locations in Amsterdam, there is always one near you!
Marie Heinekenplein 9 / Eerste Van Swindenstraat 389 / Eerste Van Swindenstraat 389
New in town: Mr. Stacks
Lover of pancakes? Mr. Stacks is the new place to be in Amsterdam! In the heart of De Pijp area you’ll find this cute place serving amazing pancakes and a proper selections of unique teas for breakfast and lunch. These stacks are both a party for your tastebuds as they are a feast to the eyes. Wether you like your pancakes savory or sweet, they have it all! Tip: the Salmon Atlantic Stack and the Cinnamon Rollercoaster Stack are finger licking good. Pair that with their Matcha or home-made ice tea and it’ll be the perfect start of the day or in between shopping lunch break.
Carnivores come together at The Beefsteak Club
Carnivores, this one is for you! The Beefsteak Club is a new hotspot in Amsterdam celebrating art, culture and great food. Their menu offers an amazing selection of meaty dishes, with an extensive list of beautiful wines and cocktails to accompany your food. As you can guess by their name, they’re known for their proper tasty beefsteaks but there is much more to the menu than steaks. Their Smoked Pork Belly with blueberry bbq glaze, pickled cabbage & crackling skin will make your mouth water. Try to save room for dessert though: their Bacon Bourbon Caramel Popcorn Cheesecake is one not to miss out on!
New Exhibitions in Amsterdam in January
What better way to spend a cold afternoon than to head inside to admire the newest exhibitions in town. Want to know everything there is on art in Amsterdam? Have a look at our museum page after. We have listed the best there is to do, from niche museums to the biggest names!
Moco Museum presents Daniel Arsham: Connecting Time.
From January 18th on, Moco Museum will present you the first ever solo exhibition of the New York artist Daniel Arsham. Connecting Time will be a multi-disciplinary exhibition with works from his entire career. In his works Daniel combines architecture, design, film and fine art. Spread over various installation spaces, you’ll be taken to alternative realities and surrealistic environments. The artists fascination for sports, pop culture and archeology make this into an exhibition you’ll be amazed by!
Honthorststraat 20 (Museum Square)
FOAM Photography Museum: Feast for the Eyes
Late December FOAM Photography Museum opened their new exhibition: Feast for the Eyes. Showcased are numerous works that show the history of food in photography. Visitors are taken on a journey through three themes: Still Life, Around the Table and Playing with Food. Next to that a large selection of vintage cookbooks will be on display, giving a unique view into old recipes and cooking methods. Feast for the Eyes is as interesting as it is eye pleasing!
Exhibition: Jan Švankmajer – The Alchemical Wedding
Across the dock from Amsterdam Central Station you’ll find the architectural highlight the EYE Film Museum. Their newest exhibition is an intriguing one to say the least. The Alchemical Wedding showcases the works of the master animator and surrealist artist Jan Švankmajer. He is known for his obsession of horror and eroticism, bringing everything and anything to life with his films and artworks. This will be the first big showcase of his work in the Netherlands and can be seen until 3 March 2019.
We hope you enjoy this awesome month using our Amsterdam in January guide. Looking for more on what to do while in town? Head over to our calendar page for an overview of all upcoming events. Happy New Year!