Choosing your New Year Eve Amsterdam is best done with some anticipation because tickets for the best Amsterdam New Years Eve Parties sell out fast.
Most of the New Years Eve parties in Amsterdam have a pre-sale, known as ‘early-bird’, when you can buy discounted tickets.
In Holland, New Years Eve is celebrated heavily. In the Dutch traditional feast, oliebollen, champagne and fireworks play a big role.
New Year Eve Party in Amsterdam
Be aware, price of parties rise considerably during New Years Eve. You will pay at least 30 euros for a party. Many have special ‘early-bird- tickets, which you can buy with a nice discount if you decide on a party in advance. If you want to enter a party later during the night which is not sold out, you can try bargaining the price at the door.
New Year Eve traditions in Amsterdam
New Year Eve in Amsterdam is one of the most festive nights of the year in The Netherlands, celebrated heavily in large cities as well as small villages. Traditionally, people stay indoors until the hours strikes 12, inviting friends and family for cosy gathering with lots of food and drinks.
People play board games or watch the traditional Oudjaarconference on television, a comedy/cabaret show aired on television about the events in Dutch society and politics.
At 12 the party moves outside to light fireworks. Circling around the block, whole families drop by their neighbours, while cheerfully wishing everyone happy New Year (“Gelukkig Nieuwjaar”).
Most remarkable is the amount of fireworks people buy and set alight. The tradition is rooted firmly in Dutch society, when even in the smallest of villages, fathers set off colourful fireworks for their children.
The kids are allowed to play with fire, only just this one time a year and roam the streets, setting off small firecrackers to surprise unsuspecting passers-by. Some people send hundreds of euros up in smoke. (Every year, about 60 million euro’s worth of fireworks is sold in Holland!)
War zone Amsterdam
If you want to know what it feels like to live in a war zone, cycle around Amsterdam just after midnight and you’ll get a pretty good idea. The city streets are filled with a thick mist of smoke while large explosions (much of the larger bangs come from illegal fireworks imported from China) are heard throughout the night.
The Dutch tradition of fireworks does not come without risks. Every year, hundreds of people get injured, losing fingers and eyesight. Most dangerous are the fire crackers failed on the night it self and are gathered by children the next day. Because of the humidity, these left over crackers seem to be dead, but often enough, they just take much longer to explode, surprising the kids and with often seriously damaging effect.
Riots and fires blaze through the city
In some towns and neighbourhoods (like Amsterdam Noord), the crowd prepares a large fire by gathering christmas trees and setting them ablaze. Fires could last well into the morning hours, as well as the parties.
Oliebollen and champagne
Champagne is the most popular drink on New Years Eve, while Dutch oliebollen are the traditional New Year food.
Many families have their own special recipe, handed from father to child.
Because of the strong fumes, oliebollen are baked in the garden shed, on the balcony or just in the streets.
New Years Day is filled with more traditional get-togethers. Families and local communities or organisations invite a number of people for the ‘nieuwjaarsreceptie‘, a new years reception, where everybody wishes each other a Happy New Year.
Where to go on New Year Eve in Amsterdam
Most tourists gather at the main squares in the centre of Amsterdam: Leidseplein, Dam Square, Rembrandtplein and Nieuwmarkt. Nieuwmarkt is the hot spot for fireworks madmen. With Amsterdam Chinatown just around the corner, this is where you find the most spectacular fireworks shows (often with illegal fireworks).
New Year Eve Amsterdam 2016
The national count down moment for Amsterdam New Years Eve 2016 is at Oosterdok. This the area around the VOC-ship at the Maritime Museum and Science Museum Nemo.
At 23.15 a festive show starts, aired live on television. Be aware you cannot bring your own fireworks, nor any glasses to the party (bring your drinks in a plastic bottle).
Clubbing on New Years Eve Amsterdam
All clubs in Amsterdam organise their own New Years Eve party but be ware that clubbing on New Years Eve in Amsterdam is much more expensive than other nights. Buy your tickets in advance to enjoy the ‘early bird’ discount and to be assured of a ticket.
Also, transportation on New Years Eve is a problem. Taxis are extremely hard to get. Book a taxi in advance or make your way to the party before every one else does. Or rent a bike, at your own risk!