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AMSTERDAM CULTURE TREND “Doing” Christmas, Dutch-style.

What’s trending in Amsterdam at Christmastime? 

Here’s the agenda in Europe’s most liberal city. First of all, the Christmas days in the Netherlands are December 25 and 26. Starting now, though, the Christmas lights are shining. Window-shopping on Dam Square is always a good idea this time of year. For a closer look at holiday glitz, visit the posh department store, the Bijenkorf (literally: beehive). You’ll certainly see the swanky Christmas windows decked in all things sparkly. And on November 17, the Bijenkorf will host a public show on Dam Square: at “Turn On the Lights” there will be music, dance routines, and, of course, lights, lights, lights.     

Ice skating is the public winter sport of choice: the ice rink on Museum Square (Museumplein) even rents out skates. And for the non-skaters among us, Christmas markets take over the city during December. Look for markets on Museumplein, Rembrandtplein, and in the area known as NDSM. On offer: jewelry, crafts, gifts, and specialty foods (think Dutch cheese and licorice, for example). 

Happily, many museums, like the Van Gogh, are open on and around Christmas. In contrast to the quiet setting of the gallery or museum, however, we have New Year’s Eve: beware of amateur fireworks that are set off in the streets. For a bird’s-eye view of official fireworks visit the Oosterdok area near Central Station—breathtaking!.  

Read other trend reports about 

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CONFERENCE AMSTERDAM: Cyborgs to Smorgasbords: Today’s Tech Conference  
HISTORIC AMSTERDAM: Seeing Inside the Windmill: The Zaanse Schans
BIG EVENT: Switched On: Amsterdam’s Light Festival 

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