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Things to Do in Amsterdam in January

Updated: May 3, 2024

This post covers things to do in Amsterdam during January, including family-friendly, nighttime, and free or cheap activities, all updated for 2024.

Be sure to check out our post on average weather in January, too.


TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN JANUARY

This section will feature our top 10 activities to enjoy in Amsterdam throughout January.

For tips on the most popular activities in Amsterdam, check out these popular posts:

Several of the items below are already included for free with the purchase of a tourist concession pass


1.  Go to a Concert 

Amsterdam has a vibrant music scene all year round and there's always someone to see.

In January, you can expect to see:

Concerts

Music Related

  • Our House | A 75-minute immersive audiovisual show that tells the journey of dance music

You can find even more concerts in Amsterdam here.


2. See the City Sights on a Tour

On days when January's temperatures are a bit too cold to explore the city on foot, you can take a hop-on hop-off bus tour.

Stay warm while seeing a lot of the city in a short time. 

On a budget? Take a free walking tour of Amsterdam

In addition to introductory tours, there are also outings that cover subjects and locations such as the Red Light District and the Jewish Quarter.

For foodies, check out a food tour.  For beer lovers, there are bus or boat combo packages that include The Heineken Experience.


3. Be Dazzled By Lights

There are a few light-related showcases you can experience in Amsterdam in January.

Amsterdam Light Festival

Works of light art are projected by both international and Dutch artists along canals, buildings, and city squares. 

The best way to see the light displays is by bus tour or canal tour

There are also walking tours you can take while it’s dark out to admire the bright installations. 

The festival runs from November 28th, 2024 to January 19th, 2025

TIP: The Amsterdam Winter Card includes admission to a Light Festival canal cruise, the attraction Het Amsterdamse Winterparadijs, an audio guide, and more for just €54!

Amaze

If you'd like to continue the light show indoors, you could try AMAZE, an immersive audiovisual experience.

Tickets for AMAZE are also included on the All Inclusive GoCity and the Explorer GoCity concession cards.

Fabrique des Lumières Dali and Guadi Exhibit

There's also Fabrique des Lumières. Light is used to project images of the artwork onto every surface, making it a truly immersive experience.


4. Go to a Museum Museum Exhibit

There are several interesting museums you can visit in Amsterdam.

Just a few of them are:

RTXP Amsterdam

50 repaintings of the world's most iconic works can be found at this museum. Tickets to RTXP be purchased here.

STRAAT Museum

The world's largest street art museum. It includes paintings, sculptures, and more. Tickets to STAAT Museum can be purchased here. You can also combine STRAAT with a City Canal Tour here.

Van Gogh Museum

The world's largest collection of Van Gogh's works can be found here, including his paintings, drawings, and some of his letters.

Tickets to the Van Gogh Museum can be purchased here.


5. Go Ice-Skating 

If you like ice skating and are visiting Amsterdam in January, you are in luck.

You have two great options to get out on the ice in beautiful surroundings.

Ice*Amsterdam

As part of this festival, the rink at Museumplein is festively decorated and is easy to reach right in the heart of Amsterdam. 

2024-25 season schedule is yet to be announced. Last year, the Museumplein rink opened on November 11th, and stayed open until February 4th.

Visit their website for hours and prices.

Rembrandtplain Ice Rink

You can also go to the Ice Rink at Rembrandtplein.

The rink typically opens in November and stays open into January.

It's just €2.50 for a whole day on the ice! You can rent skates for €5. Learn more here.

Ice skating is a great family-friendly activity! For more suggestions, see our post on things to do with children in Amsterdam.


6. Enjoy National Tulip Day

The Netherlands is known for the colorful flower the tulip.

Each year on the third Saturday of January (in 2024 that is January 20th) National Tulip Day takes place, kicking off tulip season.

Tulip growers bring hundreds of thousands of tulips of all varieties, colors, and shapes to Museumplain.

Thousands of visitors are invited to pick their own tulips for FREE.

For more information, visit the National Tulip Day website.


7. See Amsterdam's Red Light District

The Red Light District is famous for its red-lit windows where legal prostitutes wait for customers.

Since it has been legal since 1811, visitors have been fascinated by the openness of the practice. 

There are some things you should be aware of before heading over to this unique neighborhood.

We suggest you consider touring the area with a professional guide.

Read our post on How to Visit the Red Light District to find out what tours are available and what else there is to do in the district. 


8. See Improv Theatre & Comedy

If you like improvisational comedy, you might enjoy the Boom Chicago Comedy Show.

This English-language show has been performed by such past in-residence comedians as Seth Meyers, Jordan Peele, and Jason Sudeikis.

For the line-up and to buy tickets, visit their website.

Alternatively, you can also enjoy some magic at Amsterdam Magic Show: Things That Make You Go Huh.

For other nightlife suggestions, see our post on things to do in Amsterdam at night.


9. Save with a Tourist Attraction Concession Pass

The easiest way to see more attractions in Amsterdam is by purchasing a concession pass.

These tourist passes work by allowing you to bundle admission tickets for heavy price cuts.

You could get up to 50% off retail prices on several passes – or get in for free with an all-inclusive pass.

If you're planning on visiting as many paid attractions as you can over multiple days, an all-inclusive pass might be your best option to save the most.

If you're looking at just a few select museums and experiences, take a look at the build-your-own passes.

Attractions on Various Passes Include:

See which pass can save you the most money on your trip with our in-depth comparison post.

If you've already decided which concession card best suits your visit, you can purchase them here: All Inclusive GoCity | Explorer Go City | I Am Amsterdam City Card


10. Attend the Jumping Amsterdam Equestrian Show

This annual event brings the world’s best riders -- even Olympic champions -- to Amsterdam. 

There will be jumping and dressage contests, as well as an exhibition area, bars, and restaurants.

There will also be a special children’s program with interactive shows and for the grown-ups, various entertainment events.

Events take place January 25th-28th.

Click here to get tickets and more information.


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About The Author

Stephen Pickhardt

Stephen is the CEO of Free Tours by Foot and has overseen the transformation of a local walking tour company into a global tour community and traveler’s advice platform. He has personally led thousands of group tours in the US and Europe, and is an expert in trip planning and sightseeing, with a focus on budget travelers. Stephen has been published and featured in dozens of publications including The Wall Street Journal, BBC, Yahoo, Washington.org, and more.
Updated: May 3rd, 2024
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