If you’re thinking of visiting The Netherlands during New Year’s Eve, then I can only say that it’s a fantastic idea. Celebrating New Year’s Eve in The Netherlands will be spectacular and here you will find the only insider guide that you will ever need, written by a Dutch local.
Discover anything from the best firework shows in The Netherlands to how Dutch people celebrate new year. And from New Year’s Eve traditions in The Netherlands to where to celebrate new year. As well as things to do on New Year’s Eve in The Netherlands and what to do on New Year’s Day in Amsterdam.
Find out how to celebrate the new year, and things to do, in The Netherlands and/or Holland here. And explore the Dutch New Year’s Eve food, such as oliebollen (those aren’t Dutch donuts btw, they’re simply not donuts) amongst other Dutch New Year’s Eve traditions in The Netherlands.
Cities to celebrate New Year’s Eve in The Netherlands
If you’re looking to celebrate New Year’s Eve in any city in The Netherlands, then this part of the article will be greatly useful for you. Here you will discover what you have to do on New Year’s Eve in The Netherlands, while you visit some of the best Dutch destinations in the country. Including hotel tips, best parties, where to watch a great firework show in The Netherlands and more.
New Year’s Eve in The Netherlands and Holland will be unlike any other New Year’s Eve you’ve ever celebrated. These Dutch celebrations will blow your mind and make memories for a lifetime.
Den Haag/ The Hague
If you want to celebrate the New Year in Den Haag, then you have to read this part. The Hague is great during New Year’s Eve, with the exception of some outskirts, but when you visit you won’t go there anyway. Besides recommendations for where to go party during NYE in this part of Holland you will also find The Hague best hotels for New Year’s Eve.
What you have to do on New Year’s eve in Zuid (South)- Holland is watching a firework show. At around 22:00 music starts around the Hofvijver and there will be a beautiful, free firework show in The Hague to watch at midnight. Enjoy The Hague in its best way and you can even continue to party until 01:30 as that’s when the dj’s will leave.
P.S. The best view of the fireworks in The Hague can be find inside a parking garage called Torengarage. Head to the top of the garage and admire every, single piece of firework this city during NYE in The Netherlands has to offer.
What other things to do on New Year’s Eve in The Hague
Bonfire night The Hague, Zuid Holland
Usually Scheveningen and Ouddorp compete who has the highest bonfire, they work towards this for months. However, last year both of the towns (which are part of the municipality of The Hague) made the wooden towers way too high which resulted into an inferno. Flying sparks everywhere, cars and bikes burned down, houses were damaged and people and animals were in danger. So, understandably, it’s not happening this year.
Best NYE parties in The Hague
Some of the best events in The Hague during New Year’s Eve are the following clubs:
Best places and hotels to stay in The Hague/ Den Haag during New Year’s Eve
Stayokay Den Haag, check prices at Booking.com now
Court Garden Hotel – Ecodesigned, check prices at Booking.com now
Residenz Stadslogement, check prices at Booking.com now
This year there is no free firework show to witness in Amsterdam, unfortunately. But, Amsterdam still has plenty of things to do during the New Year’s and you will discover what below.
What other things to do on New Year’s Eve in Amsterdam
There are many things to do in Amsterdam at new year. After all, it’s The Netherlands biggest city. Enjoy Amsterdam with a cruise during New Year or discover the best new year party in Amsterdam. The best Amsterdam new year celebrations and where to spend New Years Eve in Amsterdam can be found here.
Amsterdam canal cruise New Year’s Eve
One of the things you have to do when you’re in Amsterdam for New Year’s Eve is to go on a canal cruise. Admire the city from a different perspective and enjoy the Amsterdam Light Festival (with lightsculptures in the canals!) the best way possible. Amsterdam and a canal cruise is the perfect combination for New Year’s Eve.
Book these cruises in advance if you want to take these on NYE, however one of the best things to do in Amsterdam on New Year’s Day is to go on this cruise as well. Mainly because it will be a lot quieter in the boat, plus you will barely see people on the streets until noon.
Street parties in Amsterdam
Amsterdam during New Year’s Eve is truly filled with events. One of the budget things to do in Amsterdam on New Year’s Eve is to visit the street parties in the city centre. There are three great street festivals in Amsterdam during NYE every, single year and those are found at
However, you will see plenty of more, but smaller, street parties all around the Jordaan, De Pijp and other neighbourhoods in Amsterdam.
Best Amsterdam parties New Year’s Eve
If you’re looking for a great NYE, or New Year, party in Amsterdam, then this part will definitely help you out. In Amsterdam there are many new year events, so these are definitely not the only ones. But if you’re in Amsterdam during new year and looking for clubs to visit, then every new year festival in Amsterdam below will be great for you.
Amsterdam: Best places and hotels to stay in Amsterdam during New Year’s Eve
Via Amsterdam, check prices at Booking.com now
XO Hotels Park West, check prices at Booking.com now
Prinsenhof Suite, check prices at Booking.com now
Rotterdam is one of The Netherlands best places to visit when you want to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Not only is it one of the biggest cities in the country, but it is also the location of the National fireworks.
What other things to do on New Year’s Eve in Rotterdam
In Rotterdam you will find many great parties in clubs, bars and all throughout the city. The area of the Witte de Withstraat is also great for finding cool events.
Best Rotterdam parties New Year’s Eve
Best places to stay in Rotterdam and hotels during New Year’s Eve
Hostel ROOM Rotterdam, check prices at Booking.com now
The Student Hotel Rotterdam, check prices at Booking.com now
Euromast Apartment, check prices at Booking.com now
Utrecht is a wonderful place to visit in The Netherlands. It’s small, authentic and not overly touristy. And it’s not a popular destination to travel to in The Netherlands during New Year’s Eve either. There are quite a few nice bars to visit in Utrecht, as well as other clubs to dance NYE away.
The only downside is that Utrecht doesn’t have a free firework show to witness, so you will see firework, but in a completely different way than with a central firework show.
What other things to do on New Year’s Eve in Utrecht
Best NYE parties in Utrecht
Utrecht: Best places and hotels to stay in Utrecht during New Year’s Eve
Stayokay Utrecht Centrum, check prices at Booking.com now
Apollo Hotel Utrecht City Centre, check prices at Booking.com now
Boutique Hotel ZIES, check prices at Booking.com now
Groningen is the biggest Dutch city in the North of The Netherlands and filled with students. And one thing that you have to know about students in Groningen is that they know how to party. Trust me. Been there, done that. With so many students to entertain, you definitely guessed it right that a New Year’s Eve party in Groningen, The Netherlands is the true definition of a party. And there are plenty of them to enjoy.
A downside is that Groningen doesn’t have a free firework show you can admire, so you will see firework, but in a different way than with a central firework show.
What other things to do on New Year’s Eve in Groningen
Best NYE parties in Groningen
Groningen: Best places and hotels to stay in Groningen during New Year’s Eve
Bud Gett Hostels, check prices at Booking.com now
Martini Hotel, check prices at Booking.com now
Prinsenhof, check prices at Booking.com now
One of my favourite winter destinations to visit in The Netherlands is Deventer. Not only because of the amazing Christmas market in Deventer, but also because of the atmosphere of the Dutch Hanseatic town. Wander through the old streets, admire the beautiful skyline of Deventer from the other side of the big Ijssel river and eat your way through Deventer’s best restaurants.
New Year’s Eve is great to celebrate in The Netherlands and Deventer will have their first ever firework show during NYE on the river. Exactly at 00:00 the fireworks will go up in the sky, the best way to see the Deventer fireworks is to go to Wellekade. It will not only be a spectacular sight to see, but also an experience to never forget. I’m certain that it will be a perfect start of your new happy new year in The Netherlands.
THE FIREWORK SHOW IN DEVENTER IS CANCELLED DUE TO PREDICTIONS FOR EXTREME FOG!
What other things to do on New Year’s Eve in Deventer
Visit Café Terras de Tobbe for some drinks to countdown to the Dutch New Year, plus you don’t have to buy tickets in advance for this event, which is a huge plus. Most New Year’s Eve parties in cities and towns in The Netherlands have to be purchased in advance in order to gain entry.
Deventer: Best places and hotels to stay in Deventer during New Year’s Eve
Fletcher Hotel Gilde, check prices at Booking.com now
Grand Boutique Hotel Huis Vermeer, check prices at Booking.com now
Hotel in het huis van Deventer, check prices at Booking.com now
The modern city of Eindhoven is perfect to visit for a New Year’s eve part in The Netherlands. Think of cool clubs to visit and a nice atmosphere. Eindhoven and new year are simply a wonderful combination.
Eindhoven doesn’t have a free firework show to admire, so you will see firework if you look up, but in a completely different way than with a central firework show.
What other things to do on New Year’s Eve in Eindhoven
Best parties in Eindhoven on NYE
Eindhoven: Best places and hotels to stay in Eindhoven during New Year’s Eve
Budgethotel de Zwaan, check prices at Booking.com now
Art B&B Eindhoven, check prices at Booking.com now
Pullman Eindhoven Cocagne, check prices at Booking.com now
Maastricht is a beautiful city to visit during New Year’s Eve, not only because it houses a stunning and free firework show on the Meuse river that separates the city, but also because of its Burgundian atmosphere. Maastricht represents the differences between the province of Limburg (which is in the South of The Netherlands) and the Holland provinces. All are beautiful, but very different as well.
A great reason to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Maastricht is the firework show I was talking about before. At 00:00 you will see the most beautiful firework show, that is extra special because of its reflections in the Meuse river. And trust me when I say the it is worth the wait.
What other things to do on New Year’s Eve in Maastricht
Best NYE parties in Maastricht
Maastricht: Best places and hotels to stay during New Year’s Eve
The Green Elephant, check prices at Booking.com now
Mabi Hotel Centrum, check prices at Booking.com now
Maison Haas op het Vrijthof, check prices at Booking.com now
Dutch New Year’s Eve traditions: How the Dutch celebrate New Year in The Netherlands
In The Netherlands we have quite some traditions and it wouldn’t be NYE if we weren’t going all in. Discover my favourite Dutch traditions during New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day here.
Top2000 Songs countdown
Every year in The Netherlands we have a list of the best songs ever made, called the Top2000. Everyone can vote on their favourite songs and the countdown from 2000-1 begins during the month of December. And we will reach number one on New Year’s Eve. You can either listen to the radio station NPO 2, or watch the television show also on NPO 1.
New Year’s Eve countdown on Dutch television
After all television programmes have finished on New Year’s Eve in The Netherlands, the clock makes its way to the main screen. Usually Rotterdam is the live background as the National Firework takes place there. Countdown the final moments of the year and party your way into the new year with your favourite people.
The best firework shows during New Year’s Eve in Holland & The Netherlands
There is many firework to be seen in The Netherlands, but the best regional firework shows are in the following cities:
- Rotterdam (National Fireworks)
Traditional Dutch New Year’s Eve food
The Netherlands is not that famous for a lot of Dutch traditional food, but two of the Dutch foods you have to try during NYE are called ‘oliebollen’ and ‘appelflappen’. Keep in mind; we do not eat this for breakfast, they more of a Dutch pastry and snack sort of things. Eating these foods is one of my favourite Dutch rituals.
Oliebollen (seen on the photo below) are fried dumplings we eat during New Year’s Eve in The Netherlands and made from a mixture of flower, eggs, yeast, salt and milk. They are then fried in vegetable oil, until you get a lovely crunchy outside. Sometimes raisins are added as well. We usually add powdered sugar on top as well. You can buy oliebollen at any Oliebollen stall during the December period in The Netherlands. Eating oliebollen is one of the Dutch most favourite New Year’s Eve traditions.
Fun fact: Oliebollen were already eaten during the middle of the 17th century in The Netherlands.
Appelflappen, or apple turnovers, are a type of pastry with apple inside. It’s made from flower, high quality butter, apple, cinnamon and sometimes raisins and/or lemon. The cubes of apple are mixed with cinnamon and are placed on a piece of dough that will be folded over, sealed and baked. During, or after baking, either powdered sugar or crystal sugar is sprinkled across the appelflap. You can buy the best appelflappen at a Dutch bakery during December in The Netherlands.
Firework rules in The Netherlands during NYE
There are many firework rules in The Netherlands, which I’m happy about, and it’s nice to be up to date of them as a foreign visitor. You can only buy firework in The Netherlands from the 28th of December until the 31st of December. You may only use fireworks from 18:00 on the 31st of December untill the 1st of Januari 02:00.
Every municipality in The Netherlands has firework free zones. These are mainly around schools, animal shelters and hospitals, but there are cities or areas that have more restricted zones, so be aware of that.
Celebrate New Year’s Eve in nature and outside cities in The Netherlands
Not everyone is a fan of all the activities during NYE in The Netherlands and Holland. And I can understand that. So here I will be giving you great options to celebrate New Year’s Eve in The Netherlands with as little firework and commotion as possible.
RCN Vakantiepark de Noordster: Located in National Park Dwingelderveld, check prices on Booking.com here
RCN de Jagerstee: Located in National Park Veluwe, check prices on Booking.com here
Landal Miggelenberg: Located near National Park Veluwe, check prices on Booking.com here
Discover carbide shooting on the Dutch countryside
I know, it might sound a bit odd, but it’s definitely something interesting to witness. BUT, DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME. I’m being entirely serious here, if you don’t know how to do this you could blow your own head off.
Carbide is a sort of rocky material, but when you combine it with water it produces an explosive gas. Then they take an old, traditional Dutch milkcan that has a nicely fitted lid and a hole will be drilled in the back of the milkcan. They will attach some sort of material in the middle of the milkcan. In the hole they will attach a firecracker that keeps the hole closed off as you don’t want any gas to escape.
Then they will place the milkcan almost flat on the ground, but the front has to be a bit higher than the back. Take the lid off and place some carbide in the milkcan. Then they quickly put some water in the milkcan and put the lid back on with a rubber hammer. Break the firecracker in two (which makes it burn but not explode) and then they will stuff the part with the fuse in the material in the middle. After that they put a tip of the torch near the hole of the back of the milkcan and the shootings happen as the lid will fly off. Some also do this with footballs and that gives quite a bang as well.
This is a tradition that mainly happens during the New Year period in the Northern part of The Netherlands. And as I’m from the North I can definitely tell you that it’s loud. If you happen to stumble across people who do this, make sure that you have some ear protection somewhere because you will be deaf if you don’t have it.
The New Years Dive in The Netherlands
One of the best Dutch traditions is the New Year’s dip, or Dutch New Year’s Dive in The Netherlands. On the 1st of January you will see many people running into the North Sea, small and big lakes and jumping into rivers, for one simple reason; Because it’s the 1st of January. Zandvoort started the New Year’s Dive tradition and can now be found on over 80 locations throughout The Netherlands.
The New Year’s Dive, or Nieuwjaarsduik in Dutch, in The Netherlands is a tradition like no other. Thousands of people run into the cold water to start of the brand new year in a great way: Fresh and recharged. The most famous Nieuwjaarsduik is the one in Scheveningen and is also very famous for being the biggest New Year’s Dive in The Netherlands as well as tens of thousands of people wearing orange hats while they dive into the North Sea.
If you’re looking for what to do on New Year’s Day in The Netherlands, then you cannot miss out on this Dutch tradition.
The best New Year’s Dives in The Netherlands can be found here:
Celebrating New Year’s Day in The Netherlands
Another Dutch tradition during New Year’s, or actually on the first day of the New Year is to party. Many people head to bars and parties on the 1st of January. Why celebrate once when you can party twice? Celebrate the new year the way Dutch people do and continue the festivities as long as you can.
Going to see family
Many people in The Netherlands will visit family on New Year’s Day. Simply to wish everyone a safe and good new year. Some will have a Nieuwjaarsbrunch, or New Year’s brunch, to celebrate a good start of the new year with family.
Getting some fresh air in nature reserves in The Netherlands
One of the things many people do on New Year’s Day in The Netherlands is going for walks on the Dutch beaches or in nature in The Netherlands. There are many beautiful areas that you can visit, but some of my favourites are the following:
How to say Happy New Year in Dutch
What’s a better way to celebrate a new year in The Netherlands, than by wishing each other a happy new year in the Dutch language. There are several phrases in Dutch for new year, I will tell the most common ones to you below.
Gelukkig nieuwjaar: literal translation: Merry New Year: Happy New Year: This is a great Dutch translation.
Best wensen: literal translation: Best Wishes: This sentence is often combined with the previous Dutch phrase for new year, or simply used on its own.
Fijne jaarwisseling: literal translation: Happy year change: Happy new year.
As you’ve noticed there are several ways to say new year in Dutch.
Other useful words to celebrate New Year’s Eve in The Netherlands
Vuurwerkvrije zone: Firework free zone
Transportation during NYE in The Netherlands
The Netherlands has a great public transportation network. From trains to buses and trams. But during NYE the public transport schedule changes. Here are the things you have to know about celebrating New Year’s Eve in The Netherlands and using public transport.
- Trains in The Netherlands run often until 20:00 on the 31st of December. After that they slowly stop running until it completely stops at around 21:30. Plan your trip in advance at NS here, because once the trains stop, it will be extremely hard to get at your destination.
- The night trains between Utrecht and Rotterdam via Amsterdam starts again at around 00:30. At Wednesday the 1st of January trains run like it’s a Sunday. This means that trains run less often and start running again later.
- Almost public transportation companies stop running their buses and trams, with the exception of a few, at 20:00. Plan your trip in advance at 9292 here.
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Other articles of this local travel blog and guide to The Netherlands that you’ll love
I hope that this article about New Year’s Eve in The Netherlands has helped you understand some of our Dutch traditions a bit more and, that you will celebrate next year in my country and will make memories for a lifetime. Share this post!
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