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Best of Fall in Amsterdam

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When the leaves turn golden and temps dip in October, Amsterdam gets ready for the holiday season. Ice skating rinks and oliebollen stands appear in local squares, while little Dutchies anticipate the arrival of Sinterklass via steamboat from Spain in late November. Sint is accompanied by the merry Zwarte Pieten, helpers dressed in 17th century slave garb and blackface makeup, providing a continuing source of holiday controversy over racism that reached the United Nations in 2013.
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Leidsekade 97, 1017 PN Amsterdam, Netherlands
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To usher in the holiday season, Sinterklaas chugs all the way from Spain in his steamship, docking in the Netherlands in mid-November. Concurrently the annual debate begins about whether the controversial Zwarte Pieten, his happy helpers,...
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Leidseplein 11, 1017 PS Amsterdam, Netherlands
They appear as early as October: pop-up stands in squares and on bridges emanating aromas of cinnamon, apple and warm baked goods. Look closer and you'll find sphere-shaped sweets that are a sure sign the year-end holidays have arrived in the...
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Leidsekade 97, 1017 PN Amsterdam, Netherlands
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When temps dip into the single digits in November, Dutchies show their passion for skating by taking to the ice at rinks throughout the city. Temporary facilities pop up in Leidseplein and Museumplein, where tourists join locals practicing jumps...
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Museumplein, 1071 Amsterdam, Netherlands
On bright, cold days from late November through February, Museumplein is transformed into a wintry wonderland, with an ice rink, holiday market and craft-making displays. With the mighty Rijksmuseum as a backdrop, join locals in favorite outdoor...
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Canals of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
When it gets cold enough in a Dutch winter, residents of Amsterdam and Utrecht don ice skates and take to the frozen canals. The cold weather is met with anticipation and joy, residents raid their closets and canal-side shops to find their gear....
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Amstel 3, 1011 PN Amsterdam, Netherlands
With its 14-meter curved façade overlooking the Amstel River, Amsterdam's Muziektheater cuts a dramatic swath in one of the city's oldest neighborhoods. Home to The Dutch Opera and Dutch National Ballet, it's housed in the same building as...
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2961 Kinderdijk, Netherlands
When waterways in the Netherlands freeze into glittering paths, overjoyed residents take to the ice. Visitors can buy or rent a pair of noren (traditional long-blade skates) to glide across town or take part in one of the country’s dozens of...
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Damrak, 1012 Amsterdam, Netherlands
It might not rival German Christmas markets—or even those in Maastricht and Valkenburg in South Holland—but Amsterdam's first annual Winter Market debuted in November 2013, bringing twinkling music, festive music, holiday shopping and seasonal...