skating & twist (amsterdam)

A cold front in the Netherlands (a.k.a. freezing temperatures) means several things: you hope that it will snow (check!), you hope that the canals in Amsterdam will freeze over (check!) and you hope for an Elfstedentocht, or ’11 Cities Tour,’ an ice skating event in Friesland in the north of Holland that hasn’t taken place since 1997 and only 15 times since 1909 (we’re still waiting on this one!)

I saw this video a few days ago and couldn’t believe it, people were actually skating on the famous canals! I had heard boat traffic was forbidden in the canals a few days ago, to allow the ice to freeze. But it actually happened. And yesterday, two friends and I strapped our skates on and head out of the Keizersgracht…

Everyone was on the ice… Professional skaters and amateurs, mothers and babies, fathers and toddlers learning to skate, the elderly, tourists, generous folk serving hot chocolate…

A game of ice hockey, on the Keizersgracht in Amsterdam…

And after, watching the sunset over the Prinsengracht, we cozyed up in cafe Spanjer en van Twist (Leliegracht 60) for a cup of warm hot chocolate…

Spanjer en van Twist (Leliegracht 60) can be found in between the Keizersgracht and Prinsengracht. The cafe open daily from 10am till 1am, serving lunch between 10am and 4pm and dinner from 5.30pm to 10pm. Be sure to get out on the canals before it’s too late! I recommend the Keizersgracht for skating and be careful when passing under bridges, don’t risk it if the ice looks questionable!

Click for more Amsterdam Insights, published every Wednesday, and here for previous Coming Up posts.

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11 thoughts on “skating & twist (amsterdam)

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