NYE 2014-2015 in the Netherlands: where to party in the Randstad

NYE 2014-2015 in the Netherlands: where to party in the Randstad

As the last working days of 2014 creep to a close, the holidays are on everyone’s mind. With two Christmas days giving most people the break they need, it’s also a good time to start making those New Year’s Eve plans!

As expats in the Netherlands, we’re in luck. The Dutch love celebrating Oud en Nieuw and do so, quite literally, with a bang.

Although attitudes are shifting with regard to the rules and regulations on fireworks, the pyrotechnic free-for-all that happens each year in the streets and squares of Dutch cities will be in full effect for 2014-2015. Throw in some oliebollen, champagne, top DJs and you’ve got a celebration to remember!

If you’re still searching for a plan or party on New Year’s Eve, have a look at our suggestions on how to ring in 2015 in the Netherlands!

Amsterdam parties on New Year’s Eve

The Dutch capital consistently ranks among the best cities to celebrate New Year’s Eve and it’s easy to understand why.

With its wide range of indoor and outdoor events, beautiful streets and party attitude, Amsterdam offers something for everyone.

Looking to dodge the clubs and celebrate on the cheap? Then hit the streets, tuck some drinks in your bag and head to the lively Nieuwmarkt, Leidseplein, Magere Brug or Oosterdok for some of the best impromptu fireworks shows in Europe!

Of course Amsterdam lives up to its reputation as a club capital on New Year’s Eve. In addition to perennial favourites Trouw (the last one!), Chicago Social Club, Club Air and Studio 80, Amsterdam North is emerging as the place to be.

With Tolhuistuin hosting The Jungle, Pllek showing off their spectacular view with a block party-esque evening, the UK techno showcase of Morse & Reaktor’s ERA at NDSM and Classified featuring Gregor Salto at the brand new M&M Plaza just steps from NDSM, the celebrations are cheaper, less crowded and a bit more interesting.

Fireworks and festivities in Rotterdam

Although Amsterdam hogs the spotlight when it comes to celebrations, the choice in Rotterdam is making it a viable rival for those looking for less tourists, wonderful parties and a massive fireworks display.

Billed as "the largest fireworks show in the Netherlands," the RTL sponsored National New Year’s Fireworks show is certainly impressive and a joy to watch with a musical countdown, oliebollen in abundance and the Erasmus Bridge as a backdrop.

But the real reason to hit Rotterdam on New Year’s Eve is for the parties. Head to the spacious warehouses of Pakhuis at the Westelijke Handelsterrein, go underground to dance at Toffler or explore the Maassilo to the sounds of techno legends Jeff Mills, Dave Clarke and Ben Sims during Nachtduik.

A relaxed New Year’s Eve in The Hague

Not known for large spectacles or as a party centre, The Hague still has a lot going on for New Year’s Eve, especially if you’re looking to dodge the crowds and dangers of amateur fireworks.

This year the Hofvijver will become the heart of the celebration in The Hague, with a large (professional) fireworks display taking place for the first time in nearly 250 years! Along with entertainment from Dutch favourites like Alain Clark and Sharon Doorson, the entire programme is free and open to everyone.

In terms of parties, the best bets for The Hague include Hooray for Hollywood at Paard van Troje, Millers New Year’s Eve Special and the lively Cuban themed New Year’s Liberacion at Havana.

Utrecht: small city goes big on NYE

There’s a saying in Dutch "klein maar fijn" ("small, but nice"). This appreciation of the minute certainly applies to Utrecht on New Year’s Eve!

With two gorgeous canals with wharves that make Amsterdammers green with envy, Utrecht is a fantastic place to enjoy small-scale, festive parties on New Year’s Eve.

Just as in Amsterdam, squares like Neude and the Domplein fill with revellers lighting off fireworks and having a drink in the street. In terms of parties, the venues may not be as large as in Amsterdam or Rotterdam, but the spirit certainly is.

Fan favourites include the Winkel van Sinkel on the Oudegracht, the church turned beer house Café Olivier, the chic Club Poema and the newly opened TivoliVredenburg.

Whether going out or staying in, clubbing or having a quiet night, the IamExpat team wishes you and your loved ones a safe and very happy New Year!

Benjamin Garstka


Benjamin Garstka

Raised in Massachusetts. University years in New York City. Graduate school in Utrecht. Amsterdammer by choice. Cultuurliefhebber. Urbanist. Affinity for sarcasm, craft beers, art criticism, stand-up comedy and the Dutch...

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