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Sinterklaas Welcome Parade Amsterdam

November 12 @ 10:00 am 1:20 pm

Sinterklaas Amsterdam
Sinterklaas Amsterdam

On Sunday 12 November 2023 Sinterklaas will arrive in Amsterdam. Sinterklaas (Saint Nicholas) is a truly Dutch tradition. It is the main character of the Sinterklaas feast that is celebrated in the Netherlands on 5 December. From 12 November to 5 December, Sinterklaas will be in Amsterdam and you may run into him or his helpers. There will also be traditional Sinterklaas candy in the shops.

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Sinterklaas in Amsterdam

‘Sinterklaas’ (Saint Nicholas) is a typical Dutch character loved by children and adults. He is accompanied by his white horse Amerigo and a team of Pieten. Their annual arrival and parade in Amsterdam in mid-November and the festivities leading up to Sinterklaas (poem & gift giving) on 5 December are a real happening.

Programme Sinterklaas parade Amsterdam 2023

On Sunday 12 November Sinterklaas will arrive in Amsterdam. For the first time in history, Sinterklaas and his Pieten will sail along the Amsterdam canals: via the Amstel, Prinsengracht, Brouwersgracht and Herengracht to the Scheepvaartmuseum.

Route Sinterklaas parade Amsterdam 2023

Sinterklaas will sail by steamboat (from the direction of Spaklerweg) across the Amstel River into the city before transferring to the Port of Amsterdam at the Hermitage for a canal cruise. This trip will take in the Herengracht, Leidsegracht, Prinsengracht, before sailing back down the Amstel towards the Stopera, where the Good Saint will receive a short welcome by Mayor Halsema and the children’s mayor. The mayors will also hand the Sint the Amsterdam city key.

After a short stop, the Sint will continue his journey on horseback, followed by a procession of musicians, floats and his Pieten. The route will start from Waterlooplein and will end on Leidseplein via the Blauwe Brug, via Rembrandtplein, Utrechtsestraat, Frederiksplein, Weteringcircuit, with (after seven years) another festive platform ceremony!

Again this year, some 300,000 – 350,000 visitors are expected to come on the water or along the route by road to welcome Sinterklaas.

Sinterklaas route

Sinterklaas traditions

Sinterklaas is a truly Dutch festival that has been celebrated for a very long time. There are many traditions that belong to Sinterklaas. Children may put their shoe by the chimney and put an apple or a carrot in it for Sinterklaas’ horse. The next morning, there is a present in the shoe.

Sinterklaas songs

Children’s songs belong to the Sinterklaas celebration. There are many of them. On St. Nicholas Eve (5 December), families sing together in order to get St. Nicholas to come to their house to give presents.

Special candy

Sweets are also part of the party. There are special sweets such as kruidnootjes (ginger nuts), pepernoten and marseplein. Chocolate letters are also popular to give. Sweets are also part of the party. There are special sweets such as ginger nuts and pepernoten. Chocolate letters are also popular to give.