The Best Time to Visit Amsterdam 2023: the Ultimate Guide
Anytime is a good time to visit Amsterdam. There's always something going on in the Dutch capital no matter what month of the year it is. It's a busy place year-round too. Forget about off-peak times because even when the chill of winter freezes over the canals, visitors still flock here.
There's no denying that Amsterdam is a popular getaway destination for many Europeans as well as international travelers throughout the colder months of the year as well as during the warmer ones. The many cultural events held there, the world-class attractions, and the cozy coffee shops, make visiting Amsterdam fascinating and fun whether you go in December or June.
Each season in northern Europe has its pros and cons though. One might suit you better than another depending on your resistance to low temperatures, your aversion to light rain, or even an allergic reaction you might have to pollen. No one wants to spend their entire Amsterdam visit shivering or sneezing their way through tulip season, so take a look at the sections below and you'll soon discover which is the best time to visit Amsterdam for you.
If you're in the Dutch capital and you find yourself searching for somewhere to store your bags safely, look for a Bounce luggage storage site. You'll find that Bounce luggage lockers in Amsterdam are conveniently located for ease of access and while they're security tagged and insured, they're very economical to use.
What’s The Best Time To Visit Amsterdam?
Summer In Amsterdam
When talking of summer in Amsterdam most people will be referring to the months of June, July, and August. It's a sad fact, but the Amsterdam weather isn't always in agreement with the supposed time of the year. For that reason, it's always wise to pack a light sweater and a light jacket that's rainproof in your suitcase if you find yourself out and about looking for things to do on a rainy day in Amsterdam, you may need them.
Later in the season, around the end of July heading into August and onwards, when you would expect pleasant weather, it can get quite warm and humid. Go prepared for above-average temperatures with short-sleeved t-shirts and light cotton pants just in case you're fortunate enough to experience a heatwave.
The one thing you shouldn't forget to include in your luggage when you're visiting Amsterdam in the summer is mosquito repellent. With water everywhere and high humidity during the summer months, Amsterdam turns into a breeding ground for the biting beasties. Being covered in bulging red blobs that itch like crazy can soon spoil anyone's Amsterdam visit.
Why Go To Amsterdam In June?
After having thrown off the cape off winter, slid through spring still half asleep, Amsterdam really wakes up in June. June is the month when all the big festivals and outdoor events start to take place and while there's not something happening every day there's certainly something happening every week. There are huge festivals like the Vondelpark Open Air, the On The Roof Festival, the Holland Festival, the Taste of Amsterdam, and the Bacchus Wine Festival to go to so if you're a festival goer, this is the month to go.
Why Go To Amsterdam In July?
July is when Amsterdam flies the rainbow flag and celebrates human diversity in all its forms. The best events are near the end of the month when the Milkshake Festival and Pride Amsterdam take place.
Why Go To Amsterdam In August?
August is when Amsterdam gets taken over by outdoor events. As PrideAmsterdam comes to a close, the partying continues with the colorful Canal Parade, then things begin to calm down a little. The quieter, more laid-back events like the De Parade Theater Festival and the Grachtenfestival take over until it's time for the fantastic fantasy party known as Mysteryland.
Why Not Go To Amsterdam In Summer
Apart from the beastly biting mosquitoes that will be only too happy to make a meal of you, Amsterdam is crammed with visitors during the summer months. The many events and festivals attract crowds in the thousands, so unless you're happy elbowing your way around, this is maybe not the best time to visit Amsterdam.
Average High Temperatures in Summer In Amsterdam
June – 68°F (20°C) July- 72°F (22°C) August - 72°F (22°C)
Average Low Temperatures in Summer In Amsterdam
June – 52°F (11°C) July - 56°F (13°C) August - 56°F (13°C)
Fall In Amsterdam
September, October, and November are the months that are classed as fall or autumn in Amsterdam. That doesn't mean there'll be constant light rain or even never-ending torrential downpours, but mornings and evenings will certainly have a nip in the air. As the season progresses, the temperatures will drop more and more, and you could wake up to see the streets coated with white after an early morning frost.
Yes, if you're going to visit Amsterdam during the fall months, you'll need warm clothing and an overcoat of some description. Fall in Amsterdam is not known for even occasional short-sleeved weather, but you never know, September might treat you to a couple of Indian summer days, and then again it might not.
Fall is when events start to head indoors and it's the perfect time to make the most of visiting the museums in Amsterdam where you can stay in the warm while discovering the city's rich history.
Why Go To Amsterdam In September?
September is a great month to visit Amsterdam if you love cultural events, are a keen photographer, or enjoy running in cold weather. The best events happening in September in Amsterdam are the Dutch Theater Festival, the Read My World Festival, and the Red Light Jazz Festival. The Dam tot Damloop is a two-day running event and Unseen Amsterdam is a must for camera aficionados.
Why Go To Amsterdam In October?
Amsterdam is never quite ready to give up on the year and in October there are still plenty of diverse activities to get involved in. Around mid-October is the ADE, the five-day-long Amsterdam Dance Event which is followed later in late October by the Amsterdam Music Festival. It's not all music and dance though, in October the city streets are taken over briefly by the TCS Amsterdam Marathon. This month ends, as it does in many other cities around the world, with massive Halloween celebrations.
Why Go To Amsterdam In November?
November is possibly one of the quietest months of the year in Amsterdam and one when there are fewer tourists. It's the chill-out, literally, before the build-up to Christmas, so if you're looking for a time to go when you can get good deals on accommodation, this is it.
Why Not Go To Amsterdam In The Fall
The only valid reasons for not going to Amsterdam in the fall is it's a bit chilly, you're very unlikely to see any sunny skies, and there are not a lot of outdoor activities to participate in.
Average High Temperatures in Fall In Amsterdam
September– 66°F (19°C) October - 59°F (15°C) November- 50°F (10°C)
Average Low Temperatures in Fall In Amsterdam
September– 52°F (11°C) October - 45°F (7°C) November- 39°F (4°C)
Winter In Amsterdam
The winter months in Amsterdam are December, January, and February. And before you ask, no, the city doesn't go into hibernation. This is Amsterdam, not Alaska.
If you're visiting Amsterdam in the winter then you can expect to be doing a lot of indoor activities, but also some great outdoor ones as well so long as you have the right clothing. Anytime you venture outside, you'll need to be wrapped up warmly with scarves, gloves, and a jacket. If not, you could end up with frostbitten fingers and icicles hanging off the end of your nose. Amsterdam winters are renowned for their cold snaps, so go prepared.
Why Go To Amsterdam In December?
In December, Amsterdam is full of Christmas spirit and the atmosphere in the city is magical. The city's streets and canals are illuminated for the festive month, there's skating on the canals which have frozen over, and fantastic Christmas markets where you can see a Dutch Santa Claus and buy all your gifts while sipping hot chocolate. The Christmas holidays come to an end with amazing New Year's Eve celebrations and huge firework displays in Amsterdam's Dam Square that will totally make you forget how cold you're getting standing around watching them.
Why Go To Amsterdam In January?
It may not be tulip season in Amsterdam in January, but it is National Tulip Day which is when Dam Square is turned into a tulip field. After all the Christmas season partying, January is one of the quieter, off-peak months so it's a good time to visit Amsterdam if you don't like crowds.
Why Go To Amsterdam In February?
Probably the best reasons to go to Amsterdam in February are to celebrate Chinese New Year or to take your partner on a romantic weekend for Valentine's Day. The main attractions like the museums are quieter too.
Why Not Go To Amsterdam In The Winter Months
Apart from during the Christmas season and New Year's, there are not really any great events happening in Amsterdam during the winter and it is very cold.
Average High Temperatures in Winter In Amsterdam
December– 45°F (7°C) January - 43°F (6°C) February- 43°F (6°C)
Average Low Temperatures in Winter In Amsterdam
December– 36°F (2°C) January - 34°F (1°C) February- 32°F (0°C)
Spring In Amsterdam
Spring in Amsterdam is usually classed as being from around mid-March to the end of May although Mother Nature might not always agree. You can pretty much guarantee there'll be a rain shower or two while you're there so go prepared with a lightweight waterproof jacket, shoes that won't get damaged if they get wet, and an umbrella.
While the days might look bright and sunny from your hotel room, looks can be deceiving. The air can feel quite fresh, especially in the early mornings so packing something like a quilted body warmer or a thermal sweater you can wear under your jacket is a good idea. Hats, scarves, and gloves will come in handy in March and April too, although you probably won't need them if you're not going until the last two weeks of May.
Spring is tulip time in Holland and something that no keen photographer should miss. Taking a day trip out to the tulip fields from Amsterdam is impressive if you want to catch shots of the multi-colored spectacle. Dutch windmills are the perfect central focal point for a landscape photograph when surrounded by acres and acres of tulips in full bloom. If there was ever a true sight for sore eyes, then this is it.
Why Go To Amsterdam In March?
March is a good month for beverage lovers as this is when the Amsterdam Wine Festival and the Amsterdam Coffee Festivals are held. If you have a head for heights or want to get some shots of the city skyline not everyone has, then you need to be in Amsterdam for Open Tower Day. On one day in late March, usually toward the end of the month, buildings that are not always accessible to the public open their doors, and you are allowed to climb to the top of all of them for free.
Why Go To Amsterdam In April?
The entire month of April is about the tulip festival season and although the flowers are not actually in Amsterdam, that's what most visitors at this time of the year go to see. April sees Amsterdam decked in orange to celebrate King's Day and it is also the month when the DGTL Music Festival is held.
Why Go To Amsterdam In May?
In May cultural activities take to the streets. In May, the Amsterdam Arts Weekend and the Rolling Kitchens Street Food Festival takes over the Westergas district of the city.
Why Not Go To Amsterdam In Spring
The pollen count is exceptionally high throughout the three months of the season. When the flowers are in full bloom, the main tourist season emerges so it's one of the busiest times of the year and hotel rooms are scarce.
Average High Temperatures in Spring In Amsterdam
March – 50°F (10°C) April - 56°F (13°C) May - 62°F (17°C)
Average Low Temperatures in Spring In Amsterdam
March – 36°F (2°C) April - 39°F (4°C) May - 46°F (8°C)
When is the best time to visit Amsterdam for you?
That's a question that only you can answer. Hopefully, after reading through this guide about the best times to visit Amsterdam, you'll have a clearer idea of which season will suit you and which season won't. Just remember, when you visit Amsterdam, take a light raincoat or a light jacket even if you go in the summer. It can rain even in mild weather. Happy traveling and enjoy visiting Amsterdam.