We’d say there’s never a bad time to visit Amsterdam, but it’s hard to take an entire year off to travel to Amsterdam. So we made a list of activities and interests and their prime period for visiting the capital of The Netherlands.
If you’re going to Amsterdam to enjoy the sights and to experience the Amsterdam lifestyle, we recommend you to avoid the high season. Try to be here from November to mid-December and again from mid-January to the end of February.
The plane tickets are way less expensive in this period of time and since it’s low season, you’re likely to score a good deal on a hotel or apartment too! The museums are less crowded, so you can relax and step back while admiring one of the great Dutch painters, for instance.
Also, from the start of December, you can experience the Amsterdam Light Festival – up to 35 light sculptures by national and international artists light up the Amsterdam canals during the cold winter months.
If you don’t mind a little crowd, why don’t you visit Amsterdam during the spring and summer months? The city is buzzing from excitement and summer vibes and we think it might even be the best period to check out the city from the water. The Amsterdam canals are a real spectacle and so beautiful (and even refreshing) during the warm seasons. You can rent a boat or enjoy an open boat tour with a skipper as your personal guide.
We also recommend taking a 100 Highlights Cruise so you're assured of the most sightseeing in just one hour.
We can imagine the Dutch culture and the Anne Frank House is high on your priority list when visiting Amsterdam. Like we mentioned above: the winter is your best shot at visiting all the museums on your itinerary. For the Anne Frank House the same recommendation applies. It’s the number 1 reason to visit Amsterdam for a lot of people. Make sure you come early - at least an hour before opening time - to avoid long lines and waiting for hours. For extra discounts and free entrance fees for museums, you want to look into purchasing the Amsterdam Pass.
If you’re dying to see those beautiful tulips in Amsterdam, your best bet is to visit Amsterdam during spring. The Keukenhof (the largest flower park of the world) opens its doors at the end of March and closes again in May. Also, in April Amsterdam is dominated by tulips with a true Amsterdam Tulip Festival. With 85 locations full of the colorful flowers, you can tour the entire city and check out the sights of different areas along the way.
It depends a bit on what kind of parties you are looking for to give a clear answer. If you want to join the Dutch in the celebration of the holiday King’s Day (celebration our king’s birthday) and are prepared to dress up in orange you should visit The Netherlands in the end of April – at the 27th of April to be precise. Don’t trust the guides that say you have to be here at April 30th, since that used to be the date for Queen’s Day and we have a king now, so we celebrate King’s Day at a new date.
Then, of course, there are all the summer festivals. From food and urban music to techno, everything is represented in Amsterdam. You won’t find parties in the city center of Amsterdam, but the parks and event terrains are chock-full of parties and festivals. The festival seasons starts right after King’s Day, so our recommendation is to check out what festivals you can attend during your stay between May and September.
Let’s not forget about Amsterdam Dance Event (aka ADE), the largest electronic music conference and event in the world. DJs from around the globe fly to Amsterdam in October to scratch, spin and play their records. Visit Amsterdam in the third week of October to immerse yourself into the electronic dance party life.
Amsterdam is the capital of The Netherlands. The country that’s infamous for their moderate maritime climate and the rainy days that come along with it. But, it’s not all rain and wind over here. The summers can be pretty hot and extend themselves into the fall too. We’re going to talk about the different seasons in a bit. First things first:
So, we hear you ask: “what is the best time to go to Amsterdam?” like we said before, there’s no clear answer to that question, since there’s just so much you can do in the city. Weather-wise we would say July and August are the best months to visit Amsterdam. With an average temperature of 21 degrees, but with a maximum of 30-something degrees Celsius these are the warmest months of the year and you have the best chance of getting a tan while walking pass or cruise through the canals.
The winters can be long and dreadful here in Amsterdam. Thank the Lord for all the fun activities you can still enjoy during the winter. Think about ice skating on the canals when they freeze over or snugging up in a warm café. The winters are unpredictable, tho. Some winters are better to be enjoyed inside because of the seemingly never ending rain, other winters are quite soft with temperatures just above the zero degree mark. And let’s not forget the winters when you can ice skate the days away under a clear and crisp blue sky and in the freezing cold. It’s recommended to bundle up in all the winter scenarios.
Average temperature: between 0 – 6 degrees Celcius
Average sun time: 2 hours
Chance of rain: high
Again, a pretty unpredictable season. You can expect to experience three seasons in one during spring. From super cold winter weather to hot days of 25 degrees. Around April the weather changes from true winter-y to lovely spring temperatures. The flowers (and trees) start to blossom and everything turns from bare to lush in a few weeks. We experienced some serious summer temperatures in May the last couple of years.
Average temperature: between 2 – 16 degrees Celsius
Average sun time: 6 hours
Chance of rain: moderate
The summers in Amsterdam are hot and sweet (and sometimes a bit humid too) with an occasional thunderstorm after a long period of hot weather. But no worries, when the skies are clear again, you can go back to your usual tanning routine. The sun factor is quite high here in the Netherlands, so it’s best if you wear your sunscreen and protect yourself.
Average temperature: between 16 – 30 degrees Celsius
Average sun time: 7 hours
Chance of rain: high
Since the last few years, we got to experience the so called ‘Indian summer’ during fall in Amsterdam. With temperatures within the 20s it can be really comfortable outside. So don’t put away your shorts just yet! But on most days the fall in Amsterdam is dominated by soft temperatures and rainy periods. Perfect weather for visiting those museums you’ve been hearing about.
Average temperature: 10 – 23 degrees Celsius
Average sun time: 3 hours
Chance of rain: high