Best Time to Visit Amsterdam: Month-by-Month Guide (+Photos)

Renowned for its countless canals, charming historic buildings and lively cultural scene, the Netherlands’ capital of Amsterdam is a very popular destination. While you can appreciate its architecture and ambience at any time, there are better months than others to visit weatherwise.

Spring through autumn is when most people visit as the city is warmer and the sun is out. Massive celebrations like King’s Day and Pride also attract huge numbers, as do its Christmas markets and Keukenhof’s colourful tulips.

Here we’ll break down month-by-month what to expect from Amsterdam in terms of climate, crowds and cultural events. This will give you a better idea of when to plan your trip to the ‘Venice of the North’.

In this post, we’ll cover:

What’s the Weather Like in Amsterdam?

Wet, grey and chilly for much of the year, Amsterdam has an oceanic climate that is heavily influenced by the nearby North Sea. While the summer months are the warmest, it is still worth layering up as the capital’s weather is notoriously unpredictable.

As it lies below sea level, rain, mist and fog often occur with the city’s numerous canals also creating a chill as the wind blows off their surface. Nighttime temperatures rarely fall below freezing though, even in wintertime, as it is surrounded by three large bodies of water.

Averages of 21°C (70°F) can be expected in summer with that dropping to around 5 or 6°C (41 to 44°F) in winter. As each month sees roughly 13 to 20 days with at least some rain, it’s a good idea to pack an umbrella whenever you visit!

Best months to visit Amsterdam


Art, history and nightlife can be enjoyed at any time here and people head to Amsterdam year-round, regardless of the weather. The only quieter (and cheaper) months are January through March when the dreary days and colder temperatures put visitors off.

Spring sees numbers shoot up as the blooming flowers make both Keukenhof and its flower markets so colourful to explore. With exciting events like King’s Day and the Holland Festival being held, the scenic streets remain packed until summer – the city’s absolute peak season.

As there are slightly smaller crowds and temperatures are still mild, September and October are great times to visit. December also attracts tons of visitors, despite the cold, dark days, thanks to its magical Christmas markets and massive New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Amsterdam in January

Amsterdam Winter

After the Christmas and New Year’s festivities are over, most people stay away as the city is usually very cold, dreary and wet in January. The Amsterdam Light Festival does brighten up its short, dark days, as does National Tulip Day.

While prices are cheaper and there are no lines at the museums, the low temperatures make walking and biking less pleasant. As clear skies and sunshine only rarely appear, you’ll need to wrap up warmly. Snow sometimes falls but not regularly and doesn’t remain for long.

Amsterdam in February

Amsterdam Ice Skating

February is also the low season as temperatures stay at around 5°C (41°F) and there are no major events to entice visitors to town. There are a couple more hours of daylight, however, and much less rain falls. Hotel prices are cheaper so it can be a good time to pick up deals.

Besides celebrating Chinese New Year in its Chinatown area, you may be able to skate on its canals if they freeze over. Once a common occurrence, conditions are now only cold enough every few years.

Amsterdam in March

Amsterdam Museum

While March is only a few degrees warmer, tourists start to return once the world-renowned Keukenhof Gardens open again. Until the middle of the month though, prices remain low and the city is quieter.

Although there is a bit more sun and a couple more hours of daylight, you’ll need to pack an umbrella as it rains at least a bit for 18 days on average. Ambling about its pretty tulip fields in March is a treat as there are not yet too many people around. At the same time, its Tulip Festival means there are lots of lovely displays dotted all around town.

Amsterdam in April

Kings Day

As Keukenhof’s blooming flowers look even more beautiful in April, tourist numbers shoot up along with hotel prices. The colourful King’s Day celebrations – the country’s biggest party – also attract millions to the capital. Although everything is way more expensive around this time, the countless concerts and endless orange-coated crowds really are unforgettable!

Average temperatures of 12°C (53°F) coupled with 14 hours of daylight also mean you can stay outdoors for longer. Renting a bike is a good idea as both its cherry blossoms and the verdant greens of its surrounding countryside look magnificent. The weather is also drier so you shouldn’t get wet so often. Plenty of people also take cruises along its canals.

Amsterdam in May

Amsterdam Tulips

Just a week on from King’s Day is yet another big event in Amsterdam and the Netherlands: Liberation Day. The warmer, sunnier weather means numerous music concerts and festivals are held all around town. The city’s hotels and restaurants remain quite full with prices being higher as a result.

Up until the middle of the month, you can still visit Keukenhof to see the delightful tulips. Its relatively dry weather and average temperatures of 16°C (61°F) are also perfect for ambling about the center or biking and boating along its canals. Along with April, it is considered one of the best – but busiest – months to visit Amsterdam.

Amsterdam in June

Amsterdam Walking

The city’s packed schedule of events doesn’t let up in June as this is when the month-long Holland Festival takes place. Besides enjoying all the concerts, plays and dance performances, there are lots of other interesting events to catch in Vondelpark.

With so much going on, you can really fill up the long, sunny days with fun things to do. The capital has a lovely, lively feel yet isn’t as heaving as the months both before and after it. As temperatures average 19°C (66°F), many people picnic in the parks or visit the gorgeous gardens of canal houses during its Open Garden Days.

Amsterdam in July

Pride Festival

As people have summer holidays, the sun is shining and the weather is warmest, July is one of the most popular months to explore Amsterdam. Although there is slightly less daylight and sunshine than in June, averages of 21°C (70°F) are great for spending a lot of time outside.

Besides sunbathing in the parks and taking sightseeing cruises along the canals, visitors can party it up at the week-long Pride festival. Due to all the crowds, prices rise with long queues forming at all the main attractions and museums.

Amsterdam in August

Amsterdam Summer

August is peak season in Amsterdam when the restaurants and bars are packed and accommodation prices are at their highest. Countless huge events like Pride, De Parade and the Grachtenfestival draw even more people to the city. Due to this, you’ll have to book your hotels and tickets to the Anne Frank House in advance.

While it is one of the best months to visit weatherwise, the constant crowds in the streets, squares and tourist sights can get a bit tiring. In recent years, regular heat waves have also made walking more taxing as temperatures of over 30°C (86°F) are more common. It still rains around 14 days though on average!

Amsterdam in September

amsterdam terrace

Although the weather is a bit more unpredictable, September is still a popular month to visit Amsterdam. While it rains more, there is a decent amount of sunshine and daylight with temperatures remaining relatively warm at around 18°C (64°F).

Once kids head back to school, prices fall and there are fewer crowds at all its attractions. As such, this is the ideal time to visit the Alkmaar and Gouda cheese markets with fewer people around. You can also try out top dining establishments as part of National Restaurant Week or enjoy exciting performances at both its fun Jordaan and Fringe festivals.

Amsterdam in October

Amsterdam Autumn

Darker, wetter and colder, October is when autumn really sets in! While you’ll need to layer up and take an umbrella around, the glittering golden colors of its trees create some lovely photo opportunities alongside the canals. If you don’t mind averages of 14°C (57°F), cycling about its countryside can also be very nice due to all the attractive autumnal foliage.

As the skies are mostly grey though and there are fewer crowds, spending time indoors at cosy cafes or the many museums, is a great way to spend the day. Apart from the marathon, there is also the massive Amsterdam Dance Event to attend.

Amsterdam in November

Amsterdam Rain

With 20 days of rain on average and just a couple of hours of faint sun, November is one of the least popular months to visit Amsterdam. As the city is quite dark and dreary, wandering around is definitely a lot less pleasant. You’ll want to spend most of your time indoors and wrap up warm when outside.

Hotel prices are much cheaper, however, and there are no queues at its main attractions and museums. Sinterklaas does pay a visit to the city though and its Christmas lights create an even more magical atmosphere about its already scenic streets and canals.

Amsterdam in December

Amsterdam Christmas

December again sees crowds return to Amsterdam for its amazing Light Festival, Christmas markets and New Year’s Eve celebrations. Prices rise with all its hotels and restaurants filling up. The days are much shorter with around 8 hours of daylight as temperatures drop to just 6°C (43°F).

Despite this, there is a very festive feel about the city as locals decorate their front windows and lights brighten up all its squares. There are also ice skating rinks for you to shoot about and plenty of gluhwein and oliebollen to enjoy at the Christmas markets. Although it seldom falls, snow makes for a very memorable winter in Amsterdam.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *