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Home / International Travel Insurance / Articles / Travel Tips / Best Time and Month to Visit Amsterdam: Complete Guide

Best Time and Month to Visit Amsterdam: Complete Guide

Team AckoFeb 8, 2024

Amsterdam, also called the Venice of the North, is one of the most endearing cities to visit in Europe. This unique city boasts numerous canals, a rich cultural heritage, and a thriving arts scene. A visit to Amsterdam never disappoints; the weather is always good and so is the food! The city’s charm lies within its culture; Amsterdammers have been living their life through art, music and literature for centuries. It’s this rich history that permeates throughout the city, making Amsterdam a must-visit place even well beyond summer months. This guide highlights the best time to visit Amsterdam, so you can make the most out of your visit.

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Best time to visit Amsterdam

The most popular times to visit Amsterdam are during the spring and summer months, from April to September, when the weather is warm and pleasant. During these months, the city's many outdoor cafes, parks, and gardens are particularly popular, and there are many outdoor events and festivals to experience. However, this also means that hotels and other accommodations can be more expensive and more crowded.

But if you're looking to experience the famous tulip season, the best time to visit Amsterdam is in the spring. This is when the canals are lined with colourful tulips, and the city's parks and gardens are filled with blooming flowers. If you prefer cooler weather and fewer crowds, you might consider visiting Amsterdam in the winter (December to February). 

Best season to visit Amsterdam

Here is an overview of the different seasons and what they have to offer so you can decide on the best time for you to visit.

1. Peak Season

Spring (March-May): Spring is a beautiful time to visit Amsterdam, as the city starts to come back to life after the long, cold winter. The weather is mild and the flowers are in bloom, making it a great time to explore the city's many parks and gardens. It's also a popular time for festivals, with events like King's Day and the Tulip Festival drawing large crowds. However, this is also the busy tourist season in Amsterdam, so be prepared for crowds and higher hotel prices.

Summer (June-August): Summer is the busiest tourist season in Amsterdam, with warm weather and long days perfect for sightseeing and outdoor activities. The city's many canals and parks are popular destinations for picnics, and there are plenty of outdoor cafes and terraces to enjoy a drink or a meal. Amsterdam's many festivals and events also take place during the summer months, including the Grachten festival (Canal Festival) and the Amsterdam Pride Parade. However, be prepared for crowds and high hotel prices, as well as potentially hot and humid weather.

2. Shoulder season

Autumn (September-November): Autumn is a great time to visit Amsterdam, as the crowds start to thin out and the weather is still pleasant. The trees start to turn golden and red, adding a splash of colour to the city's many parks and gardens. It's also the best time to visit Amsterdam for cultural events, with the Dance Event and the International Documentary Film Festival both taking place in the fall. However, be prepared for the weather to turn cooler and potentially wet, so bring a raincoat and layers.

3. Low season

Winter (December-February): Winter can be cold and dark, but it can also be a magical time to visit Amsterdam. The city's many Christmas markets and holiday lights add a festive atmosphere, and the streets and canals are often covered in a blanket of snow. It's also a great time to visit Amsterdam's many museums and indoor attractions, as well as enjoy a hot drink in one of the cosy cafes. However, be prepared for cold weather and potentially icy conditions, as well as shorter days with less sunlight.

Best month to visit Amsterdam

The best month to visit Amsterdam depends on your personal preferences and the type of experience you want to have. The spring and fall months offer milder temperatures and fewer crowds, making them a good choice for those who prefer a more relaxed atmosphere. The summer months of June, July, and August are the warmest and busiest times to visit Amsterdam, while the winter months of November through February offer cooler temperatures and festive holiday markets. Be sure to consider factors such as weather, crowds, and prices when deciding when to plan your trip to Amsterdam.

Month-by-month guide to visit Amsterdam

Here is a month-by-month guide to the best time to visit Amsterdam, with information on the average weather, events, and other factors.

1. Amsterdam in January

January in Amsterdam can be dark and gloomy, with short days and often cloudy or rainy weather. However, if you don't mind the cold and are looking for a more low-key visit, this can be a good time to go. The city is less crowded, with lower hotel prices, and there are still plenty of indoor activities to enjoy, such as visiting the many museums or enjoying a hot drink in a  cafe.

  • Average weather: Cold, with temperatures averaging around 4°C (39°F) and often cloudy or rainy.

  • Events: Low-key month with fewer tourists and lower hotel prices.

2. Amsterdam in February

February is still a cold month in Amsterdam and it can also be gloomy, with short days and often cloudy or rainy weather. However, it's also the month of the Carnival. The Carnival of Amsterdam is a two-day celebration that takes place on the weekend before Mardi Gras, with parades, live music, and other festivities. 

  • Average weather: Cold, with temperatures averaging around 4°C (39°F) and often cloudy or rainy.

  • Events: Carnival of Amsterdam, a two-day celebration on the weekend before Mardi Gras.

3. Amsterdam in March

March is the start of spring in Amsterdam, with milder weather and longer days. The city starts to come back to life after the long, cold winter, with the trees and flowers starting to bloom. It's also a popular time for festivals, with events like the St. Patrick's Day Parade and the Amsterdam Light Festival both taking place in March. However, this is also the start of the busy tourist season, so be prepared for crowds and higher hotel prices.

  • Average weather: Milder, with temperatures averaging around 8°C (46°F) and longer days.

  • Events: St. Patrick's Day Parade, Amsterdam Light Festival.

4. Amsterdam in April

April is a beautiful time to visit Amsterdam, with mild weather and the city's many parks and gardens starting to come to life. It's also a popular time for festivals, with events like King's Day and the Tulip Festival drawing large crowds. The Tulip Festival is a celebration of Amsterdam's famous flowers, with displays of tulips in the city's many parks and gardens. 

  • Average weather: Mild, with temperatures averaging around 11°C (52°F) and the city's parks and gardens starting to come to life.

  • Events: King's Day, Tulip Festival.

5. Amsterdam in May

May is a great time to visit Amsterdam, with mild weather and the city's many parks and gardens in full bloom. May has events like the Amsterdam Roots Festival and the Amsterdam Fringe Festival. 

  • Average weather: Mild, with temperatures averaging around 15°C (59°F) and the city's parks and gardens in full bloom.

  • Events: Amsterdam Roots Festival, Amsterdam Fringe Festival.

6. Amsterdam in June

June is the start of summer in Amsterdam, with warm weather and long days perfect for sightseeing and outdoor activities. The city's many canals and parks are popular destinations for picnics, and there are plenty of outdoor cafes and terraces to enjoy a drink or a meal. The Grachten festival, also known as the Canal Festival, takes place in May.

  • Average weather: Warm, with temperatures averaging around 19°C (66°F) and long days.

  • Events: Grachten festival (Canal Festival), Amsterdam Gay Pride Parade.

7. Amsterdam in July

July is a great time to visit Amsterdam as the weather is generally warm and sunny. The city comes alive with outdoor festivals and events, such as the Amsterdam Gay Pride parade. However, July is also a busy tourist season, so expect larger crowds and higher prices for accommodations and activities.

  • Average weather: Warm, with temperatures averaging around 22°C (72°F) and long days.

  • Events: Amsterdam Summer Fest, Amsterdam Open Air.

8. Amsterdam in August

August is the perfect time to explore Amsterdam with the summer vibes still in the air. You'll also find plenty of festivals and events throughout August, be sure to check out the closure of the Pride celebration in the first week of August! It's a celebration of diversity and acceptance that you won't want to miss.

  • Average weather: Warm, with temperatures averaging around 22°C (72°F) and long days.

  • Events: Amsterdam Film Festival, Uitmarkt (Cultural Weekend).

9. Amsterdam in September

September is a great time to visit Amsterdam as the weather is still pleasant and the crowds are starting to thin out. The city begins to transition into the fall season, and you can enjoy the beautiful autumn foliage in Amsterdam's many parks and gardens.

  • Average weather: Mild, with temperatures averaging around 18°C (64°F) and the start of autumn.

  • Events: Amsterdam Dance Event, International Documentary Film Festival.

10. Amsterdam in October

October is a lovely time to visit Amsterdam as the weather is generally mild and the city is decorated for the fall season. The Amsterdam Marathon takes place in October, and you can also enjoy the Amsterdam Light Festival, which features light installations and projections throughout the city. 

  • Average weather: Mild, with temperatures averaging around 13°C (55°F) and the start of autumn.

  • Events: Amsterdam Halloween Parade, Amsterdam Marathon.

11. Amsterdam in November

November can be a good time to visit Amsterdam as the crowds are generally manageable and the prices for accommodations and activities may be lower. However, the weather can be quite chilly and rainy, so make sure to pack warm clothing. November is also a good time to visit Amsterdam if you want to experience the city's traditional holiday markets and events, such as the Amsterdam Christmas Tree and the Amsterdam Light Festival.

  • Average weather: Cool, with temperatures averaging around 8°C (46°F) and the start of autumn.

  • Events: Amsterdam Light Festival, Amsterdam International Art Fair.

12. Amsterdam in December

December is a festive time to visit Amsterdam as the city is decorated for the holiday season. The Amsterdam Light Festival and the Amsterdam Christmas Tree are popular attractions in December, and you can also enjoy the city's traditional holiday markets and events. 

  • Average weather: Cold, with temperatures averaging around 4°C (39°F) and short days.

  • Events: Christmas markets, holiday lights and decorations.

Cheapest time to visit Amsterdam

The cheapest time to visit Amsterdam is typically during the shoulder seasons, which are the months of April, May, September, and October. During these months, temperatures are mild and the crowd is less, resulting in lower prices for flights and accommodation. The winter months of November through February can also be a good time to find deals, as the city experiences fewer tourists during this time. It's important to keep in mind that prices for flights and accommodation can vary significantly depending on the time of year, so it's always a good idea to compare prices and book in advance to get the best deals.

Expensive time to visit Amsterdam

The most expensive time to visit Amsterdam is typically during the busy tourist season, which is from June to August. During these months, the city experiences the warmest weather and the highest number of tourists, resulting in higher prices for flights and accommodation. The summer months are also when many festivals and events take place, which can drive up prices even further. Additionally, the holiday season from November to January can also be a more expensive time to visit Amsterdam, as the city is popular with tourists looking to experience the festive holiday markets and events. 

More about the best time to visit Amsterdam 

Best time to visit Amsterdam for a honeymoon

The tulip fields in the surrounding countryside are in full bloom during the spring, providing a picturesque backdrop for romantic walks and picnics. Fall brings warm colours to the city as the leaves change, creating a cosy atmosphere for cuddling up with your loved one. Avoid the summer months as Amsterdam can be crowded and hot.

Best time to visit Amsterdam for shopping

The best time to visit Amsterdam for shopping is during January and July. This is the time when many stores offer discounted prices on their products, making it the perfect opportunity to score some great deals. Plus, with the colder weather in January and the summer heat in July, it's a great time to do some indoor shopping and escape the elements. Amsterdam is known for its high-end fashion, so be sure to hit up the designer boutiques and department stores for some top-quality, discounted items. Don't miss out on this opportunity to shop till you drop in Amsterdam!

Best time to visit royal sites in Amsterdam

The best time to see the royal sites in Amsterdam is during the summer months. The warm sunshine and long days provide the perfect opportunity to visit the beautiful Palace on the Dam where the Dutch royal family resides. The palace is open to the public from April to October, so you can take a tour of the lavish interior and learn about the history of the Dutch monarchy. The summer also provides the perfect weather for strolling hand in hand with your loved one through the lush green gardens of the Royal Palace, or watching the sunset from the top of the Nieuwe Kerk. Summer is the perfect time to experience the royal charm of Amsterdam.

Something to offer at any time!

In conclusion, the best time to visit Amsterdam depends on your personal preferences and the activities you plan to do while you are there. Spring and autumn are generally considered the best times to visit, with mild weather and fewer crowds, but the city has something to offer at any time of the year. Just be prepared for the weather and potential crowds, and you'll have a great time exploring all that Amsterdam has to offer.

Should I purchase Amsterdam Travel Insurance?

Absolutely! It is highly recommended to purchase travel insurance when planning a trip to Amsterdam or any other destination. Travel insurance provides financial protection and peace of mind in case of unexpected events such as medical emergencies, trip cancellations or interruptions, lost luggage, or other unforeseen circumstances.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Here’s a list of common questions and answers related to the best time to visit Amsterdam.

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Which is the hottest month in Amsterdam?

Amsterdam generally has a maritime climate with cool summers and mild winters. The hottest month of the year is typically July, when the average high temperature is around 22°C (72°F). However, temperatures in Amsterdam can vary significantly and it is not uncommon for the temperature to reach into the mid-30s°C (mid-90s°F) on hot summer days.

When is the rainy season in Amsterdam?

The rainy season in Amsterdam generally occurs from November to March. During this time, the city experiences cooler temperatures and an increase in precipitation. The wettest months are typically December and January, while February and March tend to be a bit drier. It's important to pack a raincoat or umbrella if you'll be visiting Amsterdam during this time, as the city can be quite wet and damp.

Which is the best time to visit Amsterdam with your family?

The best time to visit Amsterdam for a family holiday is during the summer months of June, July and August when the weather is warm and sunny, and there are celebrations galore to revel in.

Is December a good time to visit Amsterdam?

It can be a good time to visit Amsterdam in December, as the city has many festive events and holiday decorations during this time of year. However, it can also be quite cold and wet, so it's important to be prepared for the weather.

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Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. It is based on several secondary sources on the internet, and is subject to changes.

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