Seasons in Amsterdam are typically European, though this Dutch city has a way of making every season magical. The shoulder-seasons of Spring and Fall are perfect – great weather, smaller crowds, and lower prices than the high-season mean you’ll get to experience this place at its best. Summer is high-season for tourism for a reason; mild and comfortable weather combine with gorgeous scenery to delight the many people who flood to this canal-laced capital. Even winter with its gorgeous snows and lights is a wonder to behold.
SPRING – March, April, May:
Believe it or not, this is the time of year with the least rain, albeit only by a day or two fewer wet days per month. It will still rain while you’re there, though, so don’t plan for completely dry weather! Spring is a great time to visit if you’re looking for smaller crowds and great sights – the city is thawing and some greenery is starting to come up by the end of the season.
Every traveler to Amsterdam must bring rain gear; a stylish, packable raincoat and a nice travel umbrella are crucial.
Attractive but comfortable shoes are also key. Sandals aren’t ideal, so opt for cute, comfortable flats and nice closed-toed shoes. If you wear skirts, keep them fairly modest and wear tights with them. Otherwise, cute blouses, cardigans, pants, and a light jacket will be ideal. Temperatures average between 50°F to 60°F (10°C to 16°C).
SUMMER – June, July, August:
The summer is tourist high-season, so if you’re traveling during this time plan to be extra patient with lines and heightened prices. Open-air concerts, gorgeous markets full of fresh items for sale, and smiling faces permeate the city, where you’ll always find something to do and to explore. With the plethora of activities in mind, you’ll want reliable footwear and to dress in layers. The weather is warmer, but this is no tropical city – there are breezes, and it can get cool at night.
Comfortable flats, short, classy wedges, and the occasional dress sandal are appropriate, but consider how comfortable they’ll be for the activity you’re doing. Nicer shoes are great for going out, while flats are better for sightseeing. Dresses are great if they’re on the modest side, but avoid shorts. Crop pants, lightweight dress pants, and skirts are best. Skinny jeans are great, too, as long as they look nice. Bring a cardigan and a light scarf just in case. Mosquitoes might be an issue at times (the entire city is webbed with canals, after all), so plan accordingly with insect-repellent spray. Summer can be quite rainy, too, so don’t forget your stylish raincoat and travel umbrella. Temperatures average between 65°F to 75°F (18°C to 24°C).
FALL – September, October, November:
Fall brings a cooler set of temperatures with later months being the chilliest, but the weather is still splendid. This second shoulder-season is another great opportunity to enjoy the Netherlands without so many tourists and crowds.
Break out your pretty sweaters and nice pants for fall in Amsterdam. Keep to a clean and neutral color palette, and always dress in layers that can be easily removed or added as the temperature rises and falls with the sun.
Comfortable flats and closed-toed shoes are best. Boots, too, are a cute option should you be so inclined. Skinny jeans, cardigans, tailored blazers, and pretty scarves will help you feel comfortable and stylish. As always, bring your nice raincoat and travel umbrella! Temperatures average between 50°F to 65°F (10°C to 18°C).
WINTER – December, January, February:
Winter is beautiful here. Snows do happen with fair frequency, but they don’t often stick around for long, and it doesn’t get too terribly cold. Nighttime brings the coolest temperatures, of course, so always dress more warmly for evenings out.
A cute coat, a few stylish sweaters, and some comfortable but attractive pants are your go-tos here. It still rains, so if you can opt for a jacket that is both warm and waterproof, so much the better. Bring a scarf, a nice winter hat, and some fashionable gloves to ward off the chills. Temperatures average between 40°F to 50°F (4°C to 10°C).
How to dress for the activities in Amsterdam – (Click to expand)
Sightseeing on foot
– There are loads of historical buildings, winding streets, museums and breathtaking canals to be explored in Amsterdam. Bring comfortable sneakers or boots, as well as clothes that will be comfortable to wear from day to night. Think worn-in jeans, loose dresses, and t-shirts. Bring your rain gear in case you get stuck waiting in line for an hour in front of Anne Frank’s house!
Cycling through the city – Amsterdam is best explored by bike, and you can find spots to rent bikes all around the city, and probably at your hostel or hotel. Flexible and comfortable casual clothing will suit you well for this, as well as tennis shoes or sturdy boots. Make sure to bring a hat and gloves if it is chilly.
Dancing the night away – Amsterdam has a Night Mayor (seriously). This means that the city’s nightlife has never been better – and by nightlife, I mean 24-hour parties. Bring a few cute dresses with tights, or skinny jeans and a sleek shirt to wear to the local dance clubs. No need for heels – just wear some nice shoes that you’ll be comfy dancing in.