Amsterdam is a vibrant metropolis with a beautiful historic middle, year-round flower markets, delectable delicacies, annual festivals, and many enjoyable. There’s one thing in Amsterdam for everybody, whether or not you’re happening a romantic getaway, having a bachelorette party, or eager to find out about artwork, historical past, and tradition.
The metropolis provides a lot to do, whether or not you’re in search of some risque enjoyable within the Red Light District, an exhilarating culinary expertise, or the sight of a number of the most beautiful tulips you’ve ever seen. Whatever your cause for visiting Amsterdam, you’ll have an unbelievable time.
But when is one of the best time to go to Amsterdam? Whether you need to plan a budget-friendly trip, keep away from chilly Amsterdam climate, bypass throngs of vacationers, or expertise one of many well-liked summer time concert events, we’ve received all of it laid out for you. Every season has professionals and cons, however hopefully, our information will enable you determine one of the best time to go to Amsterdam!
The Best Time to Go to Amsterdam – A Month-by-Month & Seasonal Breakdown
January to March: Low Season
January, February, and March are the off-season, that means fewer vacationers throughout these winter months. These are the coldest months in Amsterdam, typically snowing, making thermal underwear and snow boots essential. The snowy nights blanket the bottom giving vacationers the choice of snowball fights.
January and February are chilly and darkish, however it’s the least expensive time to go to Amsterdam. You can typically score deals on flights and hotels throughout this time. The finest offers are often booked in January for February journey.
If the climate is chilly sufficient and the canals freeze, you’ll see residents ice skating alongside the canals as an alternative of boats. If you don’t need to take part on the ice skating enjoyable, you may go to one of many many world-class museums, just like the Van Gogh Museum or the MOCO Museum (one phrase: Banksy).
There aren’t many giant occasions in January, giving vacationers further house and shorter strains round city. However, there are a number of notable objects of curiosity in these winter months.
The Amsterdam Light Festival begins in December and continues via most of January. This well-liked winter occasion is a free artwork set up involving mild in Amsterdam’s metropolis middle. Every night the lights are turned on at 5 pm without cost viewing. This 1.5-hour bike tour is among the most enjoyable (but chilly) methods to see the lights!
The begin of Amsterdam’s tulip season begins on the third Saturday in January, which is National Tulip Day. Amsterdam’s Dam Square is overflowing with tulips, specifically designed to make an enormous backyard. This tulip backyard is open to the general public without cost flower selecting!
Pros of visiting Amsterdam in January:
- Enjoy the Amsterdam Light Festival
- National Tulip Day begins the tulip season
- There are cheaper lodging and airfare
- Attractions are much less crowded
The Chinese New Year parade from Chinatown to Dam Square occurs someday between late January to early-February (on the second new moon after the winter solstice). The mighty dragons and lions represented within the parade are believed to scare away any evil spirits. It’s a enjoyable expertise with fireworks, meals, and music.
While February is pretty darkish and chilly, it’s a good time to go to Amsterdam with great deals on hotel prices and the power to attend indoor sights just like the Icebar Amsterdam (though it’s chilly in there, too!) or the very-Instagrammable Upside Down Museum. Or, deliver out your inside youngster with a trip to WONDR, with a pool of marshmallows, large teddy bears, and karaoke.
It’s additionally a good time to loosen up in one in every of Amsterdam’s brown cafes and chill. There will be snow like I’ve proven above, however don’t let the photographs idiot you, the snow right here final perhaps a day or two. The photograph above the snow was mainly gone the identical day.
Pros of visiting Amsterdam in February:
- Enjoy the Chinese New Year Parade
- Fewer vacationers, that means shorter strains at sights
- Cheapest time to go to Amsterdam
See Related: 2 Days in Amsterdam Itinerary
March to May: Shoulder Season
Mid-March begins what is taken into account shoulder season, which suggests the climate is usually unpredictable. March can deliver chilly snaps and lightweight rain, typically requiring a lightweight jacket.
Around mid-March, guests to Amsterdam could have the chance to go to the Cherry Blossom Festival. These blooming timber signify the start of spring (together with blooming tulips), though the cherry blossoms often solely final till mid-April.
Despite the climate, the spring tulip season begins in late March with the opening of the Keukenhof backyard, giving town a little bit of brightness, though a bit chilly. This guided tour and a skip-the-line ticket at Keukenhof Garden is the way in which to go! This beautiful backyard is open till mid-May and is only one of over 85 Tulip Festival areas in Amsterdam.
Also held in March is Open Tower Day, the place guests can go inside buildings (typically historic and fashionable towers) often closed to the general public. Previous towers on show embrace De Bijenkorf, UP Office Building, and Blue Amsterdam.
One of one of the best methods to expertise advantageous eating in Amsterdam is to go to throughout Restaurant Week in March. This particular week occurs twice a yr, permitting friends to dine at a number of the best restaurants in Amsterdam for a fraction of the same old value (amongst them Restaurant Le Garage and Brasserie La Camelia). Don’t fret, nevertheless, as loads of wonderful strolling excursions provide you with a style of Dutch cuisine (like this small group foodie tour in the Jordaan District).
Pros of visiting Amsterdam in March:
- Enjoy the attractive timber on the Cherry Blossom Festival
- Tulip Festival begins
- Visit many historic websites on Open Tower Day
- Dine at fine-dining eating places throughout Restaurant Week
- Accommodations are nonetheless cheaper than excessive season
April brings greater temperatures, and the tulips are in full bloom, so it’s a good time to go to Amsterdam! April can also be the right time to go to flower markets like the favored Bloemenmarkt, with colourful blooms in all places. It’s comparatively rain-free in April, however the common temperature continues to be within the 50s.
Young individuals typically flock to Amsterdam for the three-day music pageant DGTL which takes place at NDSM Docklands in addition to the ever-popular Awakenings at Gashouder.
One of April’s largest celebrations is King’s Day, the place guests and locals have fun the King by sporting the colour orange, consuming unique meals, and consuming beer. The pageant celebrates King Willem-Alexander’s birthday on April twenty seventh.
If you need to go to Amsterdam when the tulips are at their peak, you’ll need to go to over the last two weeks of April and the primary two weeks of May. Just know that due to the rise in tourism throughout this time, prices for flights and accommodations are likely to go up.
Pros of visiting Amsterdam in April:
- Mild climate
- Tulips are in full bloom
- Enjoy King’s Day celebrations
- Listen to digital music on the DGTL Music Festival
See Related: Best Day Trips from Amsterdam, Netherlands
The strains at eating places, museums, and native sights get noticeably longer in May, with delicate climate, the peak of the attractive tulips in tulip season, Remembrance and Liberation Day, and National Mill Day.
May is the final month of the Tulip Festival, with most areas throughout Amsterdam closing in mid to late May. As you may think about, May brings many vacationers to see the tulips earlier than they’re gone.
Remembrance Day, held on May 4th yearly, is when Dutch residents pay their respects to the fallen troopers of World War II and different navy conflicts. The following day May fifth is a grand party celebrating the nation’s freedom from Nazi occupation. This small group tour to National Memorial Camp Vught is one in every of some ways to mirror and bear in mind the various Jewish lives misplaced throughout WWII.
The second weekend in May is National Mill Day, a chance to climb inside watermills and windmills! Almost all Dutch windmills are in operation on this vacation, with roughly 1,000 open to the general public! If you may’t make it on National Mill Day, there are many different alternatives, like this 3-hour guided tour of the Zaanse Schans Windmills.
Pros of visiting Amsterdam in May:
- Remembrance Day and Liberation Day
- Final month of the Tulip Festival
- Explore the windmills on National Mill Day
- Mild temperatures
June to August: High Season
June begins the excessive season in Amsterdam, with sunny skies, lengthy strains, and huge crowds. With common highs within the higher 60s and low 70s throughout summer time, it’s a good time to go to Amsterdam! While the climate is hotter, it may be chilly within the evenings. So, pack a lightweight rain jacket for any surprising drizzle and a bit of heat.
With the improbable climate in the summertime months, it’s no shock that tourism is at an all-time excessive. It’s vital to e book your lodging early, however you’ll seemingly pay a premium.
Because it’s the height time to go to, it’s additionally vital to e book time slots at well-liked sights a minimum of six weeks prior, together with the Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum (reserve a timeslot right here to skip the line and enjoy a guided tour), and the Anne Frank House. It’s additionally a good suggestion to reach early at native sights throughout this excessive season. (Note: reserving a private tour of the Van Gogh is advisable throughout peak instances!)
June is the month for outdoor summer events, together with the Holland Festival, Open Garden Days, and the Roots Festival. These open-air festivals and occasions draw big crowds to town. With tourism in full swing, you may anticipate thick crowds wherever you go.
The Open Air Theater on the Vondelpark opens in June with performances starting from pop performers to youngsters’s acts. This outside theater has performances each weekend throughout the summer time.
The Holland Festival is a June staple as the most important (and oldest) performing arts pageant within the Netherlands. The pageant roster consists of movie, visible arts, structure, fashionable dance, opera, theater, and music. Performances happen throughout city at numerous venues, such because the Westergas manufacturing facility, Concertgebouw, the opera, and town theater.
In mid-June is Open Garden Days, an opportunity to go to a number of the personal gardens of Amsterdam’s canal properties. You can go to over 30 canal home gardens throughout this particular weekend!
The Roots Festival takes place on the finish of June (typically into the start of July), which attracts locals and vacationers alike. This multidisciplinary pageant is extra than simply music; it consists of dance, circus, theater, and artwork. Its aim is to boost consciousness via a number of types of storytelling.
Pros of visiting Amsterdam in June:
- Perfect climate
- See the personal gardens of canal properties on Open Garden Days
- Relish within the music and dance on the Roots Festival
See Related: Non-Touristy Things to do in Amsterdam: Top Hidden Gems
July brings sunny skies, heat climate, and loads of outside occasions to Amsterdam. It’s one of the best time to go to Amsterdam in the event you don’t thoughts crowds. However, there are a variety of outside occasions, such because the Awakenings Festival, the Over het IJ Festival, and the Red Light Jazz Festival.
The Awakenings Festival, an digital music pageant, attracts locals and vacationers. This July music pageant is outside and really techno-heavy. July additionally brings the Over het IJ Festival, a ten-day artwork pageant unfold throughout numerous areas in Amsterdam, together with the NDSM wharf, venues in Amsterdam North, and on the banks of the IJ.
Jazz lovers flock to Amsterdam for the Red Light Jazz Festival, which takes place in numerous venues within the Red Light District. The space has a wealthy jazz historical past, starting within the Nineteen Thirties with Cafe Casablanca because the “mecca for jazz lovers.” This three-day pageant is held in the summertime months, with 2023 dates to be introduced quickly.
While the climate is beautiful in July, it’s a good time to take a canal tour, benefit from the sights round city, and be outside. The younger and hip could benefit from the Amsterdam Canal Booze Boat tour, however these preferring a extra upscale boat tour would take pleasure in this guided Luxury Boat Tour.
Pros of visiting Amsterdam in July:
- Perfect climate
- Enjoy music festivals just like the Red Light Jazz Festival and the Awakenings Festival
- Appreciate artwork on the Over het IJ Festival
August is the ultimate month within the excessive season, with extra occasions this month than in the remainder of the yr. Because Amsterdam climate is usually milder than other European capitals, vacationers flock to the Dutch capital to keep away from the scorching warmth.
Key occasions embrace the Dekmantel pageant, Uitmark, Pride Amsterdam, Grachtenfestival, and the Amsterdam International Art Fair. There isn’t any scarcity of enjoyable in August!
The Dekmantel pageant has been part of the Amsterdam music scene for 9 years, showcasing digital and techno music. While the Awakenings Festival brings bigger crowds, the also-popular Dekmantel pageant is usually the favourite for DJs. There can also be a 10-day classical music pageant Grachtenfestival on town’s canals in August.
Uitmarkt is an opportunity to expertise concert events, theater performances, exhibitions, and musicals. It highlights what’s to return within the subsequent cultural season. While yearly is completely different, you may depend on crucial cultural facilities opening their doorways, avenue performances, and extra.
If you visit Amsterdam in early August, you may’t miss Amsterdam Pride. This city-wide pageant attracts tons of of 1000’s of locals and vacationers each August.
Pride Amsterdam celebrates LGBTQIA+, and is a enjoyable time for everybody. If you will have time, this guided Gay Bar Pub Crawl is successful! Art lovers will respect the Amsterdam International Art Fair, with over 150 exhibitors from all over the world! This August artwork present is for artwork connoisseurs, collectors, or artwork lovers.
While you may spend your days visiting these festivals and occasions, it’s also possible to take one of many many tours around Amsterdam to be taught in regards to the metropolis’s wealthy historical past. This City Canal Cruise enables you to see town’s sights from a ship!
Pros of visiting Amsterdam in August:
- Final month of good climate
- Enjoy the music on the Dekmantel pageant or Uitmarkt
- Appreciate artwork on the Amsterdam International Art Fair
- Attend Pride Amsterdam with different LGBTQIA+ individuals and allies
See Related: Best Cities in the Netherlands to Visit
September to October: Shoulder Season
September is among the hottest months to go to Amsterdam, with fewer crowds and shorter strains at many museums and native sights. Many individuals say that September is one of the best time to go to! However, there are typically temporary showers, so deliver a lightweight rain jacket, like these choices from Patagonia.
One main profit to touring in September – you may typically get extra cheap lodging than within the peak season of the summer time months.
Open Monument Day is in mid-September when guests can freely discover about 4,000 historic buildings throughout the Netherlands. Many of those historic monuments even have particular exhibitions or displays throughout this time.
Every September, town additionally places on its well-known avenue party, the Jordaan Festival. This occasion takes place within the modern Jordaan District with conventional Dutch music and enjoyable.
While the three-day pageant is extra well-liked with residents, anybody is welcome. If you miss the pageant, there are many methods to benefit from the space, together with this awesome food tour in Jordaan.
If you’re not feeling like giant crowds, visit the windmills in Zaanse Schans on a guided e-bike tour or be taught extra about Anne Frank’s legacy with this Anne Frank and World War II Walking Tour.
Pros of visiting Amsterdam in September:
- You should encounter delicate climate
- Visit historic monuments without cost on Open Monument Day
- Sing together with the Dutch music on the Jordaan Festival
October is a improbable time to go to Amsterdam, so long as you don’t thoughts rain showers and a few cooler climate. However, it’s possible you’ll discover that the cooler and wetter Amsterdam climate is definitely worth the decrease costs on lodging and airfare! You’ll additionally discover fewer crowds at well-liked sights and eating places, a serious plus for a lot of vacationers.
If you journey to Amsterdam in October, you’ll discover the leaves altering colour, offering a good looking backdrop alongside the canal. You may also go to Vondelpark, the most important park in Amsterdam, to benefit from the lovely timber alongside the strolling trails and bike paths.
If it’s not raining, you may take pleasure in a bike ride via the park! This guided bike tour through Vondelpark is an superior solution to find out about Amsterdam’s historical past!
The wet climate typically makes vacationers head indoors, whether or not you need to cease at a standard brown cafe for a darkish beer or a coffee store for a Latte and one thing a bit of stronger (notice: it’s authorized for coffee outlets to promote marijuana in Amsterdam). If your curiosity is piqued, this Coffee Shop Tour in the Red Light District is a improbable time (whether or not you select to partake or not).
Because there are fewer vacationers, it’s one of the best time to go to the Rijksmuseum, the place you may see Rembrandt’s Night Watch and different masterpieces. Amsterdam provides many world-class museums, together with the Van Gogh Museum, Willet-Holthuysen Museum, and the Rembrandt House Museum. Buying tickets upfront is at all times a good suggestion, even throughout the slower months.
One of the extra distinctive issues to do in October is to go to the hofjes of Amsterdam. These secret and obscure courtyards are scattered all through town. With the fall foliage at play, the courtyards are simply lovely! If the climate is sweet, this 3-hour bike tour will present you all of Amsterdam’s hidden gems and courtyards!
While Halloween isn’t an official Dutch vacation, many individuals have fun it simply the identical, with costumes, events, and even ghost looking. You may also do enjoyable issues like go to the Cat Cafe (I imply, cats are a witch’s finest good friend!), play an interactive spooky game on your phone listening to the haunted stories of Amsterdam, or take a moonlit stroll down Prinsengracht.
Pros of visiting Amsterdam in October:
- Weather is cooler
- Beautiful fall leaves are altering colour
- Accommodations and airfare are a lot lower than in the summertime months
- Halloween actions throughout town
- Museums are a lot much less crowded
See Related: Tips for Riding a Bike in Amsterdam
November and December: Low Season
November is among the finest instances to go to Amsterdam in the event you’re in search of budget-friendly airfare and lodging. While it’s the start of the colder months, many indoor sights will maintain you heat and comfortable. Dark and freezing days could make November pretty disagreeable, however in the event you’re keen to courageous the chilly, this can be a nice time to go to.
While it’s possible you’ll not consider taking a cruise when it’s chilly, there are a lot of boats which can be geared for chilly climate. Seeing the sights from the canals of Amsterdam is a good looking expertise, particularly when the Amsterdam Light Festival begins.
It’s additionally the start of the festive season, with St. Nickolas’ arrival by boat marking the beginning of the Christmas season. Sinterklaas travels to Amsterdam from his dwelling in Spain in mid-November, bringing treats and presents for the Dutch youngsters. The subsequent day there may be often a parade via town.
You may also take a guided tour of the Heineken Factory in Amsterdam to be taught the secrets and techniques of this world-famous model (and luxuriate in a pint or two when you’re there). If you need to expertise three native breweries, this Craft Beer & Brewery Tour can be proper up your alley!
November can also be dwelling to PAN Amsterdam, the premier artwork and vintage present. You can discover all the things from antiques to up to date artistic endeavors right here. The truthful attracts roughly 50,000 guests yearly.
Pros of visiting Amsterdam in November:
- Amsterdam Light Festival begins
- City has a comfy (gezelling) ambiance
- Watch for Saint Nickolas’ arrival at Sinterklaas Intocht
- Great time to attain offers on lodge rooms and airfare
- Shorter strains and fewer crowds
- Shop for antiques and different artistic endeavors at PAN Amsterdam
While December is a chilly month in Amsterdam, it doesn’t often snow. As lengthy as you’re okay with brisk and dreary climate (often within the 30s), you’ll discover December a great time to travel!
With the Christmas holidays approaching, there are many Christmas markets to enjoy, such because the Funky Xmas Market, Pure Market Winter Market, and Ice Village. These markets are the right place to buy presents but additionally heat up with mulled wine (glühwein) and Dutch doughnuts (oliebollen). If you don’t know the place to start out, this private and customized Christmas tour will present your group the entire metropolis’s finest Christmas occasions!
The Amsterdam Light Festival is throughout city, and you may take a guided tour of all the lights or stroll round to see what number of installations you may spot.
Kids and adults will love ice skating at Rembrandtplein because it’s not chilly sufficient in December to go ice skating on the canals (that usually occurs in February!). Then take pleasure in festive Dutch treats, equivalent to a windmill cookie (speculaas) or fruit bread (kerstol).
Families may also love the Christmas Tree lighting in Dam Square with the Royal Palace as a backdrop. New Year’s Eve can also be a enjoyable custom with celebrations throughout city, together with Nieuwmarkt, Rembrandtplein, Dam Square, and Leidseplein.
Pros of visiting Amsterdam in December:
- Budget-friendly lodging and airfare
- Few crowds on the museums and different sights
- Beautiful surroundings with twinkling lights on the Amsterdam Light Festival
- Shopping on the Amsterdam Christmas markets
- New Year’s Eve celebrations
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