Amsterdam, fondly known as the city of canals is one of the prettiest cities in Europe with an unparalleled artistic heritage. A favourite amongst most travellers, Amsterdam makes for a great destination year round. However, the months of April and May right before summertime and period of September to November just before the onset of winter, happen to be the best times to visit the city. If you're planning a trip to Amsterdam, here's all you should know before you book your flight tickets!
Best time to Visit Amsterdam - Know Before You Plan Your Trip
Best Time for Sightseeing in Amsterdam
Months of April and May and September to November, the time just before and after summer is great for sightseeing with fewer tourists around.
Best Time for Backpackers in Amsterdam
Cold winter months of December and January with few tourists and fabulous deals are good for backpackers on a shoestring budget.
Best Time for Honeymooners in Amsterdam
November to April is great for honeymooners though the weather is cold as the city is blanketed in romance with the added advantage of shoulder season.
Best Time For Experiencing The Local Festivals in Amsterdam
Amsterdam has an active social calendar through the year, but April is the most sought after month with the tulip festival, film festival and many others.
Amsterdam Through The Year
- High Season in Amsterdam Summer months of April to September are considered to be high season for Amsterdam. A high influx of tourists start around the renowned Keukenhof Tulip Festival in mid April and goes on for the next few months. Weather during summers is pleasant with occasional heavy rain. The whole city comes to life as people flock the parks, beaches, canals and cafes. You have to be prepared for long queues for the top attractions of the town.
- Shoulder Season in Amsterdam During the months of March and September to November, the tourist season starts waning. Weather gets more unpredictable but its still not too cold. Those looking for good bargains and discounts on bookings should plan a trip during this period. There is an additional benefit of not having to jostle around with huge crowds giving you more time to soak up the vibrant vibe of the city.
- Low Season in Amsterdam Packed with a number of events and festivals throughout the year, Amsterdam hardly sees a low season. However, months from November through mid-December and mid-January through February are the so called low season in Amsterdam. Grey and gloomy skies, cold snowy weather and spurts of rain are characteristic of winters in Amsterdam, not the most attractive weather to be up and about. However, for those who enjoy layering themselves with warm woollens and sipping on mugs of hot chocolate will absolutely love the Amsterdam winters.
Best Season To Visit Amsterdam
Amsterdam In Spring
After a prolonged spell of chill, Spring brings out the best in Amsterdam and its countryside. The tulip season runs from mid March to early May, pulling in thousands from around the world to see the famous Dutch buds. If you're planning your visit around this time, make sure you visit the Keukenhof Gardens to witness the best bloom of tulips.
Amsterdam In Summer
Summer is the time people look forward to some warm sunshine, and pleasant weather, though it is also marked by occasional heavy rainfall. Lounge on the beach or a terrace, enjoy a boat cruise along the canals, rejoice the umpteen festivals organised in summers, or simply plan a picnic in a park.
Amsterdam In Autumn
With shorter days, a nip in the air, red and orange leafed trees lining up the roads and golden leaves paving the paths, Amsterdam airs a magical charm during autumn. There is a calm coziness in the streets, parks and canals after the bustling summers. With a plethora of cultural events planned for fall, Amsterdam is a treat during the autumn months.
Amsterdam In Winter
If you love winters there's no better place than Amsterdam. This fairy tale like city twinkling with a white blanket of soft snow looks straight out of a postcard. Festive fairs, snow activities and gourmet food galore adds to the charm. Evenings are all the more dazzling with the Amsterdam light festival adorning the canals with magical fairy lights and cozy cafes humming with live music.
Weather In Amsterdam Year Round
The weather in Amsterdam year round has been charted on a graph below. The Highs are depicted in red and the Lows in blue.
A Month-By-Month Guide To Visiting Amsterdam
Follow our detailed guide to pick a month for your Amsterdam exploits.
Amsterdam In January
Average Temperature: 1°C to 6°C
Though it one of the coldest months of the year, January is also impregnated with post holiday calm. Tourists are sparse around this time of the year, yet the spirits are live and kicking! Bars and nightclubs gear up for a cosier time, museums are at their best with exciting exhibitions, indoor activities swell up and there a number of events to look forward to. The city is beautifully illuminated with colourful lights owing to an ethreal January. Ice skating on the frozen canals of Amsterdam is an experience you must sign up for if you're visiting Amsterdam in January.
Amsterdam In February
Average Temperature: -0.5°C to 6°C
February is the coldest and driest month of the year in Amsterdam. However, the city is buzzing with indoor events and activities taking you to theatres, cinemas, museums etc; each offering something unique and entertaining. There can not be better place than Amsterdam to spend Valentine's day! The city also has lots to offer for music and festival enthusiasts during the month of February. VanGogh Museum, Anne Frank House, Hermitage Amsterdam, Huis Marseille Photography Museum and many others run exclusive exhibits through the month. Grab a warm cuppa and spend your time indoors in during the snow clad month of February.
Recommended Experiences in Amsterdam during Winters
Amsterdam In March
Average Temperature: 17°C to 9°C
Spring is rearing its head in Amsterdam In March, and the temperatures are beginning to rise. The weather is pleasantly mild, without the winter chill, and is perfect for walking without struggling with humidity. The downside is that the sea is still too cold for a comfortable swim! The city is gearing up for festivities of Sant Medir, St. Joseph Oriol, and Saint Patricks. All the festivals call for public celebration with drinks, food, and merriment! Public events like Rally Amsterdam-Sitges, Amsterdam Marathon and International Beer Festival make sure everyone comes together for a good time!
Amsterdam In April
Average Temperature: 4°Cto 13°C
With spring in full bloom, the month of April is delightfully warm and pleasant in Amsterdam. The skies are clear, bringing forth the locals and tourists outside their cosy winter hideaways towards the canals, streets, parks and cafe patios. The canals are no more frozen, so the city's famed canal cruises are back on track. April marks the beginning of the tulip bloom in Amsterdam, subsequently marking the beginning of tourist season. Millions flock to the Keukenhof flower garden outside of Amsterdam and you should too! Get together with the locals and enjoy the festivities of Easter, Semana Santa and the King’s Day lavish celebrations in April. If you're a museum buff, the National Museum Week with exclusive exhibitions and workshops can be an exciting affair!
Amsterdam In May
Average Temperature: 7.2°C to 17°C
May brings with it lots of sunshine, warmth and cheer to the city of Amsterdam. Outdoor activities are galore and the squares, parks and canals are packed with locals and tourists alike. May marks the official high tourist season for Amsterdam with hordes of tourists swarming the city. While at one hand it may mean higher rates for bookings, longer queues and less calm, the crowds bring with them an electrifying energy. With some smart planning you can definitely enjoy the city to its fullest. A number of music festivals like Liberation Pop, London Calling, Moulin Blues International Blues & Roots Festival and others await you in May.
Recommended Experiences in Amsterdam during Summer
Amsterdam In June
Average Temperature: 10°C to 20°C
The warm and relatively dry month of June is breezy and cheery. Clear blue skies and summer blooms make Amsterdam a heavenly paradise for all kinds of travelers. Canals bustling with cruises and lined with gabled houses, make a mesmerising sight. June brings with it a busy social calendar with open air music festivals like the Holland festival gracing the summery air with peppy music. Open Garden Days welcomes the public into the backyards of more than 25 of the finest canal houses in town and the Aalsmeer Flower Festival celebrates summer blooms alongside music performances, street theatre, and a variety of refreshments. Summer is in the air and so is the cheer!
Amsterdam In July
Average Temperature: 11.7°C to 21.7°C
July sees a lot of sunshine and warmth and hence no respite from the tourists. However, this just means a little more rush and waiting time at various attractions. Grab an Amsterdam City Card and you're good to skip the ardous queues outside most attractions, allowing you to make the most of your time in the city. This month sees a lot of exciting events of the calendar - The Amsterdam International Fashion Week for vogue enthusiasts, Amsterdam Roots Festival for music enthusiasts, Comedytrain International Summer Festival and a lot more to keep you thoroughly entertained.
Amsterdam In August
Average Temperature: 12°C to 22°C
August marks the end of summer, however the temperatures are still mild and warm with sporadic bouts of rainfall. The summer vibes are still in spirits allowing you to explore the city and its neighbouring countryside to the fullest. Beaches sport a cheery crowd as the weather is ideal for water sports. The cultural calendar is packed with several annual music festivals, open air concerts and performances. Pride Amsterdam is on its last leg flaunting all the colours of the rainbow for the LGBTQIA community. The excitement peaks during the first week of August when the Canal Pride Parade takes place along the historic Amsterdam Canals where the world converges to celebrate Pride!
Recommended Experiences in Amsterdam during Summer
Amsterdam In September
Average Temperature: 10.5°C to 19°C
September even though a part of shoulder season, is a great time to visit Amsterdam. Weather is still mild and you have the additional perk of thinner crowds and lower travel costs. The city is still booming with outdoor events like rooftop parties, outdoor film screenings, food and drink festivals and much more. This month sees a few famous festivals like the Nederlands Theater Festival, Amsterdam Fringe Festival, Open Monument Day, Barrel Organ Festival and Amsterdam Wine Festival. Towards the end of September you will witness the trees transitioning from green to golden, marking the beginning of autumn.
Amsterdam In October
Average Temperature: 7°C to 15°C
Those who like a chilly nip in the air should visit Amsterdam in October. The tourist hordes have finally headed home and you can expect better rates, shorter queues and tranquil surroundings. Autumn brings with it a magical change as the trees fringing the cobbled streets and canals adorn themselves in hues of golden, orange and red foliage. With October officially marking the low season, get a chance to explore the famous museums of Amsterdam including the Van Gogh museum and Anne Frank House in quiet contemplation. If you're looking for outdoorsy things during the month, you have the Amsterdam Dance Event and PINT Bokbier Festival to keep you entertained.
Recommended Experiences in Amsterdam during Autumn
Amsterdam In November
Average Temperature: 4°C to 10°C
Amsterdam starts getting cold in November with frequent rains and shorter days. With a negligible influx of tourists, you have the whole city to yourself. Bars and cafes settle down for cosier indoor settings and museums have special exhibits to keep you glued indoors. The arrival of Sinterklaas, the Dutch Santa Claus around mid-November lends a festive air to the city. Museumnacht, the annual museum night gives you a one of a kind chance to museum hop through the night! November is quiet on the outdoors, but happening indoors; so layer up and head out.
Amsterdam In December
Average Temperature: 0.5°C to 5.5°C
Amsterdam in December is one of the coldest and rainiest months indeed but the festivity of Christmas markets with beautifully lit up canal houses are worth braving the chill. The city squares are thriving with holiday markets and the canals freeze into stunning ice skating rinks. Museums have stellar exhibits on display and live performances take over the city. A number of winter festivals and events like Tango Train - the Tango Music festival the stunning Amsterdam Light Festival, Christmas and NewYear Eve’s celebrations keep the spirits high afloat through the constant snow in December.
With endless experiences waiting for you, exploring Amsterdam in a day can be challenging. From identifying must-see experiences to getting around the city, there’s plenty to plan! Here’s where we come into play: Our one day Amsterdam itinerary has been crafted to ensure you discover the best parts of this city without worrying about time.
Get the complete 1 Day in Amsterdam itinerary here. Our guide takes you through the most popular attractions and offers the best transport and travel tips.
If you're planning a longer stay at Amsterdam, take a look below to chalk out a plan that ensures you cover everything there is to see!