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When to visit the Netherlands

by SmarterTravel Staff

Weather in the Netherlands varies significantly from season to season. And even though the warmest weather occurs in the busy summer months, any time of the year can be a good time to visit. Spring is very popular with visitors coming to see the famous tulips. In winter, frozen canals provide the perfect venue for ice-skating. Although fall is generally cool and rainy, it's one of the best times to find low prices. No matter what, always carry an umbrella as rain can happen at any moment, even in summer.

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  • high season: late April to August, December
  • low season: October to November, January to March
  • shoulder season: September, early April

Weather Information

Temperatures in the summer average 70 degrees, with rain falling sporadically throughout the day. June is the ideal time to visit due to longer days and lighter rains. Winter can be chilly, especially between January and February, and the rivers and canals may freeze. In spring, the famous bulb flowers are in full bloom. The best time to see tulips is during the last two weeks of April and the first two weeks of May. The weather is still cool, but can be pleasantly sunny.

Crowd Information

The tulips, blooming in late April through May, attract large crowds of people from around the world. School vacations, particularly during summer but also during spring and fall, are a popular time for families visiting from within Holland and from surrounding countries like Germany. Queen's Day in April is a popular national holiday in Holland when millions of Dutch take part in the celebration, particulary in Amsterdam.

Closure Information

Most hotels, shops, and attractions remain open all year. Keukenhof, famous landscape garden for bulb flowers, is only open from late March through the third week of May. Some sights, like the Royal Delft factory, time their extended high-season hours with the opening of Keukenhof. Other times of the year, places might be closed on Sunday or hours may be reduced. In smaller towns like Delft, shops might close on Sundays throughout much of the year.

When to Save

The best prices are offered for travel from mid-September through mid-November and January through March. Prices are the highest, and hotels fill up early during April through August and the December holidays.

When to Book

It's possible to get good deals in advance and at the last minute, but waiting to find a last-minute deal can be risky. Advance booking is the safest way to secure a room and possibly save money, especially for those traveling during the high season. For airfare, it's a good idea to book at least four to six weeks in advance.

Information provided by the Netherlands Board of Tourism and Conventions.

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