With a temperate and sometimes moody climate, Amsterdam experiences seasonal variations that differ from year to year. However, there are certain constants that attract visitors year-round. The most popular times to visit are the spring, summer, and the Christmas holidays.
Blooming tulips attract visitors in April and May and schools are on vacation from July through August. Festivals are also a major draw, and many of the most popular events happen during the warmer months. Although winters can be chilly, you will also find fewer visitors and lower prices, as well as ice skating along the canals (depending on the weather). Fall can be a particularly nice time to visit for fairly decent weather and reduced prices.
- high season: April to August, December
- low season: October to November, January to mid-March
- shoulder season: September, mid-March to late March
Summer high temperatures average 69 degrees, with rain falling sporadically throughout the day. June through August is an ideal time to visit due to longer days and lighter rains. Winter temperatures drop, 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.
Amsterdam also celebrates many annual events that attract large crowds, such as Queen's Day in April, the Holland Festival in May and June, and the Canal Festival in August. The tulips, blooming from late April through May, bring people from around the world. School vacations, particularly during summer but also during spring and fall, are popular times for families visiting from within Holland and from surrounding countries like Germany.
Museums are less crowded from October through March, except during the December holidays. The best time to visit the Anne Frank House to avoid long lines is after 5 p.m., especially during dinner time.
Most hotels, shops, and attractions remain open year-round.
Always carry an umbrella, even in summer, as you never know when rain clouds may appear.
When to Save
The best time to save money is from mid-September through mid-November and January through March. Prices rise between April and August and the December holidays.
Information provided by the Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions.