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The Netherlands



Amsterdam's stunning architecture, friendly locals, and cultural activities speak to the true essence of this European city. Full of free-spirited locals, Amsterdam is infamous for its tolerance of vice, and Amsterdam's red light district and designated "coffeeshops" may appear to outshine everything else the city has to offer. But visitors to Amsterdam are likely to leave remembering the beauty of this city on the water. With more canals than Venice, Amsterdam is the perfect place to soak up the charm of an old European city. To experience the city like locals, visitors can rent a bike and pedal up and down the streets and take in the 17th century architecture. During the winter, residents trade in wheels for blades and ice skate in public rinks and even on canals when they freeze over. Other things to do in Amsterdam include exploring the different neighborhoods, which each have something unique to offer. In Dam Square, one of Amsterdam's oldest districts, visitors can marvel at the Royal Palace, the Nieuwe Kerk, and the Beurs van Berlage, which had a major influence on modern architecture in the Netherlands. In the Nine Streets area, tourists can satisfy their craving for trendsetting fashion or for tasty cuisine at the many unique shops and restaurants. Amsterdam has no shortage of enriching activities, and the city celebrates its multiculturalism with many museums. The Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum, and Ann Frank House are only a few of the many options. And since the city is one of the safest in the world, guests can feel comfortable strolling around the streets to their favorite destinations. As a major tourist site, finding flights to Amsterdam should be an easy task.

When To Go

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

Weather Information

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.

Crowd Information

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.

Closure Information

Most hotels, shops, and attractions remain open year-round.

Other Information

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