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What is the Best Time to Visit Amsterdam?

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What is the Best Time to Visit Amsterdam?

Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands, is one of the most popular tourist cities in Europe. And with good reason too – it has stunning canals, beautiful parks, vibrant culture and the iconic squat buildings. So when is the best time of year to visit Amsterdam?

The Short Answer

The best time to visit Amsterdam (as with most European cities) is from April to October. The city is generally warm and sunny but the nights can be cool so it’s best to layer up and have a few different options for different weather. During this time you’ll experience events like the Koningsdag (King’s Day – a huge festival throughout the city) and one of the world’s most impressive Pride parades.

Weather Throughout the Year

During the winter months (November – March) temperatures can get down to an average of around 4°C but the rain adds an extra layer of dampness so it can feel much colder. Some snow sometimes falls in January or February, although this isn’t particularly common. Most attractions are open, but crowds are thin and you may find that some museums, cafés and restaurants in smaller areas are closed for the season.

After May, temperatures start to heat up and most days should exceed 20°C from June until September. This is peak tourist season and it can get quite busy with long queues for attractions and a shortage of accommodation options. Hotels mainly cater for corporate guests rather than tourists over these months.

April and May, as well as late October, provide a happy medium – decent weather but less crowded streets and more reasonably priced accommodation.

Rainfall and Sunshine

Amsterdam gets most of its rain in the winter months but there’s still a chance of rain in the summer months – especially July, on average the city sees rainfall across 30 days out of each month. April to June are generally quite sunny but come July,clouds roll in and don’t really clear until September.

Choose the Best Time for You

The key to choosing the best time to visit Amsterdam is considering what you want to see and do while you’re there, as well as what type of experience you’re after. If you want to be able to take part in some of its annual events like Koningsdag and Amsterdam Pride then arrange your visit for between April and June. But if you just want to explore the city’s attractions, soak up its culture and enjoy a few relaxed evenings in bars and restaurants then book for around September or October.

Getting Around

Amsterdam has pretty good public transport links, so it’s important to factor in how easy it will be to get around the city during your stay. From June onwards you can expect longer queues at railway stations, as well as a surcharge imposed on certain routes over peak times – such as evening rush hour. If you get to Amsterdam by train through booking sites like NS International, then you have the option to get around the city using an NS-Business Card (which comes with your ticket). This allows you to use public transport with one card, without needing to buy separate tickets or top up accessories like OV-Chip cards.


When choosing the best time to visit Amsterdam, there isn’t a specifically wrong or right answer – it all depends on your own personal preference. But generally speaking the ideal time of year for visiting would be April to October when temperatures are warmer, but not too hot. During this period there’s also plenty of festivals and events in the city, meaning there’s something for everyone. However, if your primary focus is exploring Amsterdam’s attractions then perhaps plan your visit for a little later in the year – when crowds are thinner and prices more reasonable.

An Insider’s Guide to Amsterdam: Beyond the Tourist Spots

When it comes to Amsterdam, most people immediately think of visiting the Van Gogh Museum or walking through the Red Light District. However, as a local, I know there is so much more to experience in our city. Here are some of my favorite hidden spots and unique experiences that only locals would know:

Local Attractions: Off the Beaten Path

To truly experience Amsterdam, embrace the city’s love for “gezelligheid”, which roughly translates to a sense of belonging and coziness. Visit the picturesque Jordaan neighborhood, where the street markets and cozy cafes are frequented by locals. Take a stroll through the Waterlooplein Flea Market or the Nieuwmarkt Square, where you can find quirky vintage treasures and locally made goods.

For a unique experience, rent a bike and explore the lesser-known areas of Amsterdam like NDSM Wharf, a former industrial site that is now a cultural hub with street art, bars, and restaurants. Visit the Amsterdam-Noord district to enjoy a beautiful view of the city skyline from the top of A’DAM Tower.

Dining Spots: Discover Local Cuisine

Dutch cuisine is often overlooked, but it is definitely worth trying. Taste traditional Amsterdam delicacies like ‘haring’ (raw herring), ‘stroopwafels’ (caramel waffles), and ‘poffertjes’ (mini pancake balls) at local food markets or specialty shops like Van Wonderen Stroopwafels or the Fish Stand.

For a unique dining experience, book a table at De Kas, a farm-to-table restaurant that sources its produce from its own greenhouse. Or, visit the trendy Neighbourhood Cafe for drinks and small bites in a stylish and cozy ambiance.

Cultural Experiences: Unveiling Local Traditions

Amsterdam is known for its liberal attitudes, but there are also many cultural traditions that are deeply ingrained in the city’s history. Take a stroll through the Bloemenmarkt, the world’s only floating flower market, where tulip bulbs and flowers have been sold for centuries.

For a unique cultural experience, visit the traditional brown cafes, such as Cafe Chris or Cafe Brandon, for a beer or a jenever (a Dutch gin) and learn about the city’s local drinking culture.

Local History: Fascinating Stories

Amsterdam has a rich history that is often overlooked. Visit the Begijnhof, an enclosed courtyard with historic houses and a hidden church. Learn about the history of the Dutch East India Company at the Amsterdam Museum, and walk through the corridors of the Oude Kerk, the oldest church in Amsterdam, dating back to the 13th century.

For a unique historical experience, visit the Rembrandt House Museum, where the famous painter lived and worked, and where you can see his drawings and etchings.

Off-the-Beaten-Path Suggestions: Unique Experiences

Looking for something truly unique? Explore the Amsterdam canals in a traditional boat, known as a “sloep”, or see the city from above in a hot air balloon. Rent a kayak and explore the waterways of Amsterdam, or visit the hidden courtyard of the Museum Van Loon for a peaceful retreat in the heart of the city.

To really immerse yourself in Amsterdam’s culture, try a “Dutch circle party”, where you sit in a circle and drink beer while singing traditional Dutch songs.

In conclusion, Amsterdam is a city full of hidden treasures and unique experiences waiting to be discovered. Escape the tourist crowds and experience the city like a local, indulging in local delicacies, visiting lesser-known attractions, and discovering the many cultural traditions that make this city so special.

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What is the Best Time to Visit Amsterdam?

Experience Adventure Like Never Before: Book Your Tour Today!