How to deal with Dutch weather and enjoy each season in Amsterdam
If you are planning to visit or live in the Netherlands, you might wonder what the weather and climate are like in this northern European country. The Netherlands has a moderate maritime climate, which means that it has mild summers and winters, and plenty of rain and wind throughout the year. The weather can also be very unpredictable and changeable, so you need to be prepared for any situation and dress up like an "onion" in order to be able to put or remove layer of clothes according to the variation of the weather. :-) In this article, we will give you some tips and advice on how to deal with the weather and seasons in the Netherlands, and enjoy your stay in this beautiful and diverse country.
Spring is a lovely time to visit the Netherlands, as the nature comes alive with colorful flowers, green grass, and budding trees. The famous tulip season is in full bloom in mid-April, and you can admire the stunning fields of flowers in different regions of the country. The temperature starts to rise gradually, from an average of 9°C (48°F) in March to 17°C (63°F) in May. However, spring can also be quite rainy and windy, so you should always have an umbrella or a raincoat handy. Some of the things you can do in spring in the Netherlands are:
- Visit the Keukenhof Gardens, the largest flower park in the world, where you can see millions of tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, and other flowers.
- Celebrate King’s Day on April 27th, the national holiday that honors the birthday of King Willem-Alexander. You can join the festive crowds wearing orange clothes and accessories, enjoy live music and street markets, and party all day and night.
- Explore Amsterdam by bike or boat, and enjoy the sunny days and the charming canals. You can also visit some of the famous museums, such as the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, or the Anne Frank House.
- Go on a day trip to one of the picturesque towns or villages nearby, such as Haarlem, Delft, Utrecht, or Zaanse Schans. You can admire the historic architecture, the windmills, the cheese markets, and the local culture.
Summer is the warmest and sunniest season in the Netherlands, but also the busiest and most expensive one. The temperature ranges from 18°C (64°F) to 22°C (72°F), but it can sometimes get hotter or cooler depending on the weather conditions. The days are long and bright, with up to 16 hours of daylight in June. The summer is also a popular time for festivals, concerts, and outdoor activities. However, summer can also be quite humid and rainy, especially in July and August. Some of the things you can do in summer in the Netherlands are:
- Enjoy the parks and lakes around Amsterdam: Twiske and Amsterdamse bos are certainly two beautiful parks where you can enjoy the weather, have long walks and also have a refreshing swim.
- Party your ass off at Amsterdam Pride. Enjoy the Canal Parade, the highlight of the event, where decorated boats sail along the canals. After that, participate some street parties around the whole city. The event promotes LGBTQ+ visibility, equality, acceptance and attracts both locals and international visitors.
- Enjoy the beach and the sea at one of the many coastal towns or islands along the North Sea. You can swim, surf, sunbathe, or relax at one of the beach bars or cafes. Some of the best places to go are Scheveningen, Zandvoort, Texel, or Terschelling.
- Experience some of the cultural events and festivals that take place during summer. You can listen to live music at Pinkpop, Lowlands, or North Sea Jazz Festival; watch movies under the stars at Pluk de Nacht; or celebrate Pride Amsterdam with a colorful parade on the canals.
- Discover some of the natural wonders and landscapes of the Netherlands. You can hike or bike through the national parks, such as De Hoge Veluwe or De Biesbosch; visit some of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, such as Kinderdijk or Schokland; or enjoy some of the scenic lakes and rivers, such as IJsselmeer or Maas.
- Try some of the delicious food and drinks that are typical of summer in the Netherlands. You can taste some fresh seafood, such as herring or mussels; indulge in some ice cream or stroopwafels; or sip some cold beer or jenever.
Autumn is a transitional season in the Netherlands, with changing colors and temperatures. The temperature drops from an average of 18°C (64°F) in September to 9°C (48°F) in November. The days get shorter and darker, with only one hour of sunshine in December. The autumn is also a wet and windy season, with October being the rainiest month of the year. Some of the things you can do in autumn in the Netherlands are:
- Enjoy some cozy indoor activities at one of the many museums, galleries, or theaters that offer cultural and educational entertainment. Every year, on the first Saturday of November, join the Museum night. One ticket gives unlimited access all night to museums in Amsterdam with exciting events and parties at almost 60 locations throughout the city.
- Join one or more parties during ADE, the Amsterdam Dance Event. It is an annual electronic music conference and festival that takes place in October. ADE is considered one of the largest and most important global gatherings for electronic music professionals, DJs, producers, and enthusiasts. It is a significant event for networking, discovering new talent, and enjoying electronic music in Amsterdam.
- Celebrate some of the traditional and festive events and holidays that take place during autumn. You can join the fun and excitement of Halloween, Sint Maarten, or Sinterklaas; or enjoy some of the delicious food and drinks that are associated with these occasions, such as pumpkin soup, candy, or pepernoten.
- Experience some of the seasonal attractions and activities that are available in autumn. You can go on a mushroom hunt in the woods, pick some apples or pears at a local orchard, or visit some of the theme parks or zoos that offer special events and discounts.
- Try some of the warm and hearty food and drinks that are perfect for autumn in the Netherlands. You can sample some of the traditional dishes, such as stamppot, erwtensoep, or hutspot;
Winter is the coldest and darkest season in the Netherlands, but also the most festive and magical one. The temperature ranges from 1°C (34°F) to 6°C (43°F), but it can sometimes drop below zero or rise above 10°C (50°F). The days are short and gloomy, with only 8 hours of daylight in January. The winter is also a snowy and icy season, with occasional snowfall and frost. Some of the things you can do in winter in the Netherlands are:
Visit the Amsterdam Light Festival which is held annually in winter. It is a festival that celebrates the art of light and illumination in a unique and creative way. During the festival, the city's canals, streets, and landmarks are transformed into a stunning open-air exhibition featuring light installations, sculptures, and projections created by local and international artists. The festival typically takes place from late November to mid-January, spanning the holiday season. The artworks are strategically placed along the canals, creating a captivating and enchanting atmosphere for both residents and visitors.
Enjoy some ice skating at one of the many ice rinks that are available in the country.
Celebrate some of the festive and joyful events and holidays that take place during winter. You can join the celebrations of Christmas, New Year’s Eve, or Valentine’s Day; or enjoy some of the decorations, lights, and markets that create a cozy and romantic atmosphere.
- Try some of the sweet and spicy food and drinks that are typical of winter in the Netherlands. You can taste some of the seasonal treats, such as oliebollen, appelflappen, or speculaas; or warm up with some hot chocolate, glühwein, or bisschopswijn.
As you can see, the weather and seasons in the Netherlands are diverse and interesting, and there is always something to do and enjoy in this country. No matter what time of the year you visit or live in the Netherlands, you can always find some activities and events that suit your preferences and needs. And if you are looking for some company and support, you can always join the AIC community, where you can meet other expats and have a wonderful time. Some of the things you can do with AIC are:
- Join one or more AIC events which are held weekly along the whole year.
- Join one of the AIC recommended partners, such as restaurants or bars, where you can have a great time with other expats. You can also enjoy some delicious food and drinks, and have fun conversations.
- Join one of the AIC trips or outdoor activities, where you can explore some of the beautiful places and sights in the Netherlands or nearby countries. You can also meet other expats and have a great time together.
We hope this article has given you some useful information and tips on how to deal with the weather and seasons in the Netherlands, and how to make the most of your expat life in this amazing country. We look forward to seeing you at one of our AIC events soon!