Throughout the year Amsterdam gets visited for different reasons. Some people are looking for the low season because it will be less touristy and hotels should become cheaper. Others would be looking for the cold, to try on their winter clothes and experience winter. Throughout the year there are 4 different seasons, and these seasons make Amsterdam magical in its own way. Find out when is the best time to visit Amsterdam.
Interesting fact: Amsterdam received 19 Million tourists in 2018 (source: dw.com 2019 ) and more in 2019. Expected is to have almost 30 Million a year by 2025!
When is the low season?
The low season for Amsterdam kicks in around November. As it starts getting colder, too cold for some (it’s not even that cold), the prices of the hotels also drop. With fewer tourists coming, you’d think the lines will disappear for some of the museums or any other activity. Well, sometimes there are still lines (even when it rains), and Amsterdam does still seem crowded despite being a low season with the least amount of visits of the year.
When is the high season?
During July and August when most have a vacation, is when Amsterdam is the busiest time of the year. Besides that most people have a vacation during these times, it’s also the best weather possible for a vacation here. Great weather to just sit on a terrace with a drink and look at what’s going on, or to take a canal tour in an open boat.
Winter is between 22 December and 20 March. The temperature from the last few years has been between -5 (minus five) to 7 degrees Celcius in Amsterdam during the winter. Some nights it might freeze but it isn’t the same as a decade or more ago when the canals would just freeze. During the winter the least amount of the people come to Amsterdam because of the cold weather mostly. During winter it gets dark very fast and light feels scarce.
What special can you do when you visit in the winter?
- Christmas market + ice skating on their artificial ring/track
- Amsterdam Light Festival
Spring is between 20 March and 20 June. It’s always much better after a gloomy winter when the light starts to shine bright again. The temperature varies between 2-20 degrees Celcius during Spring. Many flowers start to bloom during this season. For a lot of people, this is could be the best time to visit Amsterdam.
Special activities when you visit in Spring
- Keukenhof, the fields of tulips (March 20 -May 22)
- Kingsnight & Kingsday (26-27 April)
- Tulip Festival (April)
- Remembrance and Liberation Day (4-5 May)
Summer is between 20 June – September 22 and its the best weather. The temperature varies between 20-30+ degrees Celcius. It can become very warm but the sun shines bright in this place only for a few months per year. This is the busiest time of the year for Amsterdam as most of the tourists concentrate on coming during the summer. A nice walk through the city will mostly consist of dodging fellow tourists. Tip: Walk with some water around if you plan to be outside for a while and keep hydrated. Also buying tickets in advance and online where possible prevents you from being stuck in any line.
Special activities when you visit in Summer
- Pride 2020 (July 25 and August 2)
- Amsterdam Dance and Music Festivals
- Kwaku Festival
- Go to Bloemendaal Beach full of clubs
- Sail 2020 (This is extra special since it’s once every 5 years! August 12-16)
from Sail 2015
The temperature of early autumn is still very good during the days. But as we are nearing Winter it does get colder. Expect between 20-4 degrees Celcius. What I like about Autumn is that the colors of the leaves from trees make all kinds of different colors from yellow to brown to different shades of red. 22 September – 22 December
Special activities when you visit in Autumn
- In November ice skating ring opens at Museum Plein (Museum Square).
- Amsterdam Dance Event, biggest EDM event. Read more at Amsterdam Dance and Music Festivals
Why is it that during low season it still seems so crowded?
During low season the tourists that are in Amsterdam concentrate in one place: The City center. So during walks, it would seem like it’s still a very busy city. True as this is, there are also a lot fewer tourists concentrated throughout the rest of the city.
When is the best time to visit Amsterdam
It is really up to you what you want to experience and do in Amsterdam. Don’t come in spring and expect the leaves to fall from the trees. Many of the special activities have already set a date and there other things to do in Amsterdam that are available throughout the year. Just bring the right clothes for whenever you would come, and some extra just in case it rains.
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