Amsterdam is enjoyable at any time of the year however here is our guide to when is the best time to go to Amsterdam throughout the year.
To truly immerse yourself in Amsterdam life, it is best to appreciate both the pleasures of the day and the playfulness of the night in order to understand just what makes the Dutch tick.
By day, the city beckons with its gabled buildings, elegant museums and canals, atmospheric neighbourhoods, delicious markets and laid-back lifestyle. By night, the Dutch capital can take on a different vibe as the notorious Red Light District brings out the – ahem – edgier members of society.
Why visit Amsterdam in the Spring
If crowds bother you get there in April and May. There are mild temperatures with an average high of 55°F (12.8°C), less traffic, longer days, and the bonus at this time is that the city’s famous tulips are in bloom. Don’t miss a visit to the wonderful Keukenhof Gardens in Lisse which comes alive with blooming flowers. Bear in mind that April is also when the city hosts its most popular national festival – King’s Day (Koningsdag) on April 27th. The celebrations last for three days and at this time the city is ablaze with color, crowds, festivities and you will find booking a hotel a bit tricky.
Why visit Amsterdam in the Summer
Summer months are the hottest, busiest and the most expensive time to visit Amsterdam. The hottest month is August which has an average high of 72°F (22°C). But on the other hand this is also prime festival time. There more than 300 festivals happening every year all over the city and most happen in the summer months. Many go swimming in the open air specially designated swimming areas while others set up their BBQs in the city’s park.
Why visit Amsterdam in the Autumn
In September, October and November temperatures are mild, 66°F (19°C) and 49°F (9.4°C), and even if it gets a little chilly, you can enjoy a cosy cafe for some refuge and it’s easy to explore both the canals and the museums. At this time the hotel prices are more reasonable.
Why visit Amsterdam in the Winter
Winter months are when the hotel and airfares plummet but so do the temperatures. The city may well be covered in snow, however during this time there is the annual Amsterdam Light Show that beautify the canals and the buildings that hem them. Sometimes the canals freeze up to the point that they can be used as ice rinks. There is a lovely ice rink that pops up outside the Rijksmuseum. Another sign of winter in this city is the appearance of the Oliebollen. Similar to doughnuts these sweet balls appear on the streets – sold by street vendors – just once a year. Eat them while they are steaming hot and dusted in sugar.
Amsterdam is a cultural melting pot best represented by the mélange of people that call the neighbourhood known as “De Pijp” home. The main market of this community is the Albert Cuyp Market located on Albert Cuypstraat between Ferdinand Bolstraat and Van Woustraat south of the Heineken Brewery. Here you will find some of the finest examples of Dutch cheeses, fresh “stroopwafels” (waffles with hot caramel) and other native delicacies tucked beside Indonesian treats and specialties from Surinam and the Dutch Antilles. Go early in the day for the biggest selection.