Holland is the tulip capital of the world for a reason. With cool summers and long, wet winters, it’s the perfect place to grow these lush and delicate flowers. But Dutch weather isn’t as nurturing and peaceful as it might sound. Holland, known for its cheeses, its tulips, and its liberal outlook, is also prone to surprisingly crazy weather. So no matter what time of year you visit Amsterdam, be sure to plan for unexpected changes in the weather. Your typical Dutch day is even moodier than you will be after being caught unprepared in one of the country’s too-common hailstorms.
The weather is not one of a tourist’s main reasons for visiting Amsterdam. The skies tend to be overcast more than sunny, especially in spring and autumn, where the city often gets more than a meter of rain per month. During spring and autumn especially, the weather is particularly volatile, and weeks will pass with nothing but rain. However, if you’re planning a visit to the city, there is a ray of hope when the weather is nice, it’s very nice indeed.
The best time to visit Amsterdam is in the summer, when you’ll get plenty of sunny days and temperatures in the low 20’s Celsius (70’s Fahrenheit). Still, don’t get overconfident and leave your umbrella back at the hotel. You’ll notice that the locals bring one with them everywhere, even on the sunniest of days.
While summer is the best time to visit the city, sometimes it’s just not possible to get away when you want to. Don’t let worries about the weather stop you. It doesn’t often snow in Amsterdam, and though it gets quite cold in winter, the high temperatures only drop below freezing occasionally. Bring along a warm hat, coat, and scarf and don’t forget a sturdy umbrella to combat the wind and rain. And enjoy the bad weather. There’s something magical and truly “Amsterdam” about the warm light shining through the windows of cozy row-houses on a rainy autumn afternoon.