Seasonal Packing Lists For Amsterdam

Tips from the locals

The Netherlands is a Coastal Northern European country which brings in quite a variety of weather conditions throughout the year. If you are planning a trip to the nation’s capital, Amsterdam or beyond, you will certainly want to be prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws at you. One key aspect of a successful trip is efficient packing, whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveller. As Amsterdam experiences distinct seasons, it’s essential to tailor your wardrobe and accessories to the weather conditions you’ll encounter during your stay.

Luckily, the dress code expectation for Amsterdam is not incredibly demanding. You are welcome to dress up or down to your comfort level. Don’t feel the need to strut your most impressive fits. This isn’t Paris. But feel free to dress to impress if you so choose.

Hungry Birds Street Food Tours has created this packing guide to help visitors to Amsterdam be prepared for outdoor activities. All our walking food tours happen, rain or shine! By following the advice in this blog post, you should be able to check off our entire bucket list regardless of what the weather throws at you.

Rain, Rain and more Rain

One thing to keep in mind is that this country is WET! One thing can be guaranteed to be seen all year round, and that is rain. Whether it is a light drizzle or downpour… All four seasons have a high rate of precipitation. So no matter what the forecast calls for, don’t be surprised if your parade gets rained on (hopefully only literally, and you can avoid the actual metaphor by being prepared ;))

Layers are your best friend! I heard someone quote the other day, “I’m just trying to figure out if today’s 60-degree weather is going to feel like 45 degrees or 75 degrees” (speaking in Fahrenheit terms.) This is very true for the Netherlands. The temps can vary significantly from morning to mid-day to evening. Be sure to pack things that can easily be added together or taken away. 

Let’s start with the most popular season to visit the Netherlands. Summer

From June to August, you can expect temperatures to mostly range from 18-30 degrees Celsius (around 65-85 degrees Fahrenheit)

Good walking shoes are going to be a trend for this entire list. For the summer, a good pair of sandals like Tevas or Birkenstocks or a nice pair of sneakers will suit you well. For the girls: dress sandals will be a better choice than heels if you want to glam up your outfit. 

The summers are somewhat mild for the most part. There are a few days when the heat can get extreme in the Netherlands, but it doesn’t last long. However, the infrastructure of the country isn’t really set up for these heat waves we have been seeing more often over the past few years. Most buildings are not airconditioned, and public transport can turn into a sauna, especially during peak hours.

Bringing a portable battery-powered/rechargeable fan is not necessary, but if you’re sensitive to heat, it can help in comfortability!

Bring breathable clothing for this reason. Linen, cotton, or wicking materials are great for this season. A good pair of jeans or trousers is also a good idea for the evenings that could get chilly. Your best friends will be T-shirts and tank tops with light overshirts/button-ups.

Shorts, skirts, and dresses are a great option; however temps can drop as the evenings approach. Bringing a pair of tight/stockings with you to layer up for the evening can help you stay comfortable without needing a full wardrobe change. 

A light jacket or hoodie will come in handy. A raincoat will serve you well, or at least bring an emergency plastic poncho that can fit in your pocket. 

Bathing suit! There are many places that you can swim in Amsterdam! City beaches or lakes out towards the country side or even the beaches on the west coast.. It’s very nice to enjoy the extensive amount of water the Netherlands offers in the summer months.

Bring a lightweight sarong! You can use this for lounging in the park or giving yourself a nice clean surface to sit on by the canals! You’ll want to be outside as much as possible in Amsterdam in the summer months. Best to be as comfortable as possible while you’re at it! Also, take a portable speaker with you to bring the vibes 

Mosquitos and sunshine can pose a threat. Bring your own sunscreen and bug spray if you wish. It is always an option to see how much you’re affected by both of these factors and make the choice to buy it (or not) once you get here.

Last but not least: sunglasses!

Autumn:

You can expect the temperatures in early autumn to mostly range from 10-17 degrees Celsius (around 50-65 degrees Fahrenheit)

This is a nice time to be in The Netherlands because the temps are still warm-ish, but the summer crowds have definitely calmed down from peak season. 

This season is the wettest of the year. So, if you have heard people talking about the rain in The Netherlands, you are almost guaranteed to get that experience if you visit the country between the months of September and November. A waterproof coat with a hood is pretty much a necessity for this season… Along with an umbrella.

Sweaters and cardigans are great to include in your suitcase. Layer underneath with lighter, less heavy layers that will keep you warm if you get overheated with a big sweater. A light scarf is also a great thing to bring along, as it can be used as a shawl if you want to remove the big sweater. 

Blazers or leather jackets are very on trend right now in Amsterdam and offer a pleasantly functional layer of warmth to your outfit!

Long pants and jeans will be a go-to for your bottom half during this time of year. You can also wear maxi dresses and skirts during this time of year. Consider layering tights underneath or bringing them with you if you worry about the temperatures. 

Your safest options for footwear during this season will be closed toed shoes! You’re guaranteed to get your feet wet during this colder rainy season. Be wise about choosing footwear to keep your feet dry and warm. Wool socks (or thick socks in general) are a great choice.

If your hotel has a pool or sauna, or if you want to cold plunge in the canals… don’t forget your bathing suit!

Winter:

Winter: you can expect to see temperatures ranging usually between 2-6 degrees Celsius (35-45 degrees Fahrenheit)

Holiday time in Amsterdam is an absolute dream come true. It may not snow as much these days as it used to 20 years ago… But the lights and decorations throughout the city are like something out of a storybook. Although it doesn’t always snow, the weather certainly gets cold enough to feel like it could snow! It also rains a lot and gets very windy! Keep that in mind when packing your bags.


Warm outerwear is a must!! Waterproof and windproof on the outside is ideal. Also, a winter jacket stretching down your legs will make you feel as comfortable as possible while roaming the streets and enjoying the scenery.

Hats, gloves, and scarves!

Don’t skip on the gloves, especially if you plan on renting a bike. Leather or waterproof gloves are ideal. The cold wind and rain on your bare knuckles can certainly spoil the otherwise magical mood! Keeping your ears covered and dry by a hat or earmuffs is important as well.

Thick socks and boots. 

Wool socks with a pair of waterproof boots will keep your feet dry and warm. Warm, dry feet make for a more sustainable adventure through the city. Also, think about using thermal underwear under your main layers. Tights under your long pants are also a lightweight layer you can add that does not take up too much space.

Pants like denim and corduroy will help keep your legs warm, as they have a thicker material to withstand the chilly gusts of wind. 

Tight insulating layers on your top half is wise under sweaters or cardigans. Layers that hug tight to the body will help retain heat. Turtleneck shirts and sweaters are great for ensuring your torso stays warm up to your neck. 

A waterproof bag will also ensure your belongings stay dry in case of the winter shower or (if you’re lucky) snowfall!

Handwarmers are also something you may want to consider bringing along with you to keep in your pocket!

Spring time!

Springtime can range in temperature from 6-20 degrees Celsius (40-high 60’s Fahrenheit)

Spring in the Netherlands is (peculiarly) the driest season of them all! Depending on the year will determine how you should dress! We have had both abnormally hot springs along with very cold and wet spring seasons over the past few years.

March, April, and May are when the city starts to come alive. The trees start turning green, the tulips start to bloom, and ROKJES DAG comes along!!! 

What is Rokjes Dag? National Skirt Day, of course! This “holiday” happens at the end of April, and it essentially celebrates the time of year when women start wearing skirts with bare legs. 

With that being said, bring a mix of light clothing and some precautionary layers. There is quite a difference between March and May, so check the forecast and see what the Dutch weather has been doing during the season. 

To be on the safe side, it is still wise to prioritize warmer clothing.

Long pants are still necessary, along with warm overlayers.

Prioritize cardigans, hoodies, or sweaters that can be slipped on or off as the nights get chilly.

Still prioritize closed toed shoes but you might be able t get away with one pair of sandals for the warmer afternoons!

The fun things like sunglasses, bathing suits, sundresses, and sarongs should still be on your radar, but check to make sure they’re needed and that you won’t be visiting during a cold spell!

You will most likely not need your gloves and hats anymore during the springtime, but a scarf is still a good addition to your suitcase as it can be used for fashion or function with the fluctuating temps. 

To wrap up this packing list, a kind reminder is that it is always good to be prepared, but don’t overpack. You can always get laundry done here or buy whatever you need in the city of Amsterdam. You will thank yourself for packing light. Good luck!

Written by Mother Bird Sara Michal

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