The Netherlands, like other countries bordering the North Sea, have a maritime climate with fairly mild winters and pleasant summers. Rainfall is unpredictable and can happen at almost any time, don’t forget to pack your umbrella!
Spring in the Netherlands is famous for flowering bulbs and that this is the best time to feast your eyes - endless vistas of tulips and other spring bulbs can be seen within a half-hour of Amsterdam.
Everyone seems to appear out-of-doors in a rush in Spring, taking advantage of warmer days, and suddenly there are bicycles everywhere! In March, April and May, daytime temperatures can vary between 10 and 17°C, so you’ll want to bring long-sleeved tops and long trousers and a jacket rather than shorts.
Summer in the Netherlands
The Dutch love to spend as much time as possible out of doors in the summer, and there are endless things to see and do! Many parts of the country have spectacular flower parades with floats made of quite literally millions of blooms.
Less well-known is the Oerol Festival on Terschelling, in the West Frisian Islands, where dancing, singing and cabaret transform the whole island for ten days. If you’re looking for a quieter time, consider the Lower Rhine region, close to the border with Germany, which has woods, lakes and clear streams.
From June to August you can expect temperatures to average 20 to 22°C, so bring your shorts and t-shirts, but don’t forget a light jacket and some long-sleeved tops as evenings can be cooler.
Colourful Autumns in Netherlands
In Autumn you can see beautiful displays of trees turning red and gold as they prepare for the winter, not only in the countryside but in large parks in cities, such as the Paleistuin Park in the Hague. Or why not try an exciting walk along the autumnal seashore, followed by a hearty Dutch meal? Seafood is at its best from September and throughout the winter, too.
As in Spring, long sleeves and jackets are the best clothes to pack, as temperatures quickly fall from early Autumn onwards, with September, October and November seeing daytime temperatures of around 14°C and nights as low as 5°C.
Canals in the Netherlands frequently freeze over in the winter and people skate, even between villages. There are ice rinks in many cities, too, and you can hire ice skates at these. Afterwards, there’s hot chocolate with whipped cream, or a hearty Dutch meal to look forward to after all that exercise! A great idea to visit in winter, when there are fewer tourists around, are some of the many excellent museums, including the Rijksmuseum and Anne Frank House. Amsterdam alone has over fifty museums and there are hundreds throughout the country.
Don’t forget that in December, January and February it can be quite cold, with temperatures falling below freezing at night and no warmer than around 10° at best during the day, so bring your sweaters, jackets, hats, gloves and scarves, maybe winter boots too. And as always, your umbrella!