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What is the Best Time to Visit Amsterdam?

Updated: October 28, 2023
 By Justin

Considering the best time to visit Amsterdamcan greatly enhance your experience. Factors like weather and flight costs can significantly affect how much you enjoy your trip and how much you spend.


When is the best time for the weather?

From the vibrant tulip bloom in spring to the cozy café culture in winter, Amsterdam presents a unique charm throughout the year. That said, there are some periods of the year that are certainly better than others.

Spring and summer (April through August) are your prime choices. Spring offers the bloom of millions of tulips, making for fantastic photo opportunities, while summer has longer, sun-filled days perfect for canal cruises and park picnics.

Keukenhof Gardens opens up in spring. Image source: Pixabay user Mabel Amber.
Keukenhof Gardens opens up in spring. Image source: Pixabay user Mabel Amber.

The Amsterdam Tulip Festival takes place in spring from March - May, and this coincides with the opening of Keukenhof Gardens, a world famous flower garden with more than 7 million flower bulbs.

This will also be the best time to visit the floating flower market, as you'll find a wide variety of flowers available for purchase.

During the fall and winter, it can get very cloudy and rainy in this otherwise beautiful city. While some would argue this is the true Amsterdam experience, if you prefer warmer weather, it will be important to consider coming in the spring or summer.

If you ask us, the spring is the absolute best time to visit, as it's a shoulder season and there are fun activities to enjoy during that time of year as well.


When is the best time to save money?

If budget is your primary concern, consider visiting Amsterdam in the off-peak seasons. Besides the Christmas-New Year period, Winter (November to March) usually sees fewer tourists, resulting in lower flight costs and accommodation rates.

This is also when you can expect the coldest weather in Amsterdam, but a lot of locals would consider that a more authentic experience than visiting during one of the few warm months of the year.

The Amsterdam Canals are lit up for the holidays in winter. Image source: Pixabay user Michael Bußmann.
The Amsterdam Canals are lit up for the holidays in winter. Image source: Pixabay user Michael Bußmann.

While the gardens won't necessarily be in bloom, most of the other attractions will be open, including the major museums and historic locations.

During the winter, you can expect plenty of Christmas markets throughout the city, and they also host the annual Amsterdam Light Festival, during which the canals are lined with lighting displays.

If you're willing to brave a cold night, the experience of floating down the well-lit canals after dark is definitely worth your time and money.

The winter might be the cheapest time to visit Amsterdam, but you can also save money on travel costs during shoulder seasons such as fall and spring.


Consider visiting during a shoulder season

Shoulder seasons, namely early spring (April and May) and early autumn (September and October) can offer the best of both worlds.

You'll likely enjoy mild weather and fewer crowds while still capturing the essence of Amsterdam either in bloom or the autumnal glow.

Moreover, the costs for flights and lodgings will likely be more wallet-friendly during these times, as opposed to the bustling summer season.

Amsterdam can be quite beautiful during the spring. Image source: Pixabay user na4ev.
Amsterdam can be quite beautiful during the spring. Image source: Pixabay user na4ev.

These are also the time periods when you'll typically find more discounts on tickets for popular Amsterdam attractions.

The shoulder seasons are typically your last chance to lock in discounted rates on Amsterdam tourist passes, which you can use for admission to several museums, historical landmarks, tours and more.


Conclusion

We recommend a spring visit, as travel costs are typically a bit lower and it's one of the only times you can experience Keukenhof Gardens in full bloom.

Not only will you save money during the spring, but you'll enjoy decent weather and events/activities you can only experience once a year!


About The Author

Justin

Justin is a travel content writer and editor with over a decade of experience in the field. He graduated from Portland State University in 2012. He has lived in the Pacific Northwest his whole life and knows the American West Coast very well. Read More...
Updated: October 28th, 2023
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