What’s the weather like in Amsterdam in winter?

With the winter on the way, we thought it’d be time to answer some commonly asked questions. The colder months (from late autumn through the winter to the start of spring) are a great time to come to Amsterdam. The streets aren’t so full of tourists (although the city is still buzzing with locals) and the city feels somehow more authentic as a result. Although on a sunny day, Amsterdam is stunningly beautiful and when the snow falls the city turns into a winter wonderland with snow-capped rooves, icy canals and Christmas lights illuminating the historic canal houses, rain falls about 13 days per month on average. It’s also pretty cold (especially at night) with average lows of a few degrees through the winter. It’s not all bad though, and when the canals freeze over completely as they have done in the past years, seeing people skate along the canals is a beautiful and uniquely Dutch sight!

What to do on a rainy day in Amsterdam

There’s plenty of things to do in Amsterdam on a rainy day, however, and with cosy cafés, more museums per square kilometre than any other city on earth and hearty comfort food to keep you warm, it’s not all bad. But it’s always best to be prepared!

What to wear in Amsterdam in winter

The weather can be pretty unreliable in winter here so you need to bring something for every eventuality! Coats and scarves are a must – especially if you’re used to a warmer climate – but dressing for Everest is a quick way to stand out as a tourist! A sturdy umbrella is pretty useful. It’s best to bring one of these from home, or spend a little bit more and get a good one than the ‘I love Amsterdam’ tourist specials – they might only be €3.99 but they’re about as useful as a chocolate tea pot… One blust of wind and your new souvenir is destined for the bin.

What happens with the boat cruises if the weather is bad?

Well, that depends which boat company you book with! If it’s Starboard Boats (which, of course, we hope it is!), our boat can be covered fully and we provide heated cushions in the winter so you’ll be kept warm and dry whatever the weather! Sitting on an open boat in the pouring rain isn’t much fun so we always recommend to book one of our cruises on a comfortable boat!

Where to get tickets for rainy day activities

For museum tickets etc, you can get the best possible prices from our partners at We Are Amsterdam here.