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The Best & Worst Times to Visit the Netherlands in 2024

The Best & Worst Times to Visit the Netherlands in 2024

What's the best time to visit the Netherlands?

Spring is the ideal season to visit the Netherlands, offering mild weather and the chance to witness the stunning tulip fields in bloom. From March to May, the weather warms up, perfect for enjoying outdoor activities such as canal tours in Amsterdam and cycling through the countryside.

This time also brings King’s Day celebrations and visits to famous tulip farms like Keukenhof. While summer promises warm weather and big festivals like Pride Amsterdam, it also sees the highest tourist crowds, making spring a more tranquil and equally vibrant time to explore.

The Netherlands is a must-visit destination on any tour of Europe. Most visitors to the Netherlands flock to Amsterdam, the capital, for the historic buildings lining its picturesque canals, the art, and Europe’s most free-flowing nightlife scene.

However, it would be a mistake to only see Amsterdam, and not the picturesque pottery center of Delft, modern Rotterdam, or the picturesque countryside full of windmills and tulip fields.

There’s plenty to see in the Netherlands, and something to occupy yourself each season. Each season has its own charm, but to make sure you get the most out of the country, here is the best time to visit.

Overall Best Time to Visit the Netherlands

Image of Amsterdam pictured from across the river with neat old buildings in various colors pictured in the middle of Autumn, the best time to visit the Netherlands


The overall best time to visit the Netherlands is the spring, when the weather is mild and when you’ll get to check out the beautiful tulip fields. The Netherlands has a mild, temperate climate, typical for Northern Europe.

Temperatures never get too warm or too cold, in part thanks to the influence of the sea that lies right along this sea-faring country. However, the price you pay for milder temperatures is unpredictable weather.

No matter the time of year, rain is frequent. Gray skies are common, especially in fall and winter. By spring, the weather begins to warm up again and you have a chance of seeing the sun. March is still fairly cold, but by April the temperature usually warms up to about 53-59 degrees Fahrenheit (12-15 degrees Celsius).

By May, the weather is glorious, with temperatures reaching the high 60s (about 20 degrees Celsius) and frequent sunny days. The spring weather is perfect for getting outdoors.

One of the best ways to see Amsterdam is by taking a boat tour of the canals, and by spring the weather is finally warm enough that you can do so without freezing. Spring is also a good season to get out in the countryside, rent a bicycle in this country famous for cyclists, and see some of the windmills and canals.

By far the best thing to do in the spring is to go visit the tulip fields. The Netherlands is famous for its stunning tulip fields, and for a brief window in the spring, the countryside is covered with colorful flowers.

Popular farms, such as Keukenhof, are open from mid-March to mid-May for visitors. Visit then if you want to get a picture in the iconic fields.

Spring is also when the outdoor party season in Amsterdam and the rest of the country begins to start back up. The biggest party is King’s Day, celebrated on April 27th, or the king’s birthday. Expect raucous festivities such as flea markets (vrijmarkten), outdoor concerts, boat floats, and much more.

Put on your best orange T-shirt (the color of the Netherlands) and join in the party! Summer is another popular time to visit the Netherlands.

The weather is the best during this season. It is the warmest and you have the highest chance of catching a row of sunny days, although even in the summer the weather can be unpredictable.

Summer is also when the country experiences some of its biggest festivals and events. Popular parties include:

Keep in mind that summer is the most popular time to visit, with crowds filling up Amsterdam in particular. Spring is also popular, with occupancy rates and prices at a fairly high rate.

Cheapest Time to Visit the Netherlands

Dutch homes pictured along the canal during the overall cheapest time to visit the Netherlands

Marina Datsenko/Shutterstock

The absolute cheapest time to visit the Netherlands is during the winter off-season, from November to early March, when the country receives fewer visitors. For the best deals on accommodation, visit during this time, when there is less demand.

Fewer guests mean that hotels keep their prices low because there is no demand to capitalize on. This is the best time for a budget traveler to visit Amsterdam, because hotels are at their lowest costs—some are discounted by nearly 30% in the dead of winter.

Visitors from other parts of Europe can find affordable transportation deals almost any time of year by cross-referencing different airlines and modes of transportation, such as buses and trains.

If you have to take a longer flight to get to the Netherlands, such as from the United States, the most affordable time to fly is from the end of January into February.

Least Busy Time to Visit the Netherlands

Evening in the ancient Dutch town of Zutphen pictured during the least busy time to visit the Netherlands with empty streets and a semi-dark sky

Martin Bergsma/Shutterstock

The least busy time to visit the Netherlands is in the winter. While crowds begin to peter out starting in the fall, the least busy time in absolute terms is the winter, when far fewer visitors come to the area.

Late November to early March is the off-season in the Netherlands, when the country has very few visitors. The cold weather chases away most visitors, so if you visit during this time, you’ll have many of the most famous attractions, even the best paintings at the Rijksmuseum, to yourself.

The fall also receives far fewer visitors than spring or summer but is warmer and more pleasant than the winter. If you visit in September, you can catch the last of the sunny weather for a bike ride through the countryside, without many of the crowds.

In early September, you can catch Open Monumentendag, when many historic sites are free to the public. Later in the fall, there are more cloudy days, but the leaves are beginning to turn, making for spectacular views throughout the country.

Amsterdam’s cultural calendar is packed in the fall, with plenty of events, such as:

Other Dutch cities are also packed with cultural events, such as Eindhoven, which hosts Dutch Design Week in October.

Worst Time to Visit the Netherlands

Winter time in Alkmaar with ice on the river and snow falling for a piece on the worst time to visit the Netherlands

Allard One/Shutterstock

The worst time to visit the Netherlands is during the winter, as seeing the sun is rare between November and March and the weather is damp and chilly. Although temperatures rarely reach below freezing, the damp makes it feel colder.

It’s rare to see the sun during the winter as it’s either raining or cloudy. The weather makes it hard to do anything outside. In smaller towns, many attractions and businesses shut down during the winter because they expect so few visitors.

That being said, winter may be one of the best times to visit Amsterdam. Many popular activities, such as visiting the museums, are indoors, so the weather won’t affect you as much.

Plus, it is one of the few seasons when you can actually enjoy the city and all that it has to offer without elbowing your way through the crowds. Around the Christmas season, festivities manage to break up the gray monotony of winter.

Expect Christmas markets and plenty of events. One of the most famous is Sinterklaas Intocht, which marks the arrival of St. Nicholas to the Netherlands in mid-November.

If you dislike crowds, then summer is the worst time to visit. Amsterdam fills up with many visitors, many of them rowdy young people. If you’re not a fan of the party scene, avoid this season.

Things to Consider

North Holland town of Volendam with colored houses on the edge of a lake during the overall best time to go to Holland, the spring

Resul Muslu/Shutterstock

Here are some additional tips to help you pick the best time to visit the Netherlands:

  • Book for spring and summer well in advance. These seasons are the most popular among tourists, and hotels fill up quickly.
  • Reserve popular attractions in advance. No matter the season, the Anne Frank House fills up quickly and requires advance reservations. Timed entry can also help you skip the line at popular museums.
  • Expect crowds during tulip season. To beat the crowds, either visit at the beginning of the season, in mid-March, or go to one of the less popular tulip fields.

Frequently Asked Questions

Boat in Amsterdam cruising on the river during dusk with the sun setting over the historical and colorful buildings


These popular questions can also help you pick the best time to go to the Netherlands:

Which month is the best to visit the Netherlands?

The best month to visit the Netherlands is September, when you have a high chance of enjoying good weather, but it’s less crowded than in the peak of summer.

When is the least expensive time of year to go to the Netherlands?

The least expensive time of year to go to the Netherlands is during the winter, especially January and February once Christmas travels are over.

When is the best time to visit Amsterdam?

Spring is one of the best times to visit Amsterdam as it’s when you can see the King’s Day festivities and the city beginning to wake up after winter.

When is the rainy season in the Netherlands?

The Netherlands doesn’t have a traditional rainy season but receives the most rain in the fall. The weather is unpredictable all year round.

So, What’s the Best Time to Visit the Netherlands?

The best time to visit the Netherlands for the quintessential Dutch experience is in the spring, when you can see Amsterdam, the tulip fields, and so much more.