Amsterdam is the largest city and capital of The Netherlands, and an excellent tourist destination. It’s a vibrant cultural hub with attractions like historic canals, a red light district, cannabis coffee shops, and multiple noteworthy museums like the Rijksmuseum.
No matter when you’re traveling to Amsterdam, this guide gives you a packing list for every season! Whether this is your only destination or a stop on a European adventure, follow these tips to help you plan what to pack.
What to Pack when Traveling to Amsterdam
Written By: by Cailyn Cox
The weather in Amsterdam is known to be unpredictable, so you should be prepared for all the elements, regardless of the season.
While there is no particular rainy season, an essential item is a waterproof jacket and/or an umbrella for protection from the rain. The wind can be strong and could easily destroy your umbrella, in which case there are plenty of stores within the city to cheaply purchase a new one.
Good walking shoes are most certainly important for your travels. Even if you plan on using the tram system or riding bicycles throughout the city, you will at some stage find yourself walking across the remarkable cobblestone streets, just to explore or browse through the busy shopping streets like Kalverstraat. Sensibility should reign here with your choice of footwear; avoid heels and opt for shoes that offer grip and are slip-resistant.
Amsterdam Clothing Style
When contemplating your travel wardrobe, it’s important to know that Amsterdam is casual, unlike cities like Paris. You will not be required to dress up; however, appearing presentable and sticking to the general color scheme of black, denim, army green, and tan will allow you to blend in with the locals’ style.
The general style within the city is grunge meets vintage. Pack mostly casual clothes that you can dress up with a few key items.
The city’s streets are paved with cobblestones, so you’ll need a pair of comfortable and waterproof walking shoes to endure plenty of sightseeing.
What to wear in Amsterdam in spring
Sleeveless Blouse / Basic Tee / Crochet Scallop Hem Sleeveless Top / Striped T-Shirt / V-Neck Playsuit / Shirt Dress / Mid-Rise Skinny Jeans / Black Denim Shorts / Poncho Throw / Leather Jacket / V-Neck Blouse / Viscose Short / Prairie Boots / Loafer / Scarf / Mini Backpack
In spring, you’ll see the city transform. People shed their layers of clothing and celebrate the blooming of the city’s flowers, like the famous Dutch tulips, crocuses, narcissus, and hyacinths. The city is filled with life and rich colors.
As the days grow longer, the temperature warms; you can expect average highs ranging from 8-16°C / 46-60°F and lows between from 2-7°C / 35-44°F.
Amsterdam’s spring weather is moderately warm, so your wardrobe should include jeans and capri trousers in darker shades that you can team with t-shirts, long sleeve shirts, sweaters, and hoodies. The spring season can be cool, so bring a light jacket and an umbrella or raincoat to protect you from the wetter days.
During the warmer days, you’ll be able to wear shorts. Denim is always comfortable and allows for mobility; however, avoid skirts and dresses as they’re not practical for the weather and the cycling/walking activities you’ll be doing. They might leave you feeling uncomfortable and restrained.
As mentioned previously, Amsterdam is a city where the easiest way to explore is either by bicycle or on foot. Therefore, comfortable, waterproof shoes are essential. Boots or brogues are the perfect addition to any spring outfit, and are both cute and fashionable. The best colors to choose for your footwear are darker shades, like black or metallic.
What to wear in Amsterdam in summer
Sleeveless Blouse / Striped Cotton Tank / Crochet Scallop Hem Sleeveless Top / V-Neck Blouse / V-Neck Playsuit / Shirt Dress / Mid Rise Skinny Jeans / Viscose Short / Poncho Throw / Denim Jacket / Crew Neck Long Sleeve T-Shirt / Floral Mini Skirt / Gladiator Sandals / Loafer / Felt Floppy Hat / Mini Backpack
Summer is the most popular time of year to travel to Amsterdam. It has long daylight hours and attracts the largest crowds of tourists. There are plenty of outdoor attractions and performances during summer, making it the prime time to visit. However, since it’s peak season, you can expect to pay premium prices for flights and accommodation.
The temperatures in summer range from average highs of 18-21°C / 64-70°F and lows of 11-12°C / 51-54°F.
While the Amsterdam summers are beautiful, the wind can be cold, and the odd rain shower is a possibility. To ensure you’re prepared for all elements, include a light jacket and a raincoat or umbrella in your travel wardrobe.
Summer does allow the freedom to shed layers and wear what you feel comfortable in. Feel free to bring some skirts and dresses, but these should not be the bulk of your wardrobe for reasons of practicality.
Darker shades like khaki, tan, black, and navy can act as the base of your wardrobe. Include a pair of dark blue or black jeans and a pair of pants that are made from a lighter fabric, like cotton or linen; the breathability will keep you cool. Vests, tank tops and t-shirts are great to wear with your jeans or a pair of shorts. Mix and match a selection of colors and styles that you feel comfortable in.
Sunglasses are important to protect your eyes from the sun and the glare. Also bring along lip balm, sunscreen, and a swimsuit in a bright color.
The summer weather allows for more variation in footwear; you can bring comfortable sandals or brogues, which are much lighter than boots and still offer comfort and support. However, do still include a pair of comfortable, slip-resistant, waterproof boots for when you’ll be walking long distances.
Due to the multitude of exciting outdoor activities available during the summer season, you may want to add an item that is slightly dressier to your wardrobe–in case you wish to dine out. Add a simple dress that you can pair with a blazer for a refined yet casual and feminine look.
What to wear in Amsterdam in autumn
Basic Tee / Plaid Shirt / Cotton Sweater / V-Neck Blouse / Denim Shirtdress / Oversized Shirt Dress / Mid Rise Skinny Jeans / Skinny Jeans / Raincoat / Leather Jacket / Denim Shirt / Midi Skirt / Prairie Boots / Loafer / Scarf / Mini Backpack
The weather in autumn has cooler temperatures than the spring and summer months. Autumn weather is unpredictable; there can be days of pristine weather or endless rain, yet the fall colors provide exceptional beauty and the city is filled with rich earthy tones.
Not only are the temps dropping–but the airfares and accommodation prices are, too. September is the best time to visit, with the mild weather of late summer and early winter just setting in; it’s also the prime month for cultural performances.
You can expect an average maximum temperature between 8-17°C / 46-62°F and lows between 3-10°C / 37-50°F.
Autumn weather is much like spring, with only slightly cooler temperatures, so many of the same rules apply. To be prepared for all the elements, pack your umbrella and/or waterproof gear to ensure you are unhindered in your exploration of the city. Include a warm coat and a jacket, which can be worn with comfortable boots–preferably leather in a darker shade.
Like with most seasons in Amsterdam, pack jeans in darker shades to use as your base as well as t-shirts, long tops, and jerseys to layer and differentiate your outfits. You can wear these items with your jeans or if you’re willing to brave the cold or lucky enough to enjoy warmer days, include a pair of shorts.
The perfect accessories for your autumn wardrobe include: a warm scarf, to add a touch of class and color to your wardrobe; a cute satchel, to keep your daytime essentials safe and dry; and lastly a pair of sunglasses, for the sunshine or the glare.
What to wear in Amsterdam in winter
Wool-Cashmere Knit / Plaid Shirt / Cotton Sweater / Striped T-Shirt / Loose Fit Knitted Dress / Swing Dress / Mid Rise Skinny Jeans / Skinny Corduroy Trousers / Winter Jackets / Down Jackets / Thermal Top / SmartWool Midweight Bottom / Tall Boots / Chelsea Gusset Boots / Scarf / Mini Backpack
With the exception of the holidays, winter is the cheapest time to travel and there’s the fewest tourists.
The days are short and cold and the sun sets early, with average temperatures ranging from highs of 5-6°C / 41-43°F and lows of 0-2°C / 32-36°F. Winter, in addition to being icy, is also wet, and you will need to dress for sub-freezing temperatures and milder days, too.
Pay attention to your shoes; comfortable, waterproof walking boots will protect you from the elements. The rain will make the cobblestones slippery, so you’ll need shoes with grip and lining for added warmth.
Another winter essential is an all-weather jacket–an item that can protect you from the rain, wind, and cold. An umbrella is a welcome addition for extra protection.
Winter temperatures may require a pair of thermal underwear and thick warm socks for the colder days. Warm gloves, a wool scarf, and a hat or beanie will all add to your comfort and warmth.
As usual, layering is crucial for the colder weather. Pack a limited amount of t-shirts (one or two), and instead focus on the warmer clothing, like long-sleeve shirts and jerseys in neutrals, to easily mix and match your accessories.
Jeans are a relatively thick and warm material; however, you can wear thermals underneath them for extra warmth. Pick a darker shade like rich burgundy, dark blue denim, or black.
Have a great time in Amsterdam!
What are your tips on what to pack when traveling to Amsterdam?
Please note: Most of Europe’s budget airlines have this carryon bag allowance: 55cm x 40cm x 20cm. Always check your airline’s individual baggage rules and regulations in advance.
For more tips, please read these Europe packing lists:
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Please read our Ultimate Packing List for Europe featuring stylish outfits and travel tips for 9 countries.
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