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Tulips

When is the best time to visit the Netherlands?

Netherlands is a true year-round destination, with mild temperatures for much of the year and several winter-time attractions in the colder months. April is a peak month for visitors, with thousands arriving to see the tulip festivals and flower gardens. While this is a fun and lively time, it’s also very crowded and can get expensive.

July and August are also peak months, with tourists from Europe and North America visiting during their summer breaks. The weather is balmy, with the low-lying coastal land preventing temperatures from getting too high most of the time.

In the colder months from December to March, things are quieter and less costly, though there are spikes in tourism during the Christmas market season and February’s Carnival.

For the best balance of value, quiet and activities, visit in June or between September and November, when the leaves change and the foods and beers of the festive season emerge. 

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Netherlands Climate Guide

Destination Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Amsterdam 5°C 67mm 5°C 46mm 8°C 60mm 12°C 48mm 16°C 52mm 19°C 61mm 21°C 71mm 21°C 70mm 18°C 75mm 14°C 82mm 9°C 88mm 6°C 80mm
The Hague 5°C 70mm 6°C 46mm 9°C 62mm 11°C 47mm 16°C 51mm 19°C 62mm 20°C 71mm 21°C 70mm 18°C 82mm 14°C 87mm 10°C 93mm 7°C 81mm
Rotterdam 5°C 70mm 6°C 44mm 9°C 66mm 12°C 43mm 17°C 53mm 19°C 68mm 21°C 71mm 21°C 68mm 18°C 75mm 14°C 84mm 10°C 83mm 7°C 77mm

Month-by-month guide to travelling in the Netherlands

Winter in Netherlands

Visiting the Netherlands in December - March

December means Christmas markets in the Netherlands, which brings spikes of visitors in spite of the drop in temperature, which tends to be just above freezing. The country’s large Carnival celebrations bring another wave of activity in February, but in general these winter months are a quieter time to visit, when you can avoid crowds and enjoy reduced hotel rates.

Events & Festivals

  • Carnival (February): Carnival festivities take place all over the Netherlands. Street performances, parades, live music and extravagant costumes are the standard in this culture-spanning celebration.
  • International Film Festival Rotterdam (January–February): For 45 years, this ten-day film showcase has focused on celebrating independent and experimental filmmaking.
  • New Year’s Dive: Join over 10,000 people in this New Year’s tradition of diving into the frigid waters of the sea, followed by hot chocolate.
Keukenhof Gardens, Netherlands

Visiting the Netherlands in April - May

Spring is in full bloom as temperatures warm, and the flower gardens attract millions to the country to see the renowned Dutch tulips. This is a singular sight, and a must if you’re interested in tulip cultivation, history, or just the chance to see this intense concentration of multi-hued flowers all in one place. You may find it overwhelming, however, if you don’t like crowds. 

Events & Festivals

  • Keukenhof Flower Gardens (April-May): One of the Netherlands' biggest attractions, the Keukenhof Gardens fill with the vibrant hues of seven million perfectly planted tulips, daffodils, crocuses and hyacinths.
  • National Mill Day (May): For two days, 950 mills and watermills open their doors to visitors, detailing the importance water has played in the country and across Europe.
  • World Press Photo Exhibition (April–June): The annual press photography contest kicks off each year in Amsterdam, exhibiting the best press photos from around the world.
North Sea beach, Netherlands

Visiting the Netherlands in June

With warm but not hot weather, medium-sized crowds and plenty of activities and festivals scheduled, June is a great month to visit between the busy flower season and summer holidays. Music festivals abound, including the Festival Classique celebrating classical music, Pinkpop, a massive rock festival that’s been going since 1970, and Parkpop, a free outdoor music festival at The Hague.

Events & Festivals

  • Holland Festival (June): The largest performing arts festival in Netherlands, this month-long festival celebrates music, opera, theatre and dance from around the world.
  • World Press Photo Exhibition (April–June): The annual press photography contest kicks off each year in Amsterdam, exhibiting the best press photos from around the world.
Kinderdijk, Netherlands

Visiting the Netherlands in July - August

The summer season has the best weather, with temperatures in this maritime climate averaging around 19°C (67°F). Sidewalk cafes, beaches and just walking or cycling through the country are best during this time, which also makes things crowded. The cities are full of lively events like the Rotterdam Summer Carnival and the Scheveningen International Fireworks Festival, and prices can increase as hotel availability becomes an issue. 

Events & Festivals

  • Scheveningen International Fireworks Festival (August): Four nights of fireworks just outside The Hague, where individual countries battle for the award of most entertaining performance.
  • Rotterdam Summer Carnival (July): Mimicking the Carnival of Latin America, the Summer Carnival festival includes plentiful music, dancing and bright costumes over the course of the two-day parade.
Autumn in Amsterdam, Netherlands

Visiting the Netherlands in September - November

As temperatures drop and fall sets in, the trees put on their golden, red and orange shows. While this is the rainiest time of year, the scenery is excellent, and crowds and costs decrease. There are several film festivals, and the cuisine, festive pastries and darker beers are especially suited to this time of year. It’s also a great time to enjoy the countryside before winter sets in.

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Travel advice

Practical tips for travelling to the Netherlands, from social protocols to guidance on money matters, with a link to the latest government travel advice.

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