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A Month-by-Month Preview of Amsterdam

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A Month-by-Month Preview of Amsterdam Photo © Stefano Mortellaro/Flickr (CC BY)

When is the best time to visit Amsterdam? That varies immensely for each individual traveler. See what to expect as far as weather conditions, special events and more for each month in Amsterdam, and find out which time is the best for your own Amsterdam trip.
 

  • January in Amsterdam
    January may seem like a slow month, especially on lazy New Year's Day, but with airfares, accommodation fees and tourist crowds at a low, it certainly has its benefits. Fashion lovers will also love Amsterdam in January, as it's not only one of the top sales months in the Netherlands, it's also time for the semi-annual Amsterdam Fashion Week.

  • February in Amsterdam
    February is typically the coldest month in the year in Amsterdam, so for travelers who like brisk walks in the winter chill, it's a lovely time to visit - the first time I ever visited Amsterdam happened to be in February, and I was instantly hooked. Don't miss Chinese New Year, when the celebrations literally explode on Nieuwmarkt square in Amsterdam Chinatown.

  • March in Amsterdam
    As the weather starts to warm up, the flowers start to bloom - and one of the Netherlands' top attractions opens its doors for the season. Keukenhof, the Netherlands' world-famous bulb flower park, is carpeted with multi-colored rows of bulb flowers that visitors flock to in droves.

  • April in Amsterdam
    April is a eventful month in Amsterdam, but one whose lovely weather and seasonal events make airfare and accommodation fees rise sharply. The tulips are now in bloom at Keukenhof, while King's Day (Koningsdag) turns Amsterdam into a city-wide street party in honor of His Majesty King Willem-Alexander's birthday on April 27.

  • May in Amsterdam
    As the summer festival season draws near, ever more events - from concerts to comedy - take place both indoors and outdoors, on public parks and squares in May.

  • June in Amsterdam
    Summer is finally here, and the list of festivals is almost inexhaustible - film festivals, music and performance festivals and more fill the calendars of Amsterdammers and visitors. Save the date(s) for the Open Garden Days, when visitors are allowed to traipse in the backyards of some of Amsterdam's finest canal houses.

  • July in Amsterdam
    The warmest month in Amsterdam, and easily one of the most crowded, July continues the summer festival trend with even more music, theater, comedy, fashion and more.

  • August in Amsterdam
    One last month of fantastic summer festivals, which includes one of the most anticipated of the year: Amsterdam Pride, a full week of films, art exhibits, theatrical performances, literary and sports events, parties, and of course, the famous canal parade.

  • September in Amsterdam
    School is back in session, the backpackers have (for the most part) vanished, and the tide of tourists starts to recede. Which is a shame, since Amsterdam still continues to churn out excellent events, like the nationwide Open Monument Days and Taste of Amsterdam, a sampler of the city's finest cuisine.

  • October in Amsterdam
    Amsterdam is back to its off-peak quietude now, with the notable exception of some excellent October dance parties and the city's particular take on Halloween.

  • November in Amsterdam
    November features several uniquely Dutch events that compensate for the steep decline in sunny days. Sinterklaas, the Dutch "Santa Claus", comes to town in mid-November; the Cannabis Cup attracts connoisseurs from all over the world. The International Documentary Film Festival and PAN Amsterdam, the premiere Dutch art and antiques fair, are two of the year's most internationally renowned events.

  • December in Amsterdam
    December sees Amsterdam at its most festive, as the winter holiday season transforms the city with skate rinks, holiday markets and cheerful decorations. Sinterklaas makes his rounds on December 5, and not one, but two days of Christmas are celebrated - all before the year-end finale that turns the public squares into a party zone on New Year's Eve.
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