When is the Best Time for a Vacation to The Netherlands?
The Netherlands is best described as having a typically moderate marine climate. Since the country borders the North Sea, the water has a big influence on the weather. Despite the fact that the temperatures are never too extreme, there are four different seasons. See below for what to expect during each one.
- Spring (March – May) There’s a lot to love about spring in the Netherlands. The tulips are blooming, the trees are blossoming and everyone is heading outside to soak up the sun. But don’t expect perfect beach weather. Temperatures range from the mid-30°s (in March) to the low-50°s (May), so it’s best to pack warm clothing. And since Holland is on the sea, expect humidity and rain which often falls in the form of short, but heavy, showers.
- Summer (June – August) Summer in the Netherlands is all about being outside. The average temperature in July is 64°F and this is when most residents take vacation, so expect to see a lot of locals out and about. The calendar is packed with festivals and events, so there’s never a shortage of things to do.
- Autumn (September – November) By the time the last of the summer tourists leave, the country is awash in beautiful fall colors. The average high temperature starts out at 66°F in September and is down to 48°F by November. We recommend visiting the Netherlands in early September if you want the summer-like weather without the summer traffic and visiting in October if seeing spectacular fall foliage is important to you!
- Winter (December – February) If you’re looking to pay less for accommodations and have the museums to yourself, winter is a great time to visit the Netherlands. But bring boots because the average temperature in January is 37°F, and snow can be expected. One of the most popular hobbies among locals is ice skating, and the canals are a popular place for the sport. February is an especially fun time to visit because Carnival is celebrated across the country.
Wondering how to prepare and what to pack?
As your departure day approaches and the anticipation grows, you may want to start preparing for your adventures in Holland. If you’re planning on doing some serious cycling (bicycles make up 40% of traffic), you’ll want to spend some time on a bike and even brush up on the rules of the road. For example, did you know that every bike must have a bell?
What to Pack for Your Holland Vacation
1. Electrical Converter
The voltage in Holland is 230 whereas it’s 120 in the U.S. so if you plan on packing electronics, you’ll need to pack accordingly. This means that you’ll need an electrical converter in addition to the outlet adapter that you’ll need. Outlets in Holland have the standard European two-pin plug.
2. Rain Gear
Rain happens year round in Holland, so we always recommend packing a rain jacket and/or an umbrella. And bring shoes or boots that can take a step or two in a puddle!
3. Cycling Gear
It’s hard not to ride a bike when you’re in Holland, and since there is a great chance that you’ll spend a lot of time in the saddle, you’ll want to be comfortable. It’s important to pack padded shorts or pants, and if a sore bum is a big concern for you, you may even want to pack a gel seat cover. Moisture-wicking cycling jerseys and padded cycling gloves are also essentials that you’ll want in your bag.
Travel Tips for Holland
Very few people know the Netherlands as well as our European Operations Manager, Ron van Dijk. Ron is a Holland native who has been leading tours in the country since 1974! With him on our team, we feel more than qualified to provide a few insider tips such as:
1. Best View in Amsterdam
For an incredible and FREE panoramic view of the city, head to the rooftop terrace of the NEMO Science Center. The building is shaped like a ship’s hull, and should you want to hang out and admire the view, the Rooftop Cafe serves food and drinks.
2. How to Eat a Herring
It’s hard to visit the Netherlands without enjoying one of the country’s favorite salty snacks, herring. If you want to eat them the Dutch way, you’ll have to tilt your head back, hold the fish by the tail and slowly lower it into your mouth. It takes practice, but you definitely get bonus points for trying!
3. Kissing Custom
Three kisses, on alternating cheeks, are customary when it comes to greeting family and friends. Men greet other men with handshakes, but for the most part, three kisses is the way to go. Note, the Dutch are friendly and straightforward, so be prepared to be (pleasantly) surprised!