The Netherlands is a country that offers a unique mix of History, Culture, and Natural Beauty. From the vibrant energy found in cities such as Amsterdam or Utrecht to the picturesque countryside. No matter what you are into, in the Netherlands, there is something to be enjoyed for everyone. Many things in the Netherlands (such as exploring one of the many windmills or going on peaceful hikes) can be done during the whole year.
However, as the weather in the Netherlands varies throughout the year, it is important for you to plan your visit wisely. So, what is the best time of the year to visit the Netherlands? In order for us to answer that question, we decided to give you a quick overview of the activities in the Netherlands for each of the 4 seasons. Let’s get into it!
When Is The Best Time To Visit The Netherlands
The best time to visit the Netherlands is during late spring (April to June) or early fall (September to October). During these months, the weather is mild, and you can enjoy blooming flowers, outdoor activities, and cultural events without the peak summer crowds.
Visiting the Netherlands during Spring
Spring in the Netherlands is a season that is loved by everyone. The days are (finally) getting longer, and the dark rainy clouds are making room for the occasional rays of sunshine. The locals tend to leave the comfort of their homes again and the parks and terraces are filled with people having a good time. Besides the great energy that is in the air, visiting the Netherlands during spring is also a great time if you are looking to see the iconic tulip fields. The Keukenhof Garden, just outside of Amsterdam, is therefore definitely the place you want to go to!
Every year, over 7 million bulbs are planted which creates a stunning sight. The best time to visit the Keukenhof is from mid-April until mid-may. The highlight of the tulip season is the Flower Parade celebrated on the 22nd of April (2023).
Furthermore, one of the highlights in spring is Kingsday! This is celebrated on the 27th of April throughout the whole country. During this national day of celebration, everyone gathers on the street to celebrate the (you guessed it right) birthday of our King. This is definitely something you wouldn’t want to miss out on. Just be sure to wear an orange outfit and you are guaranteed to have a great time!
Visiting the Netherlands during Summer
Summers in the Netherlands are great for people looking to be spending most of their time outside, as the rest of the year tends to be quite rainy. During the summer months, public areas such as beaches and parks are visited by the locals on a daily basis, as it is where everyone tends to go to enjoy their time off in the sun. Therefore, the Beaches in Scheveningen are, on a sunny day, definitely worth visiting.
As the Netherlands was the first country in the world that officially allowed two people of the same sex to get married, celebrating equality is something we do not take lightly. This makes it no surprise that the yearly-held Gay Pride in Amsterdam attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year! If you are looking to have a great time filled with glitter and glamour, this is something you want to be part of! Furthermore, the Dutch Summer is filled with lots of other festivities such as music festivals like Pinkpop and Awakenings.
Besides partying, summer is also the best time to visit some iconic Dutch sights that are outside such as exploring the city on a bike, or visiting the beautiful village called Giethoorn. This can, of course, be done throughout the whole year but we would prefer to try not to get rained on too much 😉
Visiting the Netherlands during Autumn
Autumn in the Netherlands is great for enjoying some serene pieces of nature. During this time of the year, we love to just get outside and explore one of the many beautiful natural parks located in the Netherlands. Our favorite location to go to during this time of the year would probably be the Veluwe. This is a very special place as the colors of the flora found here turn into a surreal painting-like scenery!
Last year, in autumn we went on a trip to one of the famous Dutch islands named Terchelling. Autumn is a great time to visit the iconic islands as it tends to be less filled with tourists resulting in a more peaceful & quiet environment (and cheaper accommodation). The Dutch Wadden Islands are perfect if you are looking for some wholesome hikes over the beach whilst… (as we say in Dutch) being blown out by the wind (“ uitwaaien”).
And if you are into partying during your stay, one major event happening during autumn is the infamous Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE). This is a week for the electronic music industry that is organized every year in October. During this week, Amsterdam turns into a global hotspot for everything related to the electronic music industry. Every day, for seven days straight, events are organized that relate to electronic music including anything from lectures to raves with thousands of visitors. If you are looking to visit during ADE be sure to book your accommodation in time to avoid everything from being booked out.
Visiting the Netherlands during Winter
Winter in the Netherlands is often spent inside due to the cold and wet weather. This makes it a great time to visit all the interesting museums the Netherlands has to offer or to explore one of the many castles that are open to tourists! However, the Dutch also like to spend some time outside when the weather allows it. Every winter, Amsterdam hosts the Light Festival where artists from all over the world showcase artworks that light up. To maximize your experience we recommend taking a tour on a boat that is dedicated to showing you all the artworks found in town.
The Netherlands also hosts several Christmas markets during the winter months. These markets are filled with cute stores, and food stands serving delicious Traditional Dishes (such as the delicious Oliebol!) and warm beverages. This makes it the perfect destination if you are looking for a romantic Date night!
Furthermore, winter is when Carnival is celebrated (in February). Even though this party is not celebrated throughout the whole country, many locals travel to the south of the Netherlands for a weekend filled with funky costumes, loud music, and of course, a beer…. or two 😉
As you may realize by now, it is hard to truly say when the best time is to visit the Netherlands. If you are looking to see the tulips and lush parks, we’d say go for spring. If you want to be outside and have some sun on one of the beaches or canals, go for summer. Autumns are great for long cozy walks in the parks and dancing the night away during Amsterdam Dance Festival. And to finish off, winter is ideal for a cute, magical experience during the holiday season!
When would you prefer to visit the Netherlands?
We hope you’ve enjoyed our article. If you’re planning to visit the Netherlands, don’t forget to check out our best tips for what to do in the Netherlands! We wish you a lovely stay in the Netherlands– geniet ervan and see you soon! 😉🇳🇱 P.S. We want to see all your Dutch adventures – tag us on social media (@dernederlanden) when you visit any of the places we recommend!