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Weather & Climate of netherlands

Climate of the Netherlands

The Netherlands have a temperate climate, which means that summers are generally cool and winters are generally mild. Every month of the year has rainfall, some are although very dry or wet. The best time to go is from May to September (daily maximum 18/19°c up to 23°c), but also April and October can once be pretty good months to come, if you're lucky.

Climate of Amsterdam
Amsterdam is a large city and a major tourist destination, so you can visit it all year round. However, in winter the days are short (8 hours daylight around Christmas), and the weather may be too cold to walk around the city comfortably, let alone cycle. January and February are the coldest months, with lows around -1°C and highs around 5°C. July and August are the warmest months, with an average temperature of 22°C (72°F). Some things are seasonal: the tulip fields flower only in the spring, and Queen's Day (Koninginnedag) is always on 30 April, unless it falls on a Sunday. Queen Beatrix was actually born on 31 January, but since January is very cold, the celebrations are held on the day she became the queen of the Netherlands, which is also the birthday of her mother, Juliana.



As on 23 July 2013, 1 Euro = INR 78.75

Netherlands has the euro (EUR, €) as its currency. Therewith, Netherlands belongs to the 23 European countries that use the common European money. These 23 countries are: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain (official euro members which are all European Union member states) as well as Andorra, Kosovo, Monaco, Montenegro, San Marino and Vatican which use it without having a say in eurozone affairs and without being European Union members. These countries together have a population of 327 million.

One euro is divided into 100 cents. While each official euro member (as well as Monaco, San Marino and Vatican) issues its own coins with a unique obverse, the reverse as well as all bills look the same throughout the eurozone. Nonetheless, every coin is legal tender in any of the eurozone countries.

A lot of shops do not accept banknotes of €100, €200 and €500, due to concerns about counterfeiting and burglary. Shops usually open by 9AM and they usually close by 5:30PM or 6PM. Most shops are closed on Sundays, except at the "koopzondag". "Koopzondag" means the biggest part or all the shops are open. It differs from town to town which Sunday is the "koopzondag". In most towns it is the last or first Sunday in a month. In a few cities (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Den Haag and Leiden) the shops are open every Sunday, in most cases they are open from noon till 5PM or 6PM. In Amsterdam centrum area is an exception, since you can see the shops open till 9PM and Sundays from noon till 6PM. The shops can be crowded with people coming into town from outside the city. In some areas shops are closed on Monday morning.

Credit cards & ATMs
For safety reasons, credit card use in the Netherlands increasingly requires a PIN-code. Credit card use in general is reasonable common, but not by far as much as in the US or some other European countries. The Dutch themselves often use (debit) bank cards, for which even small shops and market stands usually have a machine. In tourist destinations you will generally find credit cards widely accepted, as well as in larger shops and restaurants in the rest of the country, but ask in advance or check the icons that are usually displayed at the entrance.

ATMs are readily available, mostly near shopping and nightlife areas. The very smallest ones excluded, even villages usually have an ATM.


Accommodation and food is on the expensive side. Rail travel, museums, and attractions are relatively cheap. Retail prices for clothing, gifts, etc. are similar to most of Western Europe; consumer electronics are a bit more expensive. Gasoline, tobacco and alcohol are relatively expensive due to excise taxes. however tobacco products can be considered cheap compared to prices paid in the UK, it is possible (especially in 'Marlboro) to find packs of 20 cigarettes for as little as 4 euros.


The Netherlands is a good place to buy flowers. Besides florists, you can buy them pre-packaged in most supermarkets. In most cities there's a big variety of shops and some bigger cities even have some malls.



Dress Code, What to Wear

During the day on the Amsterdam, casual attire is appropriate, including, shorts, sundresses, tank tops, etc. for the ladies; for men, shorts, polo shirts, T-shirts, etc. will do. Rubber-soled, low heeled, or flat shoes are recommended while onboard. For cruises to Alaska or other colder climates, consider layering your clothes and a heavier coat for shore excursions.

For the Amsterdam dining dress code in the evening, you may want to dress up a bit and/or bring along a light sports jacket or cardigan. The evening dress codes falls into two types which are Smart Casual or Formal. Officially, swimsuits, tank tops, T-shirts, and shorts are not allowed in the restaurants or public areas in the evening. For the Pinnacle Grill and other occasions to include formal nights, it is strongly suggested that shoes, rather than sandals, are worn.



The Netherlands is famous for its wooden shoes. However, nowadays almost no one, except for farmers in the countryside, wear them. You could travel through the Netherlands for weeks and find no one using them for footwear. The only place where you'll find them is in tourist shops. Wearing wooden shoes in public will earn you quite a few strange looks from the locals.

If you do try them on, the famous "wooden shoes" are surprisingly comfortable, and very useful in any rural setting. Think of them as all-terrain footwear; easy to put on for a walk in the garden, field or on a dirt road. If you live in a rural area at home, consider taking a pair of these with you if you can. Avoid the kitschy tourist shops at Schiphol and Amsterdam's Damrak street, and instead look for a regular vendor which can usually be found in towns and villages in rural areas. The northern province of Friesland has a lot of stores selling wooden shoes, often adorned with the bright colors of the Frisian flag.

Shopping in Amsterdam

The main central shopping streets run in a line from near Central Station to the Leidseplein: Nieuwendijk, Kalverstraat, Heiligeweg, Leidsestraat. The emphasis is on clothes/fashion, but there are plenty of other shops. They are not upmarket shopping streets, and the north end of Nieuwendijk is seedy. Amsterdam’s only upmarket shopping street is the P.C. Hooftstraat (near the Rijksmuseum).

Other concentrations of shops in the centre are Haarlemmerstraat / Haarlemmerdijk, Utrechtsestraat, Spiegelstraat (art/antiques), and around Nieuwmarkt. There is a concentration of Chinese shops at Zeedijk / Nieuwmarkt, but it is not a real Chinatown.

The ‘interesting little shops’ are located in the side streets of the main canals (Prinsengracht / Keizersgracht / Herengracht), and especially in the Jordaan - bounded by Prinsengracht, Elandsgracht, Marnixstraat and Brouwersgracht. The partly gentrified neighbourhood of De Pijp - around Ferdinand Bolstraat and Sarphatipark - is often seen as a 'second Jordaan'.

  • Fashion & Museum District. Located in Amsterdam Zuid, this is considered the chic area for shopping in Amsterdam, close to the Museum district, the PC Hooftstraat and the Cornelis Schuytstraat have some of the finest designer shops in the city, including designer shoes, health and well-being specialists, massage, fashion boutiques, designer interiors, designer florists and specialist shops.

In the older areas surrounding the centre, the main shopping streets are the Kinkerstraat, the Ferdinand Bolstraat, the Van Woustraat, and the Javastraat. The most ethnic shopping street in Amsterdam is the Javastraat. There are toy stores and clothing shops for kids in the centre, but most are in the shopping streets further out, because that's where families with children live.

You can find plus size clothing in the centre of Amsterdam. C&A, and H&M are both on the main shopping streets from the Central station. A bit further from the city centre you can find Mateloos, Promiss, Ulla Popken as well as several stores by chain M&S mode.

A give-away shop can be found at Singel 267, open Tuesdays and Thursdays 5PM-17PM and Saturdays 12 noon-5PM.

English-language books can mostly be found in the Old Centre. Large Dutch bookstores also carry a selection of foreign language books.

Street markets

Street markets originally sold mainly food, and most still sell food and clothing, but they have become more specialised. A complete list of Amsterdam markets (with opening times and the number of stalls) can be found at online at Hollandse Markten and in English.

  • Albert Cuyp. Largest in Amsterdam, best-known street market in the country. Can get very crowded, so watch out for pickpockets. Monday to Saturday from about 9AM until around 5PM.

  • Ten Cate Market. 3rd largest in Amsterdam. Monday to Saturday from about 8am until around 5pm. Food, households, flowers and clothing.

  • Dappermarkt. In the east, behind the zoo, and was voted best market in the Netherlands. Monday to Saturday from about 8AM until around 5PM.

  • Lindengracht. In the Jordaan, selling a wide range of goods, fruit and vegetables, fish and various household items. Saturday only. 9AM to 4PM. Tram 3 or 10 to Marnixplein, and a short walk along the Lijnbaansgracht.

  • Lapjesmarkt. Westerstraat, in the Jordaan. A specialist market concentrating on selling cloth and material for making clothes, curtains etc. Mondays only. 9AM to 1PM. Tram 3 or 10 to Marnixplein.

  • Noordermarkt. In the historical Jordaan area of the city. On Monday morning (9AM to 1PM) the Noordermarkt is a flea market selling fabrics, records, second-hand clothing etc, and forms part of the Lapjesmarkt mentioned above. On Saturday (9AM to 4PM), the Noordermarkt is a biological food market, selling a wide range of ecological products like organic fruits and vegetables, herbs, cheese, mushrooms etc, there is also a small flea market. Tram 3 or 10 to Marnixplein, and a short walk down the Westerstraat.


Frequently Asked Questions

Calling Code: 31
Electricity: 230V, 50Hz
Drive on the: Right
Times to Travel: The Netherlands has a moderate climate, with very pleasant summers. Winters are considered mild, yet most canals and rivers do freeze, and frigid temperatures are typical, though brief.

Rainfall is evenly split throughout the year, with the lowest amounts falling along the coast.

Spring and winter months are mostly cloudy. In summer, especially in June and July, seven hours of sunshine per day is the average.

Although crowds can be large and attraction lines long, especially in Amsterdam, most travelers seem to agree that April through early October are the best months to visit The Netherlands.

1. What is the high season and what is the low season in Netherlands?

In general, high season prices apply during the school holidays and national holidays in Netherlands. For detailed information please check our practical information section about school holidays and national holidays or contact a local tourist office (VVV) in the town where you would like to stay.

2. Will I need an international driver’s licence in Netherlands?

Whether your driver’s license is valid in Netherlands depends on where it was issued. We do advise to use an international driver’s license if your license is in a language other than English. You can apply for an international license at the automobile association in your own country. Driver’s licenses issued in one of the member states of the European Union and in Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway are valid in Netherlands.In all other cases you might have to show an international driver’s license. You can apply for an international license at the automobile association in your own country.

3. Where is the Delft Blue Pottery made?

The original Delft Blue Pottery is made in the city of Delft, in only two official places. One of these is 'De Porceleyne Fles', Rotterdamseweg 196. Here you can see the whole process of making the hand-painted Delftware.

4. When is the Eleven-City Skating Tour?

That is hard to say. The Eleven-City Tour is a ice skating tour covering more than 200 km along 11 cities in the province of Friesland (in the north of Netherlands). Whether or not the tour will take place depends totally on the weather conditions, which have to be quite extreme, and this is the reason why it is never certain whether the tour will take place until a few days beforehand. The tour was only skated 15 times in the past century! The most recent one was in 1997, the one before that in 1986. Anyone completing this gruelling event is considered to be somewhat of a hero in Netherlands.

5. Is the Volendam traditional costume still worn throughout Netherlands?

The Volendam traditional costume is the best-known but is only worn in Volendam. Netherlands has many other regional costumes. These are worn during special occasions in certain areas of Netherlands. You’ll also see inhabitants in Spakenburg, Urk and Staphorst wearing the traditional clothes.

6. Is it possible to travel everywhere from the airport by public transportation?

Yes, Netherlands has a very extensive public transport network. Trains or buses take their passengers to even the smallest towns. Services to most places run until about midnight. Larger towns have extensive regional bus, train and tram services. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is one of the country's largest train stations. Trains to Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht and The Hague depart at least once every 30 minutes and once every hour between 01.00 a.m. and 05.00 a.m.

7. Can you tell me about the condition of the highways, and about the secondary roads?

Netherlands’s infrastructure is quite good. All places are easily accessible by both private car and public transport. All major roads in Netherlands have crash barriers, many highways are treated with a special material which makes it very safe to drive, even in inclement weather.

8. What type of clothing should I bring?

The weather varies from day to day, so be prepared for anything. Rainfall is common, so the most important items to bring are a raincoat and water-resistant shoes. A jumper is appropriate for the cooler summer days and evenings. Overall, the Dutch dress casually, so formal clothing is rarely required.

9. We have heard that, due to your climate, the seasons are very different. Is this true?

When the Dutch converse with each other, 9 times out of 10, the conversation revolves around the weather! It doesn’t matter whether it’s cold outside, rainy, windy or sunny. The weather is totally unpredictable in the Netherlands! The sea has a great effect on the climate of Netherlands. The average winter is mild, although a sudden cold snap in January or February will have the skaters out with a vengeance on our lakes and waterways. In January and February, the average maximum temperature is about 5 degrees centigrade. Summers are quite warm with maximum temperatures averaging 20 to 25 degrees centigrade in July and August. In the east and south-east winters are a few degrees colder and summers a few degrees warmer. Spring is the driest season. Temperatures in April and May vary between 12 and 25 degrees centigrade.

10. Are 'Netherlands' and 'the Netherlands' the same?

As far as the traveller is concerned, yes! Netherlands is the name commonly used abroad to refer to the country that is officially named The Netherlands. Strictly speaking, Netherlands comprises only the two western provinces of North and South Netherlands - a region that encompasses Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and other well-known Dutch cities such as Delft, Leiden and Haarlem.

11. I know Netherlands is a small country. But how small is it really?

Netherlands is quite small, the surface area is 41,528 square kilometres. The greatest distance from north to south is 300 kilometres, and from west to east 200 kilometres.

12. In which time zone is Netherlands located?

Netherlands is located in the Central European time zone, i.e. six hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time. Daylight saving time starts at the end of March and lasts till the end of October.

13. Is it true that Netherlands is located under sea level?

24% of Netherlands’s surface area is situated under the average sea level, mainly in the western and northern part of the country. The lowest point, 6,7 metres below NAP (Normal Amsterdam Level), is in the west. The highest point, 321 metres above NAP, is in the south, at the point where the borders of Netherlands, Belgium and Germany meet. You can learn more about the struggle against the water at the Neeltje Jans Waterland. This former artificial island is the country’s best information center for discovering the wonders of the world of water.

14. Where can I find local or regional information regarding Netherlands?

For local and/or regional information you can, while in Netherlands, go to a local Tourist Information Office, often called VVV. Every city of interest has one. The VVVs are specialised in providing tourists with information on their city or town and on the surrounding area.

15. Can you inform us about special facilities for disabled people in Netherlands?

Netherlands is known as a country which is generally quite accessible to disabled people. A good way of indicating the accessibility of accommodations, museums, etc., is the International Accessibilty Symbol (IAS). In our Search Service you can define your specific requirements regarding disabled facilities and, of course, make a selection on the IAS symbol. Please note: many of the public buildings, which do not have such a symbol, may nevertheless be regarded as reasonably suitable for the physically disabled. In addition, the local Tourist Offices (VVV) can give you more information on facilities in their immediate area.



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