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Have you booked (or are you thinking about) a trip to the Venice of the North? If so, you should consider going in the spring. Spring is considered a shoulder season in the Netherlands, so the main tourist crowds of summer haven’t descended yet. Not to mention the tulips! Without a doubt, springtime & tulips in the Netherlands will bring you out of hibernation.
Table of contents
“Some tourists think Amsterdam is a city of sin, but in truth, it is a city of freedom. And in freedom, most people find sin.”John Green
Weather in the Netherlands is notoriously unpredictable. Maybe rainy, maybe sunny. The beauty of it is that there’s so much to do there, indoor and outdoor.
I was surprised to learn that spring is the driest season, given the amount of tulips (and flowers in general) that are in bloom!
Since it’s so small, the climate is pretty consistent throughout the continent.
|ºC / ºF||high’s||low’s||average rain days||hours of sunlight|
|march||9º / 49º||2º / 36º||10||12|
|april||13º / 55º||4º / 40º||8||14|
|may||17º / 63º||8º / 47º||9||15.5|
If the weather’s nice, how about a self-guided walking tour of the Dutch Resistance?
2. what to pack
Layers, layers, layers! When I was there (late March/early April), I needed to buy both a hoodie and a tank top. I actually had tan lines due to walking around outside so much.
You’ll want to bring a small umbrella, since you’ll probably be outside much of the time. You can buy one there, but it’ll likely be more expensive.
I brought a lightweight rain jacket with me and it was perfect. Not only did it keep me nice and dry, but it didn’t make me hot. That was huge for me. Rain jackets were never my thing, so this worked great.
Check out my list of travel essentials here!
3. where to stay
If you’re in a city with house boats, then check out the AirBnb listings nearby! I stayed at a house boat in Amsterdam and it was an awesome experience.
4. spring happenings
5. outdoor activities in amsterdam
To experience the Dutch lifestyle, rent a bicycle! Not only can you cover a lot of ground, but it gives you a different perspective of the city. But be careful – people ride very fast and the locals want to get to where they’re going.
Join a kayak or paddle boarding tour of the canals! Organized tours might not be your thing. But you’ll probably have a good time, see the city from a different perspective, and get a few good laughs in the meantime.
Pack a lunch and go hang out in Vondelpark for the day. After that, get in the grass for some outdoor yoga on as well – if you don’t mind the occasional onlooker.
I didn’t add bicycle or tour locations on the map, since you can rent bicycles pretty much anywhere, and there are plenty of kayak/SUP tours around.
Since it’s springtime in the Netherlands and there are so many tulips to see, maybe you want to stay on foot, anyhow.
6. day trips from amsterdam
As someone who definitely does not have a green thumb, I was more distracted by the hoards of tourists than I was taken by the gardens. Still, it was truly a beautiful place.
Visit The Hague, aka the ‘International City of Peace and Justice’, the seat of Dutch government and the capital of South Holland. I love things related to international justice, however, I haven’t visited the Hague yet.
Photo from Holland.com
Zaanse Schans is an open-air museum and conservation area just outside of Amsterdam. The town boasts the oldest working windmills in the world. If you’re big into culture, you’ll also love the museums and craftsmen’s workshops (including clog-makers!).
I often hear that Utrecht is essentially Amsterdam’s little sister. In addition to having less tourists, Utrecht also has more canals! Since I’m always game for less tourists, I’m definitely making it a stop on my next journey to the Netherlands.
Photo from Holland.com
Alkmaar is famous for its cheese markets and cheese producers. Not only are the cheese markets a cultural highlight, but this place is a foodie’s dream come true.
In Giethoorn, there aren’t any roads – only canals. Despite not having any streets, you can still get around by foot or bike if rowing isn’t for you.
Photo from Pexels
7. where to get your yoga on
Looking for yoga? If so, Amsterdam’s got a decent selection of studios to suit your preferences – bikram, hatha, vinyasa, etc. Many of the studios offer both English and Dutch.
There you have it! The ultimate guide to springtime & tulips in the Netherlands! Did I miss anything? What about your favorite Dutch restaurants? Tell me in the comments!