Weather in Amsterdam - Best activities for each Amsterdam weather type

The weather in Amsterdam can be very variable. The city's position close to the sea, at the North Atlantic Drift means that Amsterdam has a moderate maritime climate. This means the Amsterdam weather never reaches extremes of either cold or hot.

However, the weather in Amsterdam can also change considerably even within a single day - from sunny to rainy and back to sunny again in just 4 hours. This means the Amsterdam weather outlook is hard to predict.

(Click here for a more detailed look at Amsterdam's weather.)

In other words, be prepared for sudden changes in the Amterdam weather. That's why we have compiled some tips here to do in case of exceptionally sunny or exceptionally wet weather. What's there to do to suit the changeable Amsterdam climate?

Sunny Weather

Sunny weather in Amsterdam is a joy to experience. The city looks its best with bright sunshine glinting from the canals and crowds of lightly clad tourists and locals thronging the streets to make the most of the opportunity.

Vondelpark, Amsterdam


  • Parks

    One of the most satisfying things to do on a sunny day in Amsterdam is to visit one of the city's many parks. The ever-popular Vondelpark, just to the south of Leidseplein, is one good choice with large open spaces and winding paths full of cyclists and joggers, as well as a popular café on the grounds.

    Other options a little further from the city centre are Westerpark in the west, Oosterpark in the east and, if you prefer something a little less groomed and more natural, Flevopark on the eastern side of Zeeburg, at the end of tram 14's route.

  • Bike Tours

    Bike tours offer a great way to see the city, as well as a way to enjoy warm weather in Amsterdam. Cycling through the city streets, or the outskirts of the city to visit nearby forests such as Vliegenbos, with the sun on your face and the wind in your hair will make you want to come back to Amsterdam every summer.

    Bike rental companies abound in Amsterdam; check out the ubiquitous MacBikes at Stationsplein 12, or for something a little different, Starbikes Rentals at De Ruyterkade 127.

  • Terraces

    Of course, enjoying the weather in Amsterdam doesn't have to be an active pursuit. Many people prefer to sit on one of the city's many terraces and enjoy the sun with a drink in their hand. If your looking for a good sunny terrace in Amsterdam head to Leidseplein, where the biggest outdoor terrace in Amsterdam is located, or the nearby Rembrantplein, which comes a close second.

    Smaller terraces can be found along pretty much any canal in the city, so keep an eye out and you may find the perfect quiet spot to have a cool beer in the hot sun. One area that deserves particular mention is Café Van Zuylen's large terrace along the Singel canal at Torensteeg 8, and Café de Jaren's terrace overlooking the Amstel river, at Nieuwe Doelenstraat 20-22.

Rainy Weather

The weather in Amsterdam isn't always a joy to behold, and often you may find yourself trying to think of a way to spend a wet, rainy day in the city. Fear not, however, as Amsterdam has activities to suit any type of day.

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam


  • Museums

    One of the most obvious, and cultural, ways to avoid the rain is to spend the day exploring one of Amsterdam's many museums. You will certainly be spoiled for choice in this, as Amsterdam has more museums per square meter than any other European city. A trip to Museumplein alone gives the Amsterdam tourist a choice of pouring over the many exhibits of the Rijksmuseum or getting in touch with your artistic side at the Van Gogh Museum.

    If you're after something a little less high-minded however, the Torture Museum at Singel 449, the Sex Museum at Damrak 18, or even the Hash, Marijuana and Hemp Museum at Oudezijdsachterburgwal 148 may prove an entertaining way to avoid bad weather in Amsterdam.

  • Theme Parks

    Located in a large cellar at Rokin 78, the Amsterdam Dungeon brings back 500 years of authentic Amsterdam horror history - the bubonic plague, the Spanish Inquisituion and the Eighty Years War. Actors, special effects and a roller coaster ride will give you the creeps. A mixture of theatre, and a history exhibition.

    Another popular spot is Madame Tussauds, the famous wax figures museum with branches in many of the world's capitals, including Amsterdam (at Dam square). The wax figures of Barack Obama, Jennifer Lopez or Albert Einstein (to name a few) are almost indistinguishable from the real persons. Finally have your photo op with Beyonce or Robbie Williams! Be prepared for waiting lines, however, unless you show up early.

  • Cafés & Coffeeshops

    If you'd rather not spend your time in Amsterdam learning, then why not hide from the bad weather in one of the city's cafés or coffeeshops?

    The Dutch brown café culture is perfectly suited to holing up from the weather in Amsterdam with a glass of good beer, red wine or even a hot chocolate while watching the rain drip down the window. For some particularly gezellige (cozy) cafés check out De Oranjerie at Binnen Oranjestraat 15 or Café Gollem at Raamsteeg 4. Here are more reviews of Amsterdam cafés.

    Amsterdam's coffeeshop culture is slightly different, but no less welcoming to those who wish to avoid the rain. Some coffeeshops worth spending a rainy day in are Abraxas at Jonge Roelensteeg 12 - 14 or 420 Café at Oude Brugsteeg 27, just off the bustling Damrak. See our Amsterdam coffee shop reviews for the best.

    Both kinds of establishments will often offer board games and decks of cards along with refreshments in order to keep you entertained while the rain beats the cobblestones outside.

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