Winters in Amsterdam are going to be extremely cold, irrespective of the time of the day. The days are usually short and dark with diminished daylight hours. November is the wettest month of the year in Amsterdam. The temperatures also begin to drop as the month progresses. The average maximum temperature during November and December is 9 degrees Celsius while the average minimum temperature is around 4 degrees Celsius.
Amsterdam experiences its coldest weather in January. The average daily temperatures are about 3 degrees Celsius. However, the winds blowing through the several canals may make it seem colder than it is. The days are usually grey and gloomy with a possibility of snow.
Most public attractions and restaurants will be cosy and warm. February sees an increase in daily temperatures. The average maximum temperature is at 8 degrees Celsius while the average minimum temperature is around -1 degrees Celsius. Some days may experience fog and winds, making it seem colder. February is a relatively dry month. Despite being a wet and cold month, you can explore the city comfortably if you pack accordingly. Sometimes the canals freeze, and you can get to see the locals glide all over them. Key Events in Winter
- The Amsterdam Light Festival is a popular event that takes place on the last Saturday of November. The main highlight of this festival is the boat parade in the beautifully illuminated city canals.
- The Arrival of Sinterklaas usually takes place around mid-November. The concept is similar to that of Santa Claus, who brings treats and gifts for children.
- The International Documentary Film Festival of Amsterdam takes place over two weeks in the second half of November. It is a world-renowned international film festival that showcases excellent films and filmmakers.
- Christmas is an occasion for exchanging gifts and celebrating with family. Several Victorian-style Christmas markets set up shop throughout Amsterdam. Restaurants and other public instalments usually remain open and cater to the needs of the tourists.
- New Year’s Eve is celebrated throughout Amsterdam with parties and elaborate displays of fireworks. New Year’s Day is a public holiday in Amsterdam. However, most of the tourist attractions and museums remain open.
- Whisky Weekend Amsterdam is celebrated over three days in mid-January. Whiskey enthusiasts come together for tastings and other festivities.
- The National Tulip Day is held on the third Saturday of January each year. An enormous temporary garden is created that is open to the public for free flower picking.
- The Food Soul Festival takes place on the last weekend of January every year. It is an excellent opportunity to indulge in various dishes from the best food trucks in the city.
- The Amsterdam Salsa Festival is an annual event that takes place over a weekend in mid-February. Salsa lovers come together to take part in a variety of workshops and to witness spectacular performances by some of the best salsa dancers in the world.
- The Chinese New Year is celebrated over the weekend that is closest to the actual date of the New Year according to the Chinese calendar. The festivities include an elaborate display of fireworks, tea ceremonies and dragon races.