Last Updated on 18th July 2022 by Sophie Nadeau
Amsterdam is a vibrant, cultural city and this guide is here to advise you on what to pack for Amsterdam. All the while looking effortlessly chic, of course. After all, a weekend in the Dutch capital is filled with food, incredible architecture and beautiful scenery. Think walking along canals, visiting museums and trying all of the waffles and cheese the city has to offer! Here’s your ultimate guide on what to pack for Amsterdam!
If you’re thinking about seeing a lot of attractions and monuments while in Amsterdam, Consider purchasing the I Amsterdam City Card, which includes free access free admission to 70 museums and attractions in Amsterdam and region and access to public transportation. To work out whether or not the pass is worth it for you or not, add up the cost of the individual attractions you wish to visit and see if you’ll save money. Find more details here.
General Style on what to Pack for Amsterdam
Style: In comparison with other European capitals, much of Amsterdam has a laid back vibe. In fact, when visiting many bars and restaurants, I ended up going out in my day wear, feeling that the nice ‘going out’ outfits I’d packed were a bit too smart. Casual chic is the way to go, and vintage is a popular style often worn by the locals.
Scarf: No matter what time of year you visit, I highly recommend bringing a scarf. Perfect for cooler summer evenings, it will keep also keep you warm and cozy on cold winter days. Plus, it can always double up as a blanket on the plane/ train/ bus (ha!).
Flat, comfortable shoes: I also definitely recommend bringing a flat pair of shoes you can easily walk in. Amsterdam is full of cobbled pathways which are difficult to navigate in any kind of heel. Flat shoes are also easier to cycle in if you choose to hire a bike (which I definitely recommend you do!). In order to style my flats with summer dresses, I often opt to wear a pair of keds.
Jeans: Come rain or shine, evening or the daytime, I always travel with a pair of black jeans like these ones. You can dress them up with a nice pair of boots and heels for the evening or stay warm on cooler days by pairing them with a pair of flat sneakers or sandals to explore the city.
Camera: There’s no doubt about it: Amsterdam is absolutely beautiful. With its long winding canals, cobbled lanes, old architecture and plenty of floral beds dotted around the city, bringing a camera is an absolute must. I personally shoot everything with my Sony A6000. It’s lightweight, portable and easy to get the hang of.
Sunglasses: In Spring, Summer, and Autumn, UV sunglasses are an absolute must. They protect your eyes, can hold back your hair in place of a hairband and add a little chic to your casual day outfit. (They’re also perfect for hiding your eyes when you’re trying to sleep during long-haul transit.)
A Book: Whether you want to spend your time reading in the park, on the plane to the city or in your accommodation, a book is always a great way to pass the time…
Makeup: Although I tend to give make up a miss these days, it’s always nice to have a little lipstick on hand to make an outfit look a little more ‘chic’. Just remember that if you’re travelling to the city via plane with hand luggage only, you’ll only be allowed to bring a few items. In terms of Makeup, I’m currently loving everything and anything by NYX (They’re also cruelty-free!)
Spring Amsterdam Packing Essentials
If you’re planning to visit Amsterdam in the Spring, then you should definitely consider a day trip from the centre. After all, it’s tulip season and all the best flower fields are outside of Amsterdam Proper. In order to visit the Dutch countryside, you can either take the well connected public transport or opt instead to rent a bike for a few days.
For day trips from Amsterdam in spring, I recommend bringing a warm jacket, jeans, a skirt with tights and a couple of chic tops. In terms of shoe wear, pack a pair of warm, comfy walking shoes and a pair of chic ankle boots for going out in the evening.
Wear: I recommend a warm jacket, jeans, a skirt with tights and a couple of chic tops. In terms of shoe wear, a pair of warm, comfy walking shoes and a pair of chic ankle boots for going out in the evening.
Weather: As in much of Northern Europe, Springtime in Amsterdam can be highly unpredictable. Average high temperatures are 8-16°C, while lows can be between 2-7°C. A warm jacket, waterproof shoes and plenty of layers for warmer spikes in temperature are a must.
Summer Amsterdam Packing Essentials
Summer has the best weather and is the height of the tourism season for the Dutch Capital. Days are long and it is often sunny. Open-air bars are packed and suncream is an absolute must! The city really comes to life in the Summertime; there are plenty of open-air performances, festivals, and parks to visit.
Wear: A couple of summer dresses, a light cardigan, a warmer jacket, a pair of sandals and a pair of Keds/ Converse shoes. Sun cream, sunglasses and a sunhat are also definitely recommended!
Weather: The weather is warm and sandals are appropriate (as long as they are comfortable to walk in). Think summer dresses, sunglasses and light cardigans in the case of small breezes. Average temperature highs are around 20°C, while lows hit around 12°C.
Autumn Amsterdam Packing Essentials
Warm, balmy days and cool crisp evenings, few seasons beat spending a weekend in Amsterdam in the Autumn. The leaves turn golden and there are fewer tourists around. There are fewer queues to get into museums and nothing tastes quite as good as a warm waffle on a cold day.
Wear: Similar to Spring; A warm jacket, jeans, a few tops and some lighter jackets to layer. I also recommend comfortable walking shoes and some nicer ankle boots for eveningwear.
Weather: Much like Springtime, the weather is fairly unpredictable. You can expect short showers, cool evenings and some warmer days. Packing layers to combat the different weather types is a must, as is a warm jacket.
Make sure to pack waterproof shoes in the event of rain. Autumn in Amsterdam is a little cooler than the summer months; highs are around 8-17°C, while lows can be as little as 3°C.
Winter Amsterdam Packing Essentials
The winter months in Amsterdam can be cold and there is often snow. However, this also means that hotels and hostels are less expensive as there are fewer tourists milling about. There are also shorter waiting times to enter museums, and all the space you could need in restaurants and cafés.
Wear: A warm winter coat, scarf, gloves, jeans/ warm trousers, a couple of jumpers and a few tops.
Weather: Amsterdam’s position means that it is frequently cold, wet and snowing in the Wintertime. Exploring the city in the frost is a beautiful experience, but also a rather chilly one. As such, I highly recommend packing a warm winter coat, gloves, scarves and waterproof shoes.
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Sophie Nadeau loves dogs, books, travel, pizza, and history. A fan of all things France related, she runs solosophie.com when she’s not chasing after the next sunset shot or consuming something sweet. She currently lives in Paris. Subscribe to Sophie’s YouTube Channel.