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What is the weather like in the Netherlands? What clothes to take when going there?

14 November, 2022
Sylwia Szerszeń

More and more people from central and eastern Europe are travelling to the Netherlands. When packing your suitcase, whether for a work trip or as a tourist, it’s a good idea to find out in advance what the weather is like where you will spend the upcoming time. This will let you avoid unpleasant surprises and unforeseen additional expenses when you’ve reached your destination. So, let’s take a look at what the weather in the Netherlands is like.

The climate in the Netherlands

The Netherlands lies in the warm temperate climate zone – more specifically, in its maritime variant. Average winter temperatures range from 0 to 3ºC, while in July – the hottest summer month in the Netherlands – temperatures fluctuate between 17 and 19ºC, meaning that Dutch summers are not as hot as in the Mediterranean.

It’s important to remember, however, that the figures given are average ones, so actual temperatures, particularly given global warming, can sometimes be much higher. Having said that, evening and morning fog and many windy days are very typical of the entire country – on average, there are about 360 days a year with strong winds in the Netherlands. As for the coastal area, sea storms and thunderstorms are quite common.

Winters in the Netherlands

Dutch winters are not much different from those in central and eastern Europe. Temperatures hover around freezing every year, and frost actually occurs very rarely. Admittedly, light frost may occur during the night and early morning, but daytime temperatures are already kinder. The so-called witte kerst, or White Christmas, is virtually non-existent in the Netherlands. Over the two-and-a-half-month winter, snowfall is rare.

Summers in the Netherlands

Dutch summers are characterised by very high weather changeability – very different climatic phenomena can be seen literally within an hour. Temperatures very seldom rise above 20-23ºC, but heavy rainfall and thunderstorms are common – the number of rainy days per year is usually between 120 and 160 in the Netherlands. It’s noteworthy that, unlike in central and eastern Europe, Dutch springs and autumns are periods that are like summer in terms of weather. It’s usually pretty warm, rainy, and foggy in these seasons.

What clothes should you take to the Netherlands?

Before packing your suitcase for a trip to the Netherlands, you won’t need to do a lot of shopping, as the Dutch climate is not significantly different from what we have in central and eastern Europe. However, it will be a good idea to leave your warmest jackets at home, as winters in the Netherlands are very rarely snowy and cold. It will also be a good idea to steer clear of dresses and shirts that don’t look good in humid climates – such as those made of linen. Instead of these, it’s better to take a rain jacket and a handy umbrella.

In summer, you can wear your regular summer clothes, i.e. shorts, skirts, dresses and t-shirts. To protect yourself from the wind, you’d better consider the following:

  • scarves,
  • shawls,
  • hats,
  • waistcoats,
  • mackintoshes.

Remember, however, that the weather in the Netherlands can change at any time, so it’s always a good idea to have something warmer with you that you can put on when it gets nippy. The best way to go about choosing clothes for the Dutch capricious weather and avoid surprises is to keep an eye on weather forecasts and the rainfall radar.