Experiences,  Netherlands

Amsterdam in Spring: Tulips, Festivals and Attractions

Are you looking to go to Amsterdam in spring? If not, this article will quickly convince you otherwise.

This Dutch city is full of culture, history, and shopping opportunities – not to forget the beautiful tulips blooming all around. Plus, Amsterdam offers plenty of lovely coffee shops and fun restaurants for you to enjoy!

I have been to Amsterdam many times, and my trip in spring was by far my favorite.

But to be honest, planning a trip to Amsterdam during tulip season can be a nightmare. There is so much information out there, that it is hard to choose the best activities.

To help you with your planning, I have created this ultimate guide to Amsterdam in spring for you. The step-by-step-guide is designed to walk you through the planning process of the trip to Amsterdam.

And of course, I’ll give you a small idea on how to fill three days in Amsterdam during tulip season.

Let’s get to it!

amsterdam in spring with tulips

Table of Contents

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Why Visit Amsterdam in Spring

🌷 Stunning Tulips, cherry blossoms and other flowers everywhere

🌷 Great weather

🌷 Lots of Fun Festivals

🌷 Celebrations and Local Holidays

🌷 You can sit outside

1. The Best Time to Go to Amsterdam in Spring

When planning your trip to Amsterdam in Spring, you need to keep a few things in mind:

  • The weather
  • The opening times of the Keukenhof Tulip Garden
  • National Holidays
  • The Amsterdam Tulip Festival

If you are on a budget, try to avoid these times as best as possible. If you have some money to spend, I definitely recommend visiting during the Tulip Festival and while the Keukenhof is open.

The Weather in Amsterdam in Spring

The weather in Amsterdam in spring can be quite variable, but usually it is mild and pleasant.

Keep in mind that there is always a chance of rain in the Netherlands. Rain, thunderstorms and lots of clouds are not uncommon, so be prepared.

In March, the average temperature in Amsterdam is around 9°C (49°F). There is occasional rain and cool winds. Later in the month, the temperatures gradually start to rise. The weather becomes more pleasant.

By April, the average temperature in Amsterdam rises to around 12°C (54°F). There is more sunshine and warmth. This is the best time to visit the city. We visited the last week of April and the weather was great. The parks and gardens started to bloom with colorful flowers.

In May, Amsterdam experiences some of its nicest weather of the year, with temperatures ranging from 14°C to 19°C (57°F to 66°F). It’s usually quite sunny, and the city’s many terraces start to come to life.

The Keukenhof tulip garden opens in mid-March, so it is not advisable to visit before that if you want to see some flowers. We visited at the end of April and enjoyed three sunny days but with lots of wind.

The best time to visit Amsterdam is from the end of April to the beginning of May in my opinion. You will still see the tulips and your chances at good weather are much better than in April.

Flower fields in Lisse, Amsterdam

Holidays in Spring in the Netherlands

There are a few holidays in spring in the Netherlands that you need to keep in mind.

During these times, hotels and attractions might be even busier and more expensive.

On the other hand, it can be a great time to visit because there is usually some sort of public entertainment.

🌸 King’s Day (Koningsdag): King’s Day is a national holiday that takes place on April 27th. It’s a day of national celebration and is marked by parties, parades, and other festivities throughout the country. I think this is a great day to visit.

🌸 Liberation Day (Bevrijdingsdag): Liberation Day is celebrated on May 5th and marks the end of World War II in the Netherlands.

🌸 Ascension Day (Hemelvaartsdag): Ascension Day is a Christian holiday that takes place 40 days after Easter. It’s a day to celebrate the ascension of Jesus Christ into heaven and is marked by church services and other religious events.

🌸 Pentecost (Pinksteren): Pentecost is a Christian holiday that takes place 50 days after Easter. It’s a day to celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit and is marked by church services and other religious events.

🌸 Good Friday (Goede Vrijdag): Good Friday is a Christian holiday that takes place on the Friday before Easter. It’s a day to commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and is marked by church services and other religious events.

Image of a bustling canal in Amsterdam, lined with historic Dutch buildings and filled with boats. People are celebrating on boats, many dressed in bright orange, possibly during a festival or national holiday.

The Amsterdam Tulip Festival

The Amsterdam Tulip Festival is an annual event in the Netherlands that celebrates tulips as a symbol of Dutch culture and heritage. It is held each year in spring. It has colorful parades and street markets.

The parades are one of the biggest attractions at the festival. Hundreds of people dressed in traditional Dutch costumes march down the streets of Amsterdam’s historic center.

The parades can also be seen in other important cities in the area, and are usually held on Saturdays. Make sure to check the schedule of the parades so you can plan a visit. The parades are one of the best things to do in Amsterdam with kids in spring as well.

In addition to the parades, there are also markets selling fresh tulips, bulbs, crafts and souvenirs. Visitors can buy handmade gifts or take part in creative workshops such as flower arranging or painting classes.

While I absolutely loved all the flowers and the costumes, it can be a bit busy and crowded. Keep that in mind when you plan your visit.

Vibrant floral sculpture of a duck, adorned with yellow, red, and purple flowers, set against traditional Dutch gabled houses under a clear blue sky, showcasing the festive spirit of spring in the Netherlands.

The Keukenhof Tulip Gardens

The Keukenhof Gardens are open from 21. March 2024 until the 12. May 2024. You should absolutely make sure to visit while the Keukenhof is open.

The Keukenhof is one of the biggest flower shows in the world. There are thousands of beautiful flowers on display and they will take your breath away.

The easiest way to visit the Keukenhof is with a day trip from Amsterdam, to get the most out of your visit.

2. How Much Time Do I Need in Amsterdam in Spring?

I think you need at least three days to enjoy Amsterdam in spring to the fullest. This gives you enough time to see the city and visit the Keukenhof.

The more time you have in Amsterdam, the better. I think you can keep nicely busy for up to a week. There are quite a few interesting spots you can see outside Amsterdam as well.

Spending less than three days in Amsterdam is not recommended. This way you’ll be rushed and can’t fully enjoy the city.

Find below a small guideline on how to fill your days in Amsterdam for a three-day trip. We did the exact same itinerary, and it was perfect.

3. How to Get Around Amsterdam

Getting from Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam city can be very easy and hassle-free – if you know how. After researching all the options we opted for the train – and it was quite hard to figure out at first.

Here are a few options at a glance on how to get to the city:

  • Train: The train station is located directly underneath the airport, and trains run frequently to Amsterdam’s Centraal Station. The journey takes around 20 – 35 minutes (depending on where you go). If your journey ends at Centraal Station, it costs about €5. If you wish to go somewhere else in the Inner City, you need to take the Metro and buy a separate ticket.
  • Bus: There are several bus options available at Schiphol airport, including the Amsterdam Airport Express, which takes you to Amsterdam’s Museumplein and Leidseplein areas. The journey takes around 35-40 minutes and costs around €6.50.
  • Taxi: Taxis are available 24/7 at the airport and can take you directly to your destination in Amsterdam. It usually takes around 20-30 minutes and costs around €50.
  • Airport Shuttles: There are numerous shuttle services available at the airport that will take you directly to your hotel. This option is usually slightly more expensive, but offers a more comfortable and convenient experience. You can also arrange a shuttle with your hotel if they offer.

No matter which option you choose, getting from Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam City is very straightforward and should take you no more than half an hour.

Once you arrive at Amsterdam City, it is easy to get around there as well. You can walk to most places, the city is pretty small. If you do not like walking as much, using the Metro is a great idea.

4. Activities in Amsterdam in Spring – Example Itinerary

Day 1

  • Check into your hotel
  • Leisurely walk around the Inner City
  • Shopping
  • Flower Market
  • Dinner and Cocktails at the Terraces

Day 2

  • Breakfast at Dignita
  • Scenic walk alongside the canals towards the Central Station
  • Afternoon trip to the Keukenhof
  • Dinner and Cocktails

Day 3

  • Breakfast at Corner Bakery
  • Vondelpark
  • Canal Cruise
  • Rijksmuseum gardens
  • Anne Frank House
  • Museum of Prostitution
  • Dinner

Day 1 – Amsterdam in Spring

After arriving in Amsterdam you might be exhausted from the journey, so I have opted for a stress-free first evening in this itinerary. This is also exactly what we personally have done, and we have really enjoyed it.

Dam Square is located in the heart of Amsterdam and a great place to start your walk. The square is surrounded by historic buildings, including the Royal Palace and the National Monument.

Also make sure to check out the Nieuwe Kerk, it is a beautiful church that is now used for royal weddings. If you are into photography, the  World Press Photo Exhibition in Amsterdam is always worth a visit. It is held at the Nieuwe Kerk.

End your first day in Amsterdam with a dinner on the terraces and some fancy cocktails. I can absolutely recommend Cafe Cha Cha and Bar Italia. We enjoyed traditional Dutch carpaccio and yummy margaritas. Amsterdam is also known for offering a great choice of restaurants for every taste, there are also many great vegan restaurants in Amsterdam.

Sitting at the terraces is very popular in the Netherlands as soon as the sun is out – so you should definitely try it.

Shopping in Amsterdam

🛍️ Kalverstraat: This popular shopping street starts at Dam Square and runs for over a kilometer, offering a mix of high-street and high-end shops. You’ll find everything from fashion and accessories to electronics and souvenirs. This is a pretty cool place and we also started our shopping spree there.

🛍️ Nieuwendijk: This pedestrian street is located just north of Dam Square and is another popular shopping destination. It offers a mix of independent and chain stores, as well as plenty of cafes and street performers.

🛍️ Magna Plaza: If you’re looking for more high-end shopping, head to Magna Plaza. It is a former post office that has been converted into a shopping center. Here, you’ll find luxury brands such as Gucci, Tiffany & Co., and Ralph Lauren.

🛍️ Bijenkorf: This department store is located just off Dam Square and offers a wide range of fashion, beauty, and home goods. It’s a great place for high-end shopping, as you’ll find brands like Chanel, Dior, and Saint Laurent. This is definitely my favorite shopping center in Amsterdam.

The Amsterdam Flower Market

The Amsterdam Flower Market, also known as the Bloemenmarkt, is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Amsterdam. It is located on the Singel Canal. This was one of my favorite photo spots in the city.

The market has been in operation since 1862. Local florists from the surrounding area and throughout the Netherlands sell their products here, including tulips, roses, daffodils, and other flowers, as well as bulbs, seeds, and other gardening supplies. I found the dried flowers the prettiest.

The first stall in the row is the most expensive, if you move a bit more down the line the bulbs become a little cheaper.

The Flower Market is open every day of the week, year-round. My mum and my friend from abroad bought lots of bulbs there to bring back home with them. (Check with your authorities whether you can import them into your home country, that might not always be the case).

While you are there, hop buy the Heinen Delfts Blauw Pottery Store and the Munttoren.

Day 2 – Amsterdam in Spring

Your second day in Amsterdam in this three day itinerary is all about flowers. Start the day off with a super yummy brunch at Dignita Hooftuin. It is one of the best breakfast & brunch places in Amsterdam. You can sit in the winter garden or on the terrace, depending on the weather.

From there you will slowly make your way to Centraal Station. It is a lovely walk and you will pass by Amsterdam’s most famous sights. At Centraal Station your afternoon trip to the Keukenhof will start.

About the Keukenhof

The Keukenhof tulip garden is one of the world’s largest flower gardens, located in Lisse. It is about an hour outside of Amsterdam. It is famous for its spectacular display of tulips, and it attracts around 1.5 million visitors each year.

The garden covers an area of 79 acres and features a variety of themed gardens, exhibitions, and pavilions. More than 7 million flower bulbs are planted here each year, including tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, and crocuses, creating a stunning, colorful landscape.

The garden is open for visitors from mid-March to mid-May each year.

The Keukenhof is a must-visit destination for flower lovers. To be honest, I found it a tad touristic and super crowded. But I still think it was pretty spectacular and I am glad I went there every year.

The best way to reach the Keukenhof from the Inner City is by bus, which is also what we did this year.

Best Day Trips to the Keukenhof

I have taken quite a few day trips to the Keukenhof and I think it is well worth it to go with a bus tour. They will make sure you get there safely and you don’t have the hassle of driving there.

Here are my top three recommendations of day trips from Amsterdam to the Keukenhof:

I always book my tours with Viator, because they have a free cancellation policy. In case I change my mind or my travel plans change I can still get all my money back – super useful!

My recommendation for the Keukenhof: Book at least a trip of 5 hours or more, to fully enjoy everything the gardens have to offer.

Do you need travel insurance in the Netherlands? Yes, travel insurance in the Netherlands is highly recommended. Avoid nasty surprises and have a worry-free long weekend with EKTA. EKTA offers worldwide travel insurance with 24/7 service and no hidden fees or restrictions.

Day 3 – Amsterdam in Spring

Start your day off with a super delicious breakfast at Corner Bakery. We chose the location in the Johannes Vermeerstraat, because it is super close to where our canal cruise started. The third day in the Amsterdam in Spring Itinerary is quite intense with lots of sights and fun things to do – so make sure to fill up at breakfast.

There are quite a few cool things to see in the area, so it is worth exploring a bit there after breakfast.

Vondelpark

The Vondelpark is the largest and most popular park in Amsterdam, located in the city’s south-western area. It is located near the Museumplein, so you can easily find it. The park covers an area of 120 acres and was opened in 1865. This makes it one of the oldest public parks in the Netherlands.

The Vondelpark is named after Joost van den Vondel, a famous Dutch poet. It’s a popular destination with around 10 million visitors each year. You can take a relaxed walk around the park or sit in a cafe and enjoy the surroundings.

Especially in spring, the Vondelpark is beautiful. We had a bit of bad luck with the weather this year, but there were many pretty blossoms all around the park.

A serene view of the Vondelpark in Amsterdam with lush green trees and a pond reflecting the clear sky. The foreground is bright with rows of blooming yellow and purple tulips, highlighting the park's springtime beauty.

Rijksmuseum

The Rijksmuseum is the largest museum of art and history in the Netherlands. It houses over 8,000 objects that showcase the cultural heritage of the country. You can find interesting objects from the Middle Ages to the present day.

The collection includes works by some of the most famous Dutch artists, such as Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Van Gogh. The museum has an impressive collection of masterpieces, including Rembrandt’s “Night Watch” and Vermeer’s “The Milkmaid”.

If you want to visit the museum, you need to book your spot well in advance. We were too late, so we could only visit from the outside.

The gardens of the museum are very beautiful and also worth a visit. You can check them out free of charge and without reservation.

rijksmuseum in amsterdam in spring with lots of flowers

De Pijp

De Pijp is a vibrant and diverse neighborhood in Amsterdam, you will walk through it on your way to the Corner Bakery. It is known for its bohemian atmosphere, multicultural vibe, and lively nightlife.

De Pijp is home to many trendy cafes, bars, and restaurants, as well as open-air markets and boutique shops. One of the best-known attractions in De Pijp is the Albert Cuypmarkt, one of the largest and most famous street markets in Europe.

It has been in operation since 1904 and offers all kinds of products, from fresh seafood to clothing and souvenirs. We stumbled in there on accident, but it was still nice to see.

You can also find the Heineken Experience there.

Amsterdam Canal Cruise

An Amsterdam Canal Cruise is a must-do when visiting Amsterdam in spring. There are several different tour operators that offer amazing tours through the enchanting canals of Amsterdam.

I usually book this experience every time I show someone around in the city. The boats are super comfy and you can even buy a bottle of champagne upon entry.

An Amsterdam Canal Cruise is a super relaxed way to explore the city and a nice break from walking. They usually take an hour and you can listed to an audio guide if you wish.

This is a great excursion to do for solo travelers in Amsterdam, as you’ll meet tons of fun people.

houses alongside the canal with cruise boat in amsterdam

Jordaan Neighborhood and Anne Frank House

The Jordaan neighborhood is a historic and picturesque area located in the heart of Amsterdam. It is a great place to visit in spring, because there are many flower decorations all over the neighborhoods.

The neighborhood is known for its narrow streets, small canals, and quaint shops and cafes. It’s a great place to explore on foot, with many hidden courtyards and alleys to discover. We enjoyed our walk there, because it was pretty quiet there.

Jordaan also has a rich cultural history. It has been home to many famous Dutch artists and writers, including Rembrandt and Anne Frank.

The Anne Frank House, which is now a museum, is located in the Jordaan and is a popular attraction for visitors. I visited the Anne Frank House twice, and I found is super interesting. Make sure to reserve your spot well in advance, otherwise you might not be able to secure a spot.

The smallest cheese shop in Amsterdam is also located there, you can recognize it by the colorful decorated bicycle. in front of it.

The Red Light District and Museum of Prostitution

The Red Light District is a famous neighborhood in Amsterdam. It is known for its legal sex industry and women posing in windows. The district is lined with window displays where sex workers offer their services to passersby.

We were a bit hesitant to go there at first but then decided that it was worth checking out at least once. We also chose to visit the Museum of Prostitution while being there and I can recommend the experience.

The Museum of Prostitution is dedicated to telling the story of prostitution in Amsterdam and offers a unique insight into the world of sex work. The museum is housed in a former brothel and an audio guide will tell you all about working there.

You can learn about the history of prostitution in Amsterdam, the daily life of sex workers, and the changing attitudes towards sex work.

The Museum of Prostitution is an informative and thought-provoking attraction on a controversial topic. I found it to be a good place to learn about the history and culture of Amsterdam’s Red Light District. But more than that it helped to get a better understanding of the complex issues surrounding prostitution. It also provoked me to re-think my judgement I had towards the workers there.

5. What to Pack for Amsterdam in Spring

If you’re planning to visit Amsterdam in the spring, it’s important to pack clothes suitable for both warm and cooler weather.

In Amsterdam, there is always a chance of rain and wind at any time during the spring months, so be sure to bring some warm clothes as well as a waterproof jacket or umbrella. The winds make you feel very cold, so I suggest to dress up in the onion-look with lots of layers.

Also bring comfortable walking shoes for exploring the city and sunglasses. A small umbrella is also advisable.

Lastly, bring a

22 best places to visit in Europe in Spring.

Another great place to visit in spring close-by is Brussels.

blonde girl pink dress in front of blue door santorini

About the Author

Sabrina is a passionate travel blogger and content creator, based in New Mexico. She spends about half of the year traveling to various destinations together with her husband.

She provides slow-paced itineraries that focus on quality over quantity. Sabrina wants to help her readers to get more out of their travel experiences – while doing less. Read more.