Have you booked (or are you thinking about) a trip to the Venice of the North? If so, you should consider going in the spring. Spring is considered a shoulder season in the Netherlands, so the main tourist crowds of summer haven’t descended yet. Not to mention the tulips! Without a doubt, springtime & tulips in the Netherlands will bring you out of hibernation.amsterdam architecture boats 1796705

NETHERLANDS TRAVEL RESOURCES

“Some tourists think Amsterdam is a city of sin, but in truth, it is a city of freedom. And in freedom, most people find sin.”

John Green

1. Weather

The weather in the Netherlands is notoriously unpredictable. Maybe rainy, maybe sunny. The beauty of it is that there’s so much to do there, indoor and outdoor.

I was surprised to learn that spring is the driest season, given the amount of tulips (and flowers in general) that are in bloom!

Since it’s so small, the climate is pretty consistent throughout the continent.

ºC / ºFhigh’slow’saverage rain dayshours of sunlight
march9º / 49º2º / 36º1012
april13º / 55º4º / 40º814
may17º / 63º8º / 47º915.5

Amsterdam

Amsterdam

If the weather’s nice, how about a self-guided walking tour of the Dutch Resistance?


2. What to Pack

tulips in the Netherlands

Layers, layers, layers! When I was there (late March/early April), I needed to buy both a hoodie and a tank top. I actually had tan lines due to walking around outside so much.

You’ll want to bring a small umbrella since you’ll probably be outside much of the time. You can buy one there, but it’ll likely be more expensive.

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I brought a lightweight rain jacket with me and it was perfect. Not only did it keep me nice and dry, but it didn’t make me hot. That was huge for me. Rain jackets were never my thing, so this worked great.

Check out my list of travel essentials here!

3. Where to stay

If you’re in a city with house boats, then check out the AirBnb listings nearby! I stayed at a house boat in Amsterdam and it was an awesome experience.

Houseboat in the Neatherlands
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4. Spring happenings

Update coming soon……

6 Flower parades

5. Outdoor Activities in Amsterdam

To experience the Dutch lifestyle, rent a bicycle! Not only can you cover a lot of ground, but it gives you a different perspective of the city. But be careful – people ride very fast and the locals want to get to where they’re going.

Join a kayak or paddle boarding tour of the canals! Organized tours might not be your thing. But you’ll probably have a good time, see the city from a different perspective, and get a few good laughs in the meantime.

Pack a lunch and go hang out in Vondelpark for the day. After that, get in the grass for some outdoor yoga on as well – if you don’t mind the occasional onlooker.

Bloemkenmarkt is the flower market in the city. It’s worth getting a bouquet to take back to your Airbnb or hotel for some sweet aromas. You are in the tulip capital of the world, after all. Don’t forget to check out the Amsterdam Tulip Museum – indoors in the event of rain!

I didn’t add bicycle or tour locations on the map, since you can rent bicycles pretty much anywhere, and there are plenty of kayak/SUP tours around.

Since it’s springtime in the Netherlands and there are so many tulips to see, maybe you want to stay on foot, anyhow.

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6. Day Trips from Amsterdam

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If you’re into gardens and tulips and color, then Keukenhof might be right up your alley. After all, this is the ultimate springtime celebration in the Netherlands.

As someone who definitely does not have a green thumb, I was more distracted by the hoards of tourists than I was taken by the gardens. Still, it was truly a beautiful place.

Visit The Hague, aka the ‘International City of Peace and Justice’, the seat of the Dutch government and the capital of South Holland. I love things related to international justice, however, I haven’t visited the Hague yet.

Photo from Holland.com

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Zaanse Schans is an open-air museum and conservation area just outside of Amsterdam. The town boasts the oldest working windmills in the world. If you’re big into culture, you’ll also love the museums and craftsmen’s workshops (including clog-makers!).

I often hear that Utrecht is essentially Amsterdam’s little sister. In addition to having less tourists, Utrecht also has more canals! Since I’m always game for less tourists, I’m definitely making it a stop on my next journey to the Netherlands.

Photo from Holland.com

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Alkmaar is famous for its cheese markets and cheese producers. Not only are the cheese markets a cultural highlight, but this place is a foodie’s dream come true.

In Giethoorn, there aren’t any roads – only canals. Despite not having any streets, you can still get around by foot or bike if rowing isn’t for you.

Photo from Pexels

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7. Where to get your Yoga on

Looking for yoga? If so, Amsterdam’s got a decent selection of studios to suit your preferences – bikram, hatha, vinyasa, etc. Many of the studios offer both English and Dutch.

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There you have it! The ultimate guide to springtime & tulips in the Netherlands! Did I miss anything? What about your favorite Dutch restaurants? Tell me in the comments!

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Get Travel Insurance

Unfortunately, there are a lot of things that can go wrong on any trip. Be prepared for the worst with travel insurance. We use Travelex or Safety Wing (often cheaper).

Book Flights

I use Skyscanner to find flights. I use it so much, I wrote an entire guide to finding cheap flights with Skyscanner!

Book a Place to Stay

I recommend using Expedia.com or Hotels.com for most hotel bookings. I prefer to book directly with Marriott when I stay there because of their excellent military discount.

If you prefer staying in a vacation rental instead, I recommend VRBO.

Rent Clothes

Rent clothes for your trip with Travel Style Expert for only $50 a month! The first 30 days are free!

Choose Activities and Tours

To find great activities in any area I use Get Your Guide and Viator. If we are visiting a city with lots of popular attractions I always check CityPass and GoCard to see if they have discount cards available. Groupon also tends to have a lot of local travel deals.

When I want to book a full-on multi-day tour I use TourRadar. They’ve got fantastic weekly deals. If I am going somewhere in Mexico or the Caribbean I use Apple Vacations.

Rent a Car or Take a Lyft

More often than not Lyft is cheaper than Uber. Use my Lyft link for an $18 credit! For a car rental in any country, I recommend Hertz or Discover Cars.

Save Money on Gas

Upside, a free app gets you cash back on gas! Use promo code RV2Q2 to get an extra 15¢/gal bonus on your first purchase.

Get a Visa

I use iVisa to get all of my Visas.

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