Are you planning a memorable trip to Amsterdam? What you pack for your traveling adventure can make or break your stay. What, then, should you include in your Amsterdam packing list?
From the intriguing architecture and super friendly locals to the easy intra-city transport, Amsterdam is one of the most incredible places in the world. This iconic Dutch city has a rich and unique history, with numerous museums to show it. While it’s known for cycling, art, pot, cheese, and canals, its unpredictable weather stands out the most.
Amsterdam has all four seasons, like most European countries. Consequently, whether you plan to stay longer or you’re only around for a weekend getaway, the season should play a role in what you pack.
The seasons are remarkably distinct; therefore, whatever you pack will be different depending on the time of the year. Your packing list, clothing-wise, and other items must suit the season you’re visiting.
If you prefer, you can always get our free downloadable packing list directly to your email in PDF form.
TL;DR: Amsterdam Travel Essentials
|Travel Insurance||Search for a Policy with TravelInsurance.com|
|Travel Accessories||European Travel Adapter|
|Tours & Experiences||Amsterdam City Card w/ Transport|
|Transportation||GVB Public Transportation Card (1-7 Days)|
|Essential Clothing||Waterproof Rain Jacket|
However, it’s good to be always ready for rainy or chilly temperatures at any time of the year. If you’re about to embark on an adventure, here is what to pack for Amsterdam.
Amsterdam Packing Checklist
Travel Insurance for Amsterdam
Accidents happen where your valuables may get lost and untraceable, you may suddenly fall ill, or your flight may be canceled unexpectedly. If such an event occurred, what would you do?
While Amsterdam isn’t a trip like going to the jungle or bungee jumping, the bike paths are a serious deal here, and with the rise of electric bikes, it can get pretty dangerous, so you want to be covered. That’s why we like using a tool like TravelInsurance.com to find a policy that fits exactly our preferences.
Buying a travel insurance policy to protect you against canceled flights, theft, damage or loss of items, and medical emergencies is essential. The weather can be highly volatile here, so flights get delayed and canceled as well, so that’s where travel insurance can help you lock in your trip of any unexpected events, both medically and for your travel plans.
We recommend travel insurance coverage from SafetyWing for younger travelers and backpackers. Meanwhile, TravelInsurance.com is the best search engine for travel insurance, where you can find policies from some of the best providers out there to fit the exact needs of your trip.
What to Wear in Amsterdam Based on Season
Amsterdam, the city of canals and bicycles, experiences a temperate maritime climate, which means a wardrobe for all seasons is a must when packing for your visit. Layers are the name of the game here. I don’t know anyone that leaves home without a jacket and it’s like that for 90% of the year.
Before we break it down based on the time of year, you may wonder what people where around Amsterdam.
What do people wear in Amsterdam?
People in Amsterdam typically wear casual, practical, and stylish clothing. This is largely influenced by the city’s weather, bike-centric transportation, and relaxed atmosphere.
It’s common to see locals dressed in layers to accommodate the often changeable weather, and comfortable shoes are a must, especially given the city’s cobblestone streets.
Fashion in Amsterdam leans towards the minimalist, with neutral colors and simple patterns dominating the scene, reflecting the Dutch appreciation for functionality and understated elegance.
Amsterdam Packing List for Spring
The Spring season, which falls between March and May, experiences the least rainfall. The average temperatures in this season are between 50°F to 60°F (10°C to 16°C).
At this time, the city is thawing, cute flowers like tulips are blooming, and plenty of greenery is cropping up. Spring is a perfect time to visit to enjoy unforgettable sights and smaller crowds.
You can opt for lightweight clothes when it’s sunny along the canals. However, always be ready for rainfall or cooler temperatures when the sun goes down. The essential items to pack for spring when visiting Amsterdam include:
- Waterproof shoes or waterproof boots
- Foldable umbrella
- Light scarf
- Sunglasses such as Ray-Ban
- Modest dresses, skirts, and pairs of shorts
- Cute blouses (for women)
- Long-sleeve shirts (for men)
- Pair of pants or jeans
- Warm sweaters or cardigans
- A few t-shirts
- 1 -2 jackets or packable raincoats
- Hat (just in case it gets chilly)
- Comfortable shoes like flats or closed-toed shoes
Amsterdam Packing List for Summer
The summer season, which is between June and August, is the busiest and most crowded time. On average, the temperatures are between 65°F to 75°F (18°C to 24°C). The city is jam-packed with buzzing activities, and it’s the high tourist season. When you visit at this time of the year, be prepared for heightened prices and be extra patient with long queues.
There are many things to explore, including open-air concerts and fresh items for sale in busy Amsterdam markets. Packing for Amsterdam in July includes top consideration for many such activities. You need to pack reliable footwear and flexible outfits for warm weather.
However, despite being warm most of the time, breezes and temperatures drop can occur rapidly at night. If you are wondering what to wear in Amsterdam, the items that you can pack for the summer months include:
- Comfortable flats or walking shoes for sightseeing – should be comfy enough for biking or walking.
- Classy wedges for going out (ladies)
- A few modest dresses, crop pants, lightweight dress pants, or modest skirts
- Skinny jeans
- Nice pants and shirts(casual or official for men)
- A cardigan or light-layered sweater
- A light scarf
- Insect repellants as mosquitoes might be an issue
- Foldable travel umbrella – Summer can be rainy as well
- Stylish rain jacket or a waterproof jacket, or a light jacket
- Summer dresses
See Related: Minimalist Travel Accessories for Traveling Light
Amsterdam Packing List for Fall
Between September and November, the fall season brings cooler temperatures, and the latter month can become pretty chilly. The average temperatures in fall are between 50°F to 65°F (10°C to 18°C). This season is also less crowded, with only a few tourists around.
At this time of the year, dress in layers that can easily be removed or added when temperatures change. This is the time to break out from nice pants and pretty sweaters and maintain a neutral color palette. If you are wondering what to wear in Amsterdam in autumn, here are some items to include on your list:
- Comfortable flats and closed-toed shoes are best. But you may also consider boots
- Skinny jeans
- Tailored blazers
- Pretty scarves will help you feel comfortable and stylish
- Nice raincoat and travel umbrella (as always)
- Rain gear
- Comfy shoes
See Related: How to Travel Full-Time
Amsterdam Packing List for Winter
Between December and February, the weather in Amsterdam is downright cold. The average temperatures in this season are between 40°F to 50°F (4°C to 10°C).
Snow may fall with fair frequency, and the nights can get pretty cold. Therefore, dressing warm for evenings out is a must. Some of the essential cold-weather packing list items include:
- Warm and waterproof coat
- Warm, rain-ready boots, like women’s black rain-ready UGG boots
- Hat –a beanie, beret, or trapper hat will do
- Winter scarf (one or two)
- Warm sweaters, sweatshirts, or cardigans
- Long-sleeved shirts for men or blouses for ladies
- Jeans, pants, or leggings
- Wool socks
Other Items to Pack for Amsterdam
A Travel Adapter for your Devices
Like in most EU countries, power sockets in Amsterdam have two prongs, unlike those in the US. Therefore, you must invest in an international or universal travel adapter if you travel with electronic devices. This European travel adapter can be used on every trip around the city and has extra features such as dual USB ports and built-in fuse protection.
See Related: Best Food Tours in Amsterdam
Collapsible Water Bottle
Whether you’re walking, cycling, or hiking, you need water to quench your thirst. Therefore, pack a collapsible water bottle like Joypur to ensure you have safe water to drink wherever you go.
You can refill your water at any refillable point with a water bottle. So you won’t have to buy water everywhere you go. The good thing is that this water bottle has a filter, so you can always trust the water quality you drink. Check out these other top travel water purifiers you can take.
A neck wallet is perfect for carrying petty cash, passport, and credit/debit cards. Be wary of pickpockets when moving around the city.
The good thing about a neck wallet is that you can tuck it inside your clothing or beneath your shirt where it’s not visible or detectable by thieves. With it, you enjoy safety and easy access to your items whenever needed.
Get a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
For any traveler, a virtual private network is essential. It protects you from hackers and cyber-crimes when using WiFi. Without a reliable VPN from Atlas VPN, your financial and personal information is vulnerable to virtual predators. A VPN creates an extra shield between you and would-be criminals by creating an additional layer of private encryption. Thus, it lets you browse without interruption, monitoring, or hacking.
Also, a VPN is handy for you if you travel to a place where the internet is censored or blocked. You can use it to gain access to hidden content. Use Atlas VPN for the best possible VPN to secure yourself from the hotel, public transportation, and airport wifi while on the go.
When traveling, you need to have a portable charger. A lipstick-sized portable battery is handy as you can move around with it and recharge your devices quickly. All you need to do is ensure the portable charger is fully charged when leaving your accommodation to let you recharge your devices while on the go.
Portable Camera or DJI
Bring a camera if you want to preserve the sweet memories of your Amsterdam voyage. A small portable camera will do for snapping those spectacular moments you don’t want to forget while exploring Amsterdam. Alternatively, if you love video, you’ll want the DJI Pocket for 4K video of the canals, biking, or walking through the iconic Vondelpark.
The weather in Amsterdam can become notoriously unpredictable. Therefore, carrying a cotton shawl wherever you go is a perfect idea. Cotton is an excellent fabric that you can wear to almost any destination. It’s soft, comfortable, and lightweight and can add that extra layer whenever the weather gets too cold. So a cotton shawl is a handy staple.
See Related: Best Hostels in Amsterdam
Buy an OV-chipkaart or GVB Card
Although you can only obtain this when you arrive in the Netherlands, it’s necessary to have intra-city transport. It’s a travel card that offers you the convenience of moving around. You can still buy the GVB travel pass in advance, which will be ready when you arrive.
It enables cardholders to top up their travel cards at the transport hubs. Then, you can quickly jump on trams, buses, and metros to move around without using single-use tickets.
You can get the card at the ticket machines at most railway stations, including the Amsterdam Central Station and Schiphol Airport—the most effective way is to get a GVB ticket in advance for unlimited local transportation on the tram.
Thanks to its multi-tiered and concentric canal belts curving around the city, getting around Amsterdam city can be pretty confusing for a visitor. A map is a necessity when you want to explore the city.
Whether you have it printed on paper or displayed on your phone, you need a map to get around quickly. It will help you master the perplexing layout of the Netherlands’ capital.
With it, you’ll manage to master the key landmarks and streets beforehand, which will help you get the bearings right. Grab this handy map from Michelin to build your walking tour.
See Related: Best Canals in Amsterdam to See
Luggage & Bags
Every smart traveler thinks of two main bags including:
Suitcase or a Carry-on Backpack
The first thing in packing is getting the ideal bag for the job. A suitcase with smooth spinner wheels or a big backpack can fit all the items you need for your stay in Amsterdam. A carry-on bag or backpack is enough to hold all necessary items for a one-week trip.
And for extended trips lasting two weeks or more, nothing beats Travelpro Platinum Elite. This classic bag has a built-in suiter to guard against wrinkles, expandable gliding spinner wheels for easy mobility, and a warranty.
Most people prefer backpacks as suitcases may require bigger space when maneuvering around the city. Also, they don’t fare nicely in the Amsterdams’ narrow cobbled streets.
Weekender or Quickie Getaway Bag
For a weekend, you need another tiny staple bag with separate pockets for your items like a laptop, charger, cellphone, cards & traveling documents, adapter, foldable umbrella, toiletries, phone, reading materials, and pens.
Vetelli Toiletry Bag is admittedly one of the best toiletry bags. The beauty of this bag lies in its lush leather, affordability, and practicality. Its pockets make packing, using, and unpacking items a complete breeze.
A day bag that fits both men and women is also handy as it’s stylish and spacious. You can carry it comfortably when walking, biking, or going for boat rides. Also, you can carry all your items and leave enough space to put any souvenirs you get during your explorations.
Other Packing List Items for Amsterdam
- Local currency (visit your local currency exchange) – You may use Travelex foreign currency exchange.
- Hand sanitizer
- Ipad/ tablet/ laptop case
- Prescription medication
- Deodorant wipes
- Quick to dry towel
- First aid kit
- Lightweight towel
- Anti-wrinkle spray
- Glasses & Contacts supply
- Tide to-go pen
- Shaving supplies
- Laundry bag
- Makeup removing wipes
- Summer dressed
What to Pack if You’re Visiting with a Toddler
- Besrey Portable Travel Stroller
- Baby carrier
- Portable booster seat
- Baby wipes
See Related: Top Tips for Biking in Amsterdam
What NOT to Pack for Amsterdam
Those things that would waste your space and make your luggage bulkier are better left out. They include:
- Expensive jewelry and other valuables – Being spotted with such would only make you a target for pickpockets unless you need them to attend a particular function. Besides, Amsterdam is a laid-back city, and you don’t want to announce you’re a tourist to everyone.
- Bulky Electronics – Unless you must come with them, some electronic devices are better left behind.
- Avoid TSA-prohibited items – Before you visit Amsterdam, familiarize yourself with TSA requirements to find out what you should not bring.
- Avoid high-heeled shoes– For ladies that love high heels, perhaps you should rethink when packing some. You may not use them unless you need them to attend a special occasion.
- Leave some space in your luggage bag for packing souvenirs you can gather during your adventures.
Free Downloadable & Printable Amsterdam Packing Checklist
Knowing exactly what to carry for a trip might be quite challenging, especially if it’s a first-time visit. This Amsterdam Packing List ensures you carry everything you need for a park tour.
When it’s Amsterdam, the list of things to do and places to visit is always full. Whether it’s traveling back through its rich history lanes or visiting its numerous picturesque sites, Amsterdam is always a perfect vacation point.
However, like any other travel, you must prepare adequately to help make the trip gratifying. Remember, without prior planning, the trip might not be so exciting.
But how do you do it, and where do you start? A packing list is a crucial aspect of your trip that can greatly affect how fulfilling your travel will be. And that’s something you must plan for.
But not to worry! If you are planning to visit Amsterdam, we have you all covered. We have prepared a comprehensive Amsterdam Packing list e-book to ensure you get to carry all that’s necessary.
What’s Included in the Ultimate Amsterdam Packing List?
When traveling, you need to look at all aspects of your trip. This includes everything from the travel dates, sites to visit, places to stay, and, most importantly, what to carry. Our detailed Amsterdam packing list has highlighted everything you need to carry for that amazing trip. These include:
- Clothing – are you traveling during summer, winter, autumn, or spring? These factors determine what type of clothes, shoes, and accessories to pack. Also, the activities you intend to do there will play a big role.
- Travel or holiday insurance – are you insured for this trip? If not, which are the best companies to seek such services?
- Other items – besides clothing, what other items can help make your trip easy and comfortable? For instance, have you downloaded a map for the sites you wish to visit?
It’s not always easy to plan a trip, let alone know exactly what to include in your suitcase or backpack. And with a city like Amsterdam, a bit of advice from someone who has had firsthand experience of the place is always invaluable. Download our ultimate Amsterdam packing list and make your trip worthwhile.
What should I pack for Amsterdam?
Amsterdam is a beautiful place, and it would be a shame to leave Amsterdam with less than the optimal items along with you. Bring layers (with lightweight jackets) for changing weather and intense activity like biking. Clothes that dry quickly are great for extended periods of rain or travel.
And bring the soigné basics— dark jeans/pants, versatile dress pants, notch collar shirt in creme or white, leather belt, and low-heeled shoes. Amsterdam is a city you can walk around, so pack light!
If you’re looking to shop while in Amsterdam, be sure to bring an extra bag just for souvenirs! Amsterdam is also home to some of the best cheese in the world. Use packing cubes to ensure your luggage is packed efficiently.
What should I know before going to Amsterdam?
Amsterdam is a unique and wonderful city with art and culture oozing from every corner of the ancient cobblestone streets. Amsterdam has many great features, including its long history and quaint houses of Amsterdam canal houses dating back to the 17th century. Amsterdam also has many great museums, such as Van Gogh Museum, which you should stop by for an afternoon on a rainy day or before catching your flight home.
What should I bring to the Netherlands?
The Netherlands is an excellent country to visit, with great culture and vibes, but given the weather, you may want to review your packing list before you embark on your future travels!
Pack comfortable shoes that are easy to walk in, an extra sweater or light coat just in case of changing weather conditions, and comfortable socks or tights that fit into boots easily if needed.
As Amsterdam is already temperate year-round, it would be wise to carry a light jacket rather than a heavy winter coat unless it’s the dead of winter.
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