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Amsterdam Packing List: What to Bring on Your Trip

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Are you planning a memorable trip to Amsterdam? What you pack for your traveling adventure can make or break your stay, so we’ve put together a concise and complete packing checklist for you.

From the intriguing architecture and super friendly locals to the easy intra-city transport, Amsterdam is one of the most incredible cities 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, however long you plan to stay in Amsterdam, the season should play a role in what you pack. Amsterdam is a year-round destination, but the seasons are remarkably distinct, so you need to factor in when you go so you can pack accordingly.

TL;DR: Amsterdam Travel Essentials

Category Product
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

What Clothing to Pack for Amsterdam Based on Season

Traditional gabled houses and classical statue in Amsterdam's Begijnhof courtyard on a spring day.
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

When you travel to Amsterdam, you will have a big say on the staple items you must pack. Amsterdam experiences a temperate maritime climate, so a wardrobe catering to all seasons is necessary when packing for your visit.

Layers are the name of the game here. I don’t know anyone who 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 are wearing around Amsterdam.

See Related: These Are the Best Shops in 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 forecast. 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 

Busy Area of Zeedijk, Red Light District, Amsterdam
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

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, tulips are blooming, and plenty of greenery is cropping up. Spring is the perfect time to visit and 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:

See Related: Best Canal Cruises in Amsterdam

Amsterdam Packing List for Summer

Tourists on a Amsterdam Historical Highlights Walking Tour
360 Amsterdam / GetYourGuide

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. When packing for a trip to Amsterdam in July, you must pack reliable footwear and flexible outfits for warm weather.

However, breezes and temperature drops can occur rapidly at night despite being warm most of the time. If you are wondering what to wear in Amsterdam, the items that you can pack for the summer months include:

See Related: Minimalist Travel Accessories for Traveling Light

Amsterdam Packing List for Fall 

Shops and Market in Albert Cuypstraat, Amsterdam
vali.lung / Shutterstock.com

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.
  • Cardigan – even if you just pack this in your day bag, you’ll be thankful for that extra layer handy as the temperature drops throughout the day
  • Tailored blazers
  • Pretty scarves will help you feel comfortable and stylish
  • Nice raincoat or windbreaker for the growing wind chill and increased chance of rain showers and travel umbrella (as always)

See Related: My Favorite Reasons to Visit Amsterdam

Amsterdam Packing List for Winter

People ice skating in Amsterdam, Netherlands frozen canal
Kirill / Adobe Stock

Between December and February, the weather in Amsterdam is downright cold, so you must pack correctly to stay warm during your visit. The average cold weather temperatures in this season are between 30°F to 45°F (-1°C to 8°C).

Snow may fall with fair frequency, and the nights can get pretty chilly. Therefore, dressing warm for evenings out is a must. Wear shorts if you’re feeling brave, but you’ll be much better prepared if you include the following items in your suitcase:

See Related: Best Airbnbs and Vacation Rentals in Amsterdam

Amsterdam Packing List for All Seasons

1. Travel Insurance for Amsterdam

Travel Insurance Documents and Travel Necessities
photobyphotoboy / Adobe Stock

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 or canceled.

So, that’s where insurance can help you lock in your trip, guarded from 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 in general, where you can find policies from some of the best providers out there to fit the exact needs of your trip.

See Related: What is Travel Insurance?

2. A Travel Adapter for Any Electronic Devices

Set of three adapter

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 worldwide travel adapter can come in handy on every trip around the city and has extra features such as dual USB ports and built-in fuse protection.

See Related: An Expert Traveler’s Complete International Travel Checklist

3. Collapsible Water Bottle

Joypur Travel 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.

If you travel with just a generic bottle without a nifty filter built in, there are other top travel water purifiers you can take.

See Related: Best Bike Tours In Amsterdam

4. Neck Wallet

42Travel Premium Neck Wallet

neck wallet is perfect for carrying petty cash, passports, 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.

See Related: Is Amsterdam Safe? Here’s What to Know

5. Get a Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Laptop screen showing VPN

A virtual private network is essential for any traveler surfing the internet during their holiday. 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.

See Related: How to Become a Digital Nomad [Complete Step-by-Step Guide]

6. Portable Charger

Anker Black Power Bank

When traveling, you need to have a portable charger. A portable power bank is handy as you can quickly move around with it and recharge your devices. 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.

See Related: Best Hotels in Amsterdam, Netherlands

7. Camera

Woman with a camera taking photos on Westminster Bridge in London
pio3 / Adobe Stock

Bring a camera if you want to preserve the sweet memories of your Amsterdam voyage. A small digital camera is more than enough for snapping those spectacular moments you don’t want to forget while exploring Amsterdam.

We love the Olympus TG-7 because it’s waterproof – and as we’ve gone over by now, Amsterdam is a pretty wet city. Alternatively, if you love video, you’ll want the DJI Pocket for 4K video of the canals, biking, or walking through the iconic Vondelpark.

See Related: Best Camera Bags for Travel

8. Buy an OV-chipkaart or GVB Card

OV-chipkaart msart card

Although you can only obtain this when you arrive in the Netherlands, intra-city transport is necessary. 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 Airpor. 

See Related: I Amsterdam City Card Review: Is It Worth the Price?

9. A Map

Amsterdam Map

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 around the city.

See Related: Famous Landmarks in Amsterdam to Visit

10. Kid’s Necessities

Pushing a Stroller on Prinsengracht, Amsterdam
Here’s me “family backpacking” (Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers)

If you’re visiting Amsterdam on a family vacation with young children, then you’ll need to consider some necessary travel items for the younger members of your group.

Firstly, a sturdy and reliable travel stroller is vital. The Chicco Bravo Quick-Fold Stroller is a solid choice that can pack away for compact travel, provides a 50upf full coverage cover for sun protection, and can be transformed into a car seat for multi-use while on the move.

You’ll also want a diaper bag that’s durable and versatile, like RUVALINO Diaper Bag Backpack. It’s designed for convenience. But let’s not forget about those items that can make travel more comfortable for the little ones. For example, portable booster seats like hiccapop OmniBoost Travel Booster Seat can help make those delicious Dutch dining experiences much more comfortable for small children.

See Related: Best Travel Strollers | Top Portable Options

Luggage

Of course, you’ll need something to pack your items into when packing for Amsterdam. Taking the appropriate luggage with you to Amsterdam can be the final touch that helps make sure you can pack everything needed for a smooth and efficient trip.

Suitcase or a Carry-on Backpack

Black Suitcase

The first thing to do when packing is to get the ideal bag for the job. A suitcase with smooth spinner wheels or a big rucksack 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, which may require a bigger space when maneuvering around the city. Also, they don’t fare nicely in the Amsterdams’ narrow cobbled streets.

Of course, consider including packing cubes in your packing arsenal whether you go for a suitcase or backpack. I’ve found packing cubes invaluable on numerous trips as they can easily make any bag super organized and help separate laundry from clean clothes while moving.

See Related: The Travelers Guide To The Best Places to Buy Luggage

Weekender or Quick Getaway Bag

Weekender Bag

For a weekend, you need a staple bag with separate pockets for 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.

See Related: 2 Days in Amsterdam Itinerary | How to Spend 48 Hours

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 of your bulkier electronic devices are better left behind. Items like laptops and tablets are vital when working on the move, but if just visiting for vacation, keeping items like this back home is for the best.
  • 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.

See Related: How Much is a Trip to Amsterdam? [Full Trip Cost Guide]

Free Downloadable & Printable Amsterdam Packing Checklist

Printable Amsterdam Packing List - Free Download
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

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 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.

See Related: Best Vacation Planners & Templates for Your Next Trip

FAQs

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 the Van Gogh Museum, where you can stop by for an afternoon on a rainy day or before catching your flight home.

Is there a dress code for certain attractions or restaurants in Amsterdam?

There are not any specific dress codes for Amsterdam to the same extent as having to, for example, cover your knees and shoulders when visiting religious sites like Vatican City, Italy. Amsterdam is generally more casual than other European Capitals, and you could get away with wearing jeans and a basic T-shirt in most places.

If you’re thinking of what to wear in Amsterdam for a night out or a nice meal, don’t show up to a restaurant or club looking completely disheveled. Go for a comfortable yet presentable look, and you should be fine.

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