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Amsterdam Packing List: What to Bring on Your Trip

Amsterdam Packing List: What to Bring on Your Trip

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, super friendly locals to the easy intra-city transport, Amsterdam is one of the most incredible places in the world. 

This big Dutch city has a rich and unique history, with numerous museums to show for it.

While it’s known for many things like cycling, art, pot, cheese, and canals, its notoriously unpredictable weather stands out the most.

Amsterdam has all four seasons like most European countries. Thus, 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, and therefore, whatever you pack will be different depending on the time of the year. Your packing list, clothing-wise, and other items must be suitable for the season you’re visiting. 

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

Bags

Every smart traveler thinks of two main bags including:

  • Suitcase or a Carry-on Backpack

The first thing when it comes to 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 one is 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 is fit for both men and women also comes in 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 still leave enough space to put any souvenirs you get during your explorations.

Clothing Based on Different Seasons of the Year

Let’s break down what you should wear in Amsterdam based on the season.

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 or sneakers
  • Hat –a beanie, beret, or trapper hat will do
  • Gloves
  • 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

Amsterdam Packing List for Spring 

The Spring season, which falls between March and May, experiences the least rainfall. The average temperatures at 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 if you want 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
  • Modest dresses, skirts, and/or pairs of shorts – Ladies should consider wearing tights with skirts
  • Cute blouses (for women)
  • Shirts (for men)
  • Pair of pants or jeans
  • Warm sweaters or cardigans
  • A few tank tops or t-shirts
  • 1 -2 jackets or packable raincoat
  • Hat (just in case it gets chilly)
  • Comfortable shoes like flats or closed-toed shoes- Avoid sandals and flip flops

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 a high season for tourists.

When you visit at this time of the year, be prepared for heightened prices and be extra patient with long queues.

There are plenty of things to explore, including open-air concerts and fresh items for sale in busy markets.

Packing for Amsterdam in July includes top consideration for such a plethora of 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 sweaters
  • A light scarf
  • Insect repellant 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: 8 Minimalist Travel Accessories for Traveling Light

Amsterdam Packing List for Fall 

The fall season, which comes between September and November, 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, and there are 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
  • Cardigan
  • 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

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 need to invest in an international or universal travel adapter if you travel with any electronic devices. 

This adapter can be used in every trip around the city and has extra features such as dual USB ports and built-in fuse protection.

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.

With a water bottle, you can refill your water at any refillable point. So, you won’t have to buy water everywhere you go.

The good thing is that this water bottle has a filter and so you can always trust the water quality you drink from it. Check out these other top travel water purifiers you can take on the go.

Neck Wallet

A neck wallet is perfect for carrying your petty cash, passport, and credit/debit cards around. 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 you need them.

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, your information, both financial and personal, 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 enables you to browse without interruption, monitoring, or hacking.

Also, a VPN comes in 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 hotel, public transportation and airport wifi while you are on the go.

Charger

When traveling, you need to have a portable charger. A lipstick-sized portable one comes in handy as you can move around with it and recharge your devices quickly. 

All you need to do is to make sure the portable charger is fully charged when leaving your accommodation to let you recharge your devices while on the go.

Portable DSLR Camera

If you want to preserve the sweet memories of your Amsterdam voyage, then bring a camera. A small portable camera will do for snapping those spectacular moments you don’t want to forget while exploring Amsterdam.

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?

Taking a travel insurance cover to protect you against incidents such as canceled flights, theft, damage or loss of items, medical emergencies is essential.  

Never take a chance when traveling. If you don’t want to suffer or spend a fortune if such things happen, take cover from a reliable travel insurer.

Some of the best travel insurers include companies like World Nomads, Travel Insurance, or AARDY.

Cotton Shawl

The weather of 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.

Buy an OV-chipkaart when you Arrive in the Netherlands

Although you can only buy 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.

It enables the cardholders to top up their travel cards at the transport hubs. Then, you can easily jump on trams, buses, and metros to move around without using single-use tickets.

You can get the card at the ticket machines located at most railway stations, including the Amsterdam Central Station and Schiphol Airport.

A 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 so you can build your own walking tour.

Other Packing List Items for Amsterdam

  • Local currency (visit your local currency exchange) – You may use Travelex foreign currency exchange.
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Smartphone
  • Ipad/ tablet/ laptop case
  • Headphones
  • 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
  • Sunscreen
  • Makeup removing wipes
  • Summer dressed
  • T-Shirts

What to Pack if you’re visiting with a Toddler

  • Portable stroller
  • Baby carrier
  • Portable booster seat
  • Baby wipes

What NOT to Take to Amsterdam:

Those things that would simply 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 special function. Besides, Amsterdam is a laid-back city, and you don’t want to announce to everyone you’re a tourist.
  • Bulky Electronics – Unless you must come with them, and 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 end up not using them unless you need them to attend a special occasion.
  • Leave some space on your luggage bag for packing souvenirs that you may gather in 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 that you carry everything you need for a tour to the park.

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 turn out to be not so exciting.

But how do you do it and where do you start?

Well, 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 are factors that determine what type of clothes, shoes, and accessories to pack. Also, the activities you intend to do there will play a big role in this.
  • 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 for a trip, leave 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.

So, dive into our ultimate Amsterdam packing list and make your trip worth your while.

FAQ

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 that you can walk around in, so pack light!

If you’re looking to do some shopping 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, one-of-a-kind city with art and culture oozing from every corner of the ancient cobblestone streets.

Amsterdam has many great features including its long history, quaint houses of Amsterdam canal houses dating back to the 17th century!, beautiful canals, charming gardens filled with tulips, or stunning flowers such as the rosarium at Keukenhof.

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 that features 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, comfortable socks or tights that will 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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