A lot of people wonder, Does it snow in The Netherlands? It is also a question we get often asked when we meet other travelers during our travels around the world. When you’re planning a trip to The Netherlands during the winter, you probably want to know if you’re getting a lot of snow. Let’s find out!
During the winter season, it snows from time to time in The Netherlands. The highest chance of snowfall in The Netherlands is between December and February. On average The Netherlands gets 24 days with snow during a year. However, because of climate change, the average days with snow decreases every year.
We all know that the climate is changing, but still, there is plenty of snow days left in The Netherlands. In this article, we tell you all about when you have the highest chance of snow days, how to prepare for it, and what the best snow activities are in The Netherlands. Let’s read on!
Snow days in The Netherlands
The winter period has the highest chance of snowfall. Between December and February, there are, on average, 24 days with snowfall. However, this doesn’t mean that the country turns into a white winter wonderland every year.
Most days, temperatures are too high for the snow to stay. The snow melts before it hits the ground. There are two types of snow Dry Snow and Moistured Snow.
Dry snow is snow that creates the white winter wonderland. When temperatures on the ground are cold enough for snow to stay, dry snow creates what we know as a snow deck. Snowdecks only appear when temperatures are below or around the freezing point. Temperature is 32 Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius) or lower.
Moistered snow, also known as Wet Snow, derives when the air- and ground temperatures are above the freezing point. So this will mean 32 Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius) or higher. When this is the case, the snow that’s falling is melting before it hits the ground. It only creates a wet and often slippery surface.
When there’s a lot of moistered snow falling in a short amount of time, the snow can stay for a few hours, but it always melts quickly.
Snow and traffic
Snowfall in The Netherlands can have a significant influence on daily life. At first, you think its fun. A snow deck is beautiful to see, and it is great to spend some time in the snow playing around. However, the influence of snow on traffic and public transport is significant.
When the snow is such that it creates a snow deck, it is is possible that public transport stops running for safety reasons. Buses and trams can’t drive around safely through the cities because of the slippery roads.
Also, traffic gets significantly slower. During heavy snowfall, it is harder to see other traffic, and with the slippery road conditions, it is not allowed to drive faster than 19 or 31 mph (30 or 50 kilometers/hour.)
Traffic Control is strict in The Netherlands, and with the precautionary measures during (heavy) snowfall, it is safe to drive around.
Best Things to do in The Winter Season
When it is snowing in The Netherlands, there aren’t many extra things to do. Of course, you can build a snowman or find a place where you can ride a sled. It is just fun to go outside!
We don’t have mountains in The Netherlands, so the flat country is not suitable for skiing. We do have different indoor ski centers, called Snow-world, which are fun for a visit. You can visit these centers year-round though.
Visit Cultural Sites and events
Visiting the Netherlands during the winter period can be fun. It is a great time to visit the different cultural sites, and there are a few events you can attend.
Amsterdam Light Festival is an art festival that you allow to follow a route of different artworks through the center and canals of Amsterdam.
During the winter period, there are different speedskating on ice competitions you can attend. The Dutch have some of the best speedskating athletes in the world, with all-time world champion Sven Kramer as the most famous one. Every year athletes compete for the National, European, or World Championships competition. Find the latest speedskating calendar on this website (website is in Dutch).
Some interesting cultural sites to visit are;
- Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam)
- Anne Frank House (Amsterdam)
- Van Gogh Museum (Amsterdam)
- Mauritshuis (The Hague)
- Escher in the Palace (The Hague)
Go Ice Skating
There is a slight chance that you can go ice skating on the natural lakes during the winter period. However, almost every city organizes ice skating courts throughout the winter season. One of the most famous ice skating courts is Ice*Amsterdam, located at Museumplein next to the Rijksmuseum, which opens annually between November 16th and February 2nd.
However, the winter period is not our most recommended period for a visit. We wrote an extensive article about the best time to visit The Netherlands. The article contains a month to month guide, where we tell you about the best things to do. We also give each month a star-ranking at the best time to visit. The winter months December – February score 3 out of 5 stars.
Read the article here: Best time to visit The Netherlands.
What to pack for the winter in The Netherlands
When you decide to book your trip to The Netherlands during the winter period, you better prepare for some cold conditions and unpredictable weather.
We create this packing list to make your life easier.
We always try to travel light, but winter clothes are a bit heavier than when you only need to pack a few shorts and shirts. That’s why we recommend using a backpack which you can use as a duffel bag as well. It’s easy to use and can fit a lot of stuff. We use the NorthFace Duffel bag (check the latest price on Amazon), it fits both our summer and winter clothes.
To keep the duffel bag organized, we recommend using some packing cubes of Eagle Creek. There are other packing cubes available, but our experience with Eagle Creek Pack Cubes (check the latest price on Amazon) is perfect. The packing cubes are good quality, and with the different sizes and colors, it is easy to keep things separated.
Recommended clothing for a trip to The Netherlands is warm clothes. Make sure to bring enough warm sweaters and trousers, and a winter-jacket. Also, a beanie and warm scarf are recommended. And maybe even hand gloves when you want to ride a bicycle.
When you’re visiting The Netherlands in February, you might want to bring a few shirts as well. The weather is unpredictable, and you might end up having some warm sunny days.
Are you looking for more recommendations? Make sure to check out our recommendations pages.
Related articles about The Netherlands
The winter period is not the most recommended period for a visit to The Netherlands. You might ask yourself, what is the best time for a visit? Make sure to read the article we wrote about the best time to visit, where we answer that question.
A visit to The Netherlands is for many a visit to Amsterdam. When you’re visiting Amsterdam, our article with 25 things to do in Amsterdam helps plan your stay.
We wrote several articles about our country. We love to tell you about the best things to do in The Netherlands. And despite the fact we are traveling around the world for several months a year, The Netherlands stays our home.
During our travels, people always aks us about the crazy traditions we have in The Netherlands, so we decided to write an article about it; The weird things the Dutch people are known for.