What To Pack For The Netherlands? | Complete Packing Guide


Are you preparing for your trip to The Netherlands? You probably could use some help deciding what to pack for The Netherlands. We made a complete packing list with seasonal tips, useful travel accessories for men and women. 

What you should pack for The Netherlands depends on what time of the year you’re visiting the country. Your standard packing gear should at least contain some warm clothes, comfortable hiking shoes, and a rain jacket. It can be rainy and chilly all year round. 

Packing your suitcase can be overwhelming, especially when you follow all those stories about the constantly changing weather in The Netherlands. But don’t worry, when you forget something you really need, you can always buy it in The Netherlands. And when you’re following our packing guide, you’ll bring all the essential items you need for your trip to The Netherlands. 

Packing Guide for The Netherlands

We divided the packing guides into Men’s and Women’s. The list contains all the basic stuff and specific recommendations for different seasons, so you’ll make your trip as convenient as possible. It is basically a checklist that you can use while packing for your trip. When you still need to purchase something, it would be great if you follow our recommendations. When you’re using one of our links for buying a product, we get a small commission at no extra cost for you!

The standard packing guide contains your everyday products. Clothing, toiletries, and other stuff you may use daily. We created this guide with our years of traveling experience, so we know what to bring on a trip, and what not to bring. We like to pack in the most efficient way, and don’t bring stuff we don’t use while traveling. 

Of course, for this packing guide, we’re focusing on The Netherlands. So we added a few products that come in handy while visiting our beautiful country. 

The standard extra products we recommend to bring while visiting The Netherlands are a rain jacket, umbrella, and some warm clothes. Even during the summer months, it can be chilly and raining on several days. So it’s better to be prepared! 

Clothing Men

Clothing Women

Shoes

When we’re not wearing our flip flops, we love to wear sneakers. We don’t have this sneaker ourselves, but it is on top of our list! We just didn’t need to buy new sneakers yet. However, the tropic feel sneaker is the ultimate travel sneaker you can buy. You can use for hiking, as a regular sneaker, when you go out, and even as your water shoes! Ideal to just have one pair of sneakers that you can use for everything! 

Personal Hygiëne products

Travel Essentials

There are some products you just need to bring while traveling. They make your life easier and more comfortable. We feel these are the travel essentials every traveler should use. They are actually not country related, but we just never leave without these products. 

Seasonal Packing Tips for The Netherlands

Depending on the time of the year you’re visiting The Netherlands, we recommend bringing several clothes and travel essentials that are convenient to wear and use at certain times of the year. The weather in The Netherlands is sometimes unpredictable.

So to help you out, we made an additional season list: autumn & winter packing list, and spring & summer packing list. Also, we added a short packing list for when you’re going to visit one of the Dutch festivals, which we think is one of the best things to do while in The Netherlands. 

Autumn & Winter Packing Guide The Netherlands

Months: September – March

The autumn and winter periods can be rainy, cold, and windy in The Netherlands. But many days are just cold and sunny. It is best to prepare for the colder and rainy days by bringing some warmer clothes and shoes with you. 

Weather is unreliable during this period. Sometimes during September, there are still some summer days, with lots of sun hours and around 25 degrees Celsius. In the last couple of years, we experienced a lovely late summer in September. However, most of the time, it is autumn that’s starting. Officially the summer period in Europe is running until the 22nd of September.

When you’re looking for guaranteed warm summer days during the September month, you better might be better of visiting Sicily in Italy or going on an island hopping tour in Greece.  

Shorter and colder days

The Netherlands uses the Daylight Saving Time principle, which means that every year, on the last Sunday of October, the clock goes one hour backward. This is to make sure there’s more daylight during the day. A principle from many years ago, which we still use today, initially to save the use of electricity. There’s some discussion in Europe if we still need to use Daylight Saving Time, but in the meantime, Europe still didn’t vote about it, so every country in Europe still uses this principle. 

Although the clock jumps backward in October and we have one hour of extra ‘daylight’ in The Netherlands, the days are getting shorter very quickly. Sunset can be as early as 1700 hours during the winter days. It is also getting much colder during this period. The daylight saving time principle makes sure that sunrise is earlier during the winter days. If The Netherlands didn’t use daylight saving time, sunrise would be very late in the morning. 

The Netherlands might be known for cold winter days, but in the last years, we don’t get as much snowfall and frozen lakes as we used to. (Yep, global warming).

Anyway, if you’re lucky and you are visiting The Netherlands during the top of the winter, between December and February, you have a (small) chance of snowfall and the possibility of ice skating on frozen lakes, canals, and rivers. When you’re planning a trip to The Netherlands during the winter period, we recommend you to read our article Does The Netherlands Get Snow? So you can learn more about the Dutch weather during this period. 

So what to pack for The Netherlands while visiting during Autumn or Winter? We recommend adding these articles to your packing list. They keep you warm and comfy during the colder days! 

Autumn & Winter Packing List Additions

If you like to go ice skating, we don’t recommend bringing your own ice skates. They take up a lot of space in your luggage, and the chances of skating on natural ice are very small. And there are a lot of places in The Netherlands where you can rent ice skates (in all sizes) during the winter season for a few Euros at artificial ice skating rinks across the country. 

Spring & Summer Packing Guide for The Netherlands

Months: April – August

Starting from April, the days are getting longer and warmer in The Netherlands, and we can get days that we call Early Summer. Comfy sunny days where temperatures can rise between 20 and 25 degrees Celsius. However, on average, it is still around 12 degrees Celsius in April. 

During the spring and summer periods, weather can be changing very quickly in The Netherlands. One day it can be a late winter day, and the next day it can feel like summer. Daylight Saving Time changes on the last Sunday of June when the clock jumps one hour forward. Which results in later sunsets and longer days. 

Beach days & festivals

During the highlight of the summer, sunsets can be as late as ten a clock in the evenings. Perfect when it’s nice and warm outside, so you can enjoy every bit of sunshine. We don’t have a tropical climate in The Netherlands, but our coastline is one of the busiest in Europe. Places like Scheveningen Beach, Zandvoort, and Bloemendaal, are ideal for spending a day on the beach, relaxing, several watersports, and even to visit some of the best beach parties. 

The spring and summer period is what we recommend at the best time to visit The Netherlands. Not only the weather is great, but also the best national festivals taking place during this period. It is perfect to be outside and enjoy the Dutch nature, and the best time to enjoy the unique flower fields. Which I explain later in this article. 

Spring & Summer Packing List Additions

Some interesting articles to read when you’re planning a visit to The Netherlands during spring or summer are:

The Hague is ideal for visiting during this period because you can combine the historical city with a day on the beach at Scheveningen Beach, which is a part of The Hague. 

In this article, we’ll tell you more about the best places in and around Amsterdam to visit during the summer period. 

The famous flower fields and Keukenhof are open for visits during April and May. Which are the blossom period of the Dutch Tulips and other unique flowers. A unique visit and something you don’t find much while visiting other countries!

Festival Clothing Guide

Visiting The Netherlands during this period, you’re likely to join a cultural event like Kingsday or Liberation Day. And during summer between June and August almost every day there’s a music festival taking place. Make sure to bring some comfy clothes which allow you to enjoy the celebrations to the fullest! 

A perfect festival outfit contains at least a comfy shirt, shorts, flip flops or sneakers, and a fun hat. 

We always bring a small backpack with us with some other stuff like a sweater, earplugs, sunscreen, bottle of water, and sunglasses. But here are some extra items to add to your packing list:

Travel Bag or Suitcase

Now you know what to pack, you still need to decide how to pack it. Many people use a suitcase or a backpack. And there’s so much to choose from, you just need to find something that’s your perfect fit, and what works best for you. 

However, we used a lot of backpacks, suitcases, and duffel bags over the last few years. We know what to look for and what works. Especially when you’re traveling for a bit longer, you’ll need a travel bag that’s strong, handy, and that fits most of your stuff. So we created what we think is the perfect requirement list for a travel bag, which can be used by every traveler. 

  • Lightweight and strong material
  • Waterproof
  • Easy to carry (needs to fit like a backpack) 
  • Easy to access (like a duffel bag. The typical backpacks have access from the top, which is not ideal if you need something that’s all the way at the bottom)
  • Need to lock it with a TSA Lock 

Only 5 requirements? I can almost hear you think. But why more, when you find a travel bag with those requirements you probably buy it and use it for several years. We found the perfect travel bag last year when Kirsten needed a new one. A few months before, I bought also a new backpack. And we thought that was the perfect one. 

I bought the Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler Rolling Duffel 120 Liters. We thought it would fit all the requirements. It is easy to carry, you can use it as a backpack, duffel bag, and even roll it with the wheels. When the travel bag is empty, it only weighs around 1 kilogram, which is perfectly lightweight. It is easy to lock with a TSA lock. The only downside is that it got damaged real quick. After the first trip I took it on, I found out that when you use the travel bag as a rolling bag, the bag drags on the ground, which damages the material. So it’s not the ideal travel bag after all.

If I bought it again, I would consider buying the version without wheels. But actually, I much better prefer the new travel bag we bought for Kirsten. We actually use that travel bag for both of us at the moment. It has enough space to fit all our clothes! 

Perfect Travel Bag Recommendation

We’re talking about The Northface Base Camp Duffel BagThis travel bag comes in different sizes, we bought the 120L, which is the biggest size but perfect to fit all our clothes. And we’re traveling for 8 months a year! 

The travel bag is made of polyester and turns out to be very strong. It is waterproof, easy to lock, and has a D-zipper, which means a duffel bag opening. It’s easy to carry both as a duffel bag, and with the ergonomic shoulder straps as a backpack. 

This travel bag has three compartments. One one the side, which is a separate compartment for shoes or other things you like (we use it as a laundry compartment). Inside on the flap, you’ll find a mesh pocket, which is very easy for organizing stuff. And the main compartment is basically one big compartment where you can put all your clothes and other stuff.  

It is our favorite travel bag, and we recommend everyone to buy one. Especially when you’re traveling for a bit longer, and use a lot of public transport. The travel bag is just so easy to carry on! 

We like to be organized while traveling, and the North Face duffel bag only has one big compartment to store all our clothes. That’s why we use packing cubes. It not only helps us to keep our clothes clean and organized. We can also see directly which packing cubes are whos. They come in different colors, so perfect when you use the travel bag with 2 people. Or when you just want to separate your shorts, underwear, and shirts. We do both 😉 We’re using both 2 large packing cubes, 1 half packing cube, and one 1/4 packing cube from Eagle Creek. And there’s still space left in our travel bag to put some jackets and stuff in! 

The packing cubes from Eagle Creek are ideal for organizing your clothes, check the latest price on Amazon! 

Travel Insurance and Recourses

So when you finally arranged your packing list and decided what you want to bring on your next trip, there are some other things you need to take care of. It is important to have reliable travel insurance, so you can travel around effortless. It can be hard to choose your travel insurance, with all the different companies offering many different possibilities. Our best recommendation is to go with World Nomads. They provide comprehensive travel insurance for every traveler worldwide. 

We need to say, we don’t use World Nomads ourselves, but that’s because we have perfect travel insurance via a Dutch company, which is only available for Dutch citizens. However, if we ever need to switch, our first choice will be to go with World Nomads. We hear so many good reviews about them. They’re cheap, the coverage is outstanding, and the customer service is reliable and helpful. All the things you look for while searching for an insurance company, right? 

Make sure to arrange your travel insurance before your next trip! You might find our recommendations about how to book your next trip very helpful! On this page, we lined up all our recommendations and explain them even more thoroughly so you can prepare for your trip in the best way possible!

Note: We don’t provide legal advice. Before you buy this or any other insurance we’re recommending on our site, make sure to read all the terms and conditions of the insurance yourself, and see if it fits your situation. We just try to give you the best information. We don’t provide legal advice. These recommendations are only from our own experience.

Getting Around The Netherlands

There are a few options on how to get around The Netherlands. The most straightforward is using public transport in the country. Another option is to go around with a rental car. However, you’re better off using public transportation when you’re going to The Netherlands, and you’re only visiting Amsterdam, other large cities like The Hague or Rotterdam, and maybe some famous landmarks like Volendam or Keukenhof. 

The public transportation network is excellent. Both for connecting cities, as within the cities itself. When you’re traveling between cities, the fastest way to get around is by train. The easiest way to find which train you need to use is using the website of the Dutch Train company, Nederlandse Spoorwegen.

Traveling within cities like Amsterdam, you either use the tram, bus, or metro. Depending on the city you’re in. Or, if you like to go as the locals do, rent a bicycle and cycle around the city.

Public Transport Card

When you’re traveling with public transport in The Netherlands, you are obliged to use a public transport card, the OV-Chipcard (OV Chipkaart in Dutch). We recommend buying an OV-Chipcard as soon as you arrive in the country. Make sure that there’s enough money on the card to travel around. You can use the Ov-Chipcard everywhere in the country and with every public transport company. It saves you the hassle of buying separate tickets each time if you switch from the city of public transport. 

Depending on how long you’re staying in the country, you can also opt for several tourist tickets to use public transport. It can be cheaper using these tickets. Check out the options using the website of Public Transport Holland.

When you’re traveling for multiple days, using public transport, our best recommendation is buying the OV-chipcard. Another great website, which is also available as an app. Both for iPhone and Android is 9292ov.nl, this service offers the best and most accurate information of all public transport in The Netherlands. 

Rental Cars in The Netherlands

Driving around The Netherlands is straightforward and safe. However, it is not our recommendation using a rental car in The Netherlands. Most people visit the country for a few days. Visiting cities like Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, and maybe a few landmarks which are all easy to get using public transport. 

We would only recommend renting a car when you’re planning to do a roundtrip through the country, and also want to visit the countryside. The roads are excellent in The Netherlands, and the traffic is safe. The accident rate in the country is low, so you can drive around safe. The most important thing you need to take into consideration is the fact that it can be very busy during rush hour moments. Both in the mornings and evenings, there are a lot of traffic jams on the highways. And because the country is small, it sometimes feels that the whole country is in a traffic jam! On the other hand, if you plan your trips in advance, you can avoid the busy traffic moments. 

When we use rental cars during our travels, we always book via rentalcars.com. We find them the most reliable, and they compare the best prices available. 

Rental Car Insurance

Rentalcover car insurance

We feel it is important to have the best insurance when we rent a car, and we found out that the standard insurance policies of the rental companies have very low coverage. This is what we do, and we feel it is the best option for rental car insurance; 

We skip the standard rental insurance via the rental company. And we buy separate insurance via Rentalcover.com for the period we rent our car. The insurance policy and coverage of Rentalcover.com are what we feel is the most complete and reliable rental car insurance out there. 

Note: We don’t provide legal advice. Before you buy this or any other insurance we’re recommending on our site, make sure to read all the terms and conditions of the insurance yourself, and see if it fits your situation. We just try to give you the best information. We don’t provide legal advice. These recommendations are only from our own experience.

Dutch Sim Card (is it worth it?)

Many people say that you need to buy a local sim card in The Netherlands, so you can stay online everywhere you go and don’t have the extra costs of your data roaming. 

Our advice; don’t buy it. 

Let me explain why. You probably stay a few days in The Netherlands, and then you go back home or travel to another European country. In The Netherlands, everywhere you go, you’ll find free WiFi hotspots. So you don’t need to use 4G. And when I say everywhere, I mean it. In bars, restaurants, hotels, shopping malls, cinemas, etcetera. Most of the trains have a WiFi connection as well, ideal when traveling between cities. 

If you want to navigate while offline, make sure to download the app Maps.Me, this is an offline map that is very accurate. You need to download your maps first before you can use it offline. But that’s something you can do while on a free WiFi spot. 

Sim Cards in Europe

When you’re traveling through Europe, you might consider buying a local sim card. However, most countries have excellent free WiFi coverage as in The Netherlands. You don’t need to purchase different sim cards each time you go to a different country in Europe. When you buy a sim card with a monthly plan, you can use it all over Europe. Since a couple of years, the data coverage up to around 14GB per month (this can vary per provider) is of the same cost within the plan you bought. 

Personal Travel and video Setup

When we’re on the road, we have a bunch of equipment with us. We love to make videos and documentaries about the different cultures we get to know during traveling (check out our videos on our Travel Show page). And we’re also working while traveling. So you can imagine that our setup is different than a standard packing list. We try to travel as light as possible. Mainly our ‘office gear’ contains a lot of expensive and sometimes heavier products. But then again, we use them almost every day. 

We have two MacBooks, and a full equipment camera bag with several camera’s, like GoPro’s and a Panasonic GH5, a drone (DJI Mavic Pro, 1st generation!), and some other essential products for filming. If you’re interested in the setup we use, go check out our video and filming recommendations, where we explain our filming setup and also recommend some other useful products. 

Best Time to Visit The Netherlands

Now you know what to pack for The Netherlands, you’re maybe still wondering when the best time to visit the country is? We recommend you to visit The Netherlands between April and May, or during the summer months. 

So roughly the period between April and the beginning of September. Because this period is most favorable weather-wise. The chances of sunny days and relatively warm temperatures are the highest during this period. But it is also the period when most National events taking place. (It is our favorite time to be in The Netherlands!)

When you like to visit the country and enjoy national celebrations like a local, make sure to visit The Netherlands during the King’s Day (27th of April) and Liberation Day (5th of May) celebrations. This is also the period when you can visit Keukenhof, which is the largest flower garden in the world. 

You can learn more about the best time to visit The Netherlands and these unique events in one of our articles; 

We wrote many more articles about The Netherlands, which can help to prepare for your next trip. 

Read more about The Netherlands

We all know The Netherlands is a small country. And with the eventfull history, important role within the European Union, and unique Dutch culture, there’s a lot to explore while visiting. 

To prepare in the best way you can for your trip to The Netherlands, we recommend reading our articles. We always try to be as helpful as possible and tell you all the important things you should know about our lovely home country. 

Some essential articles you should definitely read before visiting The Netherlands are; 

All Articles about The Netherlands

You should follow this link to open the complete list of articles we wrote about The Netherlands. You can open the list, and select some of the articles you find interesting to read. 

Léon Kopijn

Léon Kopijn works and lives as a Digital Nomad. He travels the world with the love of his life and writes about inspiring cultures and practical travel tips. Find out more about Léon on his about page!

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