The good news: this is normally the driest month of the year. It does rain, but the spring showers are usually short-lived and not too wet.
Oh… and we’ve got millions — MILLIONS — of flowers.
The bad news: April is a month with sharp contrasts.
April doet wat hij wil, the Dutch say. It means that ‘April does whatever it wishes to do,’ which can include anything from abundant sunshine and almost summertime temperatures to, well, snow on the ground.
Erratic weather, from day to day and sometimes hour to hour.
Cold? Yes, it’s far too cold for the end of April.
And we’ve been seeing hit and miss weather — with lots of clouds, some sun, and from time to time some rain — for far too long now.
Still, from now until the end of the first week of May remains prime time to visit Holland’s famous tulip and flower fields and gardens.
Thursday — King’s Day (27) There’s been speculation that this King’s Day would be one of the coldest and wettest in decades. ‘Colder than Christmas,’ they said — forgetting that last Christmas was the second warmest Christmas since the Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute started recording the weather (in 1901).
As of this morning, it looks like it will be overcast with brief periods of partial sun and/or sunny spells. From time to time some scattered, light rain or drizzle. It will become cloudier as the day progresses. One weather forecast service claims it will remain ‘fairly dry’ (huh?). Others foresee and increasing chance of brief showers of rain or drizzle during the late morning and throughout the afternoon. Still, less rain than initially thought.
It won’t get warmer than about 9° Celsius (48.2° Fahrenheit) in the afternoon.
Friday (28) Partly sunny, with more clouds than sun. Intermittent, light rain showers possible from early morning through late afternoon. Mid-afternoon high temperature: 9-11° Celsius (48.2-51.8° Fahrenheit).
Saturday (29) Partly sunny, and except for some possible drizzle in the early morning it is expected to remain dry. Weather pros disagree as to what temperature it will be, with suggestion running anywhere from 10-15° Celsius (50&-59#176; Fahrenheit).
Sunday (30) Early morning sun gives way to increasing clouds — or, if you believe one weather forecast service, it will remain quite sunny throughout most of the afternoon. Today’s high temperature could be as high as 17° Celsius (62.6° Fahrenheit) in the afternoon. No rain.
Monday (May 1) Partly sunny. No rain. Mid-afternoon high: 16° Celsius (60.8° Fahrenheit).
Long-range forecast: See May weather
Normal highs and lows in April:
1-10: 3.8 – 11.6° Celsius (38.84 – 52.88° Fahrenheit)
11:20: 4.2 – 12.6° Celsius (39.56 – 54.68° Fahrenheit)
21-30: 6 – 15.2° Celsius (42.8 – 59.36° Fahrenheit)
Book your Amsterdam museums, excursions and activities ahead of time:
Queen’s Day King’s Day Weather
But what everyone wants to know this time of year is: What will the weather be like on King’s Day (formerly: Queen’s Day)?
We’re talking about the world’s biggest street party — when millions of Dutch people (wearing something orange, of course) take to the streets and canals to celebrate the King’s birthday.
King’s Day will take place on April 27, the King’s birthday.
We’ve often had good weather. But at times there have been grey skies as well — which tends to make for a somewhat less abundant party atmosphere. (‘Somewhat less’ is relevant. You haven’t seen a party this big anywhere else).
See Holland’s Tulip & Flower Fields and Gardens
If you like tulips and other flowers, April is the ideal month in which to visit Amsterdam.
Excursions to the nearby tulip and bulb fields, as well as the world-renowned Keukenhof (known as the Garden of Europe, one of the world’s largest flower gardens) are popular with tourists and locals alike.
When do the tulips bloom?
Tulips bloom from the end of March to the middle of May. Normally the best time to visit the tulip fields is during the last 2 weeks of April and the first week of May, when the flowers are at their peak.
However, around the 30th of April most of the flowers in the fields are ‘topped.’ That means the flowers are cut off in order to stimulate the bulbs to grow. There will be some flowers left in the fields — just not as many.
The exception is Keukenhof.
In 2017, Keukenhof is open From March 23 through May 21. Plan your visit as soon as possible.
Note that on average in April the sun shines on Amsterdam 177 hours.
That works out to 43 per cent of the time that it could possible shine — a marked improvement over the 33 per cent we normally get in March.
Amsterdam Weather Facts: April
• Average lows: 3.3° C (38° F)
• Average highs: 12.8° C (55° F)
Sunrise & Sunset
• April 1 – 7:16 a.m. / 8:13 p.m
• April 30 – 6:13 a.m. / 9:02 p.m.
• Average: 47 mm (1.8 inches) in 72 hours
What to wear in Amsterdam in April
You’ll want to come prepared for bright, sunny weather and warm spring-time temperatures. Or bright, sunny weather and low temperatures. Or the type of storms that make you think it’s fall.
In other words, try and determine what kind of weather the day brings and dress accordingly. Dress in layers so you can add or subtract something if and when the weather changes.
A light jacket is a good idea.
You can pick up inexpensive umbrellas just about anywhere, but if you do encounter a spot of rain simply make a beeline into the nearest café — just like the Dutch do.
- On warm, sunny days Amsterdammers come out in droves in order to shop, relax in a park, or people watch at outdoor cafés. It’s a good idea to join them. You’ll hear Dutch people say something like, “Zullen we een terrasje pakken?” which means “Shall we sit on a terrace?” (literally, ‘shall we take a terrace’). By all means, do the same. Here’s how to order a beer in Amsterdam.
- Take advantage of the lengthening days — courtesy of nature and helped a bit by the ‘Summer Time’ (Daylight Saving Time) that started the last Sunday of March. At the beginning of April sunset is around 8pm, and by the end of the month it stays light out till about 9pm.