Amsterdam weather in May

Good news: In Holland, May often is the sunniest month of the year, with on average up to 15 hours of sunshine a day.

Oudeschans canal with the Montelbaanstoren

Oudeschans canal with the Montelbaanstoren

However, May also tends to have as many cold days as it has warm days.

At night there can even be some frost, particularly in the first half of the month — though if and when that happens it is usually in the countryside far east of Amsterdam.

That said, the feast days of the so-called Ice Saints — May 11 through May 13 — are notorious for it.

Mind you, as so often is the case, the weather forecast for the rest of the country may call for sun, while much of the West (Amsterdam included) can be covered with clouds drifting in from the Northsea.

Amsterdam Weather forecast ©

More Amsterdam weather (including other months)
Update, May 26 2016

Friday (27) Mostly cloudy, though you may be partly sunny at times. Light rain or drizzle ‘here or there’ and ‘from time to time.’ One weather forecaster sees no rain at, and promises that it will be partly sunny throughtout the day. The temperature ranges from about 12° Celsius (53.6° Fahrenheit) at 10 am to 22° Celsius (71.6° Fahrenheit) in the late afternoon.

Saturday (28) Quite cloudy, with some sunny intervals, and the possibility of light thunderstorms throughout much of the day. Count on an average high of 20° Celsius (68° Fahrenheit) from the late morning till the mid evening.,

Sunday (29) Cloudy with now and then sun, now and then light rain and now and then (light) thundershowers. All with an average afternoon high temperature of 21° Celsius (69.8° Fahrenheit)

Monday (30) Mostly cloudy, with some sun at times. Scattered rain showers, some with thunder and lightning, throughout the day. Wetter than yesterday. Average afternoon high: 18° Celsius (64.4° Fahrenheit)

Tuesday (31) Cloudy, possibly with some light rain here and there. Like yesterday, an average afternoon temperature of 18° Celsius (64.4° Fahrenheit).

Long term forecast: See them month of June.

Normal lows and highs in May:

1-10: 7.3-15.9° Celsius (45.14-60.6° Fahrenheit)

11-20: 8.4-17.4° Celsius (47.1-63.3° Fahrenheit)

21-31: 9.2-18° Celsius (48.6-64.4° Fahrenheit)


Amsterdam weather in May includes lots of sun

The Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI)1 notes that in recent years the months of April and May have been rather mild, sunny and dry.

But May 2013 was quite cold, somber and wet. Even the sunny days were cold.

May 2014 and 2015 were dreams: beautiful spring weather.

Amsterdam Weather Facts: May

• Average lows: 7.2° C (45° F)
• Average highs: 18° C (64.4° F)

Sunrise & Sunset
• May 1 – 6:11 a.m. / 9:06 p.m
• May 31 – 5:26 a.m. / 9:51 p.m.

• Average: 52 mm (2.4 inches) in 44 hours

What to wear in Amsterdam in May

You’ll need to take into account the updated weather situation as described above, but normally this is what you’d bring:

Bring short-sleeved T-shirts or tops, and summer-type skirts and dresses — but also something slightly warmer for chilly evenings and sunny but chilly days. Jeans, light-weight slacks, or shorts for guys.

Early mornings may look sunny but can still be cold enough to warrant sweats or a light jacket — especially when it’s windy.

After sundown temperatures cool off rapidly.

You probably won’t need an umbrella. If you do want to carry one, a small fold-up model will suffice. But showers usually are brief enough to wait them out over something to eat of drink at a brown café, a coffeehouse/coffeeshop. or a deli.

cloudy day

Even though May is the sunniest month of the year, it won’t always be sunny.


  • Sunny days are perfect for postcard-quality photos — especially now that everything is green. You can take beautiful pictures along the canals (particularly from bridges).
  • Grey and rainy days make for great dramatic pictures, particularly if you shoot in black & white (or later convert your color photos to B&W).
  • When the weather is good, do like the Amsterdammers do, and relax at an outdoor café. It’s perfect for people-watching.
  • If it’s rainy, plan on visiting some of Amsterdam’s 50+ museums
  • A bad weather day is also perfect for a visit to the cinema2. We can recommend a visit to the unique EYE Film Institute.

Amsterdam Climate

General information about the weather in Amsterdam
Local weather in other months


  1. Dutch: Koninklijk Nederlands Meteorologisch Instituut
  2. In the Netherlands, most movies on TV and in the cinema are shown in the original language, with Dutch subtitles.
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This post was last updated: May. 26, 2016    

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