January in Amsterdam
Amsterdam is beautiful any time of the year, and January is no exception — provided you dress for the occasion.
According to the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI1), January is the coldest month in most of the Netherlands. Along the sea coast February is slightly colder yet, when the water of the North Sea is at its coldest.
Normal Amsterdam weather in January is like this: the average temperature is 2.7º Celsius (36.68º Fahrenheit). That’s cold, especially when there’s a stiff wind. It’s a rainy month as well.
You can also expect anywhere from five to eight days of snow — which looks wonderful.
Keep in mind that the feels-like temperature (windchill factor) tends to be 4-6 degrees lower than the values listed.
Thursday, January 18, 2018 KNMI, the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Service, has escaleced its weather alert to Code Red (highest) due to a very strong Western storm. The code is expected to be in force until 14:00 (2 pm).
Wind gusts of 100-120 km/hour (62-87 mph) may occur. Watch out for falling trees, branches, and other debris.
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol says more than 260 flights into and out of the airport have been cancelled. There may be additional flight cancellations and/or delays.
NS, Netherlands Railways, has says there are fewer trains, and that those trains run less frequently than usual.
In Amsterdam, buses and trams may be delayed if fallen trees or branches need to be cleared away.
Expect rain throughout the day. The late morning high temperature of 7° Celsius (44.6° Fahrenheit) will feel about 5 degrees colder.
Friday, January 19, 2018 Partly cloudy in the early morning. Cloudy in the evening. And partly sunny from about mid morning through the late afternoon — with scattered, light rain possible at the same time. Midday high about 5° Celsius (41° Fahrenheit).
Saturday, January 20, 2018 Cloudy or overcast, but partly sunny from mid morning till late afternoon. Light rain showers in the early morning, and again from late afternoon throughout the night. XXX° Celsius (XXX° Fahrenheit). Midday high temperature around 4° Celsius (39.2° Fahrenheit).
Long term weather forecast, Sunday January 21, 2018 through Sunday January 28, 2018: At first calm and rather cold. From January 22 there is a big (70%) chance of a shift to changeable weather with temperatures around or above normal. There is a small chance (30%) of cold weather, possibly with snow.
See also what February weather is like over here.
One thing is certain: Make sure you bring the right clothes, and plan for a variety of indoor and outdoor activities.
Normal Low and High Temperatures in January
1-10: 0.3 – 5.1° Celsius (32.54 – 41.18° Fahrenheit)
11-20: 0.9 – 5.7° Celsius (33.62 – 42.26° Fahrenheit)
21-30: 0.7 – 5.5° Celsius (33.26 – 41.9° Fahrenheit)
Things To Do
Even in January, lots of tourists visit Amsterdam. Book museums, excursions and activities ahead of time:
Hotel prices are relatively low during this time of the year. Take advantage by booking your hotel as early as possible.
Sunshine — but not much
On average there will be 50 hours of sunshine — spread out over the entire month.
That said, while you may see many gray and gloomy days, from time to time there will be several hours worth of blue, cloudless skies. When that happens grab the opportunity to take postcard-perfect photographs of Amsterdam’s sunlit streets and canals.
Since the trees are bare, many canal-side façades that normally are somewhat hidden from view by the foliage are now more easy to see.
Mind you, we’re talking averages here. January can be much colder or much milder. January 2007 was so mild that birds, plants and trees were so confused that they acted like it was spring. Conversely, January 2010 turned out to be one of the snowiest in a long time.
January 2014 was very mild, as was the entire year. (In fact, 2014 was the warmest year since the weather service started keeping track three centuries ago).
As always, go with the flow. Plan to see some of Amsterdam’s many museums during inclement weather.
Tip: Films shown in Dutch movie theaters are shown in their original languages — subtitled in Dutch.
What to wear in Amsterdam in January
Protect your shoes with a waterproof spray.
Salt spots can be removed with a cloth and some vinegar.
Warm clothes are a must, and you will want to wear a winter proof/waterproof coat or jacket.
A good, windproof hat is not a luxury and no one will look at you funny if you happen to be wearing earmuffs.
Complete you outfit with a warm scarf and gloves.
Don’t forget warm socks and padded insoles.
As always, dress in layers because restaurants, café’s and homes are well-heated.
Amsterdam weather facts: January
• Average lows: -0.5° C (31° F)
• Average highs: 4.4° C (40° F)
Sunrise & Sunset
• January 1 – 8:51 a.m. / 4:38 p.m.
• December 31 – 8:24 a.m. / 5:26 p.m.
• Average 72mm (2.8 inches) in 72 hours
The weather during other months
Would you rather visit us during another time of the year? Check the weather page roundup, which includes details about our climate during the other months of the year.
- Koninklijk Nederlands Meteorologisch Instituut, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute ↩