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.
Updated January 28, 2017
NOTE: Most days you should count on a wind chill factor or ‘feels like’ temperature of 4-6 degrees lower than those listed.
Sunday (29) Mostly overcast, though you may see some partial sun from time to time in the afternoon. The maximum temperature of around 5° Celsius (41° Fahrenheit) will hang around throughout the afternoon, but count on a wind chill factor several degrees below that. Some weather forecast services foresee some scattered, intermittent drizzle.
Monday (30) The day starts off with light rain, and it will remain overcast all day — though some weather pros think there will be sunny intervals in the morning and/or afternoon. The high temperature of 7° Celsius (44.6° Fahrenheit) occur around noon.
Tuesday (31) Heavy clouds, but it will remain dry until the late night. Late-afternoon high: 6° Celsius (42.8° Fahrenheit) around 4.
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)
Even in January, lots of tourists visit Amsterdam. Book museums, excursions and activities ahead of time:
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.
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- Koninklijk Nederlands Meteorologisch Instituut, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute ↩