DutchAmsterdam.nl — February is the coldest month throughout the Netherlands, and the the coldest time of the year to spend in Amsterdam.
The good news is that February is one of the driest months, second only to April which normally sees the least precipitation.
If you were in Amsterdam during the first half the month, you’ll know that it was cold — frequently several degrees below freezing, and colder yet due to the wind-chill factor.
There were several days with snow, ice and grey skies. There were sunny days as well, and we hope you took advantage of them to take of good photos.
As I’m writing this update — on February 21 — we had had a bright and sunny day. From all appearances it looked like a beautiful spring day. Except… it was freezing!
Actually, it was only a degree or so below 0#176; Celcius (32° Fahrenheit), but the wind-chill factor made it feel like -6 C (21.2 F).
And that cold spell is supposed to last a few days, leading us into a weekend of wet snow.
Next week the temperatures should be slightly above zero, which is normal for the time of the year.
In other words, if you find yourself in Amsterdam at this time of the year, research our pubs…
In February the average day-time temperature in Amsterdam is 2.4º Celsius (36.32º Fahrenheit) – but wind and fog (and yes, storm) can make it feel much colder than that.
The nights are very cold, with temperatures usually below freezing.
In 2012 during the second week of February we had a deep-freeze the likes of which we had not experienced in about ten years. People were ice skating on the canals of Amsterdam (videos). (And take a look at wintery Amsterdam as seen from the air).
Two weeks ago it briefly looked like the canals again would be turned into a giant ice skating rink, but alas, that did not happen.
Anyway, on average in February you can expect 78 hours of sunshine in Amsterdam, compared to 51 in January and 42 in December. But don’t make the mistake of thinking sunny days are warm. They’re sunny and cold.
What to wear in Amsterdam in February
When you visit Amsterdam during the month of February bring warm clothes, including long-sleeved sweaters, sweats, and a winter proof coat or jacket.
Long underwear is not a luxury. Neither are leggings, warm socks and padded insoles.
Come prepared to dress in layers, because coffee houses, coffeeshops, restaurants, café’s and homes will be cozily warm.
- If you prefer to travel light you can always pick up a pair of earmuffs, along with knitted winter gear (hats, scarfs, mittens) at downtown souvenir shops. For inexpensive basic warm undies shop at any HEMA department store.
- The trees are still bare, allowing a much better view of the gabled canal-side houses than you get during spring and summer. Take advantage of a sunny day for a canal tour (See the photography/filming tip there). If you prefer to walk along the canals, walk on the shadow side so you can take photos of the sunny side.
- When you explore the city, steer clear of fast-food outlets, and instead warm up at a café or two. Here’s how the locals do it. And stay away from Starbucks.
Amsterdam Weather Facts: February
• Average lows: -1° C (30.2° F)
• Average highs: 5.5° C (42° F)
Sunrise & Sunset
• February 1 – 8:22 a.m. / 5:27 p.m.
• February 28 – 7:31 a.m. / 6:17 p.m.
• Average 44mm (1.7 inches) in 72 hours
Suffice it to say that he knows when to stay indoors with a freshly brewed cup of coffee, some jazz and soul on the radio, and a pot of chili on the stove.
Visit Anton Hein dot com for photos of Amsterdam.
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