February 1st, 2014 | Last updated: December 15th, 2014
DutchAmsterdam.nl — February is the coldest month throughout the Netherlands, and the coldest time of the year to spend in Amsterdam.
Update, December 2, 2014: Since about July 2013, Amsterdam (and the rest of the Netherlands) has had a weather pattern in which long-time heat records were broken nearly every month.
The fall of 2014 was also unusually mild. In fact it was the second mildest fall on record — since the Dutch first started tracking weather information three centuries ago.
That doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll have a ‘warm’ or even ‘mild’ winter. In fact, I’m writing this in December 2013 while it’s 2° Celcius (35.6° Fahrenheit)outside, while the weather pros warn us that it actually feels like -6° Celcius (21.2° Fahrenheit).
We’ll update this information as we get closer to February — and then throughout the month.
The good news is that February is one of the driest months, second only to April which normally sees the least precipitation.
Normally 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.
Amsterdam weather in February isn’t quite the same from year to year, though.
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).
February of 2013 brought no such skating opportunities.
There’s a lot to see and do in Amsterdam any time of the year.
That’s why tourists visit all year round.
The winter of early 2014 was one of the mildest since the Dutch started keeping a record of the weather — in 1706. Mind you, it was still cold, but not nearly as cold as normal. And no, no ice skating on the canals whatsoever.
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.
Thermal 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 or Zeeman department store. You’ll find a HEMA right inside Amsterdam Central Station
- 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, for the love of coffee, 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.
Do not republish or repost.