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Amsterdam weather in May

Oudeschans canal in Amsterdam
Originally a defense moat, the Oudeschans (‘Old Rampart’) — with the 16th-century Montelbaanstoren — is a picturesque canal in the center of Amsterdam. Photo by Anton Hein, taken on a typical day in May.

May Weather in Amsterdam

The good news is that in the Netherlands, May is often the sunniest month of the year, with an average of up to 15 hours of sunshine per day.

However, there are also as many cool days as warm days in May.

There may even be some frost at night, especially in the first half of the month. However, this is usually the case only in rural areas far east of Amsterdam. Nevertheless, the feast days of the so-called Ice Saints — May 11-13 — are notorious for this.

Consider this: As is so often the case in the Netherlands, the weather forecast may announce sunshine for the rest of the country, while much of the west – Amsterdam included – is covered with clouds drifting in from the North Sea. Here’s what you should pack for this kind of climate.

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See the Weather Forecast below this ad

Amsterdam Weather Forecast, May 2024

loader-image
Amsterdam, NL
1:32 am, Apr 23, 2024
weather icon 3°C | °F
L: 1° H: 9°
few clouds
Humidity Humidity 71 %
Pressure Pressure 1024 hPa
Wind Wind 11 Km/h NNE
Wind Gust Wind Gust 0 Km/h
UV Index UV Index 0
Precipitation Precipitation 0.58 mm
Clouds Clouds 20%
Rain Chance Rain Chance 58%
Air Quality Air Quality Fair
Sunrise 6:24 am
Sunset 8:52 pm
DailyHourly
Daily ForecastHourly Forecast
Today 1:00 pm light rain
weather icon
1°9°°C | °F 0.58 mm 58% 20 Km/h 41 % 1020 hPa 0 mm/h
Tomorrow 1:00 pm moderate rain
weather icon
4°9°°C | °F 1 mm 100% 27 Km/h 87 % 1007 hPa 0 mm/h
Thursday 1:00 pm light rain
weather icon
4°10°°C | °F 0.25 mm 25% 18 Km/h 54 % 1008 hPa 0 mm/h
Friday 1:00 pm light rain
weather icon
6°12°°C | °F 0.33 mm 33% 18 Km/h 80 % 1007 hPa 0 mm/h
Saturday 1:00 pm overcast clouds
weather icon
7°17°°C | °F 0 mm 0% 23 Km/h 54 % 1005 hPa 0 mm/h
Sunday 1:00 pm overcast clouds
weather icon
10°17°°C | °F 0 mm 0% 18 Km/h 45 % 1012 hPa 0 mm/h
Monday 1:00 pm overcast clouds
weather icon
8°17°°C | °F 0.05 mm 5% 13 Km/h 50 % 1021 hPa 0 mm/h
Tuesday 1:00 pm light rain
weather icon
10°17°°C | °F 0.28 mm 28% 11 Km/h 57 % 1021 hPa 0 mm/h
Today 2:00 am few clouds
weather icon
2°3°°C | °F 0 mm 0% 7 Km/h 71 % 1024 hPa 0 mm/h
Today 5:00 am few clouds
weather icon
1°3°°C | °F 0 mm 0% 6 Km/h 72 % 1024 hPa 0 mm/h
Today 8:00 am few clouds
weather icon
3°3°°C | °F 0 mm 0% 3 Km/h 68 % 1023 hPa 0 mm/h
Today 11:00 am broken clouds
weather icon
8°8°°C | °F 0 mm 0% 5 Km/h 45 % 1021 hPa 0 mm/h
Today 2:00 pm overcast clouds
weather icon
9°9°°C | °F 0 mm 0% 17 Km/h 43 % 1019 hPa 0 mm/h
Today 5:00 pm overcast clouds
weather icon
6°6°°C | °F 0 mm 0% 19 Km/h 79 % 1017 hPa 0 mm/h

The short version: The good news for Amsterdam is that May often is the sunniest month of the year, with on average about 8 hours of sunshine a day. The bad news is that May weather is as fickle as Dutch weather can be.

Long Range Forecast

Check our June Amsterdam Weather Forecast.

Normal High and Low Temperatures in May

1-10: 7.3 / 15.9° Celsius (45.14/ 60.06° Fahrenheit)
11-20: 8.4/ 17.4° Celsius (47.1/ 63.3° Fahrenheit)
21-31: 9.2/ 18° Celsius (48.6/ 64.4° Fahrenheit)

What to Wear in Amsterdam in May

You have to consider the current weather forecast as described above, but normally you’d pack this:

Short-sleeved T-shirts or tops and summer skirts and dresses. For cooler evenings and sunny but cool days, however, you’ll need something warmer. Sweatshirts or fine.

Jeans, light trousers or shorts for men.

Early mornings often look sunny, but can still be cold enough to wear a sweater or a light jacket — especially if it’s windy.

After sunset, temperatures cool quickly.

You probably won’t need an umbrella. If you do want to carry one, a small, collapsible model will suffice. But the showers are usually short enough to wait them out over a meal or drink at a brown café, a coffee house or coffee shop, or a deli.

Things to Do in Amsterdam in May

Normally during the month of May lots of tourists visit Amsterdam. You’ll want to book skip-the-ticket-line tickets, museums, excursions, and activities ahead of time. Not just to assure availability, but also because you don’t want to waste your precious vacation time standing in line.

Note: You have until May 14 to see the millions of tulips and other flowers at Keukenhof.

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Amsterdam Tips for May

  • Sunny days are perfect for taking postcard-quality photos — especially now that the trees are in leaf. 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 to visit some of Amsterdam’s 50+ museums
  • A bad weather day is also perfect for a visit to the cinema 1. We highly recommend a visit to the unique EYE Film Institute, or to Tuschinski — the most beautiful cinema in the world.

May is the Sunniest Month, But…

Even though May is the sunniest month of the year, it won’t always be sunny. Here Amsterdam’s cruise ship terminal is shown under an overcast sky.

On sunny days you can expect up to 10 hours of sunshine, though on average we’ll see about 8 hours of sunshine a day. It helps that in this part of the world in May sunset occurs at about 10 past 9 at the start of the month — and shortly before 10 pm at the end of the month.

Where Our Weather Information Comes From

Our weather information is based on long-term averages as reported by various meteorological services, including the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI).

What to See and Do in Amsterdam

Notes:

  1. In the Netherlands, most movies on TV and in the cinema are shown in their original language, with Dutch subtitles.
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Last updated CET (Central European Time)

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