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Amsterdam weather in December

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December weather in Amsterdam: usually cold; usually no snow

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If you see any sunshine in Amsterdam during December, take a picture.

If you see any snow, take a picture as well. [It doesn’t often snow this much, certainly not in December]

In this darkest month of the year the sun shows up only 40-45 hours. Expect at least half of the days to pass without significant sunshine. When the sun does shine, it is often combined with deep blue skies due to the crisp temperatures. This makes for awesome photos. An added bonus: since most of the trees are bare, the architectural features of the historic canal houses are easier to see.

After all, in the Netherlands December is a winter month. The shortest day of the year – measured by the amount of daylight – falls on December 21, and then the winter season begins.

Amsterdam Light Festival

Yes, the Amsterdam Light Festival takes place this month (and most of January). We tell you what we think about it, and share some fantastic alternatives.

Amsterdam is a very “walkable” city. Still, it’s not that small. Consider this: The city has 15 tram lines, 5 metro lines, 33 bus lines, and 10 ferry lines.

You will want to have a 1-7 days Public Transport Ticket — or, better yet, an I amsterdam City Card. The latter gives you public transport plus access to museums and other attractions.

Prinsengracht in December
Some December days come with bright blue skies. The bare trees allow one to more easily see the beautiful architecture of the canal-side houses. Be sure to take a canal cruise.

Late sunrise and early sunset

Tourists from countries closer to the equator are often amazed at how short the days really are in Amsterdam in December: Sunrise is on average at 8:40 am and sunset at 4:30 pm.

For Amsterdammers who have a regular 9-5 job, going to work in the dark is no fun, especially not when it’s raining or freezing.

Mind you, this is not the rainiest month, nor the coldest. But Amsterdam’s weather in December does bring a fair amount of precipitation – mostly in the form of rain or wet snow.

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Don’t spend your Amsterdam Trip waiting in line

Amsterdam welcomes lots of visitors in December.

Your time in Amsterdam is precious. Don’t waste it standing in line. It’s a good idea to buy tickets for museums, tours, public transport ahead of time.

Amsterdam Weather Forecast, December 2023

Current Weather in Amsterdam

Updated December 27, 2023

We update this page with weather forecasts throughout December.

During the rest of the year see the general information on this page.

Note: Keep in mind that the feels-like temperature can be several degrees lower than those shown.

The short version: December is not the rainiest month in Amsterdam, nor the coldest. But you should expect a fair amount of precipitation — usually in the form of rain or wet snow.

This week: Sunrise: 8:50 (8:50 am) — Sunset: 16:32 (4:32 pm)

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Wednesday, December 27, 2023 — Overcast all day, with light rain in the morning (and possibly around mid-evening). Afternoong high 9° C | 48.2° F.

Thursday, December 28, 2023 — Mostly cloudy, but between mid-morning and early evening some sunny intervals as well (with about 30% sunshine). Light rain from about mid-evening until after midnight. Daytime high temperature 10° C | 50° F.

Friday, December 29, 2023 — Overcast in the morning, late afternoon, and evening. Sunny spells (± 80% sunshine) in the afternoon. About 50% change of light rain during the morning. Early afternoon high 10° C | 50° F.

Saturday, December 30, 2023 — Overcast all day, with light rain from mid-afternoon to mid-evening. A mild evening with today’s high temperature of 9° C | 48.2° F.

Sunday, December 31, 2023 — Overcast or cloudy, but between mid-morning and mid-afternoon sunny at times (with about 30% sunshine). Scattered light rain showers all day, until past midnight. Early afternoon high 8° C | 46.4° F.

Long Range Forecast

Check our January 2024 weather forecast.

Normal Low and High Temperatures in December

1-10: 2/6.8° Celsius (35.06/44.24° Fahrenheit)
11-20: 1.1/5.9° Celsius (33.98/43.62° Fahrenheit)
21-31: 1.1/5.5° Celsius (33.98/43.9° Fahrenheit)

Prinsengracht with the Westerkerk in December
Prinsengracht, with the Westerkerk, in December. These bright, overcast skies are a familiar sight in Amsterdam during this time of the year.

Don’t take previous years as a guide

As always, keep in mind that the weather in the Netherlands is notoriously unpredictable. Other than the general observations on this page, what happens in one year cannot be taken as a template for the next.

That said, in recent years the December months have been rather mild in temperature.

And though it rarely snows during this month, December 2017 will long be remembered for the December 10-11 snow storms that brought the city — and most of the country — to a standstill.

All in all Amsterdam saw 20 centimeter (7.87 inch) of snow. Schiphol Airport was forced to cancel 600 flights — 50% of a normal day’s take-offs and landings. Train traffic between the airport, and in and out of Amsterdam Central Station, came to a standstill. Trams ran on a reduced schedule with lots of delays, while buses were grounded.

It made for wonderful photos and videos, though: See Amsterdam in the snow.

Snow: White Christmas in Amsterdam?

Measured over the whole country, on average this month some form of weather drops from the sky on 22 days, for a total of 72mm (2.8 inches). Still speaking in averages, 3 of those days will see hail, 5 wet snow and 6-10 days fog.

It may snow from time to time, but seldom a lot. And a white Christmas in Amsterdam is a rare occurrence.

That said, if you’ve followed our weather write-ups for a while, you know we always point out how unpredictable Dutch weather is.

When snow does fall — the good stuff, not the wet slurry — Amsterdam looks like this:

And in case you’re wondering: the end of the month is 1 to 1.5 degrees colder than the beginning. We’re gearing up for January.

What to wear in Amsterdam in December

December can be bone-chillingly cold, especially when it’s windy.

You’ll definitely want pack warm clothes, along with a winter-proof, waterproof coat or jacket.

A windproof hat or cap — especially one that keeps the ears warm — will be very welcome. You’ll also want a scarf and gloves.

Bring sweaters and warm socks. Long underwear may come in handy as well.

That said, make sure you dress in layers. Pubs, restaurants and private homes can be quite warm.

Begijnhof beguinage in Amsterdam
The Begijnhof (beguinage) — a haven of tranquility in the medieval center of Amsterdam

Amsterdam weather facts: December

• Average lows: 0.5° C (33° F)
• Average highs: 5.5° C (42° F)

Sunrise & Sunset
• December 1 – 8:27 a.m. / 4:32 p.m.
• December 31 – 8:51 a.m. / 4:37 p.m.

• Average 72mm (2.8 inches) in 72 hours

Amsterdam Current Weather & Month-by-Month

More about the weather in Amsterdam, including current temperatures, expected precipitation, 4-day forecast and average rainfall figures. Also: the weather from month-to-month.

More Amsterdam Tourist Information

Category: Weather | Related to: ,

Last updated CET (Central European Time)

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