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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 is that 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.

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.

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 8:30 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.

Amsterdam Weather Forecast, December 2021

Current Weather

Updated December 31, 2021

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.

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Friday, December 31, 2021 — The warmest December 31 ever in the Netherlands. Temperatures range from 12-15° C | 53.6-59° F. In Amsterdam most of the day it has been 13° C | 55.4° F, with a feels-like temperature just a couple of degrees lower.

At midnight in Amsterdam it will be overcast and 11° C | 51.8° F. Due to the Corona situation there is a nationwide ban on fireworks. But like last year, it will be difficult or impossible to enforce the ban due to limited capacity. Countless people ignore the ban. Caution: criminals have imported lots of illegal ‘fireworks’ — up to, and including, mortars.

Long Term Amsterdam Forecast

Saturday, January 1, 2022 — Thursday, January 6, 2022: Very mild, cloudy and rainy from time to time. Temperatures around normal after Tuesday. Dry almost everywhere on Wednesday, then again a high chance (70%) chance of precipitation.

Check our January weather information.

Normal High and Low 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)

Don’t Spend Your Amsterdam Trip Waiting in Line

(Certainly not in this kind of weather)

In a normal year (pre-COVID pandemic) Amsterdam is a popular destination in December. It is less busy than during peak season, but can still get as crowded as during the shoulder months.

So as always when visiting Amsterdam, it’s a good idea to buy tickets for museums, tours, public transport ahead of time.

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

Temperatures
• 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.

Rainfall
• 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.


Disclaimer

This weather information is curated by Amsterdammer Anton Hein. He is not a meteorologist, and since he works from home he usually doesn’t have to brave the elements if he chooses not to do so. He reminds you that the only thing truly predictable about Dutch weather is that it is very changeable, and notoriously hard to predict.

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About This Article

Category: Weather
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This article is updated regularly. Last major update:
Last minor update: Friday, December 31, 2021 at 3:13 PM, Central European Time (CET)   
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