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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.

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.

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.

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Amsterdam Weather Forecast, December 2022

Current Weather in Amsterdam

Updated December 5, 2022

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.

Sunset this week: 16:28 (4:28 pm)

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Monday, December 5, 2022 — Overcast, and intermittent light rain until early evening. Daytime high 5° C | 41° F.

Tuesday, December 6, 2022 — Overcast in the early morning. Sunny intervals around noon. Cloudy again in the afternoon and the rest of the day. Scattered light rain showers from late afternoon until about mid-evening. Early afternoon high temperature 7° C | 44.6° F.

Wednesday, December 7, 2022 — Cloudy from early morning until shortly before mid-afternoon. Overcast from then on. Scattered light rain showers possible in the afternoon and evening. Daytime high 5° C | 41° F.

Thursday, December 8, 2022 — Overcast all day. Light rain from before daybreak until some time after noon. Early afternoon high temperature 3° C | 37.4° F.

Friday, December 9, 2022 — Overcast all day. No rain (or other wet stuff). Warmest temperature today? 0° C | 32° F in the early afternoon.

Saturday, December 10, 2022 — Cloudy in the early morning. Abundantly sunny from about mid-morning until noon. Sunny intervals (±70-85% sunshine) in the afternoon. No rain. Warmest of the day is in the early afternoon, with 0° C | 32° F.

Sunday, December 11, 2022 — Sunny intervals in the morning. Cloudy in the afternoon. Overcast in the evening. No rain. Highest temperature 1° C | 33.8° F during the afternoon.

Long Range Forecast

Monday, December 12, 2022 — Monday, December 19, 2022: Persistent slightly changeable and fairly cold weather with daytime temperatures around or above freezing and a daily chance of night frost. The chance of (wet) snow is small (approx. 20%).

Check our January weather information.

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

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.


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Category: Weather
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An Amsterdammer last updated this post on CET (Central European Time)

   
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