August in Amsterdam: Weather, What to Pack, and What to See

Shopping area around Prinsenstraat and Herenstraat in Amsterdam

 

Alexander Spatari/Getty Images 

August in Amsterdam is typically mild but sunny, with the occasional bout of rain, much like the rest of the Dutch summer. As one of Amsterdam's warmest months, it's an opportune time to spend a day on the beach or on sun-kissed cafe terraces. While the days continue to shorten, the sun still rises before 7 a.m. and sets after 8:30 p.m.

Since it's peak tourist season, popular sights, restaurants, cafes, airports, and train stations are more crowded than in off-peak months. To avoid being disappointed by missing a reservation or not being able to find a ticket to a show, visitors should allow extra time for travel and make reservations in advance for both restaurants and local attractions.

Amsterdam Weather in August

Amsterdam is really never too hot or cold this time of year. However, the weather is quite volatile, alternating between mild, sunny days and chilly, overcast days throughout the month of August, with an average of 11 days of rain.

  • Average high: 72 degrees Fahrenheit (22 degrees Celsius)
  • Average low: 54 degrees Fahrenheit (12 degrees Celsius)

If you're planning to spend a day at the beach in Amsterdam this summer, August is one of the best times to visit because the sea temperature is its warmest at 55 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius) during the early part of the month. When scheduling your trip to the beach, keep an eye on the weather forecasts to avoid unintentionally spending a dreary day at the beach if the clouds roll in midday.

What to Pack

Since the weather can fluctuate almost at random throughout the month, it's best to pack clothing you can layer. You should be comfortable in light long-sleeved shirts or a light jacket and pants, even on the warmest days. Amsterdam is a pedestrian and bike-friendly city; if you plan on doing a lot of walking, pack comfortable shoes, and never go out without an umbrella, as sudden storms pop up all month long—day or night.

August Events in Amsterdam

From comedy showcases to dance music festivals, Amsterdam is rife with summer events in August. Even as locals leave the city to enjoy warmer weather further south, you can enjoy a variety of outdoor events on your trip to the Netherlands.

  • Amsterdam Gay Pride: Amsterdam Gay Pride ushers in the month with a full schedule of both indoor and outdoor events like films, art exhibits, theatrical performances, literary and sports events, parties, and of course, the famous boat-filled Canal Parade.
  • Comedytrain International Summer FestivalDutch comedy troupe Comedytrain invites renowned comedians to perform in an intimate comedy club atmosphere in this English-language event, which happens over six weeks in summer.
  • Dance ValleyThis longtime festival fills the Velsen Valley in Spaarnwoude with the sound of music from artists in both the national and international club and DJ scenes.
  • De ParadeAmsterdam is the final stop on theater festival De Parade's tour of the Netherlands' four biggest cities, where it will unload tents, pop-up restaurants, and terraces to present more than 80 theater, music, dance, and mime performances.
  • Grachtenfestival (Canal Festival): Like the Uitmarkt Cultural Festival, the Grachtenfestival ushers in a new season with classical music, jazz, and music of other cultures. The Amsterdam event, featuring 10 days of performances by youth from around the world, occurs in nearly 100 locations.
  • HartjesdagenFolklore has it that the medieval "Little Hearts Day" was the only time plebeians could hunt deer in the woods—a sport normally reserved for nobility—around Haarlem. In modern times, men dress as women and vice versa to see how the other half lives. The August occasion is celebrated with several days of entertainment, an evening market, food, and more on the Zeedijk in Amsterdam's Chinatown.
  • LovelandThis yearly summer festival in the Sloterpark encourages thousands of attendees to move to the electronic music of internationally-renowned DJs on multiple dance floors for a few days in August.
  • MysterylandA yearly event in the Floriade Terrain in Haarlemmermeer, this event has over 100,000 attendees and 17 stages. Besides being an electronic music festival, it offers theater performances, workshops, live DJs, and international eats.
  • Summer Concerts: Emphasizing classical music, jazz, film scores, and pop music by top artists from the Netherlands, the numerous concerts presented by BankGiro Loterij take place at The Concertgebouw, known as one of the best concert halls in the world. Throughout the summer, they offer guided tours of The Concertgebouw and open a special, summer-only restaurant.
  • UitmarktThe end of the summer coincides with the start of a new cultural season in Amsterdam, ushered in by the popular and free Uitmarkt Cultural Festival. Over 500,000 people who love music, film, theater, and books attend each year. The family-friendly festival is typically in Museumplein and Leidseplein in late August.
  • World Cinema Festival Amsterdam: For a decade, this film festival has showcased independent cinema from Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia, and Africa for several days in August. The event also gives an in-depth look at the cinema of its annual "country in focus" and has open-air screenings, parties, talk shows, and food, and additional activities.

    August Travel Tips

    • Visitors should count on competition for the lowest airfares and best hotels and hostels, as August is considered peak tourist season.
    • You can expect heavy crowds at the Anne Frank House and Museum Quarter attractions, but you can avoid them with online tickets and/or the I Amsterdam City Card.
    • With humid days and citywide waterways, Amsterdam in the summer is an ideal environment for mosquitoes, so be prepared by bringing insect repellent.
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