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

Shopping area around Prinsenstraat and Herenstraat in Amsterdam
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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 rather early (before 7 a.m.) and sets late (after 8:30 p.m.).

As it's still peak tourist season, popular attractions, 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

With average highs of 72 F (22 C) and average lows of 54 F (12 C), Amsterdam is really never too hot or cold this time of year. However, the weather is quite volatile in the city, alternating between mild, sunny days and chilly, overcast days throughout the month and experience an average of 11 days of rain each August.

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 highest of 55 F (18 C) during the early part of this month. When scheduling your trip to the beach, make sure to keep an eye on the weather forecasts to avoid unintentionally spending a dreary day at the beach if the clouds roll in mid-day.

What to Pack

Since the weather can fluctuate almost at random throughout the month, it's best to pack clothing you can layer to accommodate the rising and falling temperatures. You shouldn't bee too hot or cold in light long-sleeved shirts or a light jacket and pants, even on the warmest days. If you plan on doing a lot of walking (Amersterdam is a pedestrian and bike city), you should pack comfortable shoes, and never leave home 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 this month on your trip to the Netherlands.

  • Comedytrain International Summer FestivalDutch comedy troupe Comedytrain invites renowned Anglophone comedians to perform in an intimate comedy club atmosphere in this English-language comedy event, which happens all summer long.
  • Amsterdam Gay Pride: From July 28 to August 5, 2018, Amsterdam Pride ushers in the month with a full schedule of both indoor and outdoor events: films, art exhibits, theatrical performances, literary and sports events, parties, and of course, the famous canal parade.
  • Dance ValleyOn August 11, 2018, Dance Valley will fill 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 its tents, pop-up restaurants, and terraces and present more than 80 theater, music, and dance performances from August 17 to September 2, 2018.
  • Grachtenfestival (Canal Festival): Like the Uitmarkt Cultural Festival, the Grachtenfestival ushers in a new classical music season in Amsterdam, with performances and events amid the unique atmosphere of canal-side monuments on August 10 to 19, 2018.
  • Hartjesdagen (Little Hearts Days): Folklore has it that the medieval "Little Hearts Day" was the only time plebeians could hunt deer in the woods around Haarlem, a sport normally reserved for noblemen. In modern times, men dress as women and women as men to see how the other half lives on the third Monday of August. The occasion is celebrated with several days of activities on the Zeedijk in Amsterdam's Chinatown.
  • Hortus FestivalPeriod instruments in picturesque venues is the theme of the Hortus Festival, which takes place from July 25 to August 11, 2018. A concert series focused on music from 1850 to 1950 and performed on restored or replica instruments, the festival travels between the Hortus Botanicus (Botanical Garden) in Amsterdam and its counterparts in Leiden, Utrecht, and Haren.
  • LovelandThis yearly summer festival in the Sloterpark encourages 20,000 attendees to move to the music of internationally-renowned DJs on multiple dance floors on August 11 and 12, 2018.
  • MysterylandA yearly event in nearby Haarlemmermeer that bills itself as more than just an electronic music festival. Mysterland also has theater performances, workshops, live DJs, and international eats on August 25 and 26, 2018.
  • Robeco Summer Concerts: With an emphasis on classical music and jazz, the Robeco Summer Concerts take place from July through August with over 60 concerts—many of which are free. Throughout the summer, they conduct live interviews with musicians, teach crash courses in classical music, 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 Uitmarkt Cultural Festival. The festival is held each year in Museumplein, Leidseplein, and in the Vondelpark on August 24 through 26, 2018.
  • World Cinema Festival Amsterdam: From August 16 to 25, 2018, this film festival will showcase independent cinema from Latin America, Asia, and Africa and give an in-depth look at the cinema of its "country in focus."

August Travel Tips

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