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

Amsterdam at dusk

Fraser Hall / Photographer's Choice / Getty Images

Well ahead of the peak season crowds, March travelers have the run of Amsterdam's top attractions—as well as the spectacular Keukenhof bulb flower park, which opens in late March. While the weather can be hit-or-miss, it's a clear departure from the Dutch winter months and the fickle bouts of the sun become more constant towards the end of the month.

Amsterdam Weather in March

The winter chill in Amsterdam is replaced with milder weather once March come along, and most years attest to a fair share of sunny days later in the month. While temperatures do gradually warm up throughout March, freezing temperatures—especially at night—are not uncommon early on in the month.

  • Average High: 49 degrees Fahrenheit (9 degrees Celsius)
  • Average Low: 36 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius)

March is the rainiest month in the springtime, with an average of 2.3 inches of precipitation spread across 10 days. Given that spring doesn't officially begin until the end of March, it also shouldn't be surprising that snow is a possibility even into March. However, if that does happen, it usually falls as some flurries and isn't likely to stick.

One perk of March: The days start growing longer. By the end of the month, the sun doesn't set until 8 p.m.

What to Pack

March is very susceptible to showers and it can become quite cold, especially after dusk, so keep an umbrella and jacket close at hand. You'll also want to pack some water-resistant shoes, a windbreaker, and a hat. The Dutch bike around the city all year long, so a pair of gloves also comes in handy if you want to rent a bike to pedal along Amsterdam's iconic canals and bridges.

March Events in Amsterdam

In addition to the re-opening of Keukenhof, the Netherlands' famous gardens, March is full of special events as the Dutch come out to welcome the oncoming spring weather.

  • Keukenhof, the Netherlands' world-famous tulip flower park, re-opens for the season around mid to late March. At its peak, you can expect to see 7 million bulbs in bloom. While this is the biggest and most famous place to see the flwoers, you can see tulips in bloom across the Netherlands.
  • Roze Film Dagen (Pink Film Days) is a film festival that assembles feature films, documentaries, and shorts that testify to the diversity of the LGBTQ experience, with submissions from 32 countries worldwide.
  • The Stille Omgang, or route of the Silent Procession, is a religious observance with a fascinating story. It commemorates the "Miracle of the Host" in the year 1345 when a dying man vomited up the Catholic sacramental bread, which was then set on fire and wouldn't burn. Amsterdam's Catholic community uses the day to celebrate their religious freedom and march through the streets on the Wednesday after March 12.
  • The Amsterdam Coffee Festival takes place in early March at Westergasfabriek. Coffee fans and professionals flock to the festival, which features cuppings, barista demonstrations, food stalls, live art, music performances, and more.
  • On Open Tower Day, called Open Toren Dag in Dutch, many of the city's skyscrapers that are usually closed to the public open up their top floors so locals and visitors can get a view of Amsterdam unlike any other day of the year.

March Travel Tips

  • Airfare and accommodations in Amsterdam are still at their off-peak rates in March, so you can find more deals. Off-season also means fewer crowds in museums and other major attractions.
  • Beware that while some bulb flowers will be in bloom throughout March, the tulips sometimes hold off until April. For optimal blooms, plan your visit from late March through mid-April.
  • March, with its cold, clear days, can be great for photography. Blue skies and the bare trees make a great backdrop for photos of Amsterdam's famous canal houses. On a cloudy day, use the grey skies to practice your black-and-white photography skills.
  • Amsterdammers love getting outdoors when the temperatures start to warm up. Take advantage of a sunny day like a local and find a quaint café along a canal to post up at and watch the scenery go by. 

For information on seeing Amsterdam at other times of the year, read up on the best times to visit the Netherlands.

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