They say that the holiday season seems to arrive earlier each year; in the Netherlands, however, the holiday season does indeed start earlier. The traditional arrival (intocht) of Sinterklaas, the Dutch "Santa Claus", in mid-November lends a festive air to the city; Sint's name day is celebrated on December 5. There is no lack of indoor activities, from museum exhibits to the live performances that abound mid-way into the cultural season; visitors can also revel in the quintessential coziness of a hot drink amid the warm patina of an Amsterdam brown cafe.
- The tourist crowds have vanished, so intrepid November visitors have the run of Amsterdam's popular attractions and restaurants
- Airfares and hotel rates have returned to their off-peak rates for a more affordable travel experience
- The winter holiday season kicks off with Sinterklaas's arrival in the Netherlands (see below), and special holiday events, markets, and treats abound
- The days are quite short; by the end of November, the sunset falls at 4:30 p.m. (Still, there is plenty to do after dark, such as the yearly Museumnacht)
- November can be blustery, with winds up to 50 mph, with frequent showers; be prepared with a warm raincoat and an umbrella!
November Temperatures & Rain
- Average high: 48°F (9°C)
- Average low: 37°F (2.7°C)
- Average precipitation: 3.2 in (81 mm)
Sunrise & Sunset in November
- November 1 - 7:37 a.m. / 5:12 p.m.
- November 30 - 8:26 a.m. / 4:32 p.m.
Yearly Festivals & Events in November
See event web sites for this year's visitor information.
Arrival of Sinterklaas (Intocht van Sinterklaas)
Upon his yearly return to Amsterdam, Sinterklaas circles the capital and stops in several squares and other public spaces to address his fans.
Afterward, he will embark on a secret tour of the Netherlands, as he delivers treats to children all over the country until December 5.
Dutch-American Heritage Day
In 1991, the elder President Bush declared November 16 a day to celebrate the 200 years of friendship between the Netherlands and the United States and to honor the contributions of the Dutch and Dutch-Americans to US society.
High Times Cannabis Cup
Coffeeshop lovers should time their Amsterdam holiday to take in the Cannabis Cup, the world's premiere marijuana and hemp festival, where participants sample and vote for the year's best cannabis strains.
International Documentary Film Festival
The world's premiere documentary film festival returns to Amsterdam in mid-November, with hundreds of films on a wide variety of topics.
The yearly Museumnacht (Museum Night) Amsterdam offers a chance to museum-hop into the wee hours (from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m.) and sample a variety of Amsterdam's cultural institutions, plus the special "n8" (pronounced "nacht") events each one has cooked up for the occasion.
The Netherlands' top annual arts and antiques fair, renowned for its quality and its diversity, offers wares for all tastes - from rare books and manuscripts to authentic Old Masters.