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

Amsterdam canal

Dennis Fischer Photography / Getty Images

September is a wonderful time to visit Amsterdam, as you will experience fairly mild weather along with the perks of the shoulder season. Crowds thin out, and airfare, hotels, and other travel costs are usually much lower in comparison with summer rates. Since the weather is generally favorable, albeit slightly rainy, there are many festivals and events held during September that showcase the local cultural scene, from theater to wine.

Amsterdam Weather in September

Fall weather, as a rule, is iffy in the Netherlands, and while there can be days or even weeks of pristine weather, there may also be endless spells of rain. September, however, tends to be one of the milder months, rolling off of the summer highs.

  • Average high: 66 degrees Fahrenheit (19 degrees Celsius)
  • Average low: 51 degrees Fahrenheit (10.5 degrees Celsius)

The average precipitation is usually around 2.9 inches (75 millimeters) over the course of the month, which is similar to other months in Amsterdam.

What to Pack

Amsterdam weather skews cooler in September, so layers are key. Bring a light jacket around with you during the day in case it gets cold, but wear something light and breezy underneath, in case it gets warm. You might want to wear a sweater underneath that light jacket at night when the temperatures drop. Pants or jeans are appropriate legwear, while you might want to wear tights with dresses. Skip the sandals and go for sneakers, flats, or boots on your feet. Rain is likely at some point during your trip, so it is wise to pack a raincoat or a small collapsible umbrella to keep on you as you tour the city.

September Events in Amsterdam

September is a prime month for festivals and events in Amsterdam.

  • Nederlands Theater Festival: As the annual cultural season draws to a close, the best Dutch theater performances of the season are reprised at this festival, making it easy for travelers to see some of the most popular shows.
  • Amsterdam Fringe Festival: Over several days, this less conservative cousin of the Nederlands Theater Festival presents numerous dance and theater performances with “no limits." It is the yearly event for Dutch independent theater and a must for travelers who love the obscure.
  • Draaiorgelfestival (Barrel Organ Festival): Love them or hate them, barrel organs or draaiorgels are a classic Dutch tradition, and Dam Square fills with musicians each year at this annual festival.
  • Open Monumentendag (Open Monument Day): Each year during the second weekend in September, visitors flock to gaze at over 4,000 Dutch monuments and buildings. The public is invited to explore their historic premises, free of charge, during the gathering.
  • Amsterdam City Swim: This charity event sees 2,500 swimmers brave the chilly waters of Amsterdam's canals each September, swimming a 1.2-mile course through the city center. Proceeds from the swimmers' fundraising efforts benefit ALS research.
  • Amsterdam Wine Festival: Held each spring and fall, the Amsterdam Wine Festival has tastings and pairings galore, plus non-wine-related activities like DJ nights and other concerts. For the fall edition, the festival celebrates the harvest season of wines from the northern hemisphere.

September Travel Tips

  • You won’t have the city to yourself in September, as the visiting crowds haven't disappeared entirely. You should still allow extra time for traveling and making reservations, and ordering tickets in advance will help you to avoid long lines, especially at top attractions like the Anne Frank House.
  • The weather will likely be more favorable in early September rather than in late September, but the crowds will also be larger in the first half of the month.
  • Expect larger crowds during Open Monument Day, Amsterdam City Swim, and Amsterdam Wine Festival—rates might go up at hotels, too, so be sure to book well in advance.
  • While Open Monument Day means you can see great sites for free, there will also be longer lines than usual.
  • Though October is typically peak fall foliage in Amsterdam, you might get lucky to see the golden leaves changing at the end of September. Amsterdam is quite a green city; you can peep the leaves along the canals as well as in the many city parks.
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