Visiting Amsterdam in April will reward with visitors with a wealth of seasonal activities and day trips but what do you need to know about April in Amsterdam? In this guide we round up what to expect of the weather in Amsterdam in April, what to pack and best things to do in Amsterdam in April along with our top tips for the city.
Note: Written by an Amsterdam local
Why Visit Amsterdam in April
For me one of the best time to visit Amsterdam is April. There are many great reasons to visit Amsterdam in April but my favourite things about this time of year are:
- Tulips: tulips in Amsterdam are a must for any Amsterdam bucket list and the best month of the year to see tulips in Amsterdam is April as they will all be in full bloom. The whole city will be blooming with colour from the botanical gardens to the residential flower boxes to the beautiful bridges in the city you will see tulips everywhere. And of course April is the perfect time for a day trip to Keukenhof or the tulip fields outside of the city.
- Kings Day: Kings Day is my absolute favourite day on the Amsterdam calendar. The canals will be full of boats and all the residents will be out on the streets at the markets. If you want to see Amsterdam at its festive best then this is the time to go.
However there are some downsides to visiting Amsterdam in April
- Cost: Kings Day, Tulips and the wealth of European Easter holidays can make April one of the most expensive times to visit Amsterdam
- Crowds: And for the same reasons as above, Amsterdam can also be at its busiest in April.
However in my opinion even with the added costs and the crowds, April is still one of my favourite times to visit Amsterdam.
Amsterdam Weather in April
If you are coming to Amsterdam in April and wondering about the weather I have to say it is actually a pretty good month to visit weather wise. April is actually one of the driest months in Amsterdam and although you will be experience some rain in Amsterdam in April it is likely to be small showers that won’t last too long.
In 2019 April actually had the best weather of the year in my opinion as there were a few rain showers but on the whole it was a sunny month but didn’t get to the uncomfortable heat of the summer.
What to Pack to Visit Amsterdam in April
Although April is one of the driest months in Amsterdam, you are almost guaranteed to see some rain. So be sure to pack at least some waterproofs and an umbrella for that inevitable rain shower. Also be sure to have an umbrella with you just in case there is a shower.
On top of that you will want shoes that are at least shower resistant. Be sure to leave suede at home! Trainers are always a good bet in Amsterdam as it isn’t a very formal city clothes wise. Trainers are also helpful to pack as Amsterdam is a very walkable city and they also work if you are thinking about renting a bicycle in the city.
And while April is usually one of the driest months it is advisable to pack layers as you can get some cool mornings and evenings.
Another top tip for packing for Amsterdam no matter what time of year you are travelling is think about whether your clothes work on a bicycle. While the locals can cycle in mini skirts, long skirts or high heels if you are not a frequent cyclists you may struggle so be sure to pack clothes that are suitable for getting on a bike.
And if you are travelling over Kings Day be sure to have plenty of orange in your suitcase as it is traditional to wear orange on Kings Day and you will stand out like a sore thumb if you aren’t wearing orange.
For a complete guide to what to wear in Amsterdam in April click here!
Best Things to do in Amsterdam in April
Amsterdam isn’t a city short on things to do but April is a great month to visit Amsterdam because it has so many great seasonal activities. In this section we will look at the special things to do in April in Amsterdam. If you want to know more about the best things to do in Amsterdam whatever time of year you visit click here!
My favourite day on the Amsterdam calendar is Kings Day. Kings Day or Koningsdag in Dutch is held on 27th April every year since 2014 and celebrates the ascension of the King to the throne. Until 2013 when Queen Beatrix abdicated the throne Queens Day was celebrated on 30th April.
One of the key things about Kings Day is that no licenses are required to trade in the city so across the squares and the parks locals will set up stalls to sell their goods or set up street games to play. As we are in Amsterdam with our toddler our favourite place to go on Kings Day is Vondel Park where there is a children’s market. Parents and kids will set up stalls selling second hand clothes and unwanted toys as well as some novelty stalls where you can play games like hammer the tomoto and egg throw to name a few.
After a stroll through Vondel park we head towards the inner canals of Amsterdam. The canals will become filled with boats – some of the boats on the canals on Kings Day are so full they look like they might sink but are a spectacular to watch as they parade around the inner canals of Amsterdam with most participants and boats decorated in vibrant orange.
After Kings Day, the main reason to head to Amsterdam in April is to see tulips. Perhaps the best tulip related activity is to take a day trip to Keukenhof from Amsterdam. Keukenhof actually translate in English to mean Kitchen Garden but don’t be deceived – this is not a small garden. Keukenhof is in fact the largest flower park in the world with over seven million flower bulbs planted in the park every year. In Keukenhof you will see daffodils, irises, roses but of course the main reason to go is to see the famous tulips.
The season for visiting Keukenhof is limited – being from late March to mid May (in 2020 the opening dates are March 26th – 17th May). When the flowers are at the best bloom changes every year as it depends so much on weather and other environmental factors but you can be sure that you should see a good flower display in April.
Insider tip: The queues to get inside Keukenhof can be HUGE so be sure to buy your tickets in advance.
The other option for a tulip day trip from Amsterdam is to see the tulip fields around Keukenhof. Where Keukenhof is a the largest flower park in the world, the tulip fields around Keukenhof are the commercial fields. The best way to see the tulip fields is to get a bike and cycle around to see field after field of technicolour tulips.
However please be aware that these are working fields and these fields are people’s livelihood – do not traps through the fields for photographs and respect the area.
If you don’t want to do a day trip from Amsterdam there are plenty of places to see tulips in the city. The first place to head for those looking for tulip related things to do in Amsterdam should head to the Bloemenmarkt – the flower market which is in the centre of the city. Now I will be honest Bloemenmarkt is one of the more touristy things to do in Amsterdam but it is worth stopping by especially if you want to pick up some tulip bulbs to take home.
The tulip festival is an annual festival in Amsterdam that runs for the whole month. At 85 locations across the city you will find beautiful blooming tulips. These public displays are some of the best free things to do in Amsterdam in April. For more information about next year’s locations visit the Tulip Festival website.
Every April for a week (for 2020 it is 20th – 26th April), most of the museums in the Netherlands are free to enter. If you are visiting Amsterdam on a budget and want to visit a lot of museums this could be the perfect time to do it. There are also lots of additional workshops and kids events that happen during this week making it a great time for families to visit Amsterdam too.
For more information of the National Museum Week click here.
Amsterdam Bos Cherry Blossoms
Although Amsterdam is most famed for its tulips, there is also a beautiful cherry blossom (sakura) season in Amsterdam. Usually blossoming from late March to early April, the best place to see cherry blossoms in Amsterdam is in Amsterdam Bos (Amsterdam Woods) where there is a whole area dedicated to cherry trees. This is also a great place to cycle at any time of year. It can also be coupled with another great April activity which is
Feeding Baby Goats at Geitenboerderij
Geitenboerderij aka the goat farm, that is located in Amsterdam Bos and is one of my toddler’s favourite things to do in Amsterdam especially in April. In April you will find the farm filled with adorable baby goats, who you can feed for a euro! Once you have ed these adorable creatures kids will also enjoy the on-site playground and indulging in a goat cream ice cream. This has to be my favourite things to do in Amsterdam in Spring.
Hortus Botanicus – Amsterdan’s royal botanic gardens is one of my favourite places in Amsterdam especially in April. While not dedicated to tulips you will see plenty of other varieties of flowers blooming including gorgeous wisteria as well as being able to stroll around the beautiful tropical greenhouses. This is a great thing to do for families in Amsterdam.
Another annual festival held in April but this one is for the beer lovers. This beer festival celebrates spring beers and there are plenty of draft and bottled “bock” beers available to try from the Netherlands and further afield.
Have you been to Amsterdam in April?