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What to Wear in Amsterdam in December (an Amsterdam winter packing list)

What to Wear in Amsterdam in December (an Amsterdam winter packing list)

Are you wondering what to wear in Amsterdam in December? Have you been searching for the perfect Amsterdam Winter Packing List? As a previous Amsterdam expat we have you covered in what to wear for sightseeing, cycling and more. 

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Amsterdam Weather in December

What to wear in Amsterdam in December

What to wear in Amsterdam in December

Amsterdam weather is notoriously changeable and if you are visiting Amsterdam in December this is certainly going to be the case.You may have frost and you are almost guaranteed to see rain if you are visiting Amsterdam in December. You make equally get a crisp sunny day so layers are going to be a key part of any Amsterdam packing list for winter. 

Is it cold in Amsterdam in December?

The average daily temperature in Amsterdam is around 7 degree centigrade /45 degrees Fahrenheit. And at night temperatures will usually be around 3 degrees centigrade. It is unlikely to get temperatures below zero during the day in Amsterdam in December. 

For more information on best places to travel in Europe in December with family check out this post. 

Does it snow in Amsterdam in December?

The answer to does it snow in Amsterdam in December is – it can! You are by no means guaranteed snow in Amsterdam in December but if you are lucky enough for it to snow the city looks beautiful. 

Even more popular than snow in Amsterdam is when the temperatures are consistently below freezing for a few days, enough to make the canals freeze over. If you are lucky enough to see this then the city will come alive with skaters on the canals. 

For more Amsterdam travel tips check out this post.

What to Wear in Amsterdam in December

One of my favourite things about living in Amsterdam is that it isn’t a particularly formal place and comfort and practicality often takes precedent. Now don’t get me wrong the Dutch are still very stylish but they are more likely to be seen in smart casual and comfort wear rather than high heels and designer dresses. A well fitted pair of jeans and a designer raincoat practical for cycling are some of the key pieces in any Amsterdam wardrobe. But what about if you are visiting Amsterdam in December? 

Amsterdam in December Packing List – Outerwear 


Obviously when it comes to coats, I would say it really depends on how warm you want to be. In my opinion you won’t need thick thermal coats in Amsterdam and I tend to use a parka jacket on most December days .

A Rain coat  and Waterproof Outfit

Amsterdam can get rainy whatever time of year you visit but you will notice that this doesn’t deter the Dutch from being outside even on their bicycles. Even in December you will find the Dutch riding around the city.

We recommend having a stylish rain coat as the Dutch love their rain coats such as this one. 

And if not have some basic water proof gear with you especially if you are going to cycle like a poncho and waterproof trousers

If you forget these while you are in Amsterdam and need to shop for them the place we have found with the best year round selection and good prices is HEMA. There are many branches around the city. 

Leather Jacket 


For drier days you will find most Dutch people will have a leather jacket in their closest. If you have a stylish rain jacket ou can probably leave this at home but if you are using ponchos and waterproof tourers you will probably want an additional jacket with you. 

Woolen Hat

As the month of December goes on the weather does get colder and a hat is an essential along with a nice wool scarves, ear muffs  and gloves will be an essential for outdoor days. 

I find a good pair of fleece lined leather gloves are best for keeping hands warm and look more stylish than their woolen counterparts and add to the Amsterdam Winter Style. These are even more essential if you are planning on cycling round the city.

However if you are an avid instagrammed you may want to have gloves designed to allow you to carry on using your touch phones with

What to Wear in Amsterdam in Winter – footwear

Leather boots


Now I am usually a trainers and converse type of gal but in Amsterdam the shoes I wear most often are boots because I find having a small thick heel the easiest thing to cycle in as you have more grip on the pedal especially in the rain if you have a small heel. 

Most Amsterdammers, men or women, will spend most of the winter wearing boots, either ankle or knee high. Good waterproof leather fashionable boots are definitely a must and can be worn day or evening. 

Top Local Tip: Do NOT bring think heels or stilettos with you to Amsterdam. They are impossible to cycle in and the cobbled streets and tramlines are easy to get thin heels stuck in. 



Although boots are my go to when cycling in Amsterdam and going out in the evening I would recommend also having trainers for those days when you will be doing a lot of walking! If you have a pair of waterproof ones then all the better!  These are particular great for if you have a few days exploring the museums or parks. 

Amsterdam Winter Packing List

TShirts and Layers

Amsterdam is a pretty casual city so don’t think you need to bring all your best blouses along with you. T shirts are absolutely fine. For Amsterdam in Winter then I recommend bringing of long sleeve t shirts with you to counter the cold. 


Jeans are very commonly worn in Amsterdam. As I said people in Amsterdam don’t tend to be an overly formal group and err on the more practical side so jeans are quite commonplace even in theatres and restaurants (Except if a dress code explicitly states again it). 

If you do feel the cold easily then you may want to pack a pair of leggings that you could add underneath



Although not every day will be below freezing in Amsterdam Winters for the coldest of days you may want your thermals with you! I always like a pair of thermal leggings with me especially when I am going to be walking for most of the day


Jumpers are the main staple of Amsterdam fashion in December for both day and night wear. Either merino or thick knit depending on how cold you tend to get. 



For less formal days of sightseeing, hoodies are acceptable.

What to Wear in Amsterdam in December – Men

On top of the general list above, men might also want to pack:

Long sleeve Shirts

For men we recommend having at least one smarter long sleeve shirt with you for restaurants and evening wear. 

Things NOT To Pack for Amsterdam in December 

Hiking Boots

Everywhere in Amsterdam is flat – you won’t need them 

Thin Heeled Shoes 

This are just dangerous when cycling and will get caught in cobbles and tram lines 

Formal Wear

Amsterdam is a pretty casual city and even in nice restaurants the dress code doesn’t tend to be overly formal! 

Swimming Gear 

Unless your hotel has a pool you are not going to require any swim stuff! 

What to Pack for Amsterdam In December (non clothing)


An Umbrella is a must for whatever time of year you are visiting Amsterdam 


If you want to rent a bike in Amsterdam and would like to wear a helmet I would recommend bringing your own helmet with you (especially if you are travelling to Amsterdam with toddlers or kids). Helmets here are not a legal requirement and can be hard to rent so if you want one I would pack one. 

Theft Proof Bag 


I think Amsterdam is the place I have felt safest out of any European country or city that I have travelled to and it often tops the safest city in Europe lists. However as with any tourist place there can be incidents of petty theft and pick pocketing. I would recommend a shoulder bag with plenty of zips for women or for men a theft proof back pack.

Plug Adapaters 

Amsterdam uses the traditional European plugs. So if you are coming from the UK etc you will need an adapter to make your electronics work. Click here to purchase! 

Power Pack

Amsterdam is a beautiful city with amazing photo spots around every corner – I promise you your phone will be constantly out so be sure yo have apower pack with you to recharge those batteries. 

Visiting Amsterdam in another season? Why not check out;