What to Wear in Amsterdam – The Ultimate Guide for Beginners

Are you planning a trip to Amsterdam but unsure about what to wear? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! In this ultimate guide, we’ll help you navigate the unpredictable weather and style trends of the beautiful Dutch capital. Let’s dive right in and discover the perfect attire for your Amsterdam adventure.

1. Consider the Weather

Amsterdam’s weather can be quite unpredictable, so layering is key to staying comfortable throughout the day. Don’t forget to check the forecast before your trip, but be prepared for sudden changes. Here’s a breakdown of what to pack:

Spring (March to May)

  • Light jackets or sweaters: Mornings and evenings can be chilly, so bring a light jacket or sweater.
  • Jeans and trousers: Opt for comfortable bottoms like jeans or trousers.
  • Comfortable shoes: There’s often some rainfall during this season, so pack waterproof shoes or sneakers.

Summer (June to August)

  • Light and breathable clothing: Amsterdam summers can be warm, so pack lightweight and breathable fabrics.
  • T-shirts and dresses: Opt for comfortable t-shirts, dresses, and skirts.
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen: Protect yourself from the sun with sunglasses and sunscreen.
  • Comfortable walking shoes: Make sure to bring comfortable walking shoes as you’ll likely explore the city by foot.

Fall (September to November)

  • Layered clothing: As fall brings cooler temperatures, pack layers such as sweaters, cardigans, and light jackets.
  • Jeans and trousers: Stick to jeans or trousers for comfortable bottoms.
  • An umbrella or raincoat: Be prepared for rain showers with an umbrella or a waterproof raincoat.

Winter (December to February)

  • Warm and cozy clothing: Amsterdam winters can be quite cold, so bring warm clothing like sweaters, coats, and scarves.
  • Thermal layers: Layer thermal clothing underneath for extra warmth.
  • Waterproof boots: Amsterdam can get snowy during winter, so pack waterproof boots with good traction.
  • Gloves and hats: Don’t forget to bring gloves, hats, and earmuffs to protect yourself from the cold.

2. Dressing like the Locals

Amsterdam is known for its fashion-forward locals. Embrace their effortlessly chic style by following these tips:

  • Keep it casual: The Dutch love their casual attire, so opt for comfortable clothing over formal wear.
  • Natural and neutral tones: Stick to a color palette of natural and neutral tones like black, white, navy, and beige.
  • Quality over quantity: Invest in well-made pieces that will last longer, rather than fast fashion trends.
  • Accessorize wisely: Add personality to your outfits with simple accessories like scarves, hats, and statement jewelry.
  • Blend in with a bike-friendly look: Wear practical outfits suitable for biking, as cycling is a popular mode of transportation in Amsterdam.

3. Dress Code for Key Amsterdam Attractions

While Amsterdam is known for its relaxed atmosphere, some attractions may have specific dress codes. Here’s what you should keep in mind:

Museums and Galleries

Most museums and galleries have no strict dress codes, but it’s recommended to avoid overly revealing clothing out of respect for the art and other visitors.

Restaurants and Bars

Amsterdam’s dining scene is diverse, ranging from casual eateries to upscale restaurants. While there are no strict dress codes, it’s always better to dress slightly formal for upscale establishments.

Places of Worship

If you plan to visit churches or other religious sites, it’s best to wear modest attire out of respect for the religious practices. Cover your shoulders and knees, and bring a scarf to cover your head if necessary.

4. Where to Shop in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a shopper’s paradise, offering a mix of local boutiques, high-street brands, and vintage shops. Here are some popular shopping areas:

  • Nine Streets (De Negen Straatjes): Located in the canal district, this area is famous for its unique shops and cozy cafes.
  • Kalverstraat: The city’s busiest shopping street, filled with popular fashion brands and department stores.
  • Jordaan: Known for its trendy boutiques and local designer stores.
  • Albert Cuyp Market: A vibrant street market offering a wide range of products, including clothes, food, and souvenirs.
  • Waterlooplein Flea Market: A great spot for vintage and second-hand items.

Final Thoughts

Amsterdam is a city with its own unique style, influenced by both fashion trends and practicality. By considering the weather, dressing like the locals, following specific dress codes when necessary, and exploring the city’s shopping scene, you’ll be well-prepared to enjoy your Amsterdam adventure in style. Remember to pack layers, comfortable shoes, and blend in with the fashionable locals. Happy travels!


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