What to wear in Amsterdam in winter: complete packing list

Amsterdam houses

A comprehensive list of what to pack for Amsterdam in winter to stay warm, comfortable and feel like a local.

Amsterdam is a wonderful city to visit in winter, a place of cozy interiors, ice skating rinks, pretty lights and crisp air.

However, Amsterdam in winter in cold so packing appropriate clothing is paramount to enjoy all the city has to offer.

I pack for Amsterdam in winter regularly as I am in Amsterdam several times each year.

I have also lived close to Amsterdam for years, so I know what to wear in Amsterdam in winter first hand.

Today, I share this experience with this packing list for Amsterdam in winter: I hope it helps you pack light and appropriately for your Amsterdam trip!

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How cold is Amsterdam in December, January and February?

Winter in Amsterdam is mostly cold, dark and rainy.

December, January and February have temperatures around 0 degrees C and rain is frequent.

This means, that while the temperature is not excessively cold, the real feel is often a good bit colder than what the thermometer may suggest.

Evening in particular can get very humid and the cold creeps into your bones.

However, compared with the freezing temperatures of part of North America or Scandinavia, Amsterdam winter is pretty good!

You want a coat and warm boots but you don’t need special gear to visit Amsterdam in winter.

Snow is frequent in winter but usually it is a small coat dusting the streets of Amsterdam, rather than full on, heavy snowfall.

This has seen some spectacular exceptions in the past so it may happen that very cold conditions hit the city and get it so cold to even freeze the canals but, overall, in Amsterdam you can expect the winter to be cold but not awfully so.

Amsterdam in winter with a light coat of snow along the canals and grey sky

Style: What do people wear in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is known for being  a relaxed city but this doesn’t mean it is not stylish.

The main vibe is chilled and casual but Amsterdam always strikes me as a fashion conscious capital.

The main style here is hipster, casual, vintage chic and this is great for travelers since it means you can go from day to night without having to necessarily go back to your accommodation and get changed.

This may differ if you go to a super fancy restaurant but, in my experience, even places requiring a somewhat ‘elegant’ attire let us us with a nice pair of jeans and boots.

Amsterdam packing list for winter: a handy list with what to pack for Amsterdam in winter to stay warm, comfortable and feel like like a local
Your complete guide to what to pack for Amsterdam in winter to sat comfortable, warm and stylish. A packing list for Amsterdam perfect for sightseeing.

What to pack for Amsterdam in winter

This is my list of things to pack for Amsterdam in December, January and February. Please note: this post contains affiliate links.

Good winter boots

A good travel outfit starts with appropriate footwear and a good pair of winter boots are a must have item for daring Amsterdam in the colder months.

Make sure your boots are waterproof, warm, comfortable and with a non-slippy sole.

Therefore, hard soles with no grip are dangerous: a non-slippy sole is a must.

If you travel with children, rather than buying winter boots you might not need at home, a good alternative is welly boots and good quality, warm socks with padding.

Warm socks

Packing for feet again, socks are another item I am obsessed with, in winter.

Having warm, not sweaty feet is important to stay warm and comfortable; good quality socks help.

I am particularly fond of long one that can get as high as the knee or even above it.

They are much nicer than a thermal under layer (unnecessary in Amsterdam, at least for your legs) and they go a long way to keep you warm especially if you are out after dark, when temperatures drop.

Jeans or warm legging

Amsterdam’s winter is cold but not so cold to require any special type of trousers.

Jeans go a long way and so do warm leggings should you prefer to wear a skirt.

For kids, I do find warm tights or lines leggings excellent for both boys and girls.

Thermal underlay

Keeping your core warm is important and I find thermal layers to be excellent for travel to colder climates.

I find the most versatile of all to be in merino wool.

They keep you warm, prevent moisture build-up and you can wear them for more than one day without needing laundry.

For women, I am also fond of silk which feels lovely on the skin.

However, you do need to wash silk often so I only usually pack it for a weekend or a longer trip during which I foresee laundry ‘time’.

If you are thinking of buying a good thermal underlay, I have put some research into the best ones and this is my selection of the best thermal underwear for winter travel.

Long sleeve and short sleeve top

Living in Ireland I have learnt to layer up and a combination of long and short sleeve tops are my a faithful travel companion.

I like colourful things so I usually have a black underlay and a colourful short sleeved top to have a somewhat ‘together’ but weather appropriate look.

I always notice how nice and warm interiors are in Amsterdam so it is worth it to have a nice top since you are likely to unwrap once indoors.

Cozy interior of Amsterdam Waldorf Astoria Hotel with white orchids

Jumpers/ sweaters

Well, of course you’ll need sweaters!

I like woollen jumpers when on a city break as I feel they are more dressy and versatile for going day to night than hoodie/fleece tops.

For kids, fleeces are a good alternative but make sure not to overdo the layers especially if your child is very active.

Warm waterproof jacket

One of the best purchases I ever made is my Patagonia coat.

It has a waterproof and windproof external layer with a hood, a warm insert and it is long enough to get almost to to my knees, a length that makes a huge difference from the short albeit warm puffy jackets I usually choose for the fall season. Oddly enough, keeping your thighs warm is important!

For kids, I am fond of Trespass clothing: i find they outer layers excellent, not bulky and I love their many bright colour options

Hat, scarf, gloves, umbrella

Hat scarf and gloves are not a surprise on a winter packing list but the umbrella is a slightly more controversial item.

While really useful in case of rain, it can be useless and a pain to carry around in case of strong wind so I recommend it with a caveat.

Bring a very small one you can carry in your bag in  case of wind or invest in a good quality, sturdy, wind resistant one.

Other travel essentials for Amsterdam in winter

Other travel essentials for Amsterdam in winter include your usual travel basics (from underwear to toiletries) and of course travel documents.

Be advised that in Amsterdam, like in many other countries, having ID on you is compulsory so make sure to always have some form of identification on you.

If you ate traveling with a baby, find my baby packing list for winter here will all essentials for cold weather.

This is my tried and tested list of things to pack for a trip to Amsterdam in the winter. Do you have a favourite winter travel essential?

Amsterdam packing list for winter


  • Socks and underwear, including thermal top layer
  • Long pants
  • Warm skirt and tights
  • Long and short sleeve tops for layering
  • Winter sweater/hoodie
  • Warm waterproof coat
  • Scarf, hat, gloves
  • Pajama

Toiletries and personal items:

  • Dental kit (toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, etc)
  • Body wash and hair products as needed
  • Deodorant
  • Moisturizers
  • Female hygiene items
  • Shaving essentials
  • Tweezers
  • Make up if using
  • Medications if using (including prescription in English if needed)

Tech and electrics:

  • Phone and relevant charger
  • Spare battery pack
  • Adaptor/converter if needed


  • Passport /ID
  • Visa if relevant
  • Stay permit, if relevant

Amsterdam in winter packing list for kids

If traveling to Amsterdam with kids in winter, I recommend you also pack:

  • Stroller footmuff
  • Stroller rain cover
  • Waterproof baby carrier cover
  • Baby essentials for your first day in the city, so you don’t have to hit the shops as soon as you land.
  • Toys, teethers, dummy, favorite blank/ cuddly toy

This Amsterdam in winter packing list was originally published in 2018 and has now been fully updated in 2023.

packing list with tips on what to pack for Amsterdam in winter

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One thought on “What to wear in Amsterdam in winter: complete packing list

  1. Natalie says:

    I’m from south Texas. When I read the title what popped into my mind was, “everything”. LOL! Great advice!

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