Categories: Travel

Amsterdam Packing List: What You Need for

Are you gearing up for an unforgettable adventure to the vibrant streets and picturesque canals of Amsterdam? As you plan your trip to this enchanting city known for its rich history, artistic heritage, and lively atmosphere, one crucial aspect to consider is your packing list. Whether you’re exploring Amsterdam’s charming neighborhoods, admiring its iconic landmarks, or cruising along its scenic waterways, having the right attire and essentials will enhance your experience and ensure you’re prepared for whatever the Dutch weather throws your way. Here are my tips on a comprehensive Amsterdam packing list. 

Amsterdam Packing List

Amsterdam felt pretty casual to me in terms of dress. I didn’t really see many people dressed up. I’m not sure if that is because there are so many tourists or because it was cold while I visited. Most of the people I saw in the city were wearing jeans and sneakers with a puffer jacket. I personally brought one nice outfit – this green jumpsuit (similar) and heels (similar)- on the off-chance I needed something nicer. But even to the nice dinner we went to, everyone was dressed casually. I also brought this sweater dress, which paired well with sneakers, but could have been dressed up more.


  1. Layered Clothing: April and May in Amsterdam can be quite unpredictable, with temperatures ranging from mild to cool. Packing lightweight layers such as long-sleeved shirts, sweaters, and a waterproof jacket will help you adapt to changing weather conditions comfortably. I brought these jeans, this sweater, this sweater, and this jacket. I lived in these items throughout the trip. Also, I brought these cargo joggers, these flats and this blouse too.
  2. Comfortable Walking Shoes: With its cobblestone streets and pedestrian-friendly layout, Amsterdam is best explored on foot. Opt for sturdy yet comfortable shoes that provide ample support for walking and exploring the city’s diverse attractions. I wore these classic sneakers on the trip. They matched really well with everything from dresses to jeans.
  3. Hat, Scarf and Gloves: Evenings in April and May can be brisk, so don’t forget to pack a hat, scarf and a pair of gloves to keep yourself warm while strolling along the canals or enjoying outdoor cafes. I honestly lived in my beanie and gloves even during the day. I found the weather quite cold most of the days we were there. One day, I did wear just a light jacket, but still rocked a beanie. It was windy most of the time we were there so a hat really helped keep me warm.
  4. Breathable Fabrics: Amsterdam’s spring weather can be damp at times, making breathable fabrics like cotton and linen ideal choices for staying comfortable throughout the day. Make sure to have a waterproof jacket. I got this easy-to-pack one that kept me warm and dry.

Travel Essentials

  1. Travel Adapter: Ensure you can charge your electronic devices by packing a universal travel adapter compatible with Dutch power outlets.
  2. Reusable Water Bottle: Stay hydrated while sightseeing by bringing a refillable water bottle to quench your thirst on the go.
  3. Compact Umbrella: Be prepared for sudden showers with a compact umbrella that can easily fit into your daypack or purse.
  4. Portable Power Bank: Keep your smartphone and other devices charged throughout the day with a portable power bank, especially if you’ll be using navigation apps or taking photos.
  5. Travel Documents: Don’t forget to pack your passport, travel insurance information, and any necessary visas or travel documents in a secure, easily accessible location. Although I keep mine in my cross-body bag, this organizer is also a great option for travel documents.
  6. Carry-on Suitcase: I’ve talked about it before, but I am a carry-on only kinda girl. I’ve had too many lost bags, so I prefer to travel just with a carry-on. This is the carry-on I’ve brought with me to Greece and Thailand for 10+ day trips, so it works perfectly well for a 4-5 day trip I took to Amsterdam.
  7. Packing Cubes: Packing cubes keep my clothes and suitcase organized. They also help to make everything more compact. I roll my clothes and I’ve found these packing cubes to be such a game-changer for my trip packing.
  8. Weekender Bag: I invested in this weekender bag before my trip to Greece last summer and I’m so glad I did. It fits so much but counts as my personal item. For my international trips, I try to keep the weekender pretty empty so I can fill it with souveniers on the way home. I love the hidden shoe compartment on the bottom and it’s so spacious. Also, I love how it fits over the handle of my carry-on bag.

Toiletries and Personal Care

  1. Sunscreen: Even on cloudy days, UV rays can penetrate the clouds, so apply sunscreen with a high SPF to protect your skin from sun damage.
  2. Travel-Sized Toiletries: Save space in your luggage by packing travel-sized toiletries such as shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and moisturizer.
  3. Medications: Bring along any prescription medications you may need during your trip, as well as over-the-counter remedies for common ailments like headaches or allergies. My friend had this mini and packable medicine case which was so neat. It holds everything you need in case you have a minor headache, stomach ache or allergy attack.
  4. Hand Sanitizer: Maintain good hygiene while traveling by carrying a small bottle of hand sanitizer to use before meals or after touching surfaces in public places.
  5. First Aid Kit: Pack a basic first aid kit with adhesive bandages, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, and any other essentials for addressing minor injuries or ailments.

Weather in Amsterdam Throughout the Year

Amsterdam experiences a maritime climate characterized by mild summers, cool winters, and relatively high humidity throughout the year. Spring, from March to May, heralds the awakening of the city as temperatures gradually rise. 

While April and May bring milder weather, with average temperatures ranging from 7°C to 18°C (45°F to 64°F), they are also known for their unpredictable nature, often featuring a mix of sunshine, rain showers, and cool breezes. 

Summer, from June to August, sees the warmest temperatures, with averages ranging from 12°C to 22°C (54°F to 72°F). This is the peak tourist season when Amsterdam’s parks and outdoor terraces come alive with activity. 

Autumn, from September to November, brings cooler temperatures, and the city’s iconic foliage displays as temperatures range from 8°C to 14°C (46°F to 57°F). 

Winter, from December to February, is the coldest time of the year, with temperatures averaging between 1°C to 6°C (34°F to 43°F). While snowfall is infrequent, visitors can expect overcast skies and occasional rain showers during this season. Regardless of when you visit, Amsterdam’s weather can vary widely, so it’s essential to pack accordingly and be prepared for sudden changes.

What to Wear in Amsterdam in April and May


In April, Amsterdam experiences mild temperatures ranging from 7°C to 13°C (45°F to 55°F). While days may be pleasant, evenings can still be chilly, so layering is key. Here’s what to wear in Amsterdam in April:

  • Lightweight sweaters or long-sleeved shirts
  • Jeans or trousers
  • Closed-toe shoes or ankle boots
  • Scarf, hats, gloves, and a waterproof jacket for cooler evenings
  • Hat and sunglasses for sun protection
  • Umbrella – it does rain a lot in Amsterdam, so a small compact umbrella will come in handy.

If you’re going to be in Amsterdam in April for the tulips or King’s Day, you’ll want to add a few extra items to your bag. For the tulip pictures, I chose to wear an eyelet white dress and chambray romper (similar, similar, similar). For King’s Day, I packed this orange beanie, orange sunglasses, and this orange jacket (similar). 


May brings slightly warmer temperatures to Amsterdam, ranging from 10°C to 18°C (50°F to 64°F). Days become longer, allowing for more outdoor activities. Here’s what to wear in Amsterdam in May:

  • Lighter layers such as t-shirts or blouses
  • Jeans, skirts, or dresses
  • Comfortable walking shoes or sandals
  • Light jacket or cardigan for cooler mornings or evenings
  • Don’t forget your hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen for sunnier days

Amsterdam Packing Checklist

To summarize, here’s a final overview of your Amsterdam packing list:

  1. Clothing: Layered outfits, comfortable shoes, scarf, gloves, hat, sunglasses
  2. Travel Essentials: Adapter, reusable water bottle, compact umbrella, power bank, travel documents
  3. Toiletries and Personal Care: Sunscreen, travel-sized toiletries, medications, hand sanitizer, first aid kit

By following this Amsterdam packing list and considering what to wear in Amsterdam in April and May, you’ll be well-prepared to enjoy all that this dynamic city has to offer. So pack your bags, embark on your Amsterdam adventure, and immerse yourself in the beauty and culture of the Dutch capital!

If you want to read other Amsterdam stories, here is a story about tulips in Amsterdam. Here is a 3-day Amsterdam Itinerary.

Stacey Freeman: I am a Style Maven, Mommy, Educator, and Traveler.