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What to wear in Amsterdam in December

What to wear in Amsterdam in December

Are you wondering what to wear to Amsterdam in December? Winter firmly starts in December and as you would expect the temperatures plunge. In this guide we tell you everything to pack for Amsterdam in December for sightseeing, the weather, Christmas, dress codes, cycling, dinner and more.

Important Note: This post may contain affiliate links which means if you click through and make a purchase I will make a small commission at no extra cost to you. 

Weather in Amsterdam in December

December marks the beginning of Winter in Amsterdam and temperatures and conditions start to get cooler. But how cold is Amsterdam in December?

Is it cold in Amsterdam in December?

Dam Square Amsterdam in December dressed for CHristmas with tree
What to wear in Amsterdam in December

The weather in Amsterdam in December ranges from average highs of 7C/44F and average lows of 2C/35F.

And of course the later in the month you travel the cooler it will be.  Also depending on the level of wind and rain, it can feel much cooler, especially at night. So layers are definitely needed when traveling to Amsterdam in December.

Therefore the key to an Amsterdam Packing list for December is to have plenty of layers with you.

And if your visit covers two months be sure to check out our other Amsterdam monthly guides. The weather does change in Amsterdam month to month, and you never known when there are some special events that do require at alteration to the dress code:

Does it rain a lot in Amsterdam in December?

Amsterdam can be rainy city no matter the month you visit. In December you can generally expect there to be around c.10 days of snow.

Therefore t is worth having some waterproof wear and of course a travel umbrella with you. And if you plan on cycling around the city, which we definitely recommend, you will also need some waterproof trousers with you too.

Does it snow in Amsterdam in December?

Yes you can in fact get snow in Amsterdam in December. However don’t be expecting a white Christmas. The Snow in Amsterdam in December is usually mixed in with rain as sleet, and therefore snow very rarely settles on the ground at this time of year.

Of course there are always exceptions to the rule but I would say don’t expect a white Christmas or to see people out skating on the canals.

Note: we always recommend checking the forecast at your destination(s) 7 days out from travel to make sure there are no expected weather fronts i.e. heatwaves or cold snaps.

What do people wear in Amsterdam?

Amsterdam street in December decorated for christmas
What to pack for Amsterdam at Christmas

Locals in Amsterdam are firmly wearing their Winter capsule wardrobe in December. Obviously Winter outfits changes depending on where you are but for Amsterdammers this is usual a practical but casual get up.

The locals in Amsterdam in December tend to wear plenty of layers, smart casual attire and are always prepared for the rain.

However although the Amsterdam dress code errs on the practical and casual side, it is worth remembering the Dutch are a stylish bunch. Don’t mistake casual for scruffy because the Dutch really nail stylishly casual outfits.

What to wear in Amsterdam in December

Best Shoes for Amsterdam in December


For December in Amsterdam my favorite type of shoe is a boot. I usually select an ankle boot for travel as this is easier to pack. Also as a local I would always advise you to add a pair of thick heeled boots to your Amsterdam packing list rather than a heeled one.

Thin heeled shoes generally are on my what not to wear in Amsterdam list. This is because Amsterdam has lots of cobbled streets and uneven walkways. Therefore thin heels are dangerous so should be replaced with thick heels.

Thick heeled boots are also much safer to cycle in if you are planning to do so and are much better even than sneakers.

Click here to shop boots for Amsterdam.

For more information on how to pack boots for travel check out this post.


Sneakers are a great shoe for Amsterdam in December when sightseeing at places such as museums, boat tours and more. And don’t worry you won’t look like a tourist in Amsterdam in sneakers as locals wear them too.

Also you don’t need to worry about the type of sneaker you need to wear as you will see all sorts of styles from bright white, sports trainers to more fashion sneakers. My advice is to wear whatever is your most comfortable pair for walking.

My favorite brand of sneakers for walking are Hoka and AllBirds. I personally avoid white sneakers in December due to the wet and risk of discoloration however this is just a personal style choice.

Instead I usually go for a waterproof sneaker such as an Ecco for rainier days.

For a full guide on the best shoes for Amsterdam check out this post.

What to wear in Amsterdam in December for women

Woman in Amsterdam in December holding hands out to catch the snow
What to wear in Amsterdam in December


In December you are definitely going to want a warm coat. That is because firstly the weather is definitely chilly but also, even though you are in a city you will be doing lots of outdoor activities such as cycling, seeing windmills and canal tours. And if can get pretty chilly doing all of these activities.

Therefore we recommend picking a practical coat that is waterproof and wind resistant. My favorite brands are Eddie Bauer and Columbia

Click here to shop coats for Amsterdam.

Hat, Scarf and Gloves

Winter accessories are a must for Amsterdam in December. Again you will be doing lots of outdoor activities and as the Christmas markets are in full swing, you are likely to be outdoors at night too which adds to the chill in the air.

I would recommend taking with you a matching scarf and gloves set that match your winter coat to finish off the look. But be sure to get gloves that are touch screen compatible so as you are likely to be taking lots of photographs.

Click here to shop winter accessories


For Amsterdam in DEcember layers are going to be your best friend. For a week in Amsterdam I will usually pack the below layers:

  • a cardigan,
  • a hoodie, and
  • smart sweater.

Although there is no one best color to wear in Amsterdam, you will find a lot of locals do stick to black.


Although I tend to avoid dresses for sightseeing in December, I would usually take one with me for evenings out. Because of the temperatures at this time of year I find sweater dresses / jumper dresses to be most appropriate.

However I would always pack a pair thick tights to wear with a dress as nights can be chilly.

Click here to shop long sleeve dresses for Amsterdam here.


If skirts and dresses aren’t your thing then trousers are a great choice. As December is cold we recommend picking thicker trousers made of heavier fabric.

Jeans are perfect for sightseeing during the day. I would recommend picking smarter jeans such as black jeans or dark blue jeans that are more fitted or skinny jeans however you will see all sorts of styles of the streets of Amsterdam. So it is most important that you feel comfortable.

If you want a smarter pant then we love a regular black pant (we love the Athleta Brooklyn ankle pant for travel) or a thick wool pant.

Click here to shop trousers for Amsterdam.


A pashmina or thicker wrap is always on my Amsterdam packing list especially in Winter. 

It can act as a scarf to dress or a a more casual outfit but is a useful extra layer on cooler nights and days.

Click here to shop pashminas

T Shirt

Amsterdammers during the day are relatively casual. But don’t confuse casual for unstylish. The Dutch are in fact very stylish.

T Shirts are a common thing to be seen on the Dutch streets however I would advise plain and stylish ones over bold, bright and graphic t shirts.

If you are heading to Amsterdam in December I would advise adding more long sleeved t shirts than short sleeve tees.

Blouses / Shirts

Blouses with long sleeves are perfect for Amsterdam in the Winter for both sightseeing and going out to dinner. They are a versatile layering item and can be dressed up or down depending on where you are going.  

Click here to shop blouses.


No one in Amsterdam goes out without waterproofs especially those cycling. Most people cycling will wear waterproof jackets and trousers. If you plan on cycling round the city I would recommend you taking some with you.

However if you don’t have any and decide you need them stop in at HEMA. HEMA stores are everywhere around Amsterdam and always stock waterproofs for cyclists.

Click here to shop waterproofs


Goes without saying …


Thicker PJs and better for December as it can be cold at night.

What to Wear in Amsterdam in December Packing List for Men

For men visiting Amsterdam in December we recommend adding the following items to your packing list:

  • T shirts – long sleeve tees are best for December.
  • Shirts – a button down shirt is a great choice for smarter restaurants in Amsterdam. And if you plan on spending Christmas Day in Amsterdam and eating out, a shirt and sweater would be most appropriate.
  • Trousers – jeans are great for sightseeing in December. You may want to add a smarter pair of chinos to the packing list too for nights out and fancier dinners. Wool trousers are another good choice.
  • Coat – something with some waterproofing and wind resistance is best.
  • Layers – such as a hoodie, jumper and sweater alongside the coat.
  • Waterproof top layer for cycling including trousers.
  • Sneakers
  • Smarter Pair of Shoes for dinner – we recommend a pair of waterproof ankle boots.
  • Pjs
  • Underwear

What clothes to pack for Amsterdam at night in December

The dress code for Amsterdam in December at night is smart casual. Amsterdam is not a very formal place and therefore I would leave formal attire off your Amsterdam packing list.

And although casual would be acceptable in many places I would say the you would feel most comfortable in smart casual attire in restaurants, bars and theatres in Amsterdam.

If you are looking for more guidance on what to wear for dinner in Amsterdam check out this post.

Also many people will visit Amsterdam Christmas markets at night. If you do remember it can feel very cold by the canals with the wind so be sure to have plenty of layers with you. Personally I love a merino wool top with long sleeves.

What to Pack for Amsterdam in December (Non Clothing)

Christmas tree in Amsterdam in December
What to pack for Amsterdam in December

Now you know what to wear in Amsterdam in December, we will turn our attention to other non clothing essentials to pack.

Theft Proof Bag

As with any tourist city around the world there are pickpockets in Amsterdam. Therefore we recommend using a cross body anti theft bag with you such as this one.

Click here to shop theft proof bags.

Travel Adaptors

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

Power Pack

Amsterdam is a beautiful city, especially at Christmas time so you will be using your phone lots to take photos. On top of that you will be using your phone for navigation and public transit info. This obviously is a drain on your phone battery. Be sure to have  a power pack with you to recharge those batteries. 

Compact umbrella

Amsterdam in December is rainy. Be sure to have a handy compact umbrella with you.


For our essential toiletries packing list click here. However if you don’t want to overpack, and are happy to purchase these on arrival we recommend heading to the chain Kruidvat. These are all over the city and stock all health, beauty and toiletry products you would expect.

Reusable Water bottle 

Especially useful for those planning on cycling around the city.

Medical Supplies

Remember to pack any medicines, prescriptions, Travel First Aid Kit and Blister plasters.


For storing items on your day trips to places such as Zaanse Schans and Giethoorn.

Note: For more info on packing light for Amsterdam check out our guides on using the 5 4 3 2 1 packing technique or using the sudoku packing method.

FAQs about Amsterdam December Packing List

People ice skating in front of Rijksmuseum Amsterdam in December
What to wear in Amsterdam in December

Hopefully the above has given you a good overview of what to wear and pack for Amsterdam in December. However if you still have questions drop us a comment below and we will add our answers in our FAQ section below.

Do I need coat in Amsterdam in December?

Absolutely! Given the weather in Amsterdam in December you will need a big coat. We recommend picking a coat that is practical for being outside with some water proofing and wind resistance.

What to wear to Amsterdam Christmas Markets in December?

I love the Christmas Markets in Amsterdam. Although not as large or well known as their German counter parts, Amsterdam does have some Christmas markets.

Rather than one large market you will find small street markets across the city. There is no Christmas Market dress code just remember to pack and wear plenty of layers as well as a warm waterproof coat, especially if you plan on visiting the markets at night.

This is also important if you plan on going ice skating in front of the Rijksmuseum too.

Are there any special events with dress codes for Amsterdam in December?

Sinterklaas is celebrated in the Netherlands on the 5th or 6th December. Sinterklaas is Saint Nicolas and it is basically when the Dutch celebrate Christmas.

If you are invited to a Dutch house at this time it would be good to wear something smart and have a small token to take with you.

Do you have any questions about what to wear in Amsterdam in December that we haven’t answered here? Then pop us a comment below and we will do our best to answer them.