Are you wondering what to wear to Amsterdam in January? Winter is in full swing throughout the Netherlands in January and both the crowds and the temperatures are at their lowest. In this guide we tell you everything to pack for Amsterdam in January for weather, dress codes, cycling and more.
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Weather in Amsterdam in January
Amsterdam in January is definitely still experiencing mid-winter. In fact Winter is full swing in January and it is often the coldest month of the year in the City of Canals.
Is it cold in Amsterdam in January?
The weather in Amsterdam in January ranges from average highs of 6C/42.8F and average lows of 1C/33F. Overall it can feel chilly if you are visiting in January and requires some layers and a winter coat at the minimum.
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 January?
Amsterdam can be rainy city no matter the month you visit. But January is one of the rainier months to visit with 12 days of rain. This means that you are more than likely to experience some wet weather during your Winter Amsterdam vacation so it is worth having a waterproof top layer as well as a compact travel umbrella with you at all times.
And if you plan on cycling you will also require some waterproof cycling gear too i.e. waterproof over jacket and some waterproof trousers.
Does it snow in Amsterdam in January?
Yes you can in fact get snow in Amsterdam in January. Usually there will be flutters of snow on around 5 days during the month of January however it is not likely to settle and will often come as sleet mixed in with rain.
But of course there are always exceptions to the rule.
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 locals wear in Amsterdam in January?
Locals in Amsterdam are firmly wearing their Winter capsule wardrobe in Janauary. And as with any month you will find that Amsterdammers tendto be practical in their dress sense. But don’t mistake practical and casual as not being stylish as the Dutch are a very stylish bunch.
Tip: Want to skip queues in Amsterdam? we recommend buying your Amsterdam attraction tickets in advance with skip the line access for some of the most popular attractions such as the Anne Frank House, Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum to name but a few. Even though the crowds are at their lowest in January, no one wants to be queuing outside attractions in the cold or rain.
What to wear in Amsterdam in January
Best Shoes for Amsterdam in January
For January in Amsterdam my favorite type of shoe is a boot. I usually select an ankle boot for travel as this is easier to pack and reduces overpacking. However no matter the type of boot you decide to pack be sure to check out our winter boot packing guide.
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 especially if you plan on going cycling.
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.
Sneakers are a great shoe for Amsterdam in January 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 all the time 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 sneaker brands for travel are Hoka and All birds but for Amsterdam in January I also like to have a white sneaker such as the Addidas Cloud Foam brand. Not only are these one of the most comfortable sneakers around but they are also super versatile.
Though my only concern with white sneakers in Europe in Winter is that they may discolor in the rain.
For this reason I also love the Ecco brand. These are great comfortable walking shoes but are also leather sneakers which mean they can cope with rain well.
For a full guide on the best shoes for Amsterdam check out this post.
What to wear in Amsterdam in January for women
But before we get onto the specifics of what to wear in Amsterdam in Winter for women and men, we wanted to reiterate that we think it is a great idea to pack a capsule wardrobe.
It means you are less likely to lose your luggage when traveling and prevents you from overpacking. For help in packing a capsule wardrobe check out these posts:
In Janaury you are definitely going to want a warm coat that has some insulation as well as waterproofing and wind resistance.
That is because the weather is definitely chilly at this time of year but also because many of the best things to do in Amsterdam involve being outside i.e. cycling, seeing windmills and canal tours.
Therefore we recommend picking a practical coat that is waterproof and wind resistant. My favorite brands are Eddie Bauer and Columbia
Hat, Scarf and Gloves
Winter accessories are a must for Amsterdam in January. Again you will be doing lots of outdoor activities and 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.
For Amsterdam in January 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 especially in Winter.
Also I personally never travel in Winter without a merino wool sweater. Merino wool is one of my favorite fabrics to include in a Winter capsule wardrobe.
That is because it provides extra warmth as they are an insulating fabric but is also compact unlike a thick knit. Therefore it is easy to pack and doesn’t take up a lot of space in your case.
Also don’t worry about hoodies being too casual. You will find locals and tourists all wear hoodies.
Although I tend to avoid dresses for sightseeing in January, 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.
As January is cold we recommend picking thicker trousers made of heavier fabric.
Jeans are perfect for sightseeing during the day and won’t be out of place anywhere in Amsterdam. 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 pick the style you are most comfy in.
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.
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.
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 and you can pick the style you are most comfortable in. I would just a advise adding more long sleeved t shirts than short sleeve tees for the weather in Amsterdam.
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.
Although you will have a coat with you for Amsterdam in January, I also recommend packing some waterproofs too. That is because No local 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.
Goes without saying.
I also like to pack merino wool socks for Winter travel in Europe. They are thinner than hiking socks but are insulating so are good for cold weather.
Thicker PJs and better for December as it can be cold at night.
What to Wear in Amsterdam in January Packing List for Men
So now you know what to pack for women in Amsterdam in January, we will turn our attention to a men’s packing list. Alongside our regular men’s travel essentials we recommend adding the following items to your men’s packing list for Amsterdam in Winter:
Coat / Jacket
I always recommend that you check the temperature for your travel week before you go as to decide what thickness jacket you need. But something warmer with some water resistance is a good idea.
Waterproof Trousers / Top
This is useful on top of a coat for putting on top of your outfit when cycling.
A combination of chinos and jeans mean you should be covered for every occasion. I would also opt for smarter trousers when traveling in Amsterdam however to fit in more with the locals.
T Shirts and Shirts
A mix of long and short t shirts are perfect for men during the day as both base layers and top layers on warmer days.
However if you plan on eating out I recommend packing some long sleeve button down shirts too.
Underwear, Socks and Pjs
What to Pack for Amsterdam in January (Non Clothing)
Now you know what to wear in Amsterdam in January, 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.
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!
Amsterdam is a beautiful city so you will be using your phone lots to take photos. On top of that you will be using your phone for navigation, weather updates 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.
Amsterdam in January 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.
Especially useful for those planning on cycling around the city.
For storing items on your day trips to places such as Zaanse Schans and Giethoorn.
FAQs about Amsterdam January Packing List
Hopefully the above has given you a good overview of what to wear and pack for Amsterdam in January. 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 January?
Absolutely! Given the weather in Amsterdam in January you will need a big coat. We recommend picking a coat that is practical for being outside with some water proofing and wind resistance.
However you may also want some cheap packaway waterproofs too for using while cycling.
What clothes to pack for Amsterdam at night in January
The dress code for Amsterdam in January 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.
Do you have any questions about what to wear in Amsterdam in January that we haven’t answered here? Then pop us a comment below and we will do our best to answer them.