Are you wondering what to wear in Amsterdam in May? In this guide we round up what to pack for Amsterdam in May for every occasion for women, men and children. We even include a great Amsterdam in May packing list to be sure you miss nothing from your suitcase.
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Weather in Amsterdam in May
The main factor when packing no matter the destination or season is of course the weather. In this section we round up the top things you need to know about the weather in Amsterdam in May to make sure you have the right clothes with you.
What is the temperature in Amsterdam in May
So what is the temperature in Amsterdam in May? The truth is May is a relatively mild month in Amsterdam however being Northern Europe you can always get some anomologies.
Generally speaking however you can expect the temperatures early in the month to average around 15 high 50s F early in the month but increasing to 17 C-18 C/ mid 60sF by the end of the month.
Generally speaking the morning and evenings can feel quite cool so it is worth having layers for this time of year.
Does it rain a lot in Amsterdam in April?
As an ex-Amsterdam expat I can tell you that you can get rain any month of the year . However rain isn’t too bad in terms of rain.
As although the month tends to see rain on 12 days this month, it tends to be in the form of light showers rather than huge downpours.
Having said that it is always worth having some waterproof wear on your Amsterdam packing list.
Note: the weather between months changes quite dramatically and there are always special events in Amsterdam in certain months. If your trip spans a couple of months then please be sure to check out our other monthly guides.
What do people wear in Amsterdam
if you want to look like a local in Amsterdam then you need to know what do people wear in Amsterdam on a day to day basis.
I would actually say that the Dutch fashion aesthetic can be summarised quite easily as:
However I think It is important to stress that although the Dutch tend to be quite casual, this does not mean that they are not stylish because they definitely are.
What to wear in Amsterdam in May
Now you know what the temperatures and likely weather conditions are likely to be for your visit to Amsterdam in May we can now turn our attention to what to wear in Amsterdam in May.
What to wear in Amsterdam in May for women
Although the temperatures in Amsterdam in May are warming up, do not come to the city without a jacket especially for traveling around the city in the early morning or the evenings.
While any light jacket would be suitable we recommend bringing a leather one for those that want to fit in with the locals.
Amsterdam is a relatively casual city – though still smart and stylish and a key piece in any Amsterdammers wardrobe is a leather jacket.
However if you are traveling later in the month of May than a denim jacket is probably more suitable.
Again, while the temperatures are heating up there can be cold days and Amsterdam at night can get chilly.
A great day to night piece that can both dress up a casual look or be used as a extra layer is a pashmina.
To be honest I never go anywhere in Europe with my trusty pashmina as you never know what the weather will do!
Although Amsterdam in May is one of the least rainy months of the year, we recommend taking a rain jacket with you.
When on the streets of Amsterdam you will see a range of jackets from a more sporty to hiking waterproof to more stylish trench coat style raincoats. You will not be out of place in either.
However if you are considering cycling in Amsterdam in the rain then you will want a looser fit rain jacket.
We also love the Maium Amsterdam trench coat waterproofs with a zip at the side that transitions perfectly from loose rain jacket on the bike to stylish fitted jacket for more formal locations.
But if you don’t plan on cycling then I would recommend just bringing an umbrella instead.
As I have mentioned before Amsterdam is a casual city. Jeans will not be out of place anywhere in city from museums to restaurants.
Most days in May I would wear jeans in Amsterdam so you will not feel out of place among the locals whether I was touring a museum, cycling in the city or heading out for dinner.
Black skinny jeans are very popular in Amsterdam no matter the season.
Although I wouldn’t add linen trousers for your Amsterdam Spring packing list especially if you are traveling at the beginning of the month I would add some trousers other than jeans to your list for the end of the month. Chinos are a great option.
Midi length skirts and dresses
Midi length skirts and dresses are great in Amsterdam, as this length is easiest for cycling in.
T shirts are perfectly commonplace on the streets of Amsterdam. The Dutch tend to be a practical people and you are more likely to find plain white or black tees than bright colored slogan t shirts.
But in truth any type of t shirts are fine.
I recommend taking short sleeve ones with you for the month of May as the temperatures are heating up.
For cooler days longer sleeved blouses are perfect and will transition well from day to night in Amsterdam.
A Hoodie or Cardigan
Although the temperatures are heating up in Amsterdam in May you will still want some top layers for early mornings and evenings.
As Amsterdammers tend to be quite casual then hoodies are perfect for during the day. However in the evening I would opt for a smarter sweater or cardigan.
Underwear and socks
These ones kinda of go without saying but just in case and because I would hate you to miss anything be sure to pack the correct amount of underwear and socks for your trip.
As the days are getting warmer and sunnier be sure to add a pair of sunglasses to your list.
The canals of Amsterdam can get pretty dazzling in spring and summer and it is good practise to always pack sunglasses whatever the season, whatever the place, to protect your eyes.
Theft Proof Bag
We lived in Amsterdam for several years and never had a problem with safety. However as with any tourist destination pickpockets can appear.
I recommend taking a bag with a least zip compartments. A theft proof bag like the one above would be even better.
For days when you are just walking then a cross body bag is more than suitable. However if you are planning on doing a lot of cycling you will definitely need a backpack with you too.
How to Dress in Amsterdam in May for Men
The rules of what to pack for men is similar to what to pack for women. You want lots of layers as well as some lighter bottom layers in case it warms up.
As I said these are a staple for all Amsterdam wardrobes. But it might also be worth adding a pair of smart chinos too.
A great choice for during the day in the city.
Although t shirts are perfect for the day I would add a button down shirt for the evening and going out to eat.
Hoodie and Jumper
Perfect for cool mornings and going out at night.
Needed for those cooler May mornings and evenings.
What clothes to pack for Amsterdam in May at night
Are you wondering about the what to wear in Amsterdam at night. Well don’t fear Amsterdam is a relatively casual city even in May. In fact I would add any type of formal wear to your what not to wear in Amsterdam list.
For a dinner in Amsterdam I would recommend wearing the same things as you would wear during the day in the city but maybe smarten it up with boots over sneakers and a blouse instead of a t shirt.
And for men a button up shirt instead of a t shirt, though you will see many people in T shirts at dinner too!
Best Shoes for Amsterdam in May
I think the most difficult think about packing for Amsterdam in May is getting the footwear right. So what are the best shoes for Amsterdam in May.
Well my number one pick for Amsterdam no matter the season is:
Sneakers are perfect for all the walking that you will be doing in Amsterdam but also great for cycling in.
I like to pick a pair of waterproof or rain resistance where I can but another great choice for Amsterdam is all birds sneakers.
Comfortable Ankle Boots
Although the weather is starting to heat up in May I still recommend taking a pair of ankle boots with you.
Boots are especially important too if you are thinking of renting a bike in Amsterdam as a small heel is safer to cycle in than a sneaker.
When looking for the perfect travel ankle boot I would recommend getting something with a chunkier heel i.e. no thin heels. There are many cobble stones in Amsterdam and you do not want to get your heel stuck.
However if you are traveling later in the month you may want to consider replacing your ankle boot with a lighter shoe that can cope with warmer temperatures.
What to Pack for Amsterdam in April (Non Clothing)
FAQS about this Amsterdam Spring Packing List
What to wear to Keukenhof
One of the main reasons to visit Amsterdam in Spring is to see the tulips.
Although you can see tulips in the city and in the fields maybe the best place to see tulips is at Keukenhof Gardens. This is usually open from late March to Mid May.
I would say end of April to beginning of May is usually the optimal time to see the flowers in full bloom, but this varies each year depending on the weather.
While there is no specific dress code at Keukenhof you will want to make sure you are wearing something practical as mentioned above if you are cycling around the tulip fields as well as entering the garden.
Also a day at Keukenhof will involve a lot of walking so take practical shoes for that.
But it is always worth noting that Keukenhof and the tulip fields are an instagrammers dream so you will also see lots of people wearing pretty floral patterns.
What to wear to See Cherry Blossoms in Amsterdam
And as if tulips weren’t enough for flower lovers in Amsterdam, you can also see some amazing cherry blossom to Amsterdam.
The best place to see cherry blossom in Amsterdam in May is at the Cherry Blossom Orchard in Amsterdamse Bos aka Amsterdam Forest.
To get here you will likely be cycling so you will want an outfit that is comfy for cycling but also good for photos with the beautiful blossoms.
Have you been to Amsterdam in May? What did you wear? And if you are traveling this year be sure to tag us in your social media pictures on Instagram and Facebook.