My tour

What is the best time of the year to go visit the Netherlands by bike?

Much like other coastal countries in north-western Europe, the Netherlands has warm summers and cold winters, combined with spontaneous rainfall. Most rain falls in the winter and it can feel damp and chilly. The best time weather wise is from mid-April to the beginning of October. April (tulips), July and August are the peak months for visitors.

March holds two major events. In the south of the country (mainly in the provinces North-Brabant and Limburg) any town or city celebrates Carnival. A huge 3-day festival on the streets. The festival includes parades, dress-ups and big street parties. The other event that starts in March is the Tulip Season. Though the flower fields hold the tulips usually from mid-April, the Keukenhof Flower Garden will be open from mid-March (in 2020 from 21th of March) and will make sure tulips are in bloom. Though on the fields itself, before the tulips, Hyacinths and Narcissus are in bloom. Although you should expect some windy chills during March, the weather usually remains relatively agreeable and the temperature sometimes even reaches above 10 °C.

Rainfall average: 9 days
Temperature average: 7 °C (44 °F)

In April the weather patterns can be unpredictable. The weather often shifts from hot to cold, or rainy to dry without any warning. Traveling in early April it is advised to bring warm clothes, especially for the cold mornings and evenings and good rain gear. It does usually warm up towards the end of the month, just in time for King’s Day – a big national holiday on the 27th of April. All towns and cities in the Netherlands host street events from music festivals to canal parades, to charming street markets by children and other community-driven activities. Tulip’s are in bloom best between mid-April to the end of April. Each year there is a Bloemencorso (flower parade) in the west tulip area of the Netherlands (near Keukenhof) witch makes that part of the country and accommodations extremely busy. In 2020 this event takes place from the 24th to the 26th of April.

Rainfall average: 12 days
Temperature average: 10 °C (50 °F)

As the temperature rises, more tourists arrive in bigger cities, especially Amsterdam. It does mean that the popular attractions, such as the Van Gogh Museum and Keukenhof Gardens can get crowded, especially in the weekends. Fortunately, for cyclist, there are countless stunning spots in the Netherlands that rarely become busy. For instance, de Hoge Veluwe National Park, scenic fisherman’s villages in the north, extreme waterworks in the south- the World Heritage coastal line and many other sights. In May 2020 some big events take place such as the Formula one Grand Prix in Zandvoort what makes accommodation in the west area fully booked or very expensive. On the 4th of may at 20:00 (8PM) there will be 2 minutes of national silence to remember the deaths in war. The 5th of May is a National Holiday where freedom is celebrated in organized festivals.

Rainfall average: 12 days
Temperature average: 14 °C (57 °F)

The Dutch are happy people in June as the sun gets warm and the wind lays down more. Besides the weather getting better (with occasional very hot peaks) June is also great for traveling to the Netherlands as the summer holidays have not yet started (start in July) so it will not be too busy on the roads and at the museums. Please note the pinkster weekend (in 2020 30th of May till 1st of June is usually a busy weekend in the Netherlands wherever you go).

Rainfall average: 9 days
Temperature average: 17 °C (62 °F)

Anyone who wants to go visit Amsterdam over July (or August) should expect to be packed with many other travelers who are doing the same thing. Other cities around the Netherlands such as Gouda, Delft, Utrecht or the Hague also draw in crowds, but are generally more relaxed than the Dutch capital. Luckily for the cyclist most tourist stay in the cities, while you go out- and about in the Dutch nature and remote historic sights. During your bike tour the amount of tourist sure will not bother you to much. On the 25th of July the Gay Pride week starts in Amsterdam.

Rainfall: 9 days
Temperature: 20 °C (68 °F)

At the beginning of August, the Canal Pride Parade will take place (2020 Aug 1st) with its enormous boat parade through the city’s canals, in honor of sexual diversity. August in the Netherlands is usually very nice temperature wise with nice warm and sunny days. August is one of the main Festival months in the Netherlands with large-scale celebrations including Lowlands, Solar, Zand, Mysteryland and Into the Great Wide Open. The biggest festivals usually take place outside the big cities so when traveling by train you might just get got in a horde.

Rainfall average: 8 days
Temperature average: 23 °C (73 °F)

September remains warm in the Netherlands and even though the summer holiday are finished in the country, there’s still a lot happening. Just like June this month is great for cyclist who want to cycle when relatively warm but not to crowded. In September (2020 on 20th Sept), thousands of professional and amateur athletes come to Amsterdam to participate in Dam to Damloop – a running race from Amsterdam’s city center to Zaandam.

Rainfall average: 10 days
Temperature average: 17 °C (62 °F)

In October, Amsterdam is the host to one of the largest electronic music festivals in the world – Amsterdam Dance Event (or ADE). Hundreds of venues through the city participate with electronic events. Aside from ADE, October is usually wet and grey in the Netherlands, with most people spending their time indoors while days get shorter. Usually the beginning of October is still nice for cycling, though the further you go towards the end of the month the higher the chance of rain.

Rainfall average: 11 days
Temperature average: 13 °C (55 °F)

The temperature drops a lot in November though outdoor activities like hiking or cycling, and spending time in nature can be very rewarding during this month. For example, the forests and Natural area’s look amazing in autumn with the glowing orange and gold leaves on both the trees and the ground. Wearing gloves, hats and warm sweaters with raincoats is important though during this month. A "plan B" for traveling with the train instead of bike is necessary when the rain gets to bad. Holland Bike Tours will certainly help with this plan.

Rainfall: 10 days
Temperature: 7 °C (44 °F)

Written on: Nov, 09 2019
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