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Belgium/Netherlands--April or Sept?

Hi, your opinion please! Should we go in early April, or September? Assume it may be busier (and maybe more expensive, in April due to flowers, Easter, etc.. Is September a good alternative? Pros/Cons? Thank you for any advice or opinions! Karen

Posted by
6744 posts

We tend to travel in May or September on our trips to avoid high tourist season and because it’s cheaper than traveling during summer. so either of your months should be fine. September would be warmer. I doubt April would be more expensive except for those places tourists flock to, to see the flowers or special events. It just depends on where you’re going.

Edited: when we visiting Bruges and Ghent in mid-March this year, we wore jackets each one. On one day, overcast, rainy, and cold, gloves would have been helpful. The rest of the trip, only jackets were needed.

Posted by
27368 posts

Flowers aside, September would win for me every time. The odds of not-raw weather would be much better in September. Try for early in September, when the days won't be any shorter than in early April.

Posted by
138 posts

Thank you for the suggestions, it is much appreciated....

Posted by
10344 posts

If you want to see what the March weather could be like in Bruges, you might want to take a look at the film In Bruges--the outdoor location filming of that movie were shot (per IMDB) in March and other parts of the film shot in February; it's obvious from seeing the film that those two months, including March, were wet/overcast/cool/cold.

We were in Belgium and Netherlands in early September, departed the day after Labor Day, and the weather was very good, only a bit of rain one day out of two weeks. I mean, it probably won't be sunny and blue skies in either September or April.

Given the latitude and location of the two countries, you won't have a guarantee of perfect weather whether you go in April or September. If you haven't already done it, I would study the average weather at both times. Early April could be a little too early weather-wise, but better to check the weather stats for a number of years.

Posted by
3941 posts

We went in '17 from about the 2nd week of April - because I wanted to see the tulips. Arrival day was gorgeous, then it turned cool enough some days I was wearing three layers (tshirt, fleece and my light spring jacket) and was wishing I had gloves. A few days were nice enough for 2 layers, but our very windy day at Kinderdijk, I could not get warm at all. By the time we made our way thru Belgium and to Paris a few weeks later, I got a sunburn and was wearing short sleeves (in Paris).

If you want to experience the tulips - and I think everyone should as it is amazing (biking around to the tulip fields by Keukenhof was glorious) - then go in April. Otherwise, I'd go in Sept, which is my fav time of year to travel. If you do decide on April, I'd start looking for places to stay now, as the good ones are prob already gone - I booked our Amsterdam airbnb in early Dec when we went.

Posted by
2009 posts

In general April, especially early April is more chilly as September. Expect temperatures between 10 ºC and 15 ºC for April, between 15 ºC and 20 ºC for September, but weather varies so much here, it remains hard to completely rely on these figures as for instance last year temperatures were much higher both months. But it is also possible that temperatures can drop significantly the last week in September, with days with rain and strong winds.

In short you must have (a bit) more luck in April than in September to my opinion. But it will be spring in April, so nature will be in full blossom and the Keukenhof open then. If you go in April do that as late as possible and for September better is the first weeks. Best is to have anyway a windbreaker with you.

Posted by
3984 posts

I agree with Wil’s assessment in his second paragraph. If you have any desire to see the extensive flower fields and Keukenhof Gardens you must travel in April or early May (check 2019 dates). As for crowdedness in Amsterdam, Haarlem or Leiden I don’t think that should deter you if you want to see the bulb flowers. We went in April of 2018 and crowds and prices were not prohibitive. We didn’t stay in Amsterdam but went there several times by train to explore.

If the flowers aren’t a high priority for you, then by all means go in September.