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Amsterdam in Late August--Overrun or on 'Holiday'?

Am considering experiencing Amsterdam for the first time in late August for a week. I know temps will be moderate, but from an 'amount of tourists' standpoint will it be the worst part of 'high season'? We are veterans of travel to Italy, and avoid traveling there in any part of high season because of the hordes and the heat, although outside the major areas a lot of Italians go on vacation in August.

Thanks in advance!

Posted by
11073 posts

We were there in early September 2017 and it was very busy, windy, and cold. It rained too, a fair amount. We picked September because we expected moderate weather, but of course the weather has been crazy everywhere. The UK was hit hard at that time too. And when we got to the Val Gardena, we encountered unseasonable weather 2 out of our 4 full days there.

In fact, I think it was only the cold that made it possible to deal with crowds in Amsterdam. The Van Gogh Museum was our only horrific experience, far worse than the Louvre or D’Orsay. The Damrak was awful, of course, but we easily avoided that after one stroll.

Posted by
1220 posts

I don't think it will matter one way or the other. There are so many people there at any time, so even if people leave for vacation, there will be enough visitors that it won't matter. I have been there several times and they are pretty much the same. I was there in June/July and it rained non-stop (2 years ago when the Louvre flooded). I was there at the same time last year and the weather was midling (cloudy, some light rain, some sun). It could be hot, it could be mild.

I find going to museums first thin in the morning to be the best way to not be in a crowd. I loved the Van Gogh. Arrived right at opening at 9a, spent two hours, By the time we left, it was getting much more crowded but the two hours we were there felt like a special opening for a small group). I did the same with the Rijks. The FOAM photography museum is fun. The Dutch Resistance museum is well done. The Old Church in the Attic was awesome. I never travel along Damrack, and actually avoid central Amsterdam except to visit sites, because its so trafficked. I stay in the outer rings and spend all my time there.

Posted by
2487 posts

Amsterdam has no really low season anymore. The remedy is as everywhere: avoid the popular hot-spots and it's quiet. Avoid the Damrak and take the Singel to get into the centre. Be early for the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum, and the crowds are manageable.

Posted by
1926 posts

Thinking about staying in Haarlem, which looks quite charming. Less expensive, more hotel or B&B availability, maybe a little quieter, only 15-30 minutes by either bus or train to Amsterdam. Good idea?

Posted by
31576 posts

train not bus, easy.

I stay in Haarlem or Utrecht or Rotterdam these days, I don't stay in Amsterdam. My choice though....

Posted by
11073 posts

Jay we stayed in an apartment in Haarlem and loved it. We were very close to the station (5 minutes) and maybe 10 minutes walk from the center. Found some great restaurants and felt we had escaped the tourist hordes to our "home."

Posted by
2209 posts

hi jay
sent you a private message (PM) about amsterdam. it's busy all year but you will enjoy it. we did