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Amsterdam in March?

My DS age 23, is practically begging us to take him to Europe. He never did a study abroad, and DH and I just went for the first time since we’ve been married just 4 years ago.

He graduates in May and would like to go spring break, which is In the middle of March. For several reason we prefer not to wait until May. He really wants to go to Amsterdam. We are thinking of perhaps splitting the time with Paris.

I’m a little nervous about going at the end of winter. It seems the cities will not have the same charm and he might be disappointed. What do you all think?

Posted by
1524 posts

Lulu - Let him experience Europe in March. Airfare and hotel will be cheaper. I would suggest take him to Lisbon, Portugal or Southern Spain (Andalusia region) for his spring break. The weather in those countries will be milder. There are numerous activities to do in both countries and they area cheaper too. The Netherlands is an excellent destination as well but the weather may not be as pleasant as the countries i mentioned. Amsterdam will be ideal for May when the tulips will be in full bloom.

Posted by
3972 posts

It could be quite nice mid March. I would look at historical averages. I dislike crowds, so I sacrifice some on weather and go at slower times of year (which are becoming busier) I have two recent college grads. The last few years many of their friends have been going to Europe at spring break time because the airfares have been phenomenal. But, I think they were buying tickets more last minute, like starting to look mid January. A trip at the end of May could likely be much more expensive, and Amsterdam, relatively speaking, is an expensive city.

I think a first trip to Europe splitting time between Amsterdam and Paris could be quite nice. You could also look at doing Vienna/Budapest/Prague, or any number of places, but you are right to restrict yourself to just a couple cities.

EDITED: And, good for you to take this opportunity. I had the nicest of times taking my kids to Europe when they were in their early 20s. Such great memories.

Posted by
427 posts

Thank you for your responses. Unfortunately, we never got around to going to Europe with this older brother. He 26 now and lives in Texas. Limited vacation days, harder to travel with all around. He wanted to go to Spain, but it never happened, we went to Hawaii instead.

I guess I think it would be easier to swallow for him if he knew we were going in winter and going to museums. We’ve never gone with just 1 son. I have my doubts about doing it, but he hasn’t pushed Europe like my younger one.

Sounds like March is ok then. I need to discuss further again with DH and if it’s a go, I’ll be back with lots more questions. We went to Italy 4 years ago and it was really easy as so many people spoke English.

Posted by
23 posts

I was in Amsterdam this past March (the 7th-14th) and it was pretty much what I expected it to be. Temperature rarely got out of the 40s, most of the time it was overcast, a bit windy, and it rained intermittently (although rarely that hard). That being said, it was very enjoyable for me. I made sure I had a very good rain jacket and rain pants and I bought myself some waterproof socks to go over my thermal socks. The city actually looks quite beautiful after a good rain. So long as you're dressed properly, there's no real reason not to go.

Posted by
379 posts

Agree with econgator. We were in Amsterdam the last week of March this year. At times, it was cold (in the 40's) and windy, some rain. Our taxi driver from the airport said that the weather is "brisk". Just pack clothing for that kind of weather - wind-rain proof jacket, waterproof shoes, hat, scarf, and gloves. The weather doesn't seem to stop the Dutch. They were riding their bikes in the rain. He should still have a good time.

Posted by
19160 posts

I hate chilly, wet weather, so I would definitely not go to Amsterdam in March. Or England. Or Scotland. Etc. It may be fine for you, with appropriate clothing. Just be prepared for what you may face. It will certainly be more interesting than staying at home, so if traveling at a more temperate time is not an option, and if your son is set on seeing Amsterdam (southern Spain would be my choice at that time of year), go for it. At least you'll probably save considerable money on the flights.

Don't worry about language at all. The Dutch study English for many, many years in school, and it seems that they watch a lot of US and British TV shows.

I think if that is what he wants then go for it. Weather-wise it might not be the best time of the year but it is not the worst time either. Just make sure you have raincoats and umbrellas and you will be fine. He will love it!
I am not sure how long you are going but Paris could easily be done for a few days. Its only 3.5 hours away by train. (but book early to get the cheaper tickets.)

Posted by
14399 posts

One advantage, for me, of going at the end of winter is that the trees are bare, so you can see the architecture - especially in Paris. I've been in Paris in rain and it was beautiful, especially after dark. If you can manage both cities, I'd encourage you to do that. Book the train as soon as possible for the cheapest fares.

I'm with most everyone else, go!! Dress warmly, prepare for rain (maybe an extra pair of shoes each just in case), and enjoy.