What is the best time of year for a first-time visit to Amsterdam for an experience that is less crowded and warmer weather? Also, flights from Denver, CO look to be expensive. Has anyone ever gone to London first and then taken either a Eurostar train or a train/ferry combo? We have looked into doing something like that and wonder if anyone has done so with either good or bad results.
Amsterdam is very crowded during all the warm weather months nowadays. It will be a bit more manageable if you go midweek instead of a weekend. But you will have to deal with crowds either way.
We fly to Amsterdam from Seattle. We were there mid to late September 2019. The weather was starting to cool down, but mostly sunny & comfortable. We didn’t feel that it was overcrowded. We bought museum tickets ahead of time, did a lot of walking, and enjoyed the city by tour boat as well.
We went April 2019 and really enjoyed it. Yes it is crowded, but if you plan ahead and get tickets in advance, it really isn't that bad. Plus it's tulip season, so going to Keukenhof makes it totally worth it. It wasn't "warm" weather, but jeans and a long sleeve shirt/light jacket was comfortable the whole time.
The only way I'd consider going through London is if I was staying there for a visit then on to Amsterdam. The hassle and expense of getting from Heathrow to central london, then you have to go through some security for the train ( less than airline but you do need to arrive early enough) and the expense of the train ($200-300). The only good part is that Amsterdam Central station is in the heart of the city vs the airport, but the airport is pretty close and easy to get to. London is a bit harder.
Been in Oct and June. Froze in Oct. In June we still had rain/cool temps every day. Wouldn't go there anytime without a rain/wind resistant jacket and at least one thin base layer T.
If flights to Amsterdam are too expensive, I would not consider flying to London instead. Paris, Brussels, Frankfurt or Düsseldorf sounds like much better option.
London is a great city to visit. If you want to combine it with Amsterdam, that's fine too. It depends on how much time you have and what your interests are. If you are thinking of flying into London without seeing the city, just as a cheaper way to get to A'dam, is it going to be worth it for the time you lose and the cost of spending a night in London? Would you fly open-jaw into London and out of Amsterdam or would you have to return to London for a flight home?
Though I've never done it, I've seen it recommended here to fly from London City Airport to A'dam as being more efficient that Eurostar or flying from one of the outlying airports. Depending on how much time your whole trip is, you could take Eurostar to Belgium for 2-3N and then continue to the Netherlands. I don't remember anyone recommending the ferry - which BTW can be delayed in bad weather that won't affect flights or trains.
London, like A'dam, will be pretty crowded whenever you go in spring and fall.