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Visiting the Netherlands on your next trip? We’ve got tips and advice on what to wear and what to pack for this enchanting country!
Read this for an Amsterdam packing list!
What to Wear in the Netherlands
Written By: Kerstin Lühe
The Netherlands has always had a special place in my heart. The language is close to mine (German) but for some reason I can’t understand it. The Dutch, on the other hand, can understand German perfectly. I don’t know how!
I love how the Netherlands has so much to offer: beautiful landscapes, nice beaches, forests, scenic roads, and springtime fields filled with millions of tulips. It makes me want to hop on my bike and cycle for hours through colorful streams of flowers!
What to Wear in General
In general day-to-day European style is more dressy than American style. This DOES NOT mean business clothing. Think dressy top (or the type of top you’d wear to work) plus nice jeans (dark colors are always a good choice).
Slim or Skinny fit jeans are the preferred denim option. If that’s not your thing, having tailored denim always makes for a smart appearance no matter what the pant style. For example, hemming the leg length so there’s not an excess fabric at the bottom.
In The Netherland, the main thing to remember is that comfort is key because you’ll be spending alot of time walking or riding a bike! And don’t forget the canal rides in Amsterdam, too.
Tip: ankle jeans are an easier way to get this look without a trip to the tailor.
Like anywhere, pack for the environment. Are you spending your time café crawling in the cities or getting lost in the wilderness?
Always, check the weather forecast before your trip. Once you’ve researched the weather, you can focus on creating a capsule travel wardrobe, which should easily fit in a carryon suitcase with the help of packing cubes to compress your clothing.
Also remember that if you forget anything, you’ll be able to pick it up when you get there, so don’t be afraid to pack light. Try to stick to a small selection of colors to make it easier to mix and match your items.
Need help downsizing your travel clothing? Read TFG’s Pack Light Stylishly eBook!
Wherever you go in the Netherlands, you’ll be walking and cycling. It’s a very pedestrian- and bike-friendly country! Skip the high heels for daytime, as there are a lot of cobblestones in the cities and you’ll be walking a lot.
You can wear heels or wedges in the evening when you go out for dancing, as some bars and club won’t allow sneakers. Just make sure you wear something comfortable on the way there–like foldable flats you can easily stow in your handbag!
These are the cutest and most comfortable ballet flats for travel!
What to Wear in The Netherlands: Spring
Spring is the time the trees and tulips are blossoming and blooming, the weather is getting warmer, the sun is shining, but sometimes there’s still rain. Layering is the best way to handle this weather; you can remove items when it’s warm and keep them on when it’s cold. Have an umbrella ready for those wet days!
Read these tips on what to wear on a rainy day!
Start by reading these general tips on packing for spring travel:
- How to Pack for Trips with Mixed Weather
- How to Layer a Summer Dress for Spring
- How to Pack for Europe in Spring
- Best Shoes for Traveling in Spring and Fall
Choose long pants, like jeans, with a warm jacket. It can be your favorite black leather jacket or one of those 3-in-1 outdoor jackets in your favorite color. These jackets will keep you warm and dry, plus you can remove the inner fleece jacket if it’s too warm or use the fleece jacket by itself and leave the outer layer at your hotel.
Take a look at our round-up of the best-looking fleece clothes this season!
Underneath, you could wear a lightweight turtleneck sweater. Have a matching scarf to keep your neck warm. At the moment, Dutch women love to wear oversized scarves!
If you wear ankle boots, be sure they’re comfortable. Or choose stylish sneakers for walking around–you’ll be walking around a lot!
Find out TFG’s favorite ankle booties for Europe for spring and fall!
Have a shoulder bag or crossover bag in a neutral color so it always matches your outfit.
If you go on a bike tour through the Netherlands, you need bike-friendly clothes. These can be skinny jeans or lightweight pants. And of course: don’t forget a raincoat for those wet days!
Another tip for bike tours is to wear a backpack. Choose one that’s water-resistant so your personal belongings stay dry.
These are 12 gorgeously-designed backpacks for travel, and one of them may be your new favorite travel companion!
What to Wear in The Netherlands: Summer
Even in summer it can sometimes be chilly. Always check the weather forecast before you travel, don’t expect hot weather because it’s summer.
For cool evenings, choose a lightweight cardigan or even a waterfall cardigan. Keep those in neutral colors so they can match all your outfits. A shoulder bag is perfect for your personal items and an umbrella is useful for rainy days.
But on those perfect hot days, you’re absolutely fine with shorts and a tank top for the cities; a skirt and a top are good, too.
Start by reading these general tips on packing for summer travel:
- Capsule Wardrobe for Summer
- Top Summer Dresses Perfect for Europe
- Lightweight Jackets for Easy Layers
- Best Walking Shoes for Europe’s Cobblestone Streets
To keep your feet happy, wear flat shoes like strap sandals or fabric shoes. As always, make sure your footwear is comfortable for lots of walking and cycling. However, leave the flip-flops at home; Dutch women don’t wear them on the streets.
Let yourself be inspired by the Dutch women and go shopping and bring a few nice pieces home with you!
Here are comfortable walking sandals for travel that are stylish, too!
The Netherlands has some nice beaches; if you visit one, of course you can wear your favorite bikini and summer dress.
Read this post for some stylish dresses that you can wear on and off the sand!
On cooler days, try wearing black tights that stop at the ankle with flats or sandals. Dutch women wear them under skirts and dresses, which is especially helpful when riding a bike. On warm days, you can just remove the tights and toss them in your bag.
Find out how to turn any one of your dresses into a versatile dress!
What to Wear in The Netherlands: Fall
Fall is the time of cold wind and heavy rainfall, but it can still offer some days of sunshine. You’ll be seeing the trees with colorful leaves and taking long walks through the parks. Take an umbrella or a raincoat (which is also windproof) with you.
Start by reading these general tips on packing for autumn travel:
- How to Pack for Trips with Mixed Weather
- How to Layer Clothes
- Use a Summer Dress to Pack Light in Fall
- Best Shoes for Traveling in Spring and Fall
Layering is key. You can’t go wrong with long pants, a nice sweater, comfortable boots, and a scarf. Instead of a sweater, you can opt for a long shirt and a waterfall cardigan.
Wear long pants. Dutch women love wearing jeans; skinny jeans are trendy at the moment. Make sure your pants are also comfortable when riding a bike!
Here are a few key points to choose the best jeans for your trip!
I’d suggest taking a trench coat or a black leather jacket with you. Wear those in neutral colors so it matches anything you wear.
For shoes, try sneakers, comfortable ankle boots, or long boots with flat heels. Make sure they’re water-resistant!
These are the best waterproof leather boots recommended by our readers!
What to Wear in The Netherlands: Winter
Winters in the Netherlands are cold with strong winds, the occasional rainfall, and ice. Of course, every now and then the clouds part and the sun shines through, but it’s still a cold day! Winter is the perfect time to visit museums and cafés.
Start by reading these general tips on packing for winter travel:
- Capsule Wardrobe for Winter
- How to Pack for Cold Weather
- How to Stay Warm in Cold Weather (without the bulk)
- The Best Travel Shoes for Winter
A warm coat that’s a bit longer (to your thighs) is a must. The winds are cold in winter, so you want to protect your thighs a bit. Parkas are in as they keep you warm.
I’d suggest a coat in a black or gray color so it matches your winter boots and pants. Pick one with a hood to protect your head from strong winds and snow.
As for bags, choose a crossover body bag that can’t slip off easily from your warm coat.
Take a look at these stylish and Insta-friendly water-resistant jackets!
Remember, there’s lots of walking in the Netherlands (people don’t really travel by car, rather, they use public transportation or bicycles to get around). If you pack some winter boots, make then comfortable ones in which you can walk for some time.
You can choose between skinny jeans with long winter boots or regular jeans and ankle boots, whatever floats your boat.
Here’s a collection of the best waterproof boots for travel this winter!
Have thermal underwear ready for very cold days. Also wear a hat or beanie–and make it a colorful one! If you know you’re going to spend the day in museums and shops and cafés, skip the thermal underwear and wear something light underneath your coat, like a sweater or a waterfall cardigan.
Read this to discover our top 10 brands for thermal underwear!
Lastly, with all the dry and cold wind, protect your skin with a nutrient-rich facial cream.
Here are some tips for dry skin prevention on your winter travels!
What are your tips on what to wear to the Netherlands? Share you thoughts below!
For more tips on what to wear in Europe, please read this post:
- 10-Step Packing Guide for Europe
- Best Shoes for Europe
- What to Pack when Traveling to Amsterdam
- What to Pack for Amsterdam in Summer
Suggested travel resources:
- Lonely Planet Europe on a shoestring
- Lonely Planet Netherlands (Country Guide)
- Travel Shoes for Europe
- The Best Carry-on Suitcases for Europe
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Author Bio: Kerstin is a freelance copywriter and dive instructor from Germany and has spent the last three years chasing the sun in Asia, North America, and South America. She loves diving, has a sweet tooth, and is currently working on her copywriting business.