Rain, Rain, Go Away?: Why the Weather in Holland Shouldn’t Scare You Away from Studying Here!

A question I’ve had a lot of people ask me since I moved to Amsterdam is, “how are you handling all the rain and the dark cold winters???”. I’ve even had people say “I don’t think I could ever live somewhere that it rains so much”. Thankfully it’s not as bad as it gets made out to be. I’ve now lived through all four seasons here in Holland and I can tell you that just looking up the weather on google will not give you a fair idea of the reality.

Posted by Michael Anderson at Apr 22, 2017 09:15 PM

Summer

 

Amsterdam summer
Flowers, bridges, and people hanging out on boats. Classic Amsterdam summer

Fort
Summer is a great time to bike around the countryside and see forts!

Bridge, delft?
Because you can never have too many pictures of flowers and canals

 

Summer in Holland is great! It’s warm, but rarely too hot, and the days are super long. In June the sun sets around 22:00! This weather makes it great to explore the city or town by bike, just like the Dutch! The high is usually between 20-24, but when I first arrived last year there were several days around 30! Like I said, rarely too hot, and rarely chilly. I’m really, really looking forward to experiencing my second summer here!


Autumn

Fall colors
Fog and the changing colors of the leaves made Holland very pretty in Autumn

Delft rainbow
Yes it rains sometimes, but you're often rewarded with a rainbow!

Ams canal fall
The leaves falling in the Amsterdam canals make for a pretty bike ride to school


Autumn is beautiful in Holland. The leaves changing colors over the canals of Amsterdam are perfect for practicing your photography skills! My first autumn was amazing. I think it rained one week in October and one week in November. The weather was pretty temperate, and only got a little chilly at night. Apparently I did get a little spoiled though, as normally it does rain a bit more often than I experienced. Overall though, autumn, in my opinion is very nice, and reminded me quite a bit of autumn back home in Illinois.

Winter

Delft winter canals
The canals don't freeze too often, but when they do, you're rewarded with a pretty scene!

Field
Winter brings very atmospheric lighting over the polders

Amsterdam christmas market
Winter brings the chance for ice skating!


Winter is not my favorite season, and Holland didn’t surprise me. There are a couple differences between back home (Chicago) and here though. It is warmer here (I’m not saying warm, just not as cold as frigid Chicago), it rains more, and there is about one hour less of daylight. It is rarely ever super cold though, and although it does rain a good bit, there are also a fair amount of days with blue skies. If you’re from a country that doesn’t experience seasons, or that stays fairly temperate the whole year, you’ll find it cold, but if you’re from the the northern US, Canada, or a similar type climate, you’ll find the winter quite temperate. You do get quite a lot of atmospheric fog though!

Spring

Yellow flowers
Spring brings flowers to the parks of Amsterdam

Cherry
These trees flowered around Amsterdam in late March/early April

WIndmill
This windmill in Gouda had the perfect flower filled surroundings


As I write this, the sun is shining in my window and I’m watching people play football (soccer for my US friends) on the field below. It’s warm in the sun, but you need a light jacket to go outside. There have been days where it is dull and rainy, but there have also been warm days with brilliant sun. Most days seem to contain a bit of both. What does this combination give you? FLOWERS! They’re everywhere. On trees, in parks and even in people’s hands while they bike around the city. After the short days of winter, the country is brimming with energy on these nice days. You appreciate the warm weather and sun much more after the short days.

Verdict

So overall, how’s the weather? I would say some of the stereotypes have some truth behind them. Yes it does rain a lot for instance. However, it is uncommon for it to rain all day, and the rain is seldom a downpour. More often it is a soft drizzle. Yes, it can be cold, but because it is right next to the Atlantic ocean, Holland rarely drops to 0 celsius. Winter can be a little tedious and long, but when you’re busy with schoolwork inside, it won’t bug you too much. Summer is beautiful though, and fall and spring bring beautiful changes in the plant life that make for a very atmospheric setting.

If you’re from a warm country it may take time to adjust. I have a friend from Brazil who thought it was freezing when he first moved here, but now he thinks Brazil is wayyyy too hot when he goes home. He even rides his bike on the coldest days here in Holland! The weather should definitely not stop anyone from studying here. Who knows, maybe you’ll come to love the four distinct seasons Holland offers you!

Please comment below if you have any questions or concerns, or if you’re studying here and disagree! Keep an eye out for my next post, which will include a ton of Tulips!

Posted by Michael Anderson at Apr 22, 2017 09:15 PM
Khan M Abul Kashem says:
Jun 16, 2017 04:26 AM
May God bless all of us.
Good Luck
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