This Amsterdam packing list covers everything you could need when visiting Amsterdam. It doesn’t matter the time of year or time of day this packing list has it all. Find here what to wear in Amsterdam, Amsterdam packing essentials, what to wear in Amsterdam at night, what to not wear and Amsterdam, and a bonus of what to pack for a study abroad in Amsterdam!
When visiting a new city it can be difficult to know what to pack to ensure you have all the essentials. As someone who has been living in Amsterdam for the past 3 years, I know exactly what you need. Be sure to follow this Amsterdam packing list to ensure you have all you need and more!
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What should I wear in Amsterdam
One of the best things about Amsterdam is that it is one of the most open and inclusive cities in the world. As a result, you can virtually wear anything and feel comfortable and accepted. However, below are some things of the best things to wear in Amsterdam:
- Comfortable sneakers: the streets in Amsterdam are all cobblestone and you will be walking a lot so this is a must.
- Midi or Maxi dresses: a short dress on a bike does not lead to a comfortable ride
- Hats: bucket hats, caps, and hats of all kinds are super popular in Amsterdam and are the perfect way to accessorize.
- Denim: Denim jeans and jackets are super popular in Amsterdam and the perfect casual yet cute outfit item.
Amsterdam Packing List Essentials
Amsterdam is a unique city for multiple reasons. Below are some things you need to bring for your visit to Amsterdam.
- Small backpack
- Hostel essentials: Lock, earplugs, sleep mask, shower shoes, towel.
- Power Adapter
- Unlocked phone: Be sure to unlock your phone in your home country so you can get a sim card in Amsterdam
- Refillable water bottle: Tap water is drinkable in Amsterdam so use that to your advantage
- Bucket Hat
Amsterdam Packing List: Spring & Summer
If you are visiting Amsterdam in the spring or summer months you need to remember the following:
- 1-2 Skirts or skorts: Skirts are super popular in Amsterdam as a cute and easy thing to throw on. While a skort is ideal if you plan on renting bikes. Locals wear normal skirts on bikes but have a ton of practice not showing their undies, whereas tourists seem to struggle with focusing on the road, controlling their bikes, and fixing their clothing.
- 1-2 Summer dresses: A cute summer dress is a perfect thing to pack for spring or summer in Amsterdam. Since it is a complete outfit that doesn’t require multiple pieces.
- 2 t-shirts: Perfect for wearing under a small jacket or on their own
- 1 jacket: a thin leather jacket or denim jacket is ideal for keeping you warm during chilly days or chilly nights.
- 2 pairs of pants: jeans or other for the nights.
- 1 pair of Sneakers: Comfortable sneakers are the only footwear you need to bring!
- 1 Crossbody bag: A bag that is secure around your body and closes tightly is essential. Like most places in Europe, pickpocketing is a common crime, and having a bag that makes this difficult is a must.
- Sunscreen: Although Amsterdam can be quite a cloudy and rainy city it is important to always have sunscreen to protect your skin.
- Bathing suit: There is nothing better on a hot summer day in Amsterdam than to go to the beach or one of the open spots along the canal. With a swimsuit, you can even jump in a enjoy the water!
Amsterdam Packing List: Fall & Winter
If you are visiting Amsterdam in the fall or winter months you will need to pack the following:
- Winter hat and gloves: The winter and fall months are quite chilly in Amsterdam so make sure you have a warm hat and gloves to keep you warm.
- Umbrella: Fall and winter are the rainest months in Amsterdam so bring an umbrella to avoid paying a lot for one from a tourist shop when it starts raining.
- Combat boots (or other waterproof boots): A pair of black combat boots are trendy and super practical in the winter and fall.
- 1 pair of Jeans: Jeans are the perfect winter pant option. They are clean and go with a ton of different tops so you only need to pack one or two pairs.
- 1 Warm jacket: A puffer jacket, pea coat, or winter jacket is needed in Amsterdams colder season.
- 1 Rain jacket: Rain will most likely happen during your visit and you will be beyond thankful for having a raincoat to keep you dry.
- 2 pairs of tights: Wearing tights with dresses or skirts is very popular in Amsterdam in winter and fall. If you want to have a nicer outfit for dinner, tights and a dress or skirt is the way to go.
- Scarf: A scarf is perfect for wrapping around your body to keep your extra warm.
- 2-3 Wool sweaters: No winter Amsterdam packing list is complete without a few wool sweaters. These are the perfect cold-weather must-have that will keep you warm while exploring the city.
- 2 Turtlenecks: A turtle neck is a classy warmer shirt option that you can wear under your jacket and wear for a nice night out for drinks.
- 3 pairs of warm socks: Keep your toes warm with thick socks.
What to wear in Amsterdam at Night
What to wear in Amsterdam at night:
- Heeled boots: A black boot with a thick heel is one of the best things to wear in Amsterdam at night. This is stylish without making walking on the cobblestone impossible.
- Smalled heeled sandals: If you are going out in Amsterdam in the summer you can also wear sandals with a small heel.
- Black jeans: Black jeans are sleek and classy making them the perfect night out choice.
- Bodysuit: A bodysuit that tucks into jeans or a skirt is cute and will keep you looking classy all night.
- Leather jacket: A leather jacket is a perfect night out jacket that will keep you warm and looking put together.
- Crossbody bag: Protect your phone and wallet from getting stolen with a bag that straps to your body and closes securely.
What should you not wear in Amsterdam?
This would not be an Amsterdam packing list without covering what NOT to wear in Amsterdam. Be sure to avoid packing these items:
- High heels: The cobblestone streets and far walks make heels a big no-no.
- Tight dresses / fancy dresses: The nightlife scene in Amsterdam isn’t super fancy, wearing a tight dress or a fancy dress is not really the vibe.
- Open purses: A purse that does not securely close is just asking for your stuff to be stolen.
- Hair Dryer: If you are using an adapter for your hairdryer it will likely explode and break your styling tool.
How to pack for study abroad in Amsterdam
As someone who actually studied abroad in Amsterdam, I know exactly how to pack for this exciting experience. Below is a list of everything you need:
- Bedsheets: My student housing provided us with bed sheets but I found them thin and uncomfortable. By packing your own you can make your room more comfortable and homey.
- Jackets: Bring only 2 jackets because Amsterdam has amazing stores and you will likely buy some while there.
- Sneakers, boots, sandals: Bring one pair of sneakers, one pair of boots, and one pair of sandals.
- Power Adapters: Bringing a few adapters to charge and power all your electronics is a must.
- Medication: Bring your medication + some extra for your stay.
- Towels: For showering
- Special foods/drinks: If you have a favorite tea or anything be sure to pack it in case you can’t get it there.
- Skincare: Your favorite skincare items may not be available in Amsterdam so bring your favs from home.
- Passport: No brainer
- Jewelry: A few pieces of jewelry to accessorize
- Camera: You will want to capture the city and your adventures.
- Hairbrush & supplies: Brushes, hair ties, hair clips, and more!
This Amsterdam packing list covers everything you will need during any season, time of day, and more!
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