Along with July, August is the warmest month in the Netherlands. However, being a low-lying coastal country in Northern Europe, temperatures rarely rise very high. In midsummer, expect average daytime high temperatures of around 68°F (20°C). This is an attraction in itself for some travelers, who may prefer a milder summer climate than that of Southern Europe, for example.
There's not much regional variation in temperature throughout the Netherlands, although coastal areas may be windier. The weather in the Netherlands is changeable and unpredictable, so you may experience temperatures well into the 70s or cooler days with rain, but in general, August is a warm and comfortable time to visit, and a good time to get outdoors.
Crowds & Costs
August is peak season in the Netherlands. Although many Dutch vacationers go elsewhere in Europe for their summer break, North Americans and other Europeans tend to take their summer vacation in this month, and the cooler climate but pleasant weather makes the Netherlands an attractive destination to some.
Prices are at their highest, accommodation and flights book out well in advance, and you should expect crowds at the most popular museums, art galleries, and other attractions in August, especially in Amsterdam. If your priority is getting outdoors and/or seeing some of Europe's finest art galleries and museums, you may consider braving the crowds to be worth it.
Where to Go
Coastal areas of the Netherlands are a good bet in August. Enjoy beaches, small towns, nature reserves, and cycle paths in quiet areas like Zeeland and the West Frisian Islands. If you're a sailing enthusiast, you'll also want to check out the northern town of Sneek during the Sneekweek Sailing Regatta in August. It's the largest inland European waterway sailing event.
If art and culture is more your thing, then Amsterdam is always a good idea, although the crowds at galleries, cafes, and even just in the street might put you off visiting in August. Instead, spend time in other Dutch cities, such as Haarlem, Groningen, Maastricht, The Hague, Rotterdam, or Utrecht. You won't be the only visitor by any means, but the lines at the cultural attractions might not be so long.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
What to Do
Cycling is almost as Dutch as tulips and Gouda cheese, and August is a great time to get outdoors and explore the countryside on a bike. The Netherlands is very flat so cycling is less challenging here than it might be in some places. Cycle through farmland to windmills, such as the 18th-century, UNESCO-listed Werelderfgoed Kinderdijk near the town of Kinderdijk, outside Rotterdam. Alternatively, head to the coast or the islands north of Amsterdam (Texel Island and the West Frisian Islands) to enjoy views of the North Sea while you ride.
Events in August
Scheveningen International Fireworks Festival. Stay up late in the long Dutch summer nights and enjoy four nights of spectacular fireworks at the coastal town of Scheveningen, near The Hague.
Pride Amsterdam. The flamboyant Pride Amsterdam festival runs for about a week (sometimes starting in late July) and celebrates LGBTQ communities in the Netherlands.
Sneekweek Sailing Regatta. The largest inland European waterway sailing event is held in the town of Sneek, northeast of Amsterdam and southwest of Groningen.
Traveling to the Netherlands in August? Check out these great itineraries
Family Tour of the Netherlands - 14 Days. Peaceful islands, maritime museums, and a fairytale-themed amusement park are just a few of the attractions that make the Netherlands a wonderful destination for a family vacation.
Cycling Tour of the Netherlands & Belgium - 14 Days. Pedal past windmills, tulip fields, and castles on this wonderful two-week cycling tour of the Netherlands and Flanders (the Dutch-speaking area of Belgium).
Highlights of Holland - 5 Days. Explore cheese markets, famous painters, canals, rich history, churches with beautiful stained glass, windmills, lovely squares, and ancient cobbled alleys in major and lesser-known Dutch towns and cities.