February in the Netherlands is cold; you can expect fog, wind, low temperatures, ice, and possibly snow. However, if you're from the northern US or Canada, you probably won't find Dutch winters too extreme. Simply wear warm clothes outside and plan indoor activities. The average temperature in February is around 37° F (3° C) across the small country, with only a little geographical variation: the inland south tends to be a bit colder and coastal areas windier. Daylight hours are also short.
Crowds & Costs
In general, February is a quiet month on the tourism front and you shouldn't expect to jostle for space in art galleries or museums, or have trouble getting a good deal on accommodation and flights. However, outside the major cities, many seasonal attractions will be closed.
The exception to February being low season is the time around Carnival, which is typically in late February or early March. Carnival festivities like street performances, parades, live music, and extravagant costumes can be found in towns and cities around the country. If you're traveling to the Netherlands to experience Carnival, or know your trip will coincide with the festival, make sure to book accommodation in popular places like Amsterdam and 's-Hertogenbosch (Den Bosch) in advance.
Where to Go
Carnival celebrations are held throughout the country, but they're especially lively in the south of the Netherlands, which is traditionally more strongly Catholic than the north and therefore celebrates this festival with gusto. Maastricht, a city with a large student population, puts on a great party, with music and dancing in the streets and plenty of free-flowing alcohol. The city of 's-Hertogenbosch (more commonly called Den Bosch), southeast of Rotterdam, has the biggest Carnival celebration in the Netherlands, where the colors red, white, and yellow can be seen everywhere.
What to Do
Aside from Carnival, February is a great time to head indoors to some of the best art galleries and museums in the Netherlands. Whether you're an art aficionado or are simply interested in learning more, the Netherlands is a great place to soak in centuries of art history. Amsterdam hosts world-famous museums like the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, and the Rembrandt House Museum. Other highlights around the country include Groningen's Groninger Museum, The Hague's Escher in The Palace, and Amersfoort's Mondrian House.
Events in February
Carnival. This nominally religious festival occurs before Lent in the lead up to Easter, and falls in late February or early March (depending on the date of Easter in a given year). It's a time of celebration, street music and festivals, colorful costumes and dancing, and drinking.
Amsterdam International Fashion Week. Held every second year (falling in 2022 and 2024), this fashion-forward festival showcases established brands alongside newer designers.
Traveling to the Netherlands in February? Check out these great itineraries
World War II in the Netherlands - 5 Days. History buffs won't want to miss this five-day tour of World War II sites and monuments in the Netherlands, from the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam to the Camp Westerbork detention camp, and more.
Highlights of Holland- 7 Days. On this weeklong adventure, you'll see the famous canals and art museums of Amsterdam, the vibrant harbor city of Rotterdam, historic monuments in The Hague, and much more.