November is late fall/early winter in the Netherlands. This has both pros and cons for travelers: temperatures are mild-to-cold and you should expect some rain, but the trees display orange and gold leaves throughout the cities and countryside. Being a low-lying coastal country in Northern Europe, the Dutch climate is quite cool and wet year-round but is unlikely to feel exceptionally cold to travelers from northern parts of North America. Average daytime temperatures in November are around 45°F (7°C). Pack a warm jacket and an umbrella.
Crowds & Costs
November is the start of the winter low season for travel in the Netherlands. Museums and galleries in the cities will mostly be free of long lines and crowds, although many attractions in smaller places will be shut for the season. Prices will be relatively low and you should be able to find discounts on accommodation and even flights. Keep in mind that Amsterdam is always quite a popular destination so it's a good idea to book in advance if you have any specific hotel preferences, but in general, it won't be as busy in November as at other times of the year.
Where to Go
Stick to the main towns and cities in November to avoid the disappointment of attractions and accommodations that have shut up shop for the winter. While Amsterdam is ever-popular, there are many other beautiful and interesting Dutch cities to add to a travel itinerary. Thanks to the Netherlands' small size and good rail network, getting between cities is quick and easy, and you can do a lot in a short time. Rotterdam, The Hague, Maastricht, Utrecht, Leiden, Haarlem, among other cities, make good alternatives or companions to Amsterdam.
Whether you're into Renaissance art or modern architecture, there are great cultural sites to enjoy throughout the Netherlands. Highlights include the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, the Rembrandt House Museum, and the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam; the Maritime Museum in Rotterdam; the Groninger Museum in Groningen; Escher in The Palace in The Hague; and the Mondrian House in Amersfoort. Art-focused tours that visit various places are a handy way of streamlining your trip planning.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
What to Do
You'll enjoy the Netherlands in November the most if you're happy with general sightseeing and indoor attractions. When the weather's fine you can stroll the canals, waterfronts, and parks of the towns and cities, or you can retreat indoors to a gallery or cafe when there's rain.
Events in November
Sinterklaas Intocht. Sinterklaas is the Dutch Santa Claus, and the mythical figure arrives in the Netherlands (from Spain!) by boat on the first Saturday after November 11th. Different towns have their own Sinterklaas Intocht festivities and parades, but those in Amsterdam are especially festive. Children and adults alike enjoy celebrating the start of the Christmas season.
International Documentary Film Festival. This film festival, held in Amsterdam over about 12 days, is the largest documentary film festival in the world.
Traveling to the Netherlands in November? Check out these great itineraries
Highlights of Holland & Flanders - 7 Days. There's no need to choose between Holland and Flanders (the Dutch-speaking half of Belgium) on this weeklong itinerary that takes you to the highlights of both.
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, there's so much to see and learn.
Art Tour of the Netherlands - 10 Days. Visit where Van Gogh lived and worked, peek inside Vermeer's studio, revel in street art inspired by Bosch's fanciful paintings, view masterpieces on exhibit at a museum inside Hoge Veluwe National Park, and more on an art-centric tour.