How to tell that it’s summer in the Netherlands
What a time to be alive! The big bright ball in the sky seems to be back for about an hour a day (and two on weekends, if we’re lucky). It means that soon enough, the summer season will hit The Netherlands! Even if Trump doesn’t believe it, climate change definitely blurred any line between spring and summer, so we’re all just anxiously waiting for those 10 days a year to invade the beaches, light up those BBQs and have a lekker biertje op het terrasje. /(Have a beer on a terrace).
Here’s a useful summary about summer in The Netherlands. Or better said, ‘sprummer’, which is spring and summer combined.
1. The shorts are back!
This one can be confusing. You may look out the window and spot the Dutchies having a walk with their funky shorts, then look at your calendar and realise that it’s February. You check the weather app really quickly and it’s only 14 degrees outside?! Crazy, you may think, but not for a nation one of whose favourite phrases is “lekker fris”. Obviously ‘korting’ and ‘gratis’ are more popular. After all, how else would they survive those 10 degrees at night in their own homes? Shake your head, say “doe normaal”, put on denim shorts and an actual jacket, get out and enjoy the sun!
2. The socks + flipflops combo
The flipflops and white socks season is near and personally, it makes me want to take my glasses off and wish to never see it again. I actually do not have much to say about this, apart from ‘why?’ Why? Why?” And seriously W-H-Y would one ever do that? If you share my opinion, just do your best to look away and remember it’s illegal to hit people. Shouting at them is also highly discouraged (although understandable).
3. The deceiving sunny days
You know it’s summer in The Netherlands when it’s actually four full seasons in one day. At least during the winter everyone knows it’s cold as hell, dark as hell, wet as hell, and that’s that – put clothes on and deal with it (or you know, go back to your own country). The sneaky Dutch summer, on the other hand, will have you leaving the house in the morning in a light breezy beach outfit and by 8 PM missing two fingers due to freezing. Do not DO NOT let the sun fool you – anything is possible on a summer’s day and if you’re not a ballsy rebel, always have a light jacket and an umbrella with you. Words of wisdom.
4. The NS Intercity turns into Iceland
How and why public transport can literally never adapt to the outside temperature was always beyond me. While during the winter, after a short 10-minute cycle, you may need to strip down when you get on any form of public transportation, during the summer the opposite tends to happen. NS assumes that AC is a great idea (and it is, to a point); it also assumes that going from 25 degrees to about 15 just like that (and of course, back to 25) is healthy and just awesome. Did I mention “lekker fris” already?
5. The NS Sprinter turns into a burning hell during the summer
Not a fan of the 15 degrees temperature in the Intercity? No problem, NS has an alternative – take the sprinter! Now sure, the sprinter will take three days to get anywhere and inside may or may not be about 40 degrees, but hey – choose your battle. Only the strong make it out of the sprinter – especially if it’s a weekend during summer and that Sprinter happens to go to Zandvoort Aan Zee.
Speaking of Zandvoort Aan Zee…
If you live in and around Amsterdam, you may probably want to spend a nice sunny day at the beach. The plan is simple, one direct train takes you directly to Zandvoort Aan Zee, a fairly large beach where you can enjoy some biertjes, hapjes or whatever else your beach habits are. Unfortunately, during summer in the Netherlands, a lot of people share the same idea, so when you visit Zandvoort Aan Zee:
- Yes, it will be crowded.
- Yes, the bars will be expensive.
- Yes, there is a supermarket nearby so you can screw the system and enjoy your day with 10 EUR while you slowly melt under the sun.