Public holidays

The Netherlands does have, like every other country, a list of public holidays. Note that on these holidays shops, museums and attractions may be closed or close earlier. Also public transport may use deviated timetables.

Next to public holidays, schools have additional holidays, such as summer, spring, autumn and Christmas holidays. You will read more about this on this page.

When you have a job in the Netherlands, you should check your employer’s CAO (collective agreement) for the exact days that apply to your CAO, as this might differ per employer.

Dutch National Holidays

  • 1 January: New Year’s Day
  • Friday before Easter: Good Friday
  • March/April: Easter
  • 27 April: King’s Day
  • 5 May: Liberation Day (it is a national holiday only every five years)
  • 40 days after Easter: Ascension Day
  • 7 weeks after Easter: Whit Sunday and Monday (Pentecost)
  • 5 December: Saint Nicolas’ Eve
  • 25-26 December: Christmas
  • 31 December: New Year’s Eve

School Holidays

In the Netherlands, school holidays differ per region. Dutch schools and subsidised international schools in the Netherlands are divided into three regions: North, Central and South. To avoid a holiday rush, each region has its own vacation schedule. Utrecht Region belongs to the central region. 

Some school holidays such as the summer, Christmas and May vacations, are fixed. Since schools have the flexibility to extend the May holiday by one week and can deviate from the advised spring/autumn breaks, it always pays to check the precise dates with your kids’ school. 

Can I take my child on vacation outside of the school holiday periods? 

The Dutch government does not permit parents to take their children on vacation outside of the school holiday periods (exceptions apply). Parents who do this violate the Compulsary Education Law.