Does the Netherlands have Daylight Saving Time?

Spring forward, fall back. 🤸

The tricky thing about the time in the Netherlands is that it’s always changing — or at least twice a year, when Daylight Saving Time starts and ends. 

Daylight Saving Time can be tricky, especially in the Netherlands, where it isn’t always obvious when you’ve entered a new season (thanks, irregular weather). 🙄

So, if you want to stay up to date (pun intended 😉) with Daylight Saving Time in the Netherlands, read on! 👇

Does the Netherlands have Daylight Saving Time?

In a nutshell, yes, the Netherlands has Daylight Saving Time. That means twice a year, the clock is set an hour forward or back. 

It also means that every time the summer clock changes, it’s super common to hear: “Wow! How is it so dark already?!” 😩

During the wintertime, the sun sets earlier than usual since clocks go back one hour in October. Image: Pixabay

Time zones in the Netherlands

The Netherlands has one standard time zone: CET (Central European Time) — and another one during Daylight Saving Time: CEST (Central European Summer Time). 

The standard time zone of the Netherlands, CET (Central European Time), is one hour ahead of UTC (Universal Time Coordinated). 

Daylight Saving Time (DST) marks the beginning of summer, and, more specifically, the switch from the standard Central European Time to the Central European Summer Time

More specifically, the standard time zone changes to CEST (Central European Summer Time) when the clock moves one hour forward in March, which kicks off the season of Daylight Savings. ☀️

TimeTime zoneUniversal time
Standard Time CET (Central European Time)UTC +1
Daylight Saving TimeCEST (Central European Summer Time)UTC +2

Upcoming clock changes in the Netherlands

In the Netherlands, Daylight Saving Time begins on the last Sunday of the month of March and ends on the last Sunday of October. 

In March 2024, the clock change will mark the beginning of Daylight Saving Time in the Netherlands, which is also the beginning of Central European Summer Time. ⏰

On Sunday, March 31, 2024 at 02:00:00, clocks are turned forward 1 hour to Sunday, March 31, 2023, 03:00:00 Daylight Saving Time instead.

The next clock change will happen in October and will mark the end of Daylight Saving Time in the Netherlands. 

On Sunday, October 27, 2024 at 03:00:00, clocks are turned backwards 1 hour to Sunday, 27, October 2024, 02:00:00 local standard time.

Why does the Netherlands use Daylight Saving Time?

The Netherlands uses DST for the same reason every other country does: to make better use of their daylight! 🌆

When the winter season rolls in, daylight hours get shorter and shorter, which makes it quite hard for those who work outside and need sunlight to carry on with their tasks. 

Take it from the farmers, researchers, and archaeologists, who all need that precious sunlight to see their crops, plant samples, or find 100 million-year-old dinosaur bones.

Farmers need loads of daylight to work. Thanks, Daylight Saving Time! Image: Pexels

Moving the clock one hour back gives workers who depend on sunlight more working hours in the morning, so they can profit from those powerful light beams! ☀️

READ MORE | The Dutch and time: how their language shows they are planning maniacs

The first country to implement it was Canada in 1908, so they could extend their daylight hours for longer and use them more efficiently. 

A short history of Daylight Saving Time in the Netherlands

The history of Daylight Saving Time in the Netherlands finds its origins in its neighbour, Germany

On April 30, 1916, Germany became the first whole country to implement DST — but the Canadian region of Port Arthur in Ontario was the first area to implement it. 

The next day, on June 1, 1916, the Netherlands followed the Germans’ lead and started using Daylight Saving Time.  

Unfortunately, history doesn’t stop there. Between 1940 and 1942, German forces, which invaded the Netherlands during WWII, advanced the country’s local time by 1 hour and 40 minutes to match the occupiers’ clock schedules. 

This changed the Netherlands’ time zone from the standard Dutch Time to the Central European Summer Time. 

Until 1945, the Netherlands followed the German clocks along with its Daylight Savings switches. After WWII, the Netherlands abolished Daylight Saving Time but kept Central European Time as its standard time zone. 

The Netherlands stopped using DST for three decades and reintroduced it in 1977, which remains the same to the present day.

Debate over Daylight Saving Time in the Netherlands

Not everyone is on the same page when it comes to having Daylight Savings in the Netherlands. 

After the European Union standardised DST for all countries within the European Economic Area (EEA) (except for Iceland), it sparked a lot of debate. 

On March 26, 2019, the EU majoritively decided to remove DST from their plans. 

Though, none of the member states decided whether they wanted to keep the winter or summer time, so that decision is yet to be made. 🤷🏻‍♀️

Will the Netherlands ever get rid of Daylight Saving Time? 

While many European countries prefer scrapping DST, the Netherlands seems to favour it — after all, it allows us to make better use of daylight hours when the seasons change. 

Many people find changing their clocks twice a year quite the fuss. It can also have negative effects on people’s mental and physical health, such as sleep deprivation and a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases. 

You can also get SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) from Daylight Saving Time. Yes, that’s a thing. Image: Depositphotos

So, until now, the Netherlands will keep practising DST, and, each year, people will keep getting surprised at how it gets dark so early in the day.

Are you for or against Daylight Saving Time in the Netherlands? Tell us why in the comments below! 👇

Daylight Savings in the Netherlands: Frequently asked questions

What time zone does the Netherlands use?

How does Daylight Savings work in the Netherlands?

When do clocks go back in the Netherlands?

When do clocks go forward in the Netherlands?

Does the Netherlands have two time zones?

Feature Image:Depositphotos
Lea Shamaa 🇺🇸🇱🇧
Lea Shamaa 🇺🇸🇱🇧
Lea has a passion for writing and sharing new ideas with the world. She enjoys film photography, Wes Anderson movies, fictional books and jazz music. She came to the Netherlands in 2019 for her media studies and has fallen in love with the country and its culture ever since. She loves to ride her bicycle in the city but also feels the need to overtake everyone on the bike lane (she's working on it).

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