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Dutch school vacations and holiday dates

Dutch school vacations and holiday dates

Wondering when the next school holiday is or how the Dutch school holiday system works?

The Dutch school holiday schedule

When it comes to determining holidays, Dutch schools and 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.

The three Dutch holiday regions

The Dutch provinces are divided into three regions that determine when school holiday is:

The Northern region (regio noord)

Province Municipality
Drenthe All municipalities
Flevoland All municipalities, except Zeewolde
Friesland All municipalities
Gelderland Hattem
Groningen All municipalities
Noord-Holland All municipalities
Overijssel All municipalities
Utrecht Eemnes and Abcoude

The Central region (regio midden)

Province Municipality
Flevoland Zeewolde
Gelderland Aalten, Apeldoorn, Barneveld, Berkelland, Bronckhorst, Brummen, Buren, Culemborg, Doetinchem, Ede, Elburg, Epe, Ermelo, Harderwijk, Heerde, Lochem,  Montferland (except  Didam), Neder-Betuwe  (except  Dodewaard), Nijkerk, Nunspeet, Oldebroek, Oost-Gelre, Oude IJsselstreek, Putten, Scherpenzeel, Tiel, Voorst, Wageningen, Winterswijk, Zutphen
Noord-Brabant Altena (except Hank and Dussen)
Utrecht All municipalities except Eemnes and Abcoude
Zuid-Holland All municipalities

The Southern region (regio zuid)

Province Municipality
Gelderland Arnhem, Berg en Dal, Beuningen, Doesburg, Druten, Duiven, Heumen, Neder-Betuwe (only Dodewaard), Lingewaard, Maasdriel, Montferland (only Didam), Nijmegen, Overbetuwe, Renkum, Rheden, Rozendaal, Rijnwaarden, Westervoort, West Maas en Waal, Wijchen,Zaltbommel, Zevenaar.
Limburg All municipalities
Noord-Brabant All municipalities except Woudrichem and Sleeuwijk, Nieuwendijk and Werkendam in the municipality of Altena
Zeeland All municipalities

Fixed school holidays in the Netherlands

Some school holidays (schoolvakanties) such as the summer, Christmas and May vacations, are fixed. The May holiday cannot be moved, but schools can extend it by one week. It is therefore important to always check the precise dates with your school.

Flexible school holidays in the Netherlands

Schools are allowed to deviate from the advised holiday period for spring break and the autumn holiday. For example, schools in the south of the Netherlands often shift their spring break forward to correspond with Carnival, instead of having it later like the rest of the country. Autumn vacation dates can also be flexible for school districts, but usually these remain the same as the advised dates.

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. Parents who do this violate the Compulsory Education law (Leerplichtwet).

In exceptional circumstances, parents can submit a request (known as a beroep op vrijstelling) to the school board for leave outside holiday periods.

2023 school holidays in the Netherlands

These are the advised school holidays for primary and secondary schools in the Netherlands in 2023:

Spring break 2023 (voorjaarsvakantie, carnavalsvakantie or krokusvakantie)

  • North: February 25 - March 5, 2023
  • Central: February 25 - March 5, 2023
  • South: February 18 - February 26, 2023

May vacation 2023 (meivakantie)

  • North: April 29 - May 7, 2023
  • Central: April 29 - May 7, 2023
  • South: April 29 - May 7, 2023

Summer vacation 2023 (zomervakantie)

  • North: July 22 - September 3, 2023
  • Central: July 8 - August 20, 2023
  • South: July 15 - August 27, 2023

Autumn vacation 2023 (herfstvakantie)

  • North: October 21 - October 29, 2023
  • Central: October 14 - October 22, 2023
  • South: October 14 - October 22, 2023

Christmas vacation 2023- 2024 (kerstvakantie)

  • North: December 23, 2023 - January 7, 2024
  • Central: December 23, 2023 - January 7, 2024
  • South: December 23, 2023 - January 7, 2024

Please note that schools can extend the May holiday by a week (government advises April 22 - April 30, 2023). Check the school's guide or website for the correct dates. 

2024 school holidays in the Netherlands

These are the advised school holidays for primary and secondary schools in the Netherlands in 2024:

Spring break 2024 (voorjaarsvakantie, carnavalsvakantie or krokusvakantie)

  • North: February 17 - February 25, 2024
  • Central: February 17 - February 25, 2024
  • South: February 10 - February 18, 2024

May vacation 2024 (meivakantie)

  • North: April 27 - May 5, 2024
  • Central: April 27 - May 5, 2024
  • South: April 27 - May 5, 2024

Summer vacation 2024 (zomervakantie)

  • North: July 20 - Spetember 1, 2024
  • Central: July 13 - August 25, 2024
  • South: July 6 - August 18, 2024

Autumn vacation 2024 (herfstvakantie)

  • North: October 26 - November 3, 2024
  • Central: October 26 - November 3, 2024
  • South: October 19 - October 27, 2024

Christmas vacation 2024- 2025 (kerstvakantie)

  • North: December 21, 2024 - January 5, 2025
  • Central: December 21, 2024 - January 5, 2025
  • South: December 21, 2024 - January 5, 2025

Other school holidays in 2024

Free days for students outside of the school holidays in 2024 are:

  • Easter Monday (2e paasdag): April 1, 2024
  • King’s Day (Koningsdag): April 27, 2024
  • Ascension Day (Hemelvaart): May 9, 2024
  • Whit Monday (2e pinksterdag): May 20, 2024

Check with the school if your child is free on the following holiday(s):

  • Good Friday (Goede vrijdag): March 29, 2024
  • Liberation Day (Bevrijdingsdag): May 5, 2024

Please note that Ascension Day falls on May 9 in 2024. Schools can extend the May holiday by a week (government advises May 4 - May 12, 2024). Check the school's guide or website for the correct dates. 

Holiday childcare in the Netherlands

If you need to work during school vacations then a holiday programme (vakantieopvang) might be a good option for your child. Some childcare centres (kinderopvang) with afterschool care for school-age children (buitenschoolse opvang) also offer holiday programmes which can include sports, excursions or camping trips.

Other education institutions and holidays

The school holiday schedule is not applicable to childcare centres or to Dutch higher education. Universities and vocational education institutions (MBO) can set their own holiday dates.

Other Dutch holidays

For national holidays, please check out our Dutch holidays and days off page.

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