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)
|Flevoland||All municipalities, except Zeewolde|
|Utrecht||Eemnes and Abcoude|
The Central region (regio midden)
|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|
The Southern region (regio zuid)
|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.|
|Noord-Brabant||All municipalities except Woudrichem and Sleeuwijk, Nieuwendijk and Werkendam in the municipality of Altena|
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 - September 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.