Dutch school vacations and holiday dates (2024)

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)

ProvinceMunicipality
DrentheAll municipalities
FlevolandAll municipalities, except Zeewolde
FrieslandAll municipalities
GelderlandHattem
GroningenAll municipalities
Noord-HollandAll municipalities
OverijsselAll municipalities
UtrechtEemnes and Abcoude

The Central region (regio midden)

ProvinceMunicipality
FlevolandZeewolde
GelderlandAalten, Apeldoorn, Barneveld, Berkelland, Bronckhorst, Brummen, Buren, Culemborg, Doetinchem, Ede, Elburg, Epe, Ermelo, Harderwijk, Heerde,Lochem, Montferland (exceptDidam), Neder-Betuwe (exceptDodewaard), Nijkerk, Nunspeet, Oldebroek, Oost-Gelre, Oude IJsselstreek, Putten, Scherpenzeel, Tiel, Voorst, Wageningen, Winterswijk, Zutphen
Noord-BrabantAltena(except Hank and Dussen)
UtrechtAll municipalities except Eemnes and Abcoude
Zuid-HollandAll municipalities

The Southern region (regio zuid)

ProvinceMunicipality
GelderlandArnhem, Berg en Dal, Beuningen, Doesburg, Druten, Duiven, Heumen, Neder-Betuwe (onlyDodewaard), Lingewaard, Maasdriel, Montferland (onlyDidam), Nijmegen, Overbetuwe, Renkum, Rheden, Rozendaal, Rijnwaarden, Westervoort, West Maas en Waal, Wijchen,Zaltbommel, Zevenaar.
LimburgAll municipalities
Noord-BrabantAll municipalities except Woudrichem and Sleeuwijk, Nieuwendijkand Werkendam in the municipality of Altena
ZeelandAll 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 circ*mstances, parents can submit a request (known as a beroep op vrijstelling) to the school board for leave outside holiday periods.

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: April27- 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 thatAscension 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.

2025 school holidays in the Netherlands

These are the advised school holidays for primary and secondary schools in the Netherlands in 2025:

Spring break 2025 (voorjaarsvakantie, carnavalsvakantie or krokusvakantie)

  • North: February 15 - February 23, 2025
  • Central: February 22 - March 2, 2025
  • South: February 22- March 2, 2025

May vacation 2025 (meivakantie)

  • North: April 26- May 4, 2025
  • Central: April 26 - May 4, 2025
  • South: April 26- May 4, 2025

Summer vacation 2025 (zomervakantie)

  • North: July 12 - August 24, 2025
  • Central: July 19 - August 31, 2025
  • South: July 5- August 17, 2025

Autumn vacation 2025 (herfstvakantie)

  • North: October 18 - October 26, 2025
  • Central: October 18 - October 26, 2025
  • South: October 11- October 19, 2025

Christmas vacation 2025- 2026 (kerstvakantie)

  • North: December 20, 2025 - January 4, 2026
  • Central: December 20, 2025 - January 4, 2026
  • South: December 20, 2025 - January 4, 2026

Please note that schools can extend the May holiday by a week. 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.

Dutch school vacations and holiday dates (2024)
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