Great things to do in Amsterdam in autumn
Updated: 30 September 2020
So the Amsterdam spring has tulips and daffodils, the Amsterdam summer has days on the water and drinks on terraces, the Amsterdam winter has snow and skating on the canals (hopefully) and Christmas lights, but what about autumn? If you feel like autumn might not be the perfect time to visit the Dutch capital you are very much mistaken. Let us explain to you why!
Enjoy the quiet
The summer tourists have gone home and left behind are the locals and the few who already know what we’re about to tell you. Amsterdam is beautiful in autumn. The green of spring and summer makes room for the yellows, oranges and reds of fall. Add in one of the historic canals and you have the perfect picture. Top that with off-season hotel rates and fewer crowds on the streets and you have the perfect holiday.
Eat traditional Dutch food
So the Dutch might not be known for their cuisine, but we do offer some great fall treats. How about the traditional warm slice of apple pie combined with a hot choco topped off with whipped cream. Or warm up in one of the brown café’s and enjoy a Herfstbok. A beer brewed especially for the season and offered by many Dutch breweries. If you’re tired after a day of exploring, enjoy traditional Dutch stamppot (mashed potatoes with vegetables and a sausage) or a bowl of erwtensoep, also known as snert (pea soup). These treats will surely warm you up.
Go to a museum
Fall days in Amsterdam are perfect for exploring some Dutch culture. If the fall sun is replaced by a westerstorm, a museum visit is a fantastic idea. Go to the Rijksmuseum to see world-renown paintings by Dutch masters, take the kids to the NEMO science museum and discover new things or visit Red Light Secrets to learn more about the sex workers in the notorious Red Light District.
Discover the canals
Imagine this: it is an autumn day, the sun is shining, you joined a canal cruise on the historic Amsterdam canals, the banks are lined with trees in orange, red and yellow, the clear blue sky makes the city look even more beautiful... Are you as excited as we are? The canals really are the place to be on a sunny fall day in Amsterdam.
Visit one of Amsterdam’s beautiful parks or its forest
Those golden leaves that fill the trees beg for a visit to a park or forest. Luckily, Amsterdam has a few great ones. Here you can stroll, relax or people-watch. The most well-known park is probably the Vondelpark. Here you can find restaurants, a rose garden, and even an open-air theatre. But also the lesser known parks are worth a visit, go to the Westerpark or the Amstelpark for example and mingle with the locals. Or if you want even more fresh air, visit the forest Amsterdamse Bos. Filled with cycling and walking paths it is the perfect autumn getaway. Enjoy the colourful forest and fresh air in the Amsterdam fall. And Amsterdam in September or October is known to still have lovely sunny days so a little sunbathing isn’t as far-fetched as you might think. We do recommend to pack an umbrella and a rain jacket on a gloomy day though.
Get spooky during Halloween
Amsterdam in October? That's Amsterdam during Halloween of course! Especially the Amsterdam Dungeon is worth a visit when the days are getting shorter. Starting October 5th, the Dungeon will be extra scary, with an especially creepy séance, and extra richly decorated during their Home of Halloween season. Yes season, because one day simply isn’t scary enough for the Amsterdam Dungeon.
Prepare for the winter cold
On November 14th Ice*Amsterdam opens its doors again on the Museumplein. This means that even though it might sound like a winter activity, ice-skating is very much possible in autumn in Amsterdam. This open air ice skating rink covers 1400 m2 and will be open daily. Remember to bring your gloves! If you want really want to reacquaint yourself with the freezing cold of winter before it arrives, why not visit the Amsterdam Icebar?