Top 10 things to do in Amsterdam in autumn
Updated: September 4th, 2019
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 (hopefully) and Christmas lights, but what does the Amsterdam autumn have? 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!
1 Enjoy the quiet
The summer tourists have gone home and left are the locals and the few who already know what we’re about to tell you. Amsterdam is very pretty in autumn. It is a very green city filled with trees and those trees all turn a beautiful shade of yellow, orange and red in 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.
2 Eat traditional Dutch fall 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 Hefstbok. 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 (pea soup). These treats will surely warm you up.
3 Go to a museum
Fall days in Amsterdam are perfect for exploring some Dutch culture. For starters on November 2nd, there will be a museum night in Amsterdam. During the night more than 50 museums are open and have special exhibitions just for this event. But also during the day, 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.
4 Visit one of Amsterdam’s beautiful parks
Those golden leaves that fill the trees invite for a visit to a park. Luckily, Amsterdam has a few great ones. Here you can stroll, relax, people-watch or engage in a sporting activity. 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. 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.
5 Amsterdam Light Festival
In the Amsterdam fall, the days get darker a little sooner and that calls for lights. There is no better way to experience this than on the water during the Amsterdam Light Festival. Starting November 28th, mesmerizing light sculptures will grace the canals of Amsterdam. Step aboard a boat and see the artwork up close.
6 Go ice-skating
On November 16th 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 is also a great activity to combine with a cruise on the same day during the Amsterdam Light Festival.
7 Get spooky during Halloween
Amsterdam in October? That's Amsterdam during Halloween of course! Put on your scariest outfit and join one of the many parties across town. Especially the Amsterdam Dungeon in worth a visit when the days are dark. Starting October 13th, the Dungeon will be extra scary and extra richly decorated during the Halloween season. Yes season, because one day simply isn’t scary enough for the Amsterdam Dungeon.
8 Amsterdam Dance Event
From October 18th till October 26th the Amsterdam Dance Event is on the calendar again. The world’s largest electronic music festival and business conference is a must if you’re into this music genre, but even if you’re not, it is an amazing night out. With events at more than 160 locations and more than 2,200 artists, there is something for everybody. For five days and nights in a row, you can dance till you can no more.
9 Go to the forest
So if the parks in Amsterdam don’t offer enough fresh air for you, you can always go to the forest. Amsterdam has its very own called the Amsterdamse Bos. Filled with cycling and walking paths it is the perfect autumn getaway. Enjoy the colorful forest and fresh air in the Amsterdam fall. We do recommend to pack an umbrella and a rain jacket on a gloomy day though because you might not be made from sugar, but it is nice to stay dry anyway.
10 Discover the canals
So 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.