Ten Reasons To Visit Amsterdam In Autumn

October 16, 2019

The autumn months are an ideal time for a short break to Amsterdam and with daily ferries to Holland, it’s so easy to get there. Enjoy the burnt orange and golden colours of the season while exploring the Netherlands’ vibrant capital city. Rich history, world famous art, stunning scenery and delicious cuisine make Amsterdam a delight to visit. But where to start? What to do? Where to go? Worry not! Our top ten reasons to visit Amsterdam will help you plan your perfect getaway.


1. Sinterklaas Festival

It’s never too early to get into the Christmas spirit and the Dutch start celebrating over a month before. November sees the Dutch version of Father Christmas, Sinterklaas, arrive into town via boat and parade through the streets, welcomed by over 400,000 spectators. Accompanied by his faithful assistants, Pieten, Sinterklaas will ride through the streets on his horse, handing out pepernoten (small spiced biscuits) to children lining the paths.

2. Capture the colours of autumn

Amsterdam is one of the leafiest cities in Europe with over 400,000 trees lining the banks of the canals. See them from a canal cruise and capture the autumnal colours on camera. Try to get there for golden hour to capture them in the light of the sun going down. Or just stroll the cobbled streets and take the beautiful sights in, maybe stopping by a bench to reflect and unwind while surrounded by the glow of the season.



3. Cycle the city

Hire bikes and cycle through the city and surrounding parks like a local. It’s one of the best ways to see the autumnal colours of the city come to life. Vondlepark is a great choice for a seasonal cycle and if you go in early autumn you might even be lucky enough with the weather to have a picnic outside. Settle down on a blanket of crunchy leaves and enjoy some Dutch delicacies – the perfect way to spend an afternoon.


4. Halloween in Holland

Amsterdam does Halloween well, with a range of events for families and adults who are after a fright. Film screenings of classic scary films, fancy dress club nights and even Halloween bingo happen across the city, bringing it to life with ghosts and ghouls. A ghost walk around the city is sure to set a chill through your bones and for gore and horror a visit to Amsterdam Dungeon is a must!


Photo credit: Lovers


5. The Amsterdam Storytelling Festival

Taking place from October 30 – November 3, Amsterdam Storytelling Festival is a melting pot of activity, with storytelling workshops, shows and debates. There is a different theme each year and 2019’s theme is addiction. See emerging storytelling talents, hone your own storytelling at a choice of workshops or immerse yourself in the inspiring world of the festival – who knows you might even become addicted!


6. Browse the Farmers Markets

There are a host of farmers’ markets across Amsterdam, offering the freshest seasonal produce, including pumpkins, squash, apples and berries. Pop to one of the many markets to pick up food for your picnic in the park or simply stroll the stalls taking in the vibrant colours of the fresh food. Amsterdam’s most famous daily market, Albert Cuypmarkt, is always a pleasure to frequent but there are plenty of others too including the farmers markets at Noordermarkt and Nieuwmarkt on Saturdays and the daily market at Ten Katemarkt in the Oud West suburbs.


7. Museum hopping

If your autumnal trip to Amsterdam brings rain, why not visit one of the many museums? From historical sites like The Anne Frank Museum, to world class art galleries like the Rijksmuseum, there’s something for everyone in Amsterdam. Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum is great for the kids and the Heineken Museum great for beer lovers. It’s worth getting the Iamsterdam city card which gives you free or discounted access to museums as well as free public transport. Plus, if you visit in November, you can enjoy Museumnacht where the city’s museums open after hours for browsing, partying and socialising.


8. Sample some Dutch food

Autumn is the perfect time for warm apple pie and coffee. Head to Winkel for arguably the best apple pie in Amsterdam. If you’re after something more savoury, Dutch delicacy, bitterballen are on most pub menus and go nicely with a beer or glass of wine. The deep fried, peppery meatballs are traditionally served with mustard and are sure to fill you up on an autumnal afternoon. For dessert, why not try some stroopwafels or poffertjes? Delicious!



9. The Amsterdam Light Festival

From the end of November until mid-January, Amsterdam is lit up with innovative and colourful light installations in the annual Amsterdam Light Festival. Artists, designers and architects from around the world submit their ideas and 30 are selected to be shown around the city. The theme for this year is ‘Disrupt!’ and the sculptures will illuminate familiar monuments and sights in creative ways. See the festival at your own pace or follow a walking or canal tour to really get the most out of the illuminations.


Photo credit: Janus van den Eijnden


10. Feel the frost

Visit Ice Amsterdam, the seasonal ice rink which sits on Museumplein in front of the famous Rijksmuseum. Follow your frosty activity with a drink at Amsterdam IceBar where you can enjoy cocktails in a bar sculpted from 35 tonnes of ice and kept at -10 degrees. It’s popular over the autumn and winter months so we recommend booking in advance (and wrapping up warm!)


So there you have it, the top ten things to do when visiting Amsterdam in autumn. And this is just a taster of all the city has to offer. Find out for yourself by travelling to Amsterdam with DFDS.

For a limited time we’re offering 2 for 1 on all mini cruises to Amsterdam so you and a friend can visit for as little as £35pp. Book your crossing here.

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