Ten Reasons To Visit Amsterdam In Autumn

October 4, 2021

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. 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 in the beautiful sights, maybe stopping by a bench to reflect and unwind while surrounded by the glow of the season. 


2.  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. 


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. 

Cycling in Amsterdam

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 November 3 – 7 Amsterdam Storytelling Festival is a melting pot of activity, with storytelling workshops, shows and debates. See emerging storytelling talents, hone your own storytelling at a choice of workshops or immerse yourself in the inspiring world of the festival. 

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. Visit a Bruin Café 

For a taste of authentic Amsterdam, a visit to a Bruin Café is a must. Some of these traditional pubs have been centres of the community for hundreds of years, seeing locals come and enjoy an ale or jenever along with some homemade Dutch snacks. Pop in and live like an Amsterdammer for an hour or two!  

10. See the windmills

Windmills are an iconic symbol of the Netherlands and many are now being repurposed for other uses. Head to the east of the city and enjoy a freshly brewed beer on the terrace of Brouwerij’t IJ which sits in the 18th century De Gooyer Windmill. 

Just a short drive from Amsterdam, or a leisurely cycle ride, you can visit Zaanse Schans, an outdoor museum with a range of mills from the 18th century onwards. If you cycle from Amsterdam, you can see even more towering windmills en route. 

5 windmills in a row by Kinderdijk, Holland

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. 

Enjoy some new exciting autumn adventures on a trip to Amsterdam with DFDS. Book here.

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