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Discover Amsterdam
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Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) Flags and branding.
Image from Jan de Ridder

Reasons to visit Amsterdam in autumn

Autumn is one of the most magical times to visit Amsterdam. The brilliant foliage transforms the city’s parks and canals, bars and restaurants become delightfully cosy, and the cultural calendar is packed with events. Keep reading to discover why it’s such an incredible season in the capital.

The city is covered in fiery foliage

Autumn day at the Museumplein. Behind the trees a peak of the Rijksmuseum.
Image from Jan de Ridder

Home to more than 400,000 trees, Amsterdam is one of the leafiest cities in Europe. In autumn, the greenery turns red, yellow and orange, making it the perfect time to enjoy leisurely strolls through the parks or along the historic canals, camera in hand. Don’t miss the sound of fallen leaves crunching under your feet or the site of them floating along the waterways.

You can dance, dance, dance

People in line for Paradiso during Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) 2022.
Image from Jan de Ridder

Each October, Amsterdam becomes the world’s dance capital when thousands of DJs, music fans and industry leaders arrive for ADE. Also known as Amsterdam Dance Event, this annual five-day gathering takes place in more than 100 venues and includes talks, classes, pop-up events and of course, parties that pulse all night long. Check out the many parties at the city's major clubsrecord stores and vinyl bars, keep an eye on the Weekend Guide and don't miss our top tips for ADE to stay in the loop.

It's all about comfort food

Selective focus of a piece of apple pie on white plate served with whipping cream on the side, Homemade apple pie on wooden table with blurred green garden background.
Typically Dutch foods

When the warm weather disappears, head to a traditional brown bar for a slice of apple pie (topped with whipped cream) and a glass of piping hot Chocomel, an addictive Dutch favourite. Some popular destinations for these delicacies include Papeneiland and Winkel 43. Craving more cold weather comfort food? Browse these lists of slurp-worthy ramen restaurants, best hot chocolate spots and cosy hotspots for comfort food.

Cultural season is in full swing

Speaker storytelling on stage at Mezrab
Image from Mezrab

In autumn, Amsterdam is filled with cultural activities of every kind. Bands perform at venues around the city, touring musicals and plays stop by and museums host major exhibitions as people escape the chill and head indoors for entertainment. Review our cultural tips for autumn or check the agenda to see what’s on and start making plans. 

Explore museums in the moonlight

Pianola Museum exterior, Museumnacht 2022
Image from Jasper Mol

Every November, Museum Night welcomes guests into the city’s most famous institutions after dark. Put on a warm coat, jump on your bike and ride from museum to museum as you enjoy special events and surprises at more than 50 locations. There are concerts, workshops, performances and exclusive tours along with enough food and drink to keep you going.  

There’s a film festival for everyone

Cinekid film festival for children at Westergas in Westerpark.
Image from Max Kneefel

Autumn is film festival season in Amsterdam and there’s something for everyone, whether you like quirky indies, epic dramas from afar or flicks you can watch with the kids. Catch screenings under the metro tracks during the Bijlmerbios Open-Air Cinema Festival, immerse yourself in interactive film and media worlds during Cinekid - aimed at children, enjoy thought-provoking movies at the International Documentary Film Festival (IDFA) and find the best fantasy and horror during Imagine Film Festival. For flicks from further afield, there's also Camera Japan and the Amsterdam Spanish Film Festival

Sport through the city

AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS - JUNE 16, 2016: The Amsterdam Marathon in Amsterdam in a beautiful summer day, The Netherlands on June 16, 2016
Runners at the TCS Amsterdam Marathon 2016. Shutterstock

The TCS Amsterdam Marathon is one of the world’s most significant, taking runners past windmills, stately homes and the Amstel River. It also winds through a tunnel under the Rijksmuseum, bringing participants into the city's heart. If you’re not ready to join the race, soak up the excitement as a spectator. And for more splashy spectacles, don't miss Amsterdam City Swim - a fantastic fundraising event and the Grachtenrace rowing event along the city's iconic waterways.

Sinterklaas is coming to town

Sinterklaas arrival
Image from Amie Galbraith

Don’t be naughty in autumn – that’s when Sinterklaas arrives with treats for good girls and boys! The Dutch version of Santa sails into town every November on a boat from Spain before leading a parade that attracts over 400,000 pepernoten-munching spectators. Wondering what the difference is between the two jolly men in red? Read our guide to find out.