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
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
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.
Apple pie and hot chocomel
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, Winkel 43 and Café Marcella. Craving more cold weather comfort food? Browse this list of cosy hotspots.
Cultural season is in full swing
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
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
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. You’ll find it on the big screen from September to November in Amsterdam.
You can race through the middle of the Rijksmuseum
The TCS Amsterdam Marathon is one of the world’s greatest, taking runners on a journey past windmills, stately homes and the Amstel River. It also winds through a tunnel that goes under the Rijksmuseum, bringing participants into the heart of the city. If you’re not ready to join the race, soak up the excitement as a spectator.
Sinterklaas is coming to town
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.