Head to Haarlem to appreciate art and science
A perfectly preserved world of the 18th-century Enlightenment awaits behind the heavy monumental doors of the Teylers Museum in Haarlem - the oldest museum in the Netherlands. Visitors can rediscover the ‘newest’ scientific experiments of the time, including recently excavated fossils and drawings, and accounts of journeys of discovery. Wandering amongst the collection of authentic display cases is like leafing through an antique encyclopedia, allowing each object to tell its own story. The free audio tour is highly recommended.
Discover nature and great walks at Nationaal Park Nieuw Land
Nationaal Park Nieuw Land nature reserve offers some of the most satisfying walking routes in the whole of the Netherlands, as well as the chance to spot spectacular wildlife. Located just east of Amsterdam, its expansive fields and wetlands are still thriving in the autumn months, and sighting birds, deer, foxes and hares is a common occurrence. Make sure to also visit the nearby Nature Park Lelystad, home to otters, moose, bison and wild boar.
Get your Christmas shopping done early at Batavia Stad
Make sure you beat the crowds and can relax safe in the knowledge that your Christmas shopping is already over by paying a visit to New Land’s Batavia Stad Fashion Outlet. This charming reconstructed 17-century Dutch village offers bargain-hunters more than 250 international fashion and lifestyle brands - including Hugo Boss, Michael Kors and Tommy Hilfiger – all of which are discounted by between 30% and 70% off the normal retail price. Getting to Batavia Stad from Amsterdam couldn’t be easier, as a Shopping Shuttle will take you to and from the city centre in under an hour. If you do fancy a culture fix after all that shopping, it’s also only a short walk to see Antony Gormley’s massive ‘Exposure’, a 26-metre steel figure crouching on the Strekdam that gazes out over the Markermeer lake.
See Sinterklaas arrive in Haarlem
Sinterklaas is a beloved holiday in the Netherlands, the official day of the celebration landing in early December. However, Sinterklaas (St Nicholas) himself has a long trek to make – he hails from Spain and must make his annual trip to the Netherlands in November. His arrival is marked by festive parades, which occur throughout the country in November. Travel to Haarlem to watch him arrive on the Spaarne River, where he will disembark from his majestic boat and parade through the city itself.
Take part in the autumn harvest
Apple pie is a Dutch favourite treat, and you can usually indulge in a slice (or two) at most restaurants in the Netherlands. But to truly get a feel for the flavours of autumn, why not pick your own apples, pears, pumpkins or other autumnal fruits and vegetables! Many pick-your-own farms close after the summer, but there are a few that stay open through October and even during November. Olmenhorst, located in Lisserbroek, offers the chance to pick your own apples and pears, while De Oude Boerderij, located in Beverwijk, offers pumpkins and other assorted autumn vegetables. Even if you’re not planning on picking and eating them all, children still love the experience of a real harvest.
Looking for more reasons to visit the Netherlands? Check out our reasons to visit Amsterdam in autumn.