Fall tones, cosy cafés, and also the opportunity to conceal in the ever-changing weather in one of Amsterdam’s many museums: Amsterdam in October is among the best times to visit the city, and not simply because the golden leaves provide picture-perfect photo opportunities from the city!
Instead, there are fewer crowds and hotel costs are significantly less expensive than in the summertime. Here’s your go-to guide to find the best things to do in Amsterdam in autumn! Certainly one of my first visits to Amsterdam was really in October, once the leaves were changing and the evenings were crisp.
This long weekend within the city allowed me to build up a new-found love for the Dutch capital; one where cultural institutions were inviting where long evenings in the many historic bars round the city were spent chatting and drinking beer together with friends. If it’s the first time in the Venice from the North, then take a look at my best Amsterdam travel guidelines to help you take full advantage of your visit.
Amsterdam weather in October
Like much of Northern and Western Europe, the elements in Amsterdam during October is very changeable and showers are frequent. As such, I'd recommend bringing an umbrella and some semi-waterproof shoes in the event you get caught out while it is raining! Otherwise, you should know the average temperatures are highs of 15 degrees and lows of 7 degrees.
And if you’re going to the Dutch capital with the hope of experiencing the better of fall colours, then you should know that the exact time when the leaves change and drop depends entirely from year upon year. Typically, the leaves begin changing colour towards the end of September, carrying on through October, and finally falling from the trees throughout the start of November. As a result, for the best of autumn leaves in Amsterdam, plan your visit for mid-October.
What to put on in Amsterdam in October
As a result of the under simple to predict weather, the easiest method to pack for Amsterdam come early fall is to bring along lots of layers. What this means is taking along cute ankle boots like these ones, warm jackets, cardigans, easy-to-layer dresses, and plenty of warm tights. I particularly love this company for purchasing pretty dresses that blend in perfectly in Europe.
You ought to know prior to going that Amsterdam uses exactly the same plug sockets as much of continental Europe, which will be different from what you typically use if you’re from North America or the UK. Take along a universal travel adapter like this one to obtain by. Even though English is widely spoken, it’s only polite to learn a few words of the local language; in this instance Dutch. Bring a simple phrasebook like this one along with you.
Things to do in Amsterdam in October
Snap photos from the fall foliage
Amsterdam is definitely one of the most beautiful places to visit in Europe in the fall thanks to the abundance of lovely fall foliage reflected against the calm canals. For that best photo snaps, I particularly recommend going to the Jordaan district as this is in which the most historic canalside houses are to be seen. In total, you will find over 400,000 streets lining the streets of Amsterdam, meaning that fall foliage isn't too far away!
For people who wish to see beautiful fall foliage in the context of parkland, it’s worth noting that the biggest park in Amsterdam is Vondelpark. Expansive and enormous, saving money space is home to an array of walking trails, cycle paths (hands down, the easiest method to benefit from the city), and even an open-air theatre.
Cosy in a cute café or bar
Whether you’re looking for a speciality coffee or wish to sample a nearby beer, Amsterdam doesn't have lack of wonderful bars and cafés (a coffee shop is definitely an entirely different thing!) where one can hang out with friends, study, or meet new people!
During my most recent trip to the Venice from the North, I particularly enjoyed frequenting Cafe de Sluyswacht. Housed from the backdrop of De Oude Schans canal and it is set inside a former 17th-century built canal keeper cottage. They even serve vegan Bitterballen for those who desire to sample a nearby delicacy with a meat-free twist!
For those who are fans of history and don’t feel like veering too far away from central Amsterdam, Int’Aepjen is really a quintessentially Dutch wooden bar where local beers are served inside a traditional setting. Reasonably priced drinks can be purchased against the backdrop of the historic drinking establishment where sailors once traded monkeys for drinks!
Discover great finds of Amsterdam
Hidden, secret, and oh-so-quirky, there are many unusual things to do in Amsterdam. From miniature canal houses hidden between two brick buildings to the oldest café within the city, and even a museum dedicated entirely to cats, there’s something offbeat to find out for even probably the most discerning of travellers.
Come October, you’ll be much more delighted to realize that the crowds of the summer dissipate, leaving behind a much emptier city where you can snap photos and explore for your heart’s content. Personal favourite hidden gems include purchasing the best cookie in Amsterdam from Van Stapele and discovering De Waag, the oldest non-religious building in Amsterdam.
Enjoy the very best of Amsterdam museums
When the leaves start dropping and the evenings become colder, there’s no better excuse than to head inside and explore the numerous cultural hubs and institutions that the city has to offer. If it’s your first time in Amsterdam, then you should head to the Rijksmuseum, which is home to many Dutch Masterpieces (book your tickets within advance).
For those who have seen the town before, there are more hidden gems and unusual museums on offer. For example, the Rembrandt House Museum (buy the tickets here) offers the chance to visit the former artist’s home, as the beautifully appointed Willet-Holthuysen Museum (buy the tickets here) shows a glimpse into canalside houses of times gone by.
Explore the forgotten hofjes of Amsterdam
Secluded, from the beaten tourist track, and away from the crowds from the remaining city, truth be told, the most famous from the Amsterdam hofjes is that of Begijnhof. However, what much traffic to Amsterdam don’t know is the fact that there's a wealth of hidden courtyards and corners worth discovering, especially throughout the autumn once the fall foliage frames the passageways beautifully!
Take a day trip from Amsterdam in the autumn
Thanks to its position within the Netherlands with easy transport links to the remaining country, Amsterdam provides a great base from which to explore the wider Holland region. The best fall excursions from the Dutch capital for seeing fall foliage include the beautiful city of Leiden (so historic that it’s often filmed to stand in for 17th-century ‘authentic’ Amsterdam) and also the beautiful modern city of Rotterdam.
Celebrate Halloween in Amsterdam
Of course, the last day's October, i.e. the 31st from the month, heralds Halloween. Each year, there's a plethora of Halloween events round the end of the month. Look into the full guide with this year here.