12 Reasons to Visit Amsterdam in Autumn

© pixabay
© pixabay
Photo of Tom Coggins
30 September 2017

As autumn gradually falls over Amsterdam it is worth remembering that sunshine isn’t everything and that the city’s cultural calendar keeps rolling throughout every season. What’s more, Amsterdam is totally stunning during the colder months of the year and very accommodating toward activities that involve dressing up warmly, or staying inside.

International Documentary Filmfestival Amsterdam

Amsterdam has hosted the world’s largest documentary film festival in October every year since 1988. This weeklong festival always features groundbreaking cinema and take places at several awesome locations around Amsterdam such Pathé Tuschinski.

The weather

While it might seem slightly strange to praise autumn’s notoriously severe weather patterns, it is worth mentioning that life continues in Amsterdam irregardless of rain, hail or gale force winds. In fact, Amsterdam looks incredible during the colder months of the year, especially around areas where the city’s architecture blends into its waterways.

© pixabay


Drinking a dark, heavy bokbier basically feels like downing every homely sensation associated with autumn. This traditional Dutch beer is somehow warming, filling and intoxicating all at once and pairs wonderfully with comfy sweaters, log fires and a nice sit-down. It’s also available at almost every pub in Amsterdam.


In its most basic form stammpot is a massive pile of mash potato topped with one or several types of meat and then garnished with cheese and gravy. Needless to say, it is particularly appetising during colder spells and mainly eaten in the Netherlands over autumn and winter.

Yum! | © Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken / Flickr


The festive season starts around mid-November in the Netherlands which means that yuletide candy and cakes are available from stores well before December. Spekulaas is probably the most popular festive treat in the Netherlands and tastes amazing alongside a lovely cup of tea or hot coco.


At the start of November several outdoor ice rinks materialize around Amsterdam. The largest of their number runs alongside the Rijksmuseum’s southern facade and usually stays open to around 22.00 every day until February.

The ice rink on Museumplein | © Roman Boed / Flickr

Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE)

Over 1000 musicians perform at over 200 venues around Amsterdam during ADE, making it one of the largest events of its kind in the world. The festival takes place over the a long weekend in mid-October and always attracts thousands of electronic music fans and professionals from all over the world.

Museum Night

On the first Saturday of November almost every museum in Amsterdam participates in Museum Night. During this yearly event museums stay open way later than usual and organise special events and parties.


Glühwein is another warming alcoholic drink that is traditionally cooked up over autumn and winter. Although it shares many similarities with British or American mulled wine, glühwein contains different spices that are commonly found in Dutch kitchens such as anise, cinnamon, orange.

The cinemas

Nothing beats a laid-back night out at one of Amsterdam’s awesome cinemas, especially when it’s cold outside. Furthermore, Dutch cinemas usually serve booze at their concessions stands including delicious craft bokbier.

The Eye Filmmuseum's a great place to hangout over Autumn | © pixabay

The parks

Amsterdam’s parks become ridiculously photogenic over autumn and taking a stroll through popular spots like Amsterdamse Bos, Vondelpark or Flevopark is particularly enchanting after the foliage has turned orange and brown.


Although the feeling isn’t limited to certain months, the Dutch concept of gezelligheid is often associated with things related to Autumn such as open log fires, warming beverages, comfy clothes and spending time with loved ones inside. The word gezelligheid is usually translated to cosiness or togetherness and certainly applies to typical activities in Amsterdam over autumn.

Sitting with a cat in a pub is definatly gezellig

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