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Autumn in Amsterdam

September 14, 2017/ BY Alina

If you’re into culture, autumn is definitely one of the best seasons to visit Amsterdam. The city is beautiful in every season, but during the fall Amsterdam looks extra magical. Around that time, Amsterdam is also called the leafiest city. Alongside the canals that are so characteristic for our capital, are about 40,000 trees. When the autumn enters our country, the leaves on the trees turn into all shades of orange. When the evening strikes and the sun goes down, the City of Diamonds is transformed into the City of Gold. Pictures cannot capture the atmosphere of the fall sun-kissed city of Amsterdam. Of course, there are also plenty activities for you to enjoy while visiting Amsterdam in September, October or November.

friends enjoying meal on large table with foods and drinks

Foods & drinks

If you like food and an alcoholic beverage every now and then, you can eat your heart out in Amsterdam.


Whoever has been to Amsterdam in the run up to New Year’s Eve, knows what ‘Oliebollen’ are.
Around the start of fall, the Oliebollen-carts pop up on every street corner. You may know them as Dutch Doughnuts, but literally translated, oliebollen means ‘oily balls’. That may not sound tempting at all, but don’t be fooled, they are delicious. The deep-fried balls of dough are often eaten with powdered sugar and a real hot treat on a cold rainy day.

Amsterdam Wine Festival

It’s no secret that Dutchies love their alcohol. The Amsterdam Wine Festival is a great manifestation of this heartfelt love. From September 29 until October 1st, you can taste the grapy goodness at the Westergasfabriek. There are wines from all over the world, like France, Italy, Spain, Austria, Croatia and the US.

PINT Bock Beer Festival

When you are in a bar in Amsterdam during the fall, you should order a “Herfstbok” (Autumn Bock Beer). It’s one of the most famous kinds of beer during the time the leaves fall. The beer is so beloved; there is a special Bock Beer Festival in Amsterdam for it. In the last weekend of October (27th until the 29th), around 12,000 beer lovers come together to toast in the Beurs van Berlage. There are about 100 different bock beers to try from both big and small breweries. Thirsty yet?

Little boy taking picture of a painting at Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

Culture and arts

You know Amsterdam is famous for its rich culture all year around. Since the weather isn’t always that great around this time of year, many opt to visit a museum at the Museum Square. However, there are more cultural activities during the fall.

KLIK Amsterdam Animation Festival

Who doesn’t like a good animated movie? Surely a lot of Amsterdam residents do. This year, from October 17 until 22, is the tenth edition of this animation festival. During the festivities they play a massive collection of top notch animated movies. However, there is more. Yu can enjoy masterclasses, themed programs, special guest appearances and parties. There is also a special on the famous Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh: “For our birthday edition, we’re proud to bring you the avant-premiere of Loving Vincent: the world’s first ever fully painted feature film, bringing the paintings of Vincent van Gogh to life to tell his story.” This festival is definitely something to look forward to.

Museum Night

Discover the Amsterdam museums in the moonlight during the night from 4 to 5 November. That time, practically all Amsterdam museums and other cultural institutes open their doors to nightly visitors. The Museum Night does not only include exhibitions but also workshops, concerts, special tours and (music) performances.

Amsterdam Art Weekend

In the weekend of 23 – 26 November, up-and-coming artists display their contemporary art in many famous Amsterdam museums. This weekend allows art lovers to discover and get their hands on work by young talented artists who are fresh to the scene. Maybe you’ll discover the new Van Gogh?

Dancing people at a party in Amsterdam

Party in Amsterdam

A lot of young people visit Amsterdam to party all night. However, partying is not only reserved for the young and restless. In the City of Diamonds, you can party regardless of your age.

Amsterdam Dance Event

Dance the night away at one of the most famous dance events in all of Europe. The Amsterdam Dance Event is considered the world’s biggest club festival and Europe’s leading electronic music conference. If you’re into Electro, you don’t want to miss this. Between 18 and 22 October, there are more than 400 music events throughout the entire city.

Amsterdam Halloween Festival

Between 25 and 31 October, there are many Halloween parties and activities in Amsterdam. Visit the costume parties like Toyland (28 October) and Skelter Halloween Party (31 October). If you’re a fan of scary movies, you should check out the all-night horror movie marathon on October 28. It’s held in the most beautiful movie theater of the Netherlands: Tuschinski.

Arrival of Sinterklaas

Let’s finish these activities with the most famous Dutch tradition for the little ones. On November 19, Sinterklaas arrives in Amsterdam. Sinterklaas is a fictional character based on Saint Nicholas, patron saint of children. He was actually the inspiration for the American Santa Claus we all know so well. Mid-November, Sinterklaas enters the country with his steam boat from Spain. His helpers throw candy and small, round gingerbread-like cookies (pepernoten) to all the children who came to welcome him. The feast of Sinterklaas itself is on December 5th. That day, all children receive gifts from The Sint – just like kids do at the American Christmas.

candy pepernoten strooigoed voor sinterklaas

If you want to learn more about Dutch traditions or if you want tips for your trip to Amsterdam, please contact our travel department

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