October in Amsterdam: Weather, What to Pack, and What to See

Amsterdam in October
 © TripSavvy 2018

Although it’s no longer the high season for tourists,​ the weather in Amsterdam in October is still pleasant enough. Off-season hotel rates, mild temperatures, and fewer lines at tourist attractions make autumn an ideal time for travelers hoping to enjoy all that the Netherlands' capital city has to offer while also saving a little money. 

Amsterdam is a city full of rich and varied culture. In addition to historic Dam Square, Amsterdam has plenty of grand architecture, and visitors can even tour the Heineken brewery to see where the famous beer is made, all great things to do in October.

By October, most of Amsterdam's sidewalk cafes have packed up their patio furniture, and the outdoor festival season has ended. Although conventional wisdom holds that the best time of year to see Amsterdam is in the spring when the tulips are in bloom, autumn visitors won't be disappointed—brilliant fall leaves fill the trees and coat the cobblestone streets.

Amsterdam Weather in October

You’re likely to see rain at some point during your October visit—Amsterdam is cool and occasionally chilly, similar to the weather in the northeastern United States. The average high temperature is approximately 58 degrees Fahrenheit (14 degrees Celsius), and the average low is approximately 44 degrees Fahrenheit (7 degrees Celsius). Days are still relatively long at the beginning of the month, but Central European Summer Time ends on the last Sunday of October when clocks are set back one hour so night will fall earlier.


What to Pack

In Amsterdam, a stylish, full-length raincoat will do triple duty. You'll be kept dry, warm, and you'll look appropriate going into the evening. Under the raincoat, to be comfortable in a variety of temperatures, layers will serve you well. If you are too warm, remove the sweater and open your raincoat. If you are chilly, button up a bulkier sweater and put a wool scarf around your neck. Carry an umbrella on days when rain is predicted.

Comfortable walking shoes (leather is preferred) or boots will ensure your feet don't hurt after all that sightseeing and museum-going. Avoid the stereotypical white sneakers no matter how comfy they are.

October Events in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is known for progressive and alternative shows and festivals. You can dance to electronic music, marvel at the multi-media Festival of the Dead, and savor bock beer at a huge beer fest.

Festival of the Dead: This UK-based touring show has been a hit in Amsterdam. This multi-media show is a take-off on the traditional Day of the Dead customs. It's full of fanciful skeletons, crazy characters, huge puppets all set to a rousing soundtrack. This combination carnival, circus, and night club takes place at the end of October.

Tour de Wallen: October actually may be the perfect time of year to visit the city's infamous De Wallen, also known as the Red Light District. In summer, De Wallen is typically swarming with tourists who want to see the risqué offerings that include prostitutes advertising themselves in street windows (prostitution is legal in Amsterdam) and sex shops selling all manner of adult entertainment. In addition to the more adult-themed aspects of De Wallen, it's also the location of several of the city's finest restaurants and its oldest church, Oude Kirk.

Amsterdam Dance Event: This is perhaps the most anticipated event on the club scene calendar. Part conference, part electronic music festival, ADE, as this festival is known, draws both industry professionals and fans into its orbit, with both insider events and performances by internationally acclaimed artists.

Techno Music Festival: The Awakenings techno music festival, held annually in June, has a weekend mini-edition in October. Autumn visitors to Amsterdam get the chance to hear and dance to some of the most in-demand acts in techno.

The PINT Bokbierfestival: This is the largest beer festival in the Netherlands, offering more than 100 kinds of bock beers to as many as 12,000 visitors each year. Festival-goers get a glass upon entry and then can try as many beers as they'd like. Live music makes the event even more festive.

Amsterdam Denim Days: Each year Amsterdam turns blue to celebrate all that is denim. Denim lovers join together in a series of events, including a festival, within the city to share their dedication to denim, learn what's new, and network with vendors and designers.

October Travel Tips

  • Amsterdam is home to some notable museums, including the Anne Frank House. The Amsterdam house, where Anne Frank and her family hid from the Nazis during World War II before being sent to concentration camps, is also where Anne wrote the famous diary published after her death. Tickets can be purchased online two months in advance, and although October isn't as busy as other months, the Frank museum is a popular attraction and lines can be long, so plan ahead.
  • Another world-famous attraction in Amsterdam is the Van Gogh Museum, which houses hundreds of paintings, drawings, and letters by one of the most famous Dutch artists, Vincent Van Gogh. In addition to being a top attraction in Amsterdam, the Van Gogh Museum is one of the most-visited art museums in the world, so you may want to buy advance tickets online and plan to spend a day at this attraction.
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