What to Do in Amsterdam in October

The tulips aren't blooming, but Amsterdam in October has its charms

Westerkerk church and canal at morning in Amsterdam, Netherlands.Beautiful autumn season in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
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Although it’s no longer the high season for tourists, weather in Amsterdam in October is still pleasant enough to be worth the visit. 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. 

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 by all there is to do and see. 

Amsterdam's Red Light District

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. October may find some of the Red Light District's inhabitants a little less-scantily clothed, but there's still plenty for the curious to see. 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.

Events in Amsterdam in October

The Amsterdam Dance Event 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.

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, the largest beer festival in the Netherlands, offers 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.

Museums in Amsterdam 

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.

The city also 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. The house is now a museum open the public every day except Yom Kippur. 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.

Weather in Amsterdam in October

If you do plan to visit in October, be aware that you’re likely to see rain at some point. Weather in Amsterdam in October is cool and occasionally chilly, similar to weather in the northeastern United States. The average high temperature is approximately 58 degrees, and the average low is approximately 44 degrees. Days are still relatively long at the beginning of October, but Central European Summer Time ends on the last Sunday of October when clocks are set back one hour.