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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Even though it’s no longer the high season for tourists, 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 Amsterdam has to offer while saving a little money. 

If you do plan to visit in October, be aware that you’re likely to see rain at some point.

Autumn temperatures in Amsterdam are cool and occasionally chilly, similar to those in the northeastern United States. The average high temperature is about 58 degrees, and the average low is about 44 degrees. While days are still relatively long at the beginning of October, Central European Summer Time ends on the last Sunday of October, and clocks are set back one hour. 

By October, most of Amsterdam's sidewalk cafes have packed up their patio furniture, and the outdoor festival season has ended. The city's famed tulip season also is long over. But there's a lot to do outdoors and indoors in Amsterdam all year round.

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 and the Van Gogh Museum.

 

The Amsterdam house where Anne Frank and her family hid from the Nazis for two years before being sent to concentration camps was 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. Between April and October, it's open daily from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online two months in advance, and while 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 international attraction in Amsterdam is the Van Gogh Museum, which houses hundreds of paintings, drawings and letters by one of the most famous Dutch artists in history. 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 plan an entire day around this attraction. It's open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day except Friday, when it's open until 10 p.m.

Annual Festivals and Events in Amsterdam in October

Even though the weather is turning colder, Amsterdam hosts several autumn festivals. The Amsterdam Dance Event is perhaps the most anticipated event on the club scene calendar. Part conference, part electronic music festival, ADE, as the festival is known, draws both industry professionals and fans into its orbit, with both insider events and performances by internationally acclaimed artists.

And 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.

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 the summer, De Wallen is typically swarming with tourists who want to see the risque offerings that include prostitutes advertising themselves in windows facing the street (prostitution is legal in Amsterdam) and sex shops that sell 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. 

Although conventional wisdom holds that the best time of year to see Amsterdam is the spring when the tulips are in bloom, autumn visitors won't be disappointed by all there is to do and see.