Amsterdam is an eventful city all year round. So no matter the season, weather or month, there are always plenty of things to do and places to go. Amsterdam in October is a perfect month to visit. With the summer high season being over, the city is a little less crowded with tourists, but the weather is often still pleasant. Rates on hotels go down and lines at the top attractions get smaller.
The ever changing weather
October marks the end of summer and it can go either way when it comes to the weather. There will be sunny days with blue skies and an average temperature of 14 degrees Celsius, giving you the chance to still enjoy an outdoor terrace. Or, sometimes within minutes, the weather changes with heavy rain fall and a chilly wind. So if you’re visiting Amsterdam in October, prepare for both.
The most fun things to do in Amsterdam in October
A walk in the park
With autumn arriving, Amsterdam’s outdoor scenery turns from green to an array of bright orange and browns. October is the perfect month to still enjoy all the parks the city has to offer. On a sunny day, wander around and take in the beauty of nature changing. The cities post popular park, the Vondelpark, offers a few nice options for you to sit down with a cup of coffee or a hot chocolate to enjoy and warm your hands on. The Amsterdamse Bos, just on the edge of town, is a perfect getaway from the city’s busyness.
Visit one of the many museums
Visiting a museum makes for a perfect indoor activity on any rainy day. Amsterdam has more than enough to offer for any art enthusiast. With over 75 museums, showcasing a wide variety in art forms and history, there is something for everyone. Whether its science at NEMO, photography at FOAM or any of the three world renowned museums located on Museum Square: The Van Gogh, Stedelijk and Rijksmuseum. With high season being officially over in October, chances are that the lines will be a bit shorter, giving you more time to enjoy.
Go on an indoor Canal Cruise
Going on a cruise through the Amsterdam Canals is a must do no matter the season you’re visiting the city. For any sunny day there are options with open roofs but even if it pours, you’ll be comfortable and dry in a closed off cruise boat. Taking a canal cruise is a great way to get around, while learning more on the history of the city and its historical buildings. If that sounds boring to you, it really isn’t! Tours & Tickets offers a wide variety in cruises. From silent disco and romantic dinners to beer tastings and pizza party’s.
The best events in Amsterdam in October
Free concert Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ
On Thursday 4 October a free concert showcasing young classical talent will take place at the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ. It’s a wonderful way to get acquainted with music by great young talent from the Conservatorium Amsterdam school of Arts.
The 11th edition of the animated film festival KLIK will take place at the EYE Film museum. From 10 until 14 October several works of traditional and groundbreaking artists will be showcased. The theme of this years edition is State of Mind, inviting you to expand your horizons and dive into the beautiful and perplexing world of the mind.
For an overview of the program have a look at the Klik Amsterdam website.
Big Art at the Bijlmerbajes
The Bijlmerbajes is a former prison turned cultural event location. During Big Art from 11 to 14 October, the impressive building will turn into an exhibition showcasing over 80 XL artworks from contemporary artists and designers. Expect a unique mix of paintings and large sculptures by both acclaimed names and emerging talent. See something that you like? All pieces on the show are for sale as well.
The 32nd edition of the Grachtenrace will take place on Saturday 13 October. Over 140 boats will row over a 22km course through the Amsterdam canals. The race starts at the Jan Schaeferbrug and will take participants via canals including the Herengracht and the Leidsegracht to the finish at Oosterdok by the Maritime Museum.
Sergei Polunin at Carré
For the first time ever, ballet sensation Sergei Polunin can be seen in a Dutch theater. The controversial dancer will be coming to the iconic Carré theather for three evenings to perform his show SACRÉ. Tickets for the event on 16, 17 or 18 October can be purchased on the Carré website.
Amsterdam Dance Event
From 17 October until 21 October the world’s biggest festival for electronic dance music will take place. During Amsterdam Dance Event 2018 the biggest names in EDM will gather in Amsterdam for five days filled with events, conferences, workshops and the best parties. This years edition is bigger than ever, with over 2.500 artists performing in 140 of the most iconic venues in Amsterdam. The full program is now live on the ADE website.
Cinekid festival, taking place from 20 to 26 October, is the largest children’s digital culture festival in the world. At the Westergasfabriek kids from the age of 3 to 14 will have a wonderful time participating in workshops, playing games and watching unusual and striking films. Cinekid is in it to help kids learn to view media critically and expand their view on the world.
The full program will be live on the Cinekid website soon, so keep an eye on it!
TCS Amsterdam Marathon
On Sunday 21 October at 9:30 a.m. the 43rd edition of the TCS Amsterdam marathon will take place. Over 45.000 participants from all over the world will run either the full 42 km or the half marathon of 21.1 km. The city turns into a big festivity with food stands, live bands and other activities taking place all over town. The race will both start and finish at the Amsterdam Olympic Stadium.
Over the years the popularity of Halloween has risen quickly in Amsterdam. All over town parties and events will take place, with the most popular one being the Amsterdam Halloween Parade on Friday October 26. The parade will start at 8:30 p.m at the subway station Rokin and will take all participating zombies, superheroes, vampires and bloody brides to the Westerpark via Dam Square and the Rozengracht.
Ready for a dress up party and to dance the night away? The Amsterdam Halloween 10 years Anniversary Ball at the Westergasfabriek on October 27 is the place to be! Timetables will be announced soon, so keep an eye on their website.
Free workshop at the Bimhuis
Every Tuesday the Jazz venue Bimhuis hosts a free improvisation Workshop & Session from 8:00 p.m. on for both musicians and visitors. All instruments, including vocals are welcome but it’s possible to just listen and enjoy without participating as well.
Markets in October
All through the year several street markets are held in Amsterdam next to the daily local markets like the famous Albert Cuyp. October is no exception. From art to food and fashion, the city has got it all.
On 7 October you can enjoy the Sunday Market at the Westergasfabriek. This is a fun market for both young and old, with a focus on local fashion, art and design.
The IJ-Hallen is a true Walhalla for any vintage lover. This huge flea market is held twice a month at NDSM-wharf in north. With over 500 indoor stands filled with fashion, interior design, gadgets and accessories, you’ll be in for a full day of shopping. Several food and drink stands will make sure you can have a full day of bargain shopping day.
The IJ-Hallen will take place on 6, 7, 27 and 28 October.
The Pure Markt changes location regularly and will be held at the Amstel Park on 14 October and at Park Frankendael on 28 October. Expect high quality local and seasonal products, music, food stalls and all sorts of activities for kids.
On Sunday 21 October the Museum Square will be the host of the monthly Museum Market. Expect stalls with arts and crafts in between the iconic Rijksmuseum, Stedelijk Museum and Van Gogh museum. Live music and a selection of street food will make this into a perfect spot to head after an already cultural filled afternoon at one of the museums.
What and where to eat
With the season changing, comes a change in many of the menu cards in the city’s fine restaurants. Pumpkin, cabbage, pears and kale are just some of the Dutch seasonal products that can be found in a lot of dishes this fall.
Restaurant Moon at the A’dam Toren is one offering a magnificent view over Amsterdam and serves classic dishes with a modern twist using carefully sourced local seasonal ingredients. Another one to mention is Meneer Nieges. Dishes like Puffed Celeriac with sweet onion, black garlic and hazelnut and Farm chicken with roasted carrots will make your mouth water. Michelin Star quality food without having to spend that much? Café Cliché is a new spot in town from the chef of the renowned restaurant Liberije’s Zusje. Expect tasty dishes prepared just as the chef likes to eat at home in a relaxed and cozy atmosphere.
With the season being officially opened on 20 September, October is the perfect month to indulge in some fresh Zeeuwse oysters. Brut de Mer is the perfect spot for this. The fashionable fish-bistro serves a large selection of the freshest seafood. Let their oyster man help you with the various types of oysters and pair it with a fine white wine. The same goes for the Seafood bar, completely dedicated to all lovers of fish, with three locations in town. In for a full night of wining and dining? The Harbour Club is your spot. Although known for their fresh seafood, their sushi rolls and meat dishes are just as good!
So, there you go! We hope you have a wonderful time in Amsterdam in October using our tips. Let us know your favorite spot to visit in town in the comments below.
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