10 Things to do in Autumn


In October and November, the leaves fall and Amsterdam changes colours.

The brightness of summer makes way for the warm and cosy reds and browns. What to do in Amsterdam for your autumn holiday to Amsterdam?

Here are 10 things to do in Amsterdam in autumn.


Amstel Bock, a bock beer from Amsterdam brewer Amstel is only available in autumn.

1. Drink Herfstbok

Bokbier, Bock or Bock Beer is a ‘seasonal beer’ from The Netherlands. With its uby red colour and caramel, light sweet and warm flavour, this Dutch beer fits the Amsterdam autumn like a glove.

Available only from October until February, this beer is definitely one to try when you visit Amsterdam in autumn.

Named Herfstbok (Autumn bock) or just Bokbier, this lager is produced by many small and large brewers, but Amstel Bokbier is generally considered one of the best.

Real bokbier lovers visit the PINT Bokbierfestival at the Amsterdam Beurs van Berlage ( 26, 27 and 28 October 2012).


2. Dance the night away at ADE

The Amsterdam Dance Event is bigger than ever. Over 1700 artists will perform during 5 days of dance music bliss.

Party the night away with the finest tunes of the best dj’s in the world.

Enjoy the new day program which features special events at roof top terraces, clothing shops and cinema’s… fun for everyone!

17 – 21 October


3. Watch a winner in the cinema

Raining and windy? Go see a film.

From November 5 to 11 2012 you can watch the best films of 2012 during the Amsterdam Film Week. Cinemas around Leidseplein screen all of the winning films of 2012, Oscars, Golden Globes, Cannes and Berlin.


Zuiderbad, swimming pool in Amsterdam dating back to 1912 allows nude swimming on Sunday afternoon. Interesting thing to do in Amsterdam!

4. Swim nude at Zuiderbad

Unfortunately, the days of outdoor swimming have gone, so we must hop back into the indoor swimming pool for some wet action.

Certainly the classic Zuiderbad is a swimming pool to mention. The building was constructed in 1897 and is now a national monument. Just the interior alone is worth a visit.

Didn’t bring your swimming gear on your holiday to Amsterdam? Don’t worry, every Sunday from 16.30 tot  17.30 you’re allowed to swim in the nude!


5. Stroll around Vondelpark

Vondelpark looks absolutely spectacular in autumn.

Stroll around the Vondelpark, sit down on a bench, feed the ducks, have a cup of hot chocolate at once of the cafés. A must do on the list of things to do in Amsterdam.

The new extension of Amsterdam’s Stedelijk, Museum of Modern Art. Photo by: John Lewis Marshall, Stedelijk.


6. Visit the Amsterdam Museum of Modern Art

The Stedelijk, the Amsterdam Museum of Modern Art has finally reopened its doors. To build the extension, a white bathtub-like structure, the Stedelijk was closed for renovation almost 10 years.

Amsterdam’s Museum of Art has had a spectacular reputation ever since it opened for the first time some 70 years ago. The museum had the boldness to purchass and put up controversial works of artists such as Paul Cezanne, Piet Mondriaan and Pablo Picasso. Just these works alone will make a visit to the Stedelik worthwhile.

Check out its new exhibition to see for yourself if Amsterdam’s Stedelijk can compete with Tate Modern and MoMO.


7. Eat an oliebol

The Spanish have churros, the Belgians have their waffles, the Dutch have oliebol.

The oliebol, also known as Dutch Doughnut is basically a big ball of dough with raisins, deep fried in hot oil.

Oliebollen are sold in the streets of Amsterdam at mobile stalls known as oliebollenkraam at stations and squares.  The oliebol is traditionally eaten at New Years Eve, but they are available as of October.


Dutch oliebol street stand

Dutch oliebollenkraam at Kinkerstraat, Amsterdam.


8. Play Drag Queen Bingo

Every Tuesday night, Amsterdam’s favourite drag queens play bingo at the gay bar The Queen’s Head. Hilarious.


9. Celebrate St. Nicolas

Enjoy the entrance of the old bearded guy St. Nicolas, the Dutch (and original!) version of Santa Claus. The holy man and his black helpers ‘Zwarte Piet’ makes his way to the port of Amsterdam from Spain on his large vessel, bringing presents and candy for children.

2012 Sinterklaas happening is Sunday November 18.


Cosy brown café Rooie Nelis at the Amsterdam Jordaan Quarter. Let 85-year old barkeeper Blond Sien (right in the picture) tap you a Dutch beer.

10. Enjoy a beer at Rooie Nelis

Rooie Nelis is an Amsterdam bar with monumental status. The brown bar is located in the heart of the Jordaan, a former workers area of Amsterdam, now yuppyfied.

Ever since Rooie Nelis opened in 1937, the bar has been frequented by famous Amsterdam folk singers. Singing, drinking and fighting was the favourite activity of the brown collar customers. The café’s interior is typical of the renowned style of its entourage: kitsch, tacky and loud.

Its remarkable present owners are Blond Sien and Black Gerrit, both over 80 years old, but still tapping those beers like they were still in their 20’s.

Blond Sien has been serving beers at the café since she was 10 years old.

Have a beer in this typical Dutch brown café and don’t be surprised when Sien or Gerrit or one of the customers picks up a microphone…



One Response to 10 Things to do in Autumn

  1. Elizabeth Williams October 19, 2012 at 08:19

    I agree one of the 10 things to do in autumn is to swim in Zuederbad just to get away with the autumn fever.

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