Amsterdam in Autumn

Last Updated: October 18, 2023

Gerrit Vandenberg

Gerrit shares his love for the Netherlands from his home near Amsterdam, helping thousands plan unforgettable trips to the lowlands. Discover his inspiring journey "From a critical health scare to celebrating Holland's charms". If you want to send Gerrit a quick message, you can contact him here.

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Hi, I'm Gerrit

I enjoy sharing useful tips about the beauty of this county.

What is Amsterdam in Autumn like? Is it worth going this time of year? What can I do?

If you have these questions, this post is absolutely for you. As a local Dutchman, I’ve spent many autumns in this country and enjoyed many special events.

I dive into the 30 best things to do in Amsterdam and the rest of the Netherlands in October and the other autumn months. When it’s autumn in Amsterdam, it’s an excellent time to plan a trip to Amsterdam.

But why is it a good time to plan a visit to Amsterdam in the fall season? Not only is Amsterdam beautiful in Autumn, with trees lining the canals that are changing colors. But there are also a lot of unique events and foods to try.

Here is a quick comparison if you’re in a hurry:

Pros of visiting during autumn:

  • Amsterdam city is less crowded. The best museums will be slightly less busy
  • Fall foliage and colors in the Netherlands are spectacular
  • There are lots of fun autumn activities 
  • Costs come down (a little bit)

Cons of visiting Amsterdam in autumn:

  • The days quickly shorten, and by the end of autumn, it’s dark at 5 p.m.
  • The weather in Amsterdam is unpredictable; there is more rain and wind.
  • Some outdoor attractions close, especially after October

PS: the quietest months are during the winter months.

Still, my favorite months of the year are the autumn months. Indeed, the weather declines quickly, but there are still plenty of sunny days left. And the country turns magical.

The Netherlands is not known for its beautiful forests and autumn foliage, but we have so much of that. It’s cows and windmills —tulips, for sure, in spring. But you’re not planning a trip to Holland for autumn colors, and that’s a shame.

Once the trees turn their colors, National Park the Hoge Veluwe, National Park Veluwezoom or the Doornse Kaap are spectacular. And without the insane hotel prices you see in the Northeast of the USA.

PS fun fact: The Doornse Kaap can also be seen on the 5D “This is Holland Flight Experience” in Amsterdam (which I highly recommend you do). They fly over the viewing tower during Autumn.

It’s not just nature that shows a beautiful side of itself. There are also plenty of activities and festivals you can only experience during autumn. Plus, there are many seasonal food items, especially treats.

So, even while the days are getting shorter and temperatures are dropping, consider coming out here and enjoying a few autumn activities across the country.

You’ll also skip the insanely busy summer months because Amsterdam is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.

How about the International Film Festival in Leiden? Or a dazzling evening at GLOW in Eindhoven?

I’ve rounded up the best autumn activities for you. Hop on a plane to Amsterdam to make the most of this beautiful season!

Below are 30 top things to do in Amsterdam and beyond during autumn. 

Autumn in Holland Nature Activities 

Me on viewing Tower Doornse Kaap National Park Utrechtse Heuvelrug.
Me on viewing tower Doornse Kaap – © Hidden Holland

The Netherlands is small and has an excellent public transport system, so why not do things around Amsterdam? It’s so easy to go for a forest walk from Amsterdam or head to the beaches. 

Trains take you everywhere at high-frequency intervals. What is extra special is that the train operator also has their walks.

They start and end at a train station, making it convenient and easy to enjoy the surprisingly beautiful Dutch scenery with golden leaves all around you. 

Here are three of my favorite hikes in the Netherlands during Autumn.

1. Doornse Kaap – National Park Utrechtse Heuvelrug

A beautiful forest walk to enjoy the autumn foliage, with the main highlight climbing the viewing tower towering over the trees for a unique view.

This viewing tower is also in the “This is Holland Experience,” a 5D flight over the Netherlands. They fly over the national park and the tower during autumn. I highly recommend getting a ticket when in Amsterdam and seeing it!

More information can be found at the Natuurmonumenten website. It’s in Dutch only, but if you open the page in Google Chrome, you can translate it automatically. 

PS: this area is also great for finding mushrooms. It’s illegal to take them. But you can take some fantastic photos like the one I took recently. That’s Alice in Wonderland, right there.

Mushroom in forests National Park Utrechtse Heuvelrug.
Mushrooms Found at National Park Utrechtse Heuvelrug – © Hidden Holland

2. National Park Veluwezoom

Another perfect autumn hike can be found at the Veluwezoom, another national park in the Netherlands. 

This area is hilly, so you’ll have to climb, but you will be rewarded with amazing views.

The walk can be found on the NS Railways website. Also, it’s Dutch only, but translation should be easy.

3. Holterberg – Sallandse Heuvelrug 

The Holterberg is another “hilly” area with exciting and diverse landscapes from heath to forest.

I used to spend some of my childhood vacations here, and still, I have a weak spot for this part of the Netherlands. It’s beautiful, especially in autumn.

More information can be found on this hiking page (also Dutch only)

4. Enjoy the Heath in Full Bloom

Seeing heath in bloom is unique. Usually, the spectacle is at its top in early September, but nature is never predictable.

If you’re lucky to be here that time of year, it’s super easy to get to it. There are large areas of open heath fields close to Amsterdam.

If you take a train to Bussum Zuid, you can step into them. This area is called the “Fransche Kampheide”.

I grew up in Hilversum. If you get off the train one train station after Bussum Zuid called “Hilversum Media Park,” you’ll see all the TV studios on the right (this is Dutch Hollywood), but if you exit on the other side and walk towards the “Erfgooiersstraat,” you can make amazing walks on the “Larense Heide.”

This name might sound familiar to you. It’s the title of one of the well-known paintings by the Dutch painter Anton Mauve on display at the Rijksmuseum. If you want to see it, you can get your time slot Rijksmuseum tickets here.

5. See Autumn Colors in the City

If you prefer to enjoy Autumn colors within the city, head over to Amsterdamse Bos, the largest forest park in the city.

You can also always head to the Vondelpark — a famous city park near the Museum Quarter where the trees will change their colors too.

Or just take a stroll along the canals and enjoy the changing of the colors in the trees right there.

6. Enjoy Autumn Foliage AND Culture At The Same Time

Kröller-Müller Museum entrance in Otterlo.
Kröller-Müller Museum entrance in Otterlo – © Hidden Holland

A visit to the Kröller Muller Museum inside the National Park the Hoge Veluwe, the largest national park in the country, is always special, especially when the autumn leaves fall.

It combines beautiful nature with a world-class museum, home to the world’s 2nd largest collection of Van Gogh paintings.

Autumn is an excellent time to go when the forests surrounding the museum turn golden and red.

If you’re interested in going, here is my article on how to get to the Kröller-Müller Museum. And here is one with more information about the museum itself. 

7. Go To The Beach And Clear Your Head

One of my favorite things in Autumn is to go to the beach and clear my head. With over 300 miles (450 kilometers) of coastline in this tiny country, there is plenty of space to do just that.

The easiest way to get to the beach is by taking a train from Amsterdam to Zandvoort. You enter the beach almost directly from the train station. It takes about 30 minutes to get in Zandvoort, so easy.

Now, Zandvoort is not exactly beautiful. That brute 60s/70s building style makes money quickly in beach towns. Still, the beach is beautiful, and you can quickly walk away.

NS walk “Kennemerduinen”

If you want something more active, I recommend the NS station-to-station walk called “Kennemerduinen” (use Google Translate to translate the page). The Dunes area is a national park and just beautiful. 

Once you reach the beach, there is a nice restaurant with the best views. You walk southwards over the beach to return to Zandvoort.

This is one Herman and I do regularly to clear our heads. We love it.

You can do this walk all year round; don’t let a rainy day stop you. It makes your hot chocolate with whipped cream and apple pie extra rewarding.

Festivals and Events

Autumn is the season when events are in full swing. We often link the months of May to Festivals, but there is much to do in the fall months too.

From the electronic music festival ADE, the largest Amsterdam Dance Event (but since I know nothing about that, I didn’t expend on that in this article) to the Light Festivals, Film festivals and so much more.

It’s a great time to enjoy Dutch culture.

8. ALLUMINOUS Almere

Almere is not precisely a town on the tourist map. It’s mainly a commuter city for Amsterdam, but Almere is finding its place on the map.

If you enjoy architecture, you might have heard about the city before, because it has quite some interesting architecture to explore.

During the autumn school holidays, a magical light festival is around the “Weerwater” lake.

It’s quite stunning and an easy 3 miles / 5-kilometer walk, which you should be able to complete in two hours, including stops. If that sounds too far, a (decorated) boat ride is back at the halfway point. 

You can visit ALLUMINOUS nightly from October 20 to 29, 2023, from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. 

And best of all the festival is free, you don’t need a ticket to enter. Just hop on a train or bus to Almere and enjoy.

9. The Big Shine in Rotterdam (De Grote Schijn in Rotterdam)

The Grote Schijn (Big Shine) could be one of the most enchanting outings during the fall break.

It’s a complete audiovisual experience set in Rotterdam’s Kralingse Bos, a city nature forest.

As evening falls over the forest, a special light show with music begins. Beams of color and dynamic light projections swirl around you.

The walk is approximately two kilometers (1.3 miles). It will feel like you’ve stepped into a fairy tale.

The Grote Schijn takes place on the east-southeast side of the Kralingse Bos in Rotterdam. The nearest Metro station is Kralingse Zoom. 

You can visit the Grote Schijn nightly from October 12 to 29, 2023, from 7 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

This event is not free; you need a time slot to enter. Tickets cost €19.75 for adults, and discounts for kids and seniors are available. 

10. Nostalgic Fun Fair At The Zuiderzeemuseum in Enkhuizen

Enkhuizen Open-Air museum nostalgic street.
Enkhuizen Open-Air Museum Nostalgic Street – © Hidden Holland

My favorite open-air museum in the country closes its outdoor museum every winter. But before they do, they’ll organize a nostalgic fun fair at the museum’s grounds in the final two weeks of October.

Of course, it is fantastic to visit with kids, but it will be fun for adults, too. Go back in time.

Expect attractions like gorgeous decorated authentic merry-go-arounds and hover carousels. And, of course, nostalgic candies.

Dates: October 14 to 29, 2023, between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. You can get your tickets for the Zuiderzeemuseum here.

11. International Film Festival in Leiden

Do you enjoy arthouse movies? Then I’m sure you’ll like the Leiden International Film Festival. As a smaller festival, it could be a really fun and a different experience.

I recommend checking the A-Z movie list on the website and paying attention to languages. They will all be screened in the movie’s original language and subtitled in Dutch. 

Make sure you speak (one of the) languages mentioned in the movie description.

The festival will be held for 11 days. Expect everything from premieres to unique screenings.

The screenings will occur at venues across the city, within a 10-minute walk from Leiden Central Station (35 minutes from the city of Amsterdam).

The Leiden Film Festival runs from Thursday, October 26 to Thursday, November 5, 2023.  

Ticket prices start at €11 and can be purchased on the festival’s website. On-site ticket booths are available at Trianon, Kijkhuis, and LIDO venues. 

12. Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven

In the last week of October every year, Europe’s largest design event takes place in Eindhoven: Dutch Design Week.

Over 2,500 designers from around the world will showcase their creations. This year’s theme is ‘Picture This’. It will focus on designers’ creative vision and visitors’ imaginative capacity.

You can explore innovative designs at more than 100 locations, from artistic furniture to ingenious installations. There will be exhibitions, lectures, and displays celebrating the future of design. And various parties can be found around the city if you’re into that.

The events during Dutch Design Week are spread across eight different areas in Eindhoven: Strijp-S, Strijp T+R, Sectie-C, Canal, Center, West, Hallenweg, and Station.

Dates: Saturday, October 21 to Sunday, October 29, 2023  

Many activities will be free of charge, while others will require a ticket. Check the ticket page on Dutch Design Week’s website to see which events are free and which require admission.  

13. GLOW in Eindhoven

In November, Eindhoven lives up to its nickname as the ‘City of Light.’ After all, this is the birthplace of Philips. (A fun activity is visiting the Phillips Museum while you’re here.)

During GLOW, 25 light artists from the Netherlands and abroad display their projects here, one of Europe’s largest international light art festivals.

Together with the Amsterdam Light Festival, these are my two favorite light events in the country.  And best of all, they’re both free!

The light artworks are projected onto various buildings throughout the city. You can experience these colorful projections nightly while walking a designated path. 

The walk is 5 kilometers long (3 miles).

This year’s theme is ‘The Beat,’ which reflects the rhythm of the city, its residents, and their collective lives.

The route’s starting point is Eindhoven Central Station (1 hour and 20 minutes from Amsterdam).

Dates: November 11 to November 18, 2023. More information can be found on the event’s website.

14. November Music Festival in Den Bosch

Not far from Eindhoven is the beautiful city of Den Bosch, known for its famous Bossche Bol pastry.

From Wednesday, November 1, to Sunday, November 12, 2023, Den Bosch will be alive with the music. As you stroll through the city’s old streets, you’ll hear music from every corner. 

The November Music autumn festival transforms this city into a musical haven. You can attend over 100 concerts featuring artists with unique genres. 

You can buy tickets on a concert-to-concert basis or get a festival pass for €40, and then you’ll receive a 50% discount on tickets. Make the calculations before you purchase it, though.

A music route ticket also grants access to 20 concerts, ranging from large performances to intimate shows.

15. Amsterdam Light Festival

A Display from the Amsterdam Light Festival.
Display at the Amsterdam Light Festival – © Hidden Holland

This autumn/winter, The Amsterdam Light Festival will return for its 12th Edition.

This event went from a one-off curiosity event to a yearly returning festival that became part of many locals’ autumn/winter, including mine. I always love to go.

Each year, the canals of Amsterdam will be highlighted with 24 specially selected light artworks from international artists. This year’s theme is LOADING. Art, AI, technology, and their impact on our society.

These artworks span along a route of about 7.5 kilometers (5 miles) through the city center.

You can see the Amsterdam Light Festival walking or by canal cruise. If you’re walking you can do it all in one night or half one night and the other half on another day.

If you go for walking, I recommend getting the digital route from the organization that you can download on your phone. It’s handy, and you support the organization.

You can also book a boat cruise (this link only works in season), a unique way of seeing the artwork.

PS: If you can, do both (the walk and the boat), I would highly recommend that. Both have their benefits and special angles to see the works.

Dates: November 30, 2023 to January 21, 2024.

16. Museum Night Festival in Amsterdam

Every autumn, the museums open in the evening into the early morning. It’s a special way of exploring beyond the standard museums you would normally visit. 

One ticket costs the price of just one museum entry, but it gives you access to 50 museums. And you can even come back to one of them later during the day if you keep your wristband.

Do I like this event? No, I don’t. It’s way too crowded for me. I would buy a multiday “I amsterdam Card,” and I can visit these museums during the day spread out over a few days.

But I get the charm: there are special activities and performances special to this night only. 

Because it is popular, it sells out yearly, including the 2023 edition. So, this tip is for 2024.

It’s also an event geared towards locals and not tourists. This means the website is in Dutch only (use Google Translate in Chrome for automatic translations), and they only accept local payment methods on the website (no credit cards).

You need to ask a Dutch friend to help you book your tickets. 

17. IDFA Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam

IDFA is the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam in November. Here, you can see groundbreaking documentaries and meet their makers.

Tickets and the program can be found here: https://festival.idfa.nl/en/. The festival is held from November 9 to November 18, 2023, and screenings are at venues across Amsterdam.

18. Visit An Orchard And Pick Your Apples and Pears

Autumn also means apple (and pear) season. You can pick your own orchards around the country. It is always a fun experience on a beautiful autumn day.

An orchard not that far from Amsterdam and one that is well-known around the country for its fruit juices is Olmenhorst. 

You can pick apples (pears only during the weekend) every autumn.

More information can be found on their website (Dutch only), but you can translate that with Google Translate, which is most accessible in the Google Chrome browser).

The orchard is just south of the airport. It will take 1 hour and 30 minutes to get there by public transportation. You must take a train to Nieuw-Vennep and then bus 162 (stop Lisserbroek, Bruidsbloemstraat). From there, it’s a 15-minute walk.

PS: Don’t you want to pick your apples, but you’ll like their taste? Then, head to Winkel 43 in Amsterdam for a slice of apple pie. According to most locals, it is the best you can find.

19. Visit the main Museums in Amsterdam

Inside Rijksmuseum library.
Inside Rijksmuseum library – © Hidden Holland

The later in the year you visit, the quieter the leading museums become.

And there is nothing nicer than hearing rain ticking on the windows while you enjoy some out-of-this-world art where it’s warm and take a break with a steaming cup of tea in your hands.

The most busy museums where you benefit most from smaller crowds are:

  1. the Van Gogh Museum
  2. the Rijksmuseum
  3. the Anne Frank House

All are still busy (no matter the time of year), just slightly less outside of high season. It might be the perfect time to visit Amsterdam in Autumn if museums are high on your list.

Click the museum name for tickets and time slot reservations for each.

20. Go to the Beverwijkse Bazaar

Aryana Persian Food Bazaar Beverwijk.
Aryana Persian Food Bazaar Beverwijk – © Hidden Holland

Something completely off the tourist map is the Beverwijkse Bazaar. Only open on weekends. But it will transfer you outside the Netherlands the moment you enter.

This is a Middle Eastern market where everything feels foreign and exciting.

Many people get here to buy cheap merchandise and Middle Eastern goods you can’t buy in a regular mall. 

I came here for the fantastic food. It’s truly something else. 

Feast your eyes on the heaps of nuts, baklava, and spices in the Fresh Market Hall 31, then go to the Food Hall 30, where you’ll find excellent restaurants. I can never choose! 

I advise skipping the safe Chinese restaurant options and going to Syrian and Afghan restaurants instead. My favorite restaurant there is Aryana. They serve authentic Persian foods. My favorites are the meat skewers and the Kabuli rice (with raisins).

Also, don’t forget to visit Tarboosh Sweets afterward. Their Baklava is less sweet than the commercial versions we know better. You taste all the ingredients here. The birdnest with whole pistachio nuts is insanely good. 

For me, a slice of the warm Kunafa is the show-stopper. It’s melted white cheese and baklava combined. It’s insanely good.

It’s easy to get here. Take a train to Beverwijk (35 minutes); from there, it’s a 15-20 minute walk, or you can take a bus. It’s open on Saturdays and Sundays only.

PS: it’s safe to visit, but it will be crowded. Thus, be careful with your personal belongings.

Traditional Dutch Foods and Drinks in Autumn

21. Take a Dutch Cooking class

Taking a food class in a new country is always fun and an easy way to learn more about a new culture from your host and through the food.

It’s also a fun indoor activity when the weather is not cooperating. How about learning how to make Dutch Pancakes yourself?

Dutch pancakes are interesting. They are thin, more like a crepe, and can be decorated with savory and sweet toppings, but usually savory if you eat them as a meal. But eaten as a meal, it’s not considered a breakfast food in Holland. It’s Lunch or Dinner.

You can book your Dutch cooking class with a local host here.

PS: If pancakes are not your thing, you can book many other cooking classes here. Make sure to have a look around.

22. Try Bock Beer

Bock beer is different than regular beer. It’s dark. It has a caramel-like flavor to it. Now, I don’t drink beer, so I have no idea. But it sounds a lot more palatable than regular beer to me. But still, I pass.

However, I know people love it, and it’s a seasonal drink. Available between October and February. 

Many different breweries make their version. You’ll find versions from the more prominent brands in any Dutch supermarket during this time. But more interesting, of course, are craft beers from local breweries.

There are also yearly bock beer festivals around the county where you can try many varieties and enjoy good food.

The Bokbier festival in Utrecht is one of the largest in October. 

The other well-known Bock beer festival is in Alkmaar (north of Amsterdam) called “Vriendenbock” in November. 

PS: Be careful when Googling for other festivals because many blogs you’ll find are outdated. I saw one promoting a festival in Amersfoort while the last edition was held in 2019. Oops. Make sure you find the festival page and look for current dates.

23. Eat Game While It’s In Season

It’s not a great tip if you’re a vegetarian, but there are 29 other tips in this post for you to enjoy. If do eat meat, you’re in for a treat

October is the season for local game to try. Hunting is strictly regulated here thus, much game available year-round is imported and often farmed.

But if you’re here in October and November, you’ll have a chance to try game that roamed the forests of the eastern Netherlands. 

Most of the better restaurants will have a game option on the menu. The Echoput restaurant at the Royal Domains Het Loo in Apeldoorn is a unique place to try. 

It’s also home to a beautiful castle and gardens. Paleis Het Loo is called the Versailles of the Netherlands. After intensive renovations, the result is stunning.

24. Try Speculaas

Speculaas is a cookie with wonderful spices available year-round at Dutch supermarkets and bakeries. But in Autumn, the varieties explode.

Suddenly, you see Speculaas everywhere. Speculaas koeken, Speculaas staven, Gevulde Speculaas and so much more. 

Forget about calories and try them all. Delicious!

Locals tip: the best way to eat Speculaas cookies is all kept secret among the Dutch.

But I share it with you: buy fresh white rolls. They sell many varieties here, but you want the “Boterpuntjes“. These are made with real butter and are so soft.

Bakeries have the best, but a supermarket will do.

Then add a layer of thick real butter and put the cookies in between as a topping.

Now, after that, you’ll never forget Speculaas.

25. Try Speculaaskoeken

One variety I have to point out is Speculaas koeken. They look much the same as the famous Dutch cookie “Gevulde Koek.” But still easy to recognize by their darker color.

Inside, you’ll find a delicious sweet almond paste. It’s just one thing that makes you happy; it’s autumn.

You can try them from any Dutch supermarket. You won’t find them in the regular pre-packed cookie section like regular Speculaas cookies. But these are for sale in the bakery department, where cakes and bread are found. 

26. Eat Stamppot

Few things are more Dutch than Stamppot (well, Flemish too; I don’t want to get in a fight. They call it Stamp or Stoemp), but Stamppot is what families have eaten here for centuries during autumn and winter. 

When it’s colder outside, a smoking pan of hearty goodness comforts you most after a hard work day. 

Stamppot is usually vegetables and mashed potato, and some meat is added. Classics are carrot and onions (Hutspot), Endive with bacon (Andijvie stamppot), or Kale with a smoked sausage (Boerenkool stamppot).

There are a few great restaurants in Amsterdam to try this fare. Moeders is best known as a fun place. When I ate there, I thought the quality was ok. Not great, not bad either. But the decor with pictures of mothers felt homey. Address: Rozengracht 251, Amsterdam.

Another traditional Dutch restaurant I like better is The Pantry, but it’s small; thus, you have to wait or have reservations. The food is really good here, and the decor is just as homey, if not more. Address: Leidsekruisstraat 2, Amsterdam.

If you want to read more about Dutch foods, try my article 50 Dutch Foods.

27. Try an Oliebol

The Dutch oliebol, traditionally eaten on New Year's Eve, it's a delicious fried donut.
Oliebol at New Year’s Eve

The Dutch love their Oliebollen. Officially, it’s a snack for New Year’s Eve, and as soon as the temperatures drop in September, the Oliebollen comes out. Often sold from trailers in city centers that look like they would fit in a fun fair. It’s half the fun.

The varieties on sale can be enormous, but there are two classics that we confusingly both call an Oliebol. But officially, an “Oliebol” is the plain version without raisins. And the “Krentebol” has raisins inside.

As I said, we both call them Oliebollen, so if you don’t specify, most likely, you will get one with raisins since those are the most common. 

Most Dutch, when they order, say: “met krenten” (with raisins) or “zonder krenten” (without raisins).

But what is an “Oliebol” anyway? It’s very similar to a donut, but more like a ball, not as fluffy, but still fluffy and less sweet. That’s why we add powdered sugar. 

Eating bags of them after Christmas is socially acceptable, and ten pieces on New Year’s Eve alone is not an exception for most. 

But before Christmas, you eat more in secret. I don’t know why, since the powered sugar gives you away anyway. If you see anyone with a white blanketed coat on the street, you know what they have been guilty of.

28. Kruidnoten

Strooigoed. Candy to throw in the house when Sinterklaas visits.
Sinterklaas – Strooigoed with Kruidnoten and Pepernoten – © Hidden Holland

Kruidnoten is another holiday candy. But a different holiday: Sinterklaas. A child fest around since the Middle Ages. From a catholic feast to a feast for all.

There has been some recent controversy about how Sinterklaas is celebrated, but the feast is changing to modern views. 

What never changed is how much kids love it. And the candies that come with it. You can see some of it in paintings from the Dutch Golden Age in the Rijksmuseum; we still eat them today.

Kruidnoten are spiced biscuits that are tasty. Once you start eating, you can’t stop. The main brand is Bolletje. You can buy supermarket brands for less. But I think nothing beats the taste of Bolletje Kruidnoten. 

You can buy them plain or with many different chocolate coverings. Both are good. But for your first try, go with the plain ones first.

In the streets this time of year, you’ll see a lot of pop-up stores called Van Delft, and they sell almost exclusively Kruidnoten in every flavor imaginable. They’re fun. But a bag of Bolletje Kruidnoten will be a lot cheaper at the local supermarket.

PS: to create confusion again, just like with Oliebollen, the Dutch call Kruidnoten Pepernoten, which is actually a different candy (see below), but we still do it, and you have to understand from context or know that person preferences what they mean.

But on the bag, it reads Kruidnoten.

PS II: Sinterklaas candies hit the stores in early September (sometimes even earlier) and are cleared the day after the holiday, December 5.

29. Pepernoten

Often Kruidnoten are called Pepernoten, but that is wrong. Pepernoten are their own Sinterklaas candy. And they’re delicious, if you can find the good ones.

Now, with Kruidnoten, store-bought is great. Like I said, Bolletje is excellent, but with true Pepernoten, they are gooey and need to be fresher

At supermarkets, you’ll have the best luck in the bakery department. They have semi-fresh Pepernoten when in season.

But the best ones will be sold at local bakeries. Look out for them. They’re mild, flavorful, and addictive.

30. Marzipan Pig

I saved the best for last. This is my addiction. Everything Sinterklaas comes around, and Marzipan hits the stores. Just like Kruidnoten and Pepernoten.

And wait, don’t pull your nose if you’re not a Marzipan fan; Dutch Marzipan differs from the ones you find internationally. It’s lighter and sweeter. 

At supermarkets, you will find all kinds of fun figures, and those are pretty good. But for the best, you need to find the pigs. I’m not joking.

Bakeries will have them on the countertop and cut a piece for you. Jumbo supermarkets also sell these as pieces in their bakery area. 

It’s delicious, but buy a small piece. It’s addictive, and you otherwise will eat the whole thing.

Conclusion

And there you have it, my 30 top things to do in Autumn in Holland. I hope something is interesting for you in this list to see Amsterdam differently.

Did I convince you to book an Amsterdam trip in autumn even though the autumn weather might not be as great? Let me know in the comments below.

Enjoy the season. 

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Find A Place To Stay In Amsterdam

Find accommodation in Amsterdam for the lowest prices on your favorite platform. What's great about this map is that it shows both Hotels, as VRBO rentals (like AirBNB but with lower costs).

Update your (intended) travel dates for accurate prices. TIP: Zoom out on the map (-) in the bottom right corner. This will show more options and availability.

Every Coffee ☕️ Counts!

Do you appreciate this article? Consider sending me a coffee ☕️ to support this website's upkeep. Every contribution matters and is deeply appreciated. Thank you for your generosity!

Would Like My Personal Help?

Planning a trip well is a lot of work and (or) can feel overwhelming.

Know I'm here to help with your Netherlands vacation.

When you book an Itinerary Consultation with me, I help you improve your itinerary and make your trip planning much faster and less stressful. I also enrich it with my unique insights and tips—local tips.

Unlike a blog article, with a one-on-one session, I can focus on you and your trip alone.

When you book an itinerary consultation with me, I take a look at your current itinerary/ideas before our call, and I'll start brainstorming for you. Then when we meet on the (video) call, we'll brainstorm together. And after our call I'll send you the recordings and a summary of everything we discussed.

30 minutes calls ar great for shorter trips up to 3 days, add 30 extra minutes if you stay in the Netherlands longer than that.

When will you visit Amsterdam

I’d love your thoughts: Will you plan a visit to Amsterdam in Autumn or do you prefer another season?

Let's start a conversation below this article 💬.

Gerrit shares his love for the Netherlands from his home near Amsterdam, helping thousands plan unforgettable trips to the lowlands. Discover his inspiring journey "From a critical health scare to celebrating Holland's charms". If you want to send Gerrit a quick message, you can contact him here.

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