What fun things are there to do in The Netherlands in October? There are so many cool things to do in The Netherlands, during the entire year. But when it’s getting towards autumn and winter, choosing the best activities to do in The Netherlands while staying warm, dry and mesmerized is sometimes a challenge. But I have found you 15 fun and insider things to do in The Netherlands in October, so be prepared to discover the best of The Netherlands during the month October here.
What to do and see in The Netherlands in October
The Netherlands has plenty of good reasons for you to bring a visit during any of the months. And October is certainly a month that is filled with must do’s. From the beautiful foliage in the Dutch forests, nature reserves and national parks in The Netherlands, to Dutch Design Week, ADE and even Walibi Fright Nights.
If you’re looking for things to do in The Netherlands for the entire autumn season, then I would recommend you to read this article about what to do during autumn in The Netherlands as well. And when you’re visiting Amsterdam during October, or any other month of the year, discover what to do in Amsterdam when it rains here.
1. See beautiful colours in the woods thanks to the foliage
One of my ultimate favourite things to do is going for walks in woods, forests or national parks in The Netherlands. Even when you’re walking in the countryside, or parks in cities, you cannot get around the magical autumn colours. There are a lot of nature reserves, that are some of the best places to visit, in The Netherlands that you can visit to see the foliage during autumn, however some of my favourites are the following reserves (keep in mind that there are nature reserves and forests everywhere, so you don’t have to look far):
- Bergerbos/ Schoorlse Duinen
- Veluwe National Park
- Biesbosch National Park
- Naarderbos (close to the fortified city of Naarden)
2. Go to the Dutch beaches for a typical Dutch activity
We, Dutch people, are a weird bunch sometimes. There’s one thing that most Dutch people do during the autumn and winter months: ‘uitwaaien’. ‘Uitwaaien’: Means the activity of walking on the beach when it’s stormy or windy weather. Literal translation= Out (uit) blowing (waaien).
What I love about ‘uitwaaien’ is the fact that your brain completely calms down and relaxes of the combination of the fresh air and the wind that is blowing around your ears. While you do have to dress up for this typical Dutch activity, as the wind will be cold, what you get in the end is worth it.
From being a little bit stressed, you’re changing into a relaxed person with rosy cheeks while you’re drinking a cup of tea and eating some biscuits. And trust me, you have never slept as good at night as after a few hours of ‘uitwaaien’ on the Dutch beaches near the North Sea, the Wadden Sea or around the Ijsselmeer lake.
3. Visit the miniature version of The Netherlands at Madurodam
You must ask yourself all the time ‘What is there to do in The Netherlands?’ And I will answer with ‘A lot!’. But if you don’t have the time to see the entire country of The Netherlands during your visit, then you can see a big part of The Netherlands at Madurodam. Not in its entirety and neither will you see the charm in real life, but the miniature version.
Madurodam is a miniature theme park about The Netherlands and is located in the city of The Hague. So if you’re planning on spending one day in Den Haag/ The Hague, then visiting Madurodam is a must.
Whether you’re a grown-up, or younger, this amusement park is one of the things you have to do in The Netherlands in October. While it’s located outside, the park is opened year-round and when you’re visiting one of these must do’s and sees in The Netherlands, you will be around way fewer tourists than when you visit Madurodam in July.
4. Discover magical Dutch castles
While my country isn’t well-known for having amazing castles, we do have a lot of beautiful Dutch castles in The Netherlands and Holland. One of the best things to do in The Netherlands during October is to bring these incredible fairytale castles a visit.
Not only will you stay, mostly, dry during your visit (unless you’re walking through their estates and gardens: bring a raincoat), but you will also discover the incredible history of these important monuments in The Netherlands. From castles that date back to the 11th century to some of the most beautiful estates and English gardens of The Netherlands. Visiting these places in The Netherlands is one of the best things you can do when you visit my country.
5. Dance all night long at ADE
One of the things you have to do in The Netherlands & Amsterdam in October is to visit ADE. ADE is the Amsterdam Dance Event, which is the biggest event in the electronic music industry and it takes place in Amsterdam every year during October.
Everyone from the electronic music industry is in town. Every DJ, producer and company. There are hundreds of parties, small festivals and gatherings that you can attend. As well as seminars and plenty of more. Whether you’re a fan of this type of music, a future producer or just curious, ADE is worth a visit.
6. Drink the best autumn and winter beers in The Netherlands
One of The Netherlands best things to do, during any month, is to drink beer. Whether it’s craft beer, the dark bock beer or a more popular beer, The Netherlands delivers. But if you’re especially into dark Dutch craft beer, then you will love the autumn months. That’s when most of the Dutch bock beer is released and can be tried.
Some of the best Dutch cafes and bars where they serve their own craft beer, and/ or local Dutch craft beers:
- Bierlokaal De Tijd is a must-visit place in Dordrecht
- Brouwerij ‘t Ij & Brouwerij Troost in Amsterdam
- Cafe Meijers for the best Dutch craft beer in Arnhem
- De Werf in Enkhuizen
- Texelse Bierbrouwerij on the Dutch island of Texel Proeflokaal
- De Boom in Alkmaar
- Davo Brewpub in Deventer
- Uiltje Bar & Jopenkerk in Haarlem
7. Explore your design dreams during Dutch Design Week
One event that you must visit in The Netherlands is the Dutch Design Week in the city of Eindhoven. It’s the biggest design event in Northern Europe and you will see your biggest design dreams come true.
There are endless things to do in Eindhoven, which is one of The Netherlands must-visit destinations. From exhibitions to lectures. And from debates to plenty of festivities. This takes place in more than 110 different locations.
8. Find the Big Five of The Netherlands
While there aren’t very big animals in The Netherlands anymore (although the wolf has officially returned!) we do have quite some animals that are worth seeing. Although seeing a cheetah in the wild is different from a beaver, they’re both very cute animals.
The big five of The Netherlands cannot all be found at the same location and you will understand why, when I list the animals that are in the big five.
These animals are: Seal, Beaver, Wild Boar, Roe Deer & Red Deer
Now, as you understand it’s pretty much impossible to spot both the seal and the wild boar. As wild boars live in thick forests and seals are more of a fan of the water, instead of land.
The best way to see these animals is by going into the forests that I’m recommending you at sunrise (you are not allowed earlier entry, so don’t do this) or just before sunset (although you do have to make sure that you’re out of the parks by the time it gets dark).
Even if you won’t be able to see any of these animals forest and nature reserves are simply one of the things you have to see in The Netherlands and they deserve to be tourist attractions. But, they are not.
Where can I see which animal?
- Wild Board & Red deer: Veluwe National Park (which is nearby the Hanseatic city of Elburg)
- Roe deer: Drents- Friese Wolt National Park
- Beaver: Biesbosch National Park
- Seal: Around any of the Wadden Islands, such as Ameland and Schiermonnikoog (there are excursions from the islands and you will most likely already spot them when you’re on the boat to the island)
9. Go see a show of the National Opera and Ballet
What you have to see in The Netherlands is a show of the Dutch National Opera & Ballet. I used to think opera and ballet were both a bit… boring. I have changed my mind. And I’m glad I did. Ballet is so much strength and power combined with endless of layers of grace, that I cannot believe these dancers exist and are human.
And opera is insane as well. How these singers posses such vocal chords is beyond me. But one thing I know for sure is that visiting, even if it’s just one show, is one of the top things to do in The Netherlands.
10. Get your jazz shoes out and dance your way through Festival Jazz International in Nijmegen
Nijmegen is one of the places in The Netherlands that you should bring a visit during any month of the year. If you’re into jazz music then you would not want to miss the Festival Jazz International. This festival that exists out of tons of jazz concerts takes place in Nijmegen. Concerts will take place throughout the old Dutch city of Nijmegen and there will even be some free pop-up concerts held at special locations.
You can buy passe-partouts that will give you entrance to every concert and performance, or you can buy daily tickets. The concerts are all in the evening and on the evening itself you can buy tickets at the doors of the venues (but you can only pay by card). Discover all the performances, times and venues of Festival Jazz International here. You will see the time and the venue standing next to each other.
11. Get cosy and laugh until you can not laugh anymore at a comedy show
Visiting a comedy show is a great way to spend your evening. Laughing until you’re ready to collapse, while the tears are streaming down your face, is one of the great joys of life. And one of the things you have to visit in The Netherlands is one of the best comedy clubs of The Netherlands. Going to a fun show is especially a great idea when the weather is letting you down.
One of the best comedy clubs of Amsterdam has to be Boom Chicago, where people like Seth Meyers (from the US) started his career. Get some drinks, laugh out loud and enjoy a fun evening in Amsterdam. You don’t have to look anywhere further if you’re looking for things to do in Amsterdam at night.
12. Visit the Japanese garden in Den Haag / The Hague
I don’t know if this is my favourite activity to do in The Hague in October, but it comes pretty close. The Japanese Garden is part of the Clingendael Park in The Hague. And it is incredibly fragile, which is why the garden is only opened 8 weeks out of the year.
The beauty makes visiting this garden one of The Netherlands top attractions and points of interest. The trees, the styling of the garden, the buddhas, the traditional bridge and more. They all create this magical wonderland in the city of The Hague. It’s one of the best things to do, and one of the top tourist sites, in The Netherlands, you must bring a visit.
13. See what the ‘Nacht van de Nacht’ is all about
We all know that there aren’t that many places left in Europe, and especially The Netherlands, that don’t have any light pollution. The Netherlands is one of the most densely populated countries in the world and light are simply everywhere. But during the ‘Nacht van de Nacht’ this all changes. Every last Saturday of October at 20:00 (24th of October 2020) companies turn off their lights and billboards, buildings aren’t lit up and plenty of more. At 20:00 you will hear the church bells follow a specific and different melody than usual. Throughout The Netherlands you will hear the song ‘Mag het licht uit’, or ‘can the light go out’ at the start of the event at 20:00.
The ‘Nacht van de Nacht’ event in The Netherlands is the most important yearly event to hold each other accountable when it comes to light pollution. And while the country is getting darker with the year, there are more crazy things to do in The Netherlands during that day as well. There are over 500 events that take place in the dark. From seeing starry skies in Amsterdam to a candlelight dinner in a restaurant. If there’s ever a way to take The Netherlands sightseeing and things to see to a different level, then this is the night.
Some of the cool activities that you can do in Utrecht, Amsterdam and others places in The Netherlands on the 24th of October 2020:
- Sail on and explore the Wadden Sea from the Frisian city or Harlingen, can be reserved here
- Candlelight dinner in a restaurant in Nijmegen, can be reserved via their email
- Visit the Boschplaat Dark Sky Reserve on Terschelling via a special form of transport, can be reserved here
14. Get freaky in a theme park during the Walibi Fright Nights
The Netherlands isn’t big on Halloween, simply because it’s not our tradition. However, some people like Halloween so there will be some parties in the big cities, such as Amsterdam and Rotterdam. If you’re not into dressing up for Halloween, but like to do scary things in The Netherlands, then this one is for you. I, on the other hand, am a chicken and will be sitting this one out.
The Walibi Fright Nights are the perfect event for every horror and thriller lover. You’ll be allowed evening access in the theme park of Walibi World/Holland, which is located in the province of Flevoland and it’s one of the top tourist attractions in The Netherlands for Dutch people. At this theme park in The Netherlands they have some of the best and fastest rollercoasters of The Netherlands and plenty of other cool attractions. The entire park is decorated for Halloween, there are dressed up & scary actors that walk around and will scare you and plenty of more. If you’re looking for a fun and interesting night during October in The Netherlands, then do yourself a favour and buy a ticket for the Walibi Fright Nights.
15. Be a great supporter and encourage the runners in the Amsterdam Marathon: Or run it yourself!
On the 18th of October 2020, almost the entire city of Amsterdam will be closed of due to the Amsterdam Marathon. If you’re in The Netherlands in October, find the best up to date travel apps to plan your journey here. If you’re an active person, or enjoy to run, then you should join the other badass people on the 42K run. Next year.
However, if you’re not much of a runner (like me), then you’re better of with supporting the participants. And that is something that we’re all good at. Eat before you’re going to stand along the route, wear some comfortable and warm clothes (don’t forget a scarf and a good coat) and when you’re done with yelling at people to run faster, then it’s time to relax your vocal chords again. Get inside a restaurant or cafe, order some ‘bitterballen‘ and a bockbeer and you’ll be loving your life. You cannot get anymore of a Dutch experience than that, which is something you can always expect for a The Netherlands travel blog, by a born and raised local.
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I hope that you’ve discovered some great things to do in The Netherlands during the month of October. Whether you’re visiting Amsterdam, Nijmegen or are planning on travelling throughout several parts of The Netherlands, these are all great activities for you to keep yourself warm and occupied.
If you’re visiting The Netherlands or Amsterdam in November, December, January, February or March and are looking for things to do, then a small part of this article will also be useful for you. You can still visit the Dutch castles, Madurodam, Dutch beaches, go see a comedy show and a show of the National opera and ballet. I hope this article has been useful for you.
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