Hi, guys! How are you today? I hope everything’s fine on your side. From my side, I have been impatient to share with you details about my short trip to Amsterdam this October. I was dreaming about visiting this beautiful city from a long time, especially as it is the home of one of my dearest and oldest friends.
There are few points to be considered when you plan a trip to Amsterdam in late October.
WHAT’S the WEATHER in AMSTERDAM in OCTOBER
You think October is not the best period of the year to visit the northern territories of Europe?! Yes, but not. Not from my point of view. As I try to escape crowds of any kind (especially mass tourist’s) I’ve decided that October is good enough for me. Finally, in the Netherlands, most of the year is rainy and windy. Surely, I’d love to see those beautiful fields with tulips (in April or May when the tulips bloom) but this will be next time.
For now, I can assure you that the end of October was good enough to enjoy the free spirit of Amsterdam in fullest. One of the days we had heavy rain and strong wind that’s why my pictures from the visit of windmills village Zaanse Schans are grey and dark but the next days were absolutely stunning with a lot of sun and fresh air. The autumn is beautiful in Amsterdam with the coloured leaves falling on the streets and the canal water reflecting the clouds on the sky.
WHAT TO SEE IN AMSTERDAM:
The Amsterdam Canals
You can get easily lost wandering around the canals. But it is the best thing that can happen to you in Amsterdam. In fact, the city is relatively small and the central part even smaller. At every corner, there are boards with street’s names and if you still can’t get the right direction you can always ask the locals. They are extremely kind and all speak English.
It’s the most artistic districts in Amsterdam and it is filled with art galleries, small boutiques and cosy restaurants. Exactly what a woman traveller will enjoy. You can spend a whole morning wandering the streets of Jordaan and even when you get tired of walking will not want to leave its boundaries. Instead, have a break for coffee or short lunch.
This one of the must-see places in Amsterdam. The zoo is famous for its exotic species and a large variety of animals (more than 900!). If you travel with kids, be aware that you will need one whole day for this visit. In late October most of the animals are still outside so you will have the chance to see zebra, giraffe and the sweetest little penguins.
Amsterdam by Night
Amsterdam is beautiful during the day but you should see it during the night. It’s romantic and adventurous, full of life and promises. No matter if you enjoy visiting the coffee shops (that sell everything else but not coffee) or like me enjoy just wandering the streets, you will see other faces of Amsterdam. It is safe to walk around, even in the Red Light District. However, traveling ladies, you will feel more comfortable if you are accompanied by a male friend in this district.
It is a small village with working windmills that represents the tradition of windmills in the Netherlands. This is the best and most convenient day excursion that you can have outside of Amsterdam. You can get there by taking bus 391 from Amsterdam Central Station. The trip takes 40 minutes and the one-way ticket costs 5 €. With a car is a really short ride.
This is another beautiful way to visit Amsterdam. Taking on the board of one of the cruise boats gives you a different perspective of the city’s highlights. Same like in Venice, the canal cruising is one of the top experiences in Amsterdam. I used Grey Line Canal Cruises that embark from pier no.5 at front of the Amsterdam Central Station.
The price for one hour cruise is 15.50 € but if you buy your ticket online you can use 10% discount. The best advice that I can give you is to make sure that you get on board just before sunset (for late October around 6 p.m.). At that time the city starts to be illuminated by lights and becomes more alive than during the daytime because you can see the life inside those beautiful canal houses.
It is really difficult to select the most interesting museums in a short list because there are many and of various interests museums in Amsterdam. A woman traveller probably will be attracted mostly by the Museum of the bags, Anne Frank House and Tulip Museum. But my list with most interesting (and of course most popular among the tourists) museums is larger:
The Rijksmuseum – one of the largest and most interesting art museums of the word!
Tropenmuseum – Amsterdam Tropical Museum
Red Light District
More a touristic attraction than a scandalous place, now the Red Light District is one of the places that have to be seen, but probably not more than ones. Especially for the women travellers. You can walk around like all the other tourists (some of them are families with kids) and see how the business works. But the place is overcrowded and probably lost its initial atmosphere.
WHERE TO STAY:
You have a choice of large selection of accommodation in Amsterdam but I advise you to take the opportunity to stay in homey place, not something that hotel can provide. In general accommodation in Amsterdam is expensive and you should be careful when choosing where to stay. My personal experience with AirBnb (that is not always the case! – see my Kilkenny Old Pub story).
The cosy studio was perfect for women travelling alone or with friend/partner and also not far from the Amsterdam Central Station and near to most of the main city sights. You can get around by walking and explore Amsterdam’s canal streets with ease. Unfortunately, this studio is not available anymore via AirBnb but I’m sure you will find some other, equally interesting options.
WHERE TO EAT IN AMSTERDAM
Restaurant Johannes – No.1 of restaurant experiences in Amsterdam (according to TripAdvisor)
Café Sonneveld – their lunch menu is excellent for recharging your energy levels during the wanders around Jordaan district in cold weather. The homemade meatballs should be tasted!
Food is cheaper at Albert Heijn Supermarkets. You will recognize them by their ah logo on a sea blue colour.
Clothes are affordable at C&A but in Bijenkorf you can find world famous quality brands.
Souvenirs – souvenir shops are everywhere. Usually, they sell same items (such as t-shirts with Marihuana leaves) but there are slight differences in design and quality. So, search until you find what you really like.
WHAT TO PACK FOR AMSTERDAM IN OCTOBER
If you come from a dryer or warmer climate, don’t forget your umbrella an It is an item that you will surely need in Amsterdam. Add also warm hat and scarf (even gloves) to prevent the cold wind to spoil the pleasure of walking around the canals.
- Travel-size umbrella
- A hat
- Warm scarf
- Autumn jacket/ waterproof
- Warm leggings
- Ankle boots
- Simple style pieces of jewellery
- Clothes in neutral hues
- Jeans, of course
As the local style of dressing is simple and mainly in neutral colours, my advice is to pack your luggage accordingly. Nobody likes to feel like a tourist when travelling and I suppose you don’t like it too. So take out of your wardrobe the neutrally coloured warm clothes that you have and pack them for Amsterdam. You can add style with simple or bold jewellery pieces.
Have fun in Amsterdam and let me know about your adventures! See you somewhere on the road,