Are you looking for places to visit in the Netherlands in September, October and November? Would you like to take a day trip from Amsterdam this autumn? Here are a few ideas!
10 Day Trips from Amsterdam in Autumn
The days are getting shorter and the tourist numbers are thinning – autumn is here. The Netherlands is a small country so you can easily reach many wonderful and interesting places on a day trip from Amsterdam. Here are 10 of my favorites for a fabulous fall day trip.
1. Den Haag
The Hague is a big city with lots to see and do. You can visit on a day trip or spend a weekend or longer. The city is home to several interesting museums including Mauritshuis where you can see the famous Girl with the Pearl Earring by Vermeer. If the weather is lovely you can also go for a walk on the beach at Scheveningen and stop for a meal at one of the beach cafes. If possible, time your visit when the Japanese garden is open in October. This lovely small garden is located in Clingendael Park and is only open twice a year in spring and fall.
Love windmills? Visit this open air museum and UNESCO World Heritage site near Rotterdam. Kinderdijk is home to 13 windmills that are used to pump water from the low lying land. Follow the bike or walking path to see them all. If you want to enter some of the windmills, see them up close or ride the tour boat you will need to pay an entry fee, but the area is free to visit if you just want to go for a stroll or bike ride.
The Alkmaar cheese market is a popular destination for tourists, and if you love cheese or history you might find it fascinating. The Kaasmarkt only takes place on Friday mornings through September 28th so visit in early fall to catch it. Aside from the famous cheese market, Alkmaar is a charming city to visit. Of course you can sample cheese in many shops and cafes but you can also enjoy strolling the streets or join a guided walking tour. You could also take a canal boat cruise or do it on your own in a kayak.
4. Pampus Eiland
Actually still within Amsterdam’s limits, Pampus Eiland is nevertheless a fun outing for the day and will give you the feeling of escaping the city. Reach Pampus by ferry boat from Muiden or IJberg or with your own boat if you have one!
Pampus Eiland is part of the Stelling van Amsterdam, or Defense Line of Amsterdam, built in the late 19th century to protect the city in case of attack from the water or land. The Defense Line of Amsterdam was mostly a waterline – like a huge moat. In the case of hostilities, the area would be flooded and the enemy would have difficulties passing. Later the invention of the airplane made this innovation rather useless. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Note that Pampus Eiland is closed on Mondays and the last day of the season is October 28th.
5. De Hoge Veluwe
The biggest National Park in the Netherlands is the Hoge Veluwe. It’s wonderful any time of year but fall can be especially lovely. Hop on a free white bicycle and head out on the many kilometers of paths and trails. If you are in the mood for art, stop at the Kröller-Müller Museum. It has the second largest collection of Van Gogh paintings in the world, after the Van Gogh Museum of course. Architecture and history lovers should make a reservation for a guided tour of the Berlage designed hunting lodge, Jachthuis Sint Hubertus.
The park is a bit of an adventure from Amsterdam by public transport but can be done in a long day. You could also join a day tour to the museum and national park and have all the navigation done for you. Click here for more info.
Just north of Amsterdam on the IJsselmeer you’ll find the city of Hoorn in Friesland. There are a few sights to see and things to do in Hoorn. Did you know Hoorn was a former VOC base? Pop into the Westfries Museum to see historic objects from the East India Company (VOC), or check out Museum van de 20e Eeuw or Museum Hoorn-Medemblik. Head to the harbor to see old towers and lovely sailing ships. You can easily reach Hoorn by train from Amsterdam Centraal.
© Ralf Roletschek / Roletschek.at
Have you been to Brabant? This province in the south is a wonderful area to explore. Check out the city of Breda, with pretty canals, a charming Grote Markt surrounded by cafes and shops and their own Begijnhof. If you have extra time, head to nearby Etten-Leur to visit the Van Gogh Kerk, you can get tickets in advance here.
You can also explore the city on a bike tour with a guide.
In the early autumn Breda celebrates Redhead Day with festivities focused around people with natural red hair. So if you happen to also have flaming locks you might want to check that out!
Utrecht is one of the prettiest cities in the Netherlands and there is lots to do. Visit one of the many museums, or head to a leafy park for a stroll. My favorite thing to do in Utrecht is enjoy the unique canals with their low wharves. Take a walk in the city center or stop by a canalside cafe. You can even take a boat tour or rent a kayak. Or learn about the history of Utrecht on a guided walking tour.
Get more details in our guide to Utrecht here.
9. Kasteel de Haar
Step into a fairytale with a visit to De Haar castle. The biggest castle in the Netherlands, it has picturesque turrets, ramparts, moats and drawbridges. You’ll also find beautiful gardens surrounding the castle. The descendants of the original family still stay in the castle each September, so fall seems like a great time to visit if it is good enough for them! The castle has seen many illustrious visitors over the years including Brigitte Bardot, Coco Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Joan Collins and many others.
The property dates from the 13th century but was repaired and remodeled in the late 19th century by Pierre Cuypers, the architect of the Rijksmuseum and Amsterdam Central Station. Reach Kasteel de Haar by bus from Utrecht Centraal or Den Haag Centraal, check 9292.nl for details. You can purchase timed entry tickets online here.
Leiden is such a lovely city and there is so much to see and do in any season. The city is fun and lively in the fall as the students return to their studies. Visit some of the local museums like the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, one of my favorites! Lovers of plants and history will want to check out the Hortus Botanicus where the tulip was first introduced to Western Europe. You can get tickets here.
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