October is the middle of autumn in the Netherlands, and temperatures can range from mild to cold. The daylight hours get shorter, but the leaves on the trees turn golden. Average daytime temperatures in October are around 53°F (12°C) so although the weather isn't warm, it's comfortable for getting outdoors, especially in cities. If it's not raining, that is: unfortunately, it does rain quite a lot in the Netherlands in fall. There isn't much regional variation in the climate throughout the Netherlands as it's a small country, but coastal areas tend to be windier, and inland areas in the south are colder.
Crowds & Costs
October is a shoulder season for travel to the Netherlands. Some tourists are attracted to the cities at this time so prices will be moderate and you should book accommodation in advance in popular places like Amsterdam. However, lines at art galleries and museums will be less of an annoyance than in the summer, so this is a good time to enjoy the cultural attractions of the Netherlands.
Where to Go
The cities of the Netherlands are full of interesting architecture (both old and new), art galleries, museums, parks, festivals, and other cultural attractions. And, because the country is quite compact and has good transport networks, it's easy to travel between these cities, even on a relatively short trip. Head to cities like Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Maastricht, Utrecht, Leiden, Haarlem, and elsewhere to enjoy the cultural attractions in October.
You could make a list of must-see museums and galleries as long as your arm, but highlights include the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, the Rembrandt House Museum, and the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam; the Maritime Museum in Rotterdam; the Groninger Museum in Groningen; Escher in The Palace in The Hague; and the Mondrian House in Amersfoort. To simplify itinerary planning, you can join guided art-focused tours that visit various places throughout the Netherlands.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
What to Do
General sightseeing in the towns and cities is an activity for October travel in the Netherlands. When the weather's fine you can stroll the canals, waterfronts, and parks, and if it makes a turn for the worse, you can hunker down in a world-class art gallery or museum, or warm up in a café. If you feel like joining the locals and hopping on a bike, it's easy to rent two wheels in Dutch cities.
Events in October
Amsterdam Dance Event. If you're into electronic music, head to Amsterdam in mid-late October for this festival-come-conference.
Netherlands Film Festival. Held over ten days in late September and/or early October in Utrecht, this film festival showcases Dutch films. Many films are subtitled in English for those who don't understand Dutch.
Traveling to the Netherlands in October? Check out these great itineraries
Discover the Dutch Masters - 5 Days. Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Vermeer: Dutch art history is full of famous names. On this short trip you'll view their masterpieces on display in world-class museums and visit the places where they lived and worked.
Grand Tour of the Netherlands - 14 Days. Fields of tulips, antique windmills, paintings by Vincent van Gogh, boat rides on the canals of Amsterdam: on this magnificent two-week trip, you'll visit many of the highlights of the Netherlands.
Highlights of Holland- 7 Days. See the famous canals and art museums of Amsterdam, the vibrant harbor city of Rotterdam, historic monuments in The Hague, the windmills and cheese markets of Leiden and Haarlem, and much more.