Autumn in the Netherlands
Autumn in the Netherlands can be magical, certain parts of the country become even more stunning with autumnal colours, markets, food and more. When you sail direct from our UK Harwich International port with your car, you can drive to many locations from Holland to regions in the North, East and South of Holland. Why not try our rail and sail package to visit some of the Netherlands iconic spots during Autumn if not travelling by car.
Amsterdam’s iconic canal belt framed by dozens of leaf-bearing trees that have started to transform with beautiful autumn colours, street vendors selling “pepernoten” or peppernuts, hearty Dutch dishes in by the canals, shopping around town and the buzzing nightlife could be the perfect autumn break.
Autumn is also perfect for visiting Amsterdam’s museums and shows, especially on those colder rainy days. Visit the Rijksmuseum to see world-famous paintings by famous Dutch artists. For those brighter days, Autumn in Amsterdam’s parks are simply beautiful, if you travel at the start of autumn you could still catch the warm weather from the end of summer. Try a bike ride followed by a picnic and a snuggle under a warm blanket then head to one of the famous brown cafés for some seasonal brews in the evening.
The cities are also great for shopping, move over London and Paris! The Netherlands have some fantastic shopping districts in The Hague (Passage) or the designer outlet Roermond. While the grownups enjoy hitting the shops, there’s plenty of kids entertainment in most of the shopping districts, kids may get to enjoy kids cabs, windmills and play areas. In the evening enjoy dinner in an authentic Dutch local restaurant. With the new trend of buying Christmas gifts well in advance, autumn would be ideal for that shopping trip, start early in September or combine a half-term trip and hit the shops for Black Friday.
Rotterdam, the second largest city of the Netherlands is known for its rich cultural ambience. Enjoy being at the heart of the city for a view of the Erasmus Bridge (where you could take a tour of the Europoort) and some of the best hotels in Holland for the perfect long weekend city-break. A city-break isn’t complete without at least one trip to a show or museum. – One of the oldest museums in the Netherlands, the Museum van Boijmans Beuningen, home to some of the greatest works such as Rembrandt, Van Gogh and Monet. Roterdam is also sometimes compared to London’s Shoreditch with the coolest bars and restaurants for an evening out. For an alternative city-break, visit the old part of town for traditional architecture, windmills and to get away from the bustling crowds.
Another city that often doesn’t get the same praise as the “Dams” (Rotterdam & Amsterdam), is The Hague – a fantastic autumn destination. The royal city by the sea gives you the perfect mix of beautiful architectural, city centre and sandy beach. Ideal for a family-break, a couples getaway or group excursions with endless number of things to do for all visitors – Visit attractions in The Hague like Scheveningen, by this famous pier you’ll find a host of restaurants, food trucks, beach events and evening entertainment like the fireworks, festival music and water sports for those brave enough to do it in autumn. As the home to the royals, there are some breathtaking buildings and locations like Inner court, Binnenhof. For the family, holiday and amusement park Duinrell is perfect (maybe for the autumn half-term), where you can enjoy camping, toboggans and an indoor playground while couples can enjoy a romantic hotel stay by the beach.
For the foodies
As the leaves start to turn colours and fall and the air feels slightly cooler, everyone’s inner foodie starts to come out for those hearty autumn treats. For a healthy food experience, try apple and pear picking, these seasonal fruits and this seasonal activity is a great way to spend time with loved ones. Follow up fruit picking with one of the Netherlands national dishes, apple pie! There are loads of harvest activities, markets and shows to partake in as a family, you might even get to build a scarecrow.
Autumn is the right time of year to also start on the famous Dutch Cheeses. Sail with you car and drive to Gouda the famous Cheese namesake, there are plenty of dishes to enjoy with cheese, including cheesy fries or Pannenkoeken – are more or less pancakes that are served with sweet and savoury toppings, they are slightly thinner than American pancakes but thicker than French crepes. Try a pannenkoeken with a British and Dutch favourite, ham and cheese. Follow up a savoury pannenkoeken with a sweet one topped with apple and cinnamon or warm cherries and ice-cream. One of the best things about a holiday is food, lunches out new dishes drinks and delicious desserts, the Dutch have a few culinary tricks up their sleeves.
Amsterdam has a strong Indonesian influence, no culinary tour of Holland would be fully complete without a visit to an Indonesian restaurant. Try the rijsttafel (rice table), this Indish-Dutch is a tapas style of small dishes from all over the Spice Islands introduced to by Dutch explorers to Dutch culture.
Wash all the delicious dishes down with some local specialities like Bokbier – a dark seasonal beer which perfectly compliments autumnal dishes like the Dutch stammpot. During autumn if you’re luck you may even be able to taste Bisschopswijn, the Dutch version of mulled wine. There are also non-alcholoic traditional Dutch drinks to enjoy like (from the land of apple pie and apple) Dutch apple juice. Alternatively for something a little more interesting there’s alcohol-free beers like Amstel beer, Heinkeken and La Chouffe.
Take a special someone on a foodie tour in Holland, might not be the first choice for European culinary scene but it definitely has some interesting choices and some hidden gems. Start your Dutch culinary adventure when you sail with our superferries, order some bitterballen onboard with an ice cold drink.
Time to relax
After a hectic summer, or maybe before the buildup to winter, take a break by Holland’s beautiful coast. Zeeland is the perfect mix of beach, dunes and resorts: picture yourself toasting marshmallows by a bonfire along the beach or staying in one of the local resorts where you could book yourself in for a wellness retreat, ideal for a couples getaway. Try Amadore wellness resort, the Grand Hotel Duin or some of the wellness country houses, as well as a spa day, add some more physical activities to your trip like indoor climbing, water sports, walks or bike rides.
You could take an autumn wellness weekend-break, book an overnight sailing from the UK on a Friday, save on the cost of a hotel stay by sleeping onboard in our modern cabins, arrive on Saturday bright and early, spend the whole Saturday in Holland and into Sunday early afternoon before heading back to the port to take the overnight sailing back home. Azzurro wellness is located just North of Leiden and a short drive from The Hague so if sailing with your car and wanting an easy drive, this could ne the perfect wellness destination.