Autumn or Herfst in Dutch is one of the most charming seasons in the Netherlands. Beautiful yellow, orange and crimson red leaves descent from trees. The days get shorter and chillier so you wrap yourself in cozy scarves and sweaters. It’s also the start of many traditions that friends and family share. What isn’t there to love about this time of the year? To make it even more enjoyable here are seven ways to spend Autumn in the Netherlands.
See the Autumn Leaves Change Colors on a Forest Walk
Experiencing the outdoors is a great way to spend autumn in the Netherlands. Venture out to the forest and enjoy a leisure walk or hike. Admire the colorful foliage and the smell of earth around you. The scenery is also a great backdrop for photography opportunities. We went on a weekend visit to Heuvelrug in Utrecht which is the perfect autumn setting. You can also forage for mushrooms because it is the season for them. Find them attached to the stumps of trees. Can’t go to the Forest? The Netherlands has many green spaces where you can witness autumn take place.
Visit a Cosy Village
The Netherlands has so many cute villages and small towns to choose from. On our way to the forest we stumbled upon the cozy village of Lage Vuursche. It’s surrounded by wooded trees, tiny shops and charming restaurants. I recommend visiting to explore the nature, recreational activities and to pass by the Soestdijk Palace. This village actually holds celebrity since it is where Princess Beatrix resides.
Enjoy a Steaming Cup of Gluhwein
On a crisp and cold day there’s nothing better than having a nice hot cup of gluhwein. This traditional German/Austrian drink is often served during the colder months. Made with different types of spices, Gluhwein is the perfect way to warm up during the fall season. All over the Netherlands you’ll find them sold at restaurants, markets and stalls. Try making your own concoction at home and serve warm!
Although this is an American tradition pumpkins pop up all around the stores from September to October in the Netherlands. Grab yourself a couple pumpkins, a good cutting knife then get carving away. Follow a funky pattern or come up with your own cool design. After discarding the seeds you can use the flesh for pie filling, and the seeds to make homemade pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin carving is a fun autumn activity that anyone can do!
Go on a Cycle Adventure
Don’t be reluctant to think that the Netherlands is completely flat. There are some hills and many biking trails across the country. Choose from landscapes such as the woods, forests, dunes and even heaths. Utrecht Heuvelrug is popular amongst mountain bikers. If you’re feeling adventurous head to the eastern part of the Netherlands to Drenthe. This part of the Dutch countryside is ideal for bikers and mountain bikers alike. Enjoy the fresh air, exercise and nice ride on the colorful autumn landscape. It can rain pretty steadily in the Netherlands so try to go when the forecast says it’s dry. Also, many locations will have cafes that sell delicious pancakes!
Have Some Comfort Food – Stamppot
Autumn also calls for delicious foods and meals. Cinnamon, sugar and all the aromatic spices but also stamppot! There are so many variations of stamppot to choose from. There is boerenkool, apple, meatball, ball Hutspot, and sweet potato if you’re feeling fancy!
Since the temperature is cooling down and the humidity condensing. This gives way for clear skies and stargazing! Pick a comfortable spot outside and try to identify constellations, cosmos and stars. If possible, travel a bit outside the city to avoid light pollution and to better see the beauty around you. Observing the vastness of the universe is a great outdoor fall activity. Not familiar with astronomy? Download an app on your phone to help you easier recognize the night sky surrounding you.
There’s no need to wonder what happens during Autumn any longer. I hope you enjoy these fun things to do for the months of October-November. Make sure to add these fall activities to put on your list this year.