The summer holidays may be behind us, but the city break is here.
Christmas markets, hot delicious food, a new scarf and a walk in the autumn / winter sun, there is nothing better than exploring a new city at this time of year.
And a city has been voted ‘the best’ destination for a city break this season – perfect for a half-time stay or a city break with some friends. And it is easily accessible from London.
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Listed as the best autumn holiday by The Telegraph, Amsterdam is a very friendly and historic city known for its beautiful canals, bridges and distinctive ‘gingerbread houses’.
It is possibly best during the autumn – as the wood-clad canals get a reddish-brown shade.
But there are plenty of other reasons to visit during the fall.
Food, food, food
When the hot weather disappears, head to a traditional brown bar for a slice of apple pie or apple strudel (topped with whipped cream) and a glass of piping hot Chocomel, an addictive Dutch favorite.
Or try what is known as ‘stem pot’. In essence, it is a massive pile of mashed potatoes topped with one or more types of meat and then garnished with cheese and gravy.
Needless to say, it is particularly appetizing in colder periods and mainly eaten in the Netherlands during the autumn and winter.
Get a boogie
Amsterdam is known for being a bit of a party place. And things do not calm down in the colder months.
The Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) takes place every October and brings over 2,500 of the world’s greatest and future dance artists to play in 140 of Amsterdam’s best clubs
Enjoy the culture
If you’re partying out of it, it’s not really your thing – there’s ample opportunity to soak up some continental European culture.
In the fall, bands perform at venues around the city, tour musicals and play past, and museums host major exhibitions while people escape the cold and go indoors.
On the first Saturday in November, almost every museum in Amsterdam participates in Museum Night. During this annual event, museums stay open later than usual and host special events and parties.
Especially the Van Gosh Museum, where you can explore the famous masterpieces up close.
The camera does not lie
Whatever you come up with, you can be sure that you will get some sweet city breaks. The great thing about Amsterdam is that as long as you grab your nicest sweater, you can just take a walk among the canals and enjoy the vibes of autumn.
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On the way
Sold? Eurostar offers a direct service during the day to Amsterdam, departing at 11.04 from London St Pancras International (from £ 80 return, eurostar.com).
Another direct service will be added on October 25th. Or fly directly with easyJet, BA and KLM.
Flights from Gatwick are also quite cheap – with many flights going as cheap as £ 38, for an hour’s flight.
Make sure you are double plugged
The Dutch authorities currently classify the UK as a ‘very high risk country’ because of Covid.
However, fully vaccinated British nationals who can provide acceptable proof of vaccination, which includes the NHS COVID passport, will be allowed to enter the Netherlands.
Fully vaccinated travelers arriving in the Netherlands from the UK must show one of the following:
- a negative PCR test result (taken no more than 48 hours before departure)
- a negative antigen test result (taken no more than 24 hours before departure).
Fully vaccinated travelers are exempt from quarantine on arrival in the Netherlands.
You can read more information about the travel requirements that are in place to travel to the Netherlands on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ page here.