Summer vacation may be behind us, but the city vacation season is here.
Christmas markets, hot and delicious food, a new scarf and a walk in the fall / winter sun, there is nothing better than exploring a new city this time of year.
And one city has been named “the best” destination for a city break this season – perfect for a mid-term vacation or a city break with friends. And it’s easily accessible from London.
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Ranked as the best fall break by The telegraphAmsterdam is a very friendly and historic city known for its beautiful canals, bridges and characteristic gingerbread houses.
This is perhaps at its best in the fall – as the tree-lined canals take on an auburn hue.
But there are plenty of other reasons to visit in the fall.
Food, Food, Food
When the warm weather subsides, 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 addicting Dutch favorite.
Or try what is called the “stammpot”. Essentially, it’s a huge pile of mashed potatoes topped with one or more types of meat, then topped with cheese and sauce.
Needless to say, it is particularly appetizing during colder periods and mainly consumed in the Netherlands in autumn and winter.
Have a boogie
Amsterdam is known to be a place of celebration. And things don’t calm down during the colder months.
The Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) takes place every October and brings together over 2,500 of the world’s biggest and most promising dance artists to perform at 140 of Amsterdam’s top clubs.
Soak up the culture
If you’re partying, that’s not really your thing – there are plenty of opportunities to soak up mainland European culture.
In the fall, bands perform in venues across town, musical and theater tours stop, and museums host big exhibits as people escape the cold and head inside.
On the first Saturday in November, almost all museums in Amsterdam participate in Museum Night. During this annual event, museums stay open much later than usual and host special events and parties.
Most notably, the Van Gosh Museum where you can explore the famous masterpieces up close.
The camera doesn’t lie
Whatever you do, you can be sure that you will get some great city vacation photos. The good thing about Amsterdam is that as long as you put on your snugest sweater, you can just stroll through the canals and enjoy the fall vibe.
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Sold? Eurostar offers a daily direct service to Amsterdam, departing at 11:04 am from London St Pancras International (from £ 80 return, eurostar.com).
A second direct service will be added on October 25. Or fly direct with easyJet, BA and KLM.
Flights from Gatwick are also quite inexpensive – with many flights as inexpensive at £ 38, for the hour-long flight.
Make sure you’re double hit
Dutch authorities are currently classifying the UK as a ‘very high risk country’, due to Covid.
However, fully vaccinated UK nationals, who can provide acceptable proof of vaccination, which includes the NHS COVID Pass, will be allowed to enter the Netherlands.
Fully vaccinated travelers arriving in the Netherlands from the UK must present one of the following:
- a negative PCR test result (no more than 48 hours before departure);
- a negative antigen test result (no more than 24 hours before departure).
Fully vaccinated travelers are exempt from quarantine upon arrival in the Netherlands.
You can read more information about the travel conditions in place for traveling to the Netherlands on the page of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. here.