This post covers things to do during October in Amsterdam, including family-friendly, nighttime, and free or cheap activities.
We have updated this post for 2022.
TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN OCTOBER
This top 10 list contains big concerts, sports, theatre, tours, free activities, and other events to attend in Amsterdam during October.
Take a look at our other popular Amsterdam posts:
1. See a Concert
Amsterdam draws quite a lot of popular international bands. You can also find gigs at smaller venues.
Below we list the top concerts in Amsterdam this month. See who else is playing in town here.
- Fatboy Slim/others | October 2nd
- The Black Crowes | October 3rd
- Kendrick Lamar | October 7th
- Backstreet Boys | October 9th
- Machine Gun Kelly | October 12th
- Bob Dylan | October 16th, 17th
- Swedish House Mafia | October 31st
Find out about other concerts here.
Also, read our post on things to do at night in Amsterdam for more ideas.
2. Attend a Sports Event
This month you can watch an event or be part of one!
Be part of the Annual Amsterdam City Walk on October 15th, 2002. The route goes past many of the city's most interesting sights.
Then, on October 16th, 2002, you can join the city-hosted TCS Marathon. Find out more here.
AFC Ajax is also scheduled to play four games at home this month on October 1st, 4th, 15th, and 30th. Get tickets here.
Find other events in Amsterdam this month here.
3. Take a Sightseeing Tour
October means fewer tourists in Amsterdam so this is a good time to take a walking tour, as your group size will likely be smaller.
This is quite useful when taking a bike tour as your guide may be able to give you more personal attention. Find out about bike tours here.
If a bike tour is not your speed, try a bus tour. A hop-on, hop-off bus tour is a comfortable way to see a lot of Amsterdam in a short amount of time.
Just hop off at the sites you want to spend more time seeing. You can also take the tour without hopping off -- whatever works for you!
4. Grachtenrace (Canal Race)
The annual Amsterdam Canal Race boat race on the city's canals brings out crowds. They line Amsterdam's small bridges to cheer on rowers.
In 2022, Grachtenrace will take place on October 8th. With over 140 teams expected, you can expect huge - and amusing - traffic jams, like the one in the video below.
If you want to get out on the canals yourself, you don't have to row! There are many canal tours to take.
This is a fun activity to do with the family and will not take up much of your day.
If you are traveling with children, see our post on family-friendly things to do in Amsterdam.
5. See the Red Light District
This is one of Amsterdam's most famous neighborhoods. Despite its name, the Red Light District is more than just a legal sex-worker district.
It also has art museums, a great food scene, and lovely architecture.
Though not for everyone, the Red Light District can be an eye-opening experience.
Learn more about what you can do in the district from our detailed post on Amsterdam's Red Light District.
6. Attend the Amsterdam Music Festival
If you're interested in going to a concert, but you can't pick just one performer to see, consider attending the Amsterdam Music Festival instead.
This festival will take place on October 22nd, 2022 at Johan Cruijff ArenA, and there will be quite a few notable musicians performing, including the following:
- Armin Van Buuren
- Brennan Heart
- Martin Garrix
- Timmy Trumpet
- And more!
For a list of all concerts in Amersterdam, click here.
This one is just for the kids. The Cinekid international film, television, and new media festival will be in Amsterdam from October 15th - 30th, 2022.
At the festival, children can explore the 1,200 square meters (ft) media lab and play with interactive art installations.
There will also be workshops and games, as well as screenings of innovative film and TV productions geared towards kids.
Cinekid is perfect for kids between 3 and 14 years old. Find out more here.
For more ways to keep your kids entertained, see our post on family-friendly activities in Amsterdam.
8. Celebrate Oktoberfest
Although there don't seem to be any Oktoberfest related activities in Amsterdam in 2022, there are events within an hour or so outside of the city.
- Das Oktoberfest | October 14th &15th | Tilburg
- Bonte Koe Oktoberfest | October 1st | Purmerend
- Dutch Oktoberfest | September 30th | Rotterdam
- Das Oktoberfest Metalfest | October 5th | Eindhoven
There are other experiences you can have in Amsterdam though. For beer lovers, be sure to check out the popular Heineken Experience.
Note that this attraction is also included with some Amsterdam tourist passes.
The famous Heineken brewery was established in Amsterdam in 1864. You can visit one of their no-longer-used factories to learn about this world-famous beer.
Take a look at our post on things to do at night in Amsterdam for other activities like these.
While not a Dutch holiday, Halloween in Amsterdam can be a lot of fun.
If you enjoy clubbing, check out the costume party at Westerunie. Another option is to visit the Amsterdam Dungeons, where you can experience Amsterdam’s darkest, goriest moments, recreated by actors.
Among the 12 exhibits are a torture show and their new gallows exhibit. You can buy tickets here.
TIP: The Amsterdam Dungeons is just one of many popular attractions included in some of the Amsterdam tourist passes.
Read below how a tourist pass can save you money on your trip.
An all-inclusive pass allows you to enjoy as many attractions, tours, and experiences as you can within a set number of days for one set price.
Although these passes are not free, you can save enough money that some of your activities won’t cost you a dime.
Below this video, we’ll show you how buying a pass actually gets you free admission to many attractions.
Using the 3-Day All-Inclusive Amsterdam Pass, which costs €104, we show you how after the second day, you get an entire day’s worth of free activities.
Here is a sample 3-day itinerary with some of the most popular Amsterdam attractions. Next to each activity is the regular admission price for an adult.
- Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour | €24.00
- Rijksmuseum | €20.00
- Rembrandt House Museum | €15.00
- Heineken Experience | $19.50
- Total Cost for Day 1 – €78.50
- Hop-on-Hop-off Boat Tour | €22.00
- A’DAM Lookout | €14.50
- This is Holland | €22.00
- National Maritime Museum | €20.00
- Total Cost for Day 2 – €78.50
- Everything is free!
When you do the math, you see that before you're even half way through Day 2, you’ve already spent more than the cost of the pass, which again is €104.
After that point, everything else you use the pass for will cost you nothing! It’s like getting dozens of activities for free!
If you want to learn more, check our very detailed post that compares all the Amsterdam tourist passes.