Amsterdam in the fall can be wet, very wet, windy, windy and wet, also cold and damp.......did I mention windy and wet? Amsterdam has a completely disagreeable climate in the fall. Umbrella manufacturers do their product testing in Amsterdam in October. An umbrella that can withstand an Amsterdam October is the "gold standard" against which all umbrellas are measured. Today ( 50-70km/hr wind and rain w/ 9c temp) we saw the streets littered with the debris of inferior umbrellas blown inside out and broken, not able to withstand an Amsterdam Sunday gale.
On a more pleasant note, Amsterdam has been blessed with many noteworthy artists over the millennia and fabulous art galleries ( read; dry, no wind, warm, with no umbrella detritus) to house their work in. We visited the Van Gogh museum, the Reijksmuseum and my favorite, the Stedelijk museum, all of which are located in close proximity on the museum plein. Each of these museums has enormous collections which you can comfortably spend hours viewing, out of the wind and driving cold rain.
In addition to wind and rain Amsterdam has an elaborate network of 17th century canals and thousands of 20th and 21st century bicycles. The bicycle is the primary mode of transportation in central Amsterdam and has the right of way over cars buses and pedestrians. Bicycle riders are a unique group of individuals that can peddle while texting and holding an umbrella. There are bicycle parkades in central Amsterdam that can hold 2000 bicycles, bicycles are everywhere. The only place you don't see bicycles is on the canals, here you see boats. Originally the canals were the transportation network that moved good from the Amsterdam harbour to warehouses and businesses all over the city. Amsterdam has been designated a Unesco site because of their network of canals and the advanced city planning that went into their construction in the mid 17th century. Amsterdam established itself as a dominant trading power in the 17th and 18th century and became very wealthy by importing goods from far flung colonies in SE Asia, South America and Africa. That wealth can be seen in the Art and Architecture of present day Amsterdam.
Amsterdam and the Netherlands is a very "progressive" modern democracy. Sex, drugs and rock and roll...........these elements brings groups of tourists to Amsterdam that are not interested in Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Vermeer or Max Ernst. The Red Light District attracts thousands of people nightly, some are tourists others.......active participants. The other interesting phenomena is the multitude of gay men, women and the other ones. Because the city and the country is so liberal Amsterdam is a vacation destination for every gay in Europe and NA., this kind of makes the city edgy.....
All this said Amsterdam is a blend of art, wind, architecture, rain, canals, bicycles against a background of legal sex drugs and rock and roll, what's not to like?
One last observation is that everyone speaks excellent English. Getting around and communicating is a breeze. Tomorrow we are off to Utrecht via train, still the Netherlands but hopefully no wind and driving rain........here is a pearl of wisdom from our cab driver yesterday........" there is no bad weather only bad clothes"