Oh, Amsterdam. Canals. Museums. Culture. There’s just a lot to love about this city. However, as people would say, it’s not the cheapest destination for a holiday.
Now, if you’ve always dreamed about seeing the wonderful architecture in person, but are terrified of the costs, that doesn’t mean you have to give up on the dream. Mind you, there are ways to enjoy Amsterdam even on a budget.
Curious to know how? Here are some tips for you:
Walk, walk and walk or bike if you want
They say that the best things in life are free. Well, you could never go wrong with walking around Amsterdam and soaking in the 17th century details. It’s when you walk around a new city that you get to see some hidden gems.
Amsterdam is home to many bridges – about 2,000 or so. The most popular of these is the Bridge of 15 Bridges, which is located at the intersection of two canals. Here, you get to view stone spans that just look gorgeous come nightfall.
The city also has gardens that are quite hidden and may require you to speak to a local or two for guidance. However, if you want to see a world-class garden for free, head over to the Rijksmuseum. Yes, it’s quite expensive to get inside, but the garden is actually free.
Here are other places you can enjoy on a budget:
– Civics Guard Gallery
– Nine Lanes (filled with specialty establishments)
– open air markets (for knick knacks, antiques, artworks, etc)
Buy a travel card
If you truly want to get the most of Amsterdam, buying a travel card is the most sensible thing to do. The “I amsterdam card” gives you free access to the city’s many museums, public transport, one canal cruise and discounts on concerts and restaurants.
Amsterdam is filled with some of the finest museum in Europe – Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, Rembrandt House and the Anne Frank House. Imagine getting to see these with a travel card! And those are just the popular ones. Amsterdam also has the Sex Museum, Vodka Museum, Museum of Bags and Purses and many more.
If you want to see art for free, some Dutch artists hold free exhibitions during the weekends. You can also listen to free concerts at Vondel Park during the summer.
Stay in a hostel dormitory
Hotels in Amsterdam are expensive, but a hostel has reasonable prices. When traveling with family, opt for a bed-and-breakfast or a houseboat.
Dine in “eetcafes”
These are small restaurants that serve hearty meals. Other than that, you can try different food kiosks too.
Amsterdam is a lovely city best explored on foot, and as mentioned here, there are amusements that can be enjoyed on a budget.
Amsterdam photos by Moyan Brenn, Kalyan Neelamraju, Andrew Savory and Efrén Sánchez