I thought I’d share a little post today about what you can do in Amsterdam in a day, on a budget of €35 or €65. When I headed off to Amsterdam I didn’t have a pocket full of money to spend but was determined to see as much as possible. It turned out to be very easy to do so, with cheap places to eat and everything in walking distance you to can enjoy Amsterdam with out spending a fortune.
Amsterdam on a budget of €35
Before heading out for the day I would suggest filling up on breakfast from the hotel like I did. I was staying near to the airport so bought a return train ticket to the city for €9.
Once you arrive in the city I would suggest you grab a map and head wherever takes your fancy. My suggestion for the first few stops would be to check out some markets like Nieumarkt, the Waterlooplein Flea Market (closed on Sundays) and the flower market. You can happily walk around these without spending a cent.
From the flower market you can easily head south towards the Rijksmuseum, although entry inside is ticketed the gardens and building are beautiful to walk around and the iAMasterdam sign lies behind the gallery.
After this quick detour head north the way you came for a few blocks and then pick up a canal heading north-west. They are all beautiful so it doesn’t really matter which one you pick. I spent most of my time crossing between the three main canals in this area, checking out the shops and searching for the perfect cafe – aka one with a seat for people watching. I walked much further than I anticipated while doing this, stopping often to take photos and just enjoying the view/weather/atmosphere – it is easy to do in Amsterdam. I found my little lunch stop on the corner of Prinsengracht and Reestraat – delicious food, good portion sizes and extremely cheap. I paid €7 for my baguette and fizzy drink.
A couple of blocks north from here you will find the Anne Frank Huis, the queue will be long but it is worth it – especially as you get free wifi while you queue. Along the line you will find markers to tell you the queue length and they were pretty spot on. I joined just before the 45 minute mark and spent 40 minutes in the queue – it moved steadily and I didn’t find it too boring despite being on my own. Once you reach the front it is a small fee of €9 to enter this includes a map and information leaflet. The whole experience takes around an hour with the first 30 minutes around the house and the second wandering the exhibition behind. I throughly enjoyed it and cannot recommend heading here enough.
After such a gloomy afternoon I decide I was in need of cheering up and what better way to do so than ice cream! There are plenty of shops for ice cream spread all over the city but I would recommend you head north to Jordino. It isn’t just ice cream but a chocolate shop too, I paid €1.50 for a scoop of the finest ice cream – trust me I eat a lot of the stuff to know it was good.
This leaves you with a mere €8.50 to grab a bite to eat before heading back to the airport with your prepaid ticket from this morning.
Anne Frank Huis €9
Ice Cream €1.50
Amsterdam on a budget of €65
This is following a similar day to above however instead of walking from the station, head straight to Mac Bike (left of central station as you exit). You can rent a foot or hand brake bike from here for either three hours or a full day. For the sake of this budget three hours will cost you €11 with a hand brake.
Follow a similar path to above but instead of heading to the Rijksmuseum head much further south and a little east to the Albert CuypMarkt. It is a great local market to wander around and you will also find the fantastic cafe called Trust here. It is a volunteer run cafe where you pay what you feel. For my coffee, lunch and cake I would say around €12-15 would be a fair price.
Quickly return the bike after lunch before your three hours are up. I would then head straight to the Anne Frank Huis via a few pretty canals and shops in The Nine Streets area. The Anne Frank Huis as described above will cost you €9.
Now instead of heading for ice cream with this extra budget find yourself a canal boat to hop on for a tour. Be sure to make sure it is an hour long and look to spend around €10-15, I promise it will be worth it. Seeing the city from another perspective is fun but it also allows you to sit back and relax away from the chaos of the bike traffic. I found our tour very informative as well.
Allow some time to wander the canals as you head back through the city towards central station. If you have time then pick up some dinner along the way, if not there are enough options at the airport.
Bike Rental €11
Lunch at Trust €12
Anne Frank Huis €9
Boat Tour €12
I hope these two budgets give you and idea of what you can do in a day. I spent a weekend in Amsterdam for the #ParkInnExpress challenge and loved every minute of it.
This is only a fraction of the things you can do in Amsterdam on a budget, check out this post by ClinkNOORD for a more comprehensive guide to free/cheap things in Amsterdam.