Amsterdam is one of those European bucket list cities, isn’t it? You hear about all of the crazy trips people have there as well as the beautiful city break you can have there, but can you visit Amsterdam on a budget?
It must be an expensive city to visit right??
I had been wanting to visit Amsterdam for years and I nearly did on 2 different trips however, in the end, I decided against it due to money. I thought that Amsterdam was a city that couldn’t be visited on a budget.
However, I finally did go to Amsterdam for 2 days on a solo trip and I couldn’t believe how little money I spent in one weekend in Amsterdam!
It proved to me that Amsterdam is not as expensive as I had thought it would be or has to be and Amsterdam can be visited on a budget!
Amsterdam on a Budget
In this Amsterdam travel blog, I’m going to share with you how to visit Amsterdam on a budget including eating in Amsterdam on a budget, staying in Amsterdam on a budget and the cheapest way to get to Amsterdam.
Related Post: My 10 Tips For Visiting Amsterdam as a Solo Traveller.
How Expensive is Amsterdam to visit?
Like all cities, visiting Amsterdam can be done on a range of budgets and it really depends where you decide to prioritise your money.. or your savings!
What I love about Amsterdam is that it’s a big and beautiful city, perfect for walking around and although there are many attractions in Amsterdam like museums you don’t have to go to them to enjoy the city.
The fewer attractions and activities you do in Amsterdam, the cheaper your trip is going to be and I have a list of cheap Amsterdam attractions below.
When it comes to eating and drinking, again, you can pick your budget. Amsterdam is a residential city as well as being popular with tourists so there are many local places to eat in Amsterdam that will be less expensive than tourist places.
Overall, in comparison to many other European cities I’ve visited. The answer to ‘is Amsterdam expensive?’ is no! It is not as expensive as the likes of London and Scandinavian cities like Oslo.
Staying in Amsterdam on a Budget
Accommodation in Amsterdam is expensive so if you’re in Amsterdam on a budget, staying in a hostel in Amsterdam will be your best option and Amsterdam is set up for travellers visiting this popular Dutch city on a budget!
One of the ways to find even cheaper accommodation in Amsterdam is to stay out of the city centre. On my first visit to Amsterdam, I stayed in Zeeburg at Stayokay Zeeburg Hostel which required me to get a tram into the city and it was still much cheaper than paying for this and staying out than staying in the city centre.
Plus, staying out of the direct city centre gives you a better chance to see local life in Amsterdam which I loved!
Hostel dorm room rates in Amsterdam vary in price depending on the season and the day of the week.
Based on the Zeeburg Hostel, a dorm room on a Sunday can cost as little as €24.00 a night which is great for Amsterdam! Midweek prices are around €27.00-31.00 with Friday and Saturday nights reaching up to €51.00 a night. If you’re on a budget but you’re flexible this just proves that accommodation in Amsterdam can be done on a budget.
Here’s my detailed review of Stayokay Amsterdam Zeeburg Hostel.
If you want a private room in Amsterdam, another way to get accommodation on a budget in Amsterdam is to stay in a hostel still but in a private room which is what I did at Stayokay Vondelpark Hostel.
This hostel is in the city centre but slightly on the outskirts, it’s located next to Vondelpark and its lovely to see this side of Amsterdam whilst being so close to the canals and busy tourist streets too!
To look up all accommodation in Amsterdam for all budgets check out Booking.com!
Getting around Amsterdam on a Budget
I always assumed that getting from the airport into Amsterdam Central would be quite pricy but again, I was very wrong.
A train ticket from Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam Central Station is €5.70 each way which is a really good price. The train is really easy to use and very quick too!
During my second time in Amsterdam, I took the Amsterdam Airport Express which is a bus from Schipol Airport to the city centre. I believe the price has increased to €11.75 for a return journey which is a very good price for a return airport transfer in Europe!
When it comes to getting around Amsterdam on a budget, walking really is the answer!
Amsterdam is such a walkable city and a pleasure to walk around that it seems a shame to miss it whilst on a tram, train or taxi.
Of course, the popular way to get around Amsterdam is by bike which is inexpensive.
Related Post: Walking Guide from Amsterdam Central to Rijksmuseum.
Eating in Amsterdam on a Budget
One of the best ways to find cheap eats in Amsterdam is to go where the locals do and not the tourists which is the case in all big cities.
If you are on a budget in Amsterdam avoid eating in all of the main tourist areas (you’ll know exactly what area is touristy when you get there) because this is where prices will be higher because of the tourist market.
I found the price of food in Amsterdam to be similar to London. Some examples of what I ate and what I paid are:
Dinner at Stayokay Zeeburg Hostel – €9.90
Lunch & Coffee at a nice cafe in the Centre – €16.20
Brunch at Drovers Dog with coffee in Zeeburg – €14.90
Starter and Main at a Noodle Bar in the Centre – €19.45
Dutch Fries with Mayonnaise from a stall – €3.00
Just a heads up, the prices mentioned here are based on data from a few years back, so they might not quite match up with the current rates.
Budget Attractions in Amsterdam
A trip to Amsterdam doesn’t mean buying tickets for lots of attractions because it’s a beautiful and amazing city to see on foot without going in anywhere!
Whilst in Amsterdam on a budget, I did pay for a canal boat tour. I really enjoyed it and I learned a lot from the commentary so I’d highly recommend going on a boat trip to Amsterdam, even if you are on a budget.
I booked this at a stand in the city and paid €16.00 for an hour trip. Here are some boat trips in Amsterdam for a reasonable price:
There are many free and budget things to do in Amsterdam. A free walking tour is a must of course and there are many on offer. I really enjoyed doing this in Amsterdam and learnt a lot too.
If you like museums, I’d recommend picking just one museum and going to this rather than trying to visit them all.
There are more free things to do in Amsterdam here!
Getting to Amsterdam on a Budget
Finally, how to get to Amsterdam on a budget. This is going to depend on where you are visiting from.
From the UK, there are so many ways of getting to Amsterdam. Infact, there are 4 ways of getting to Amsterdam without flying that I recommend checking out as these vary in price, especially the option of getting the boat from Northern England.
The Eurostar and flying will always be more expensive, sometimes you can get a deal on cheap flights to Amsterdam but it’s best to book in advance.
How Much I Spent on a Budget Weekend in Amsterdam?
Overall, 2 Days in Amsterdam on a budget excluding flights and accommodation cost me about £100.00 which I was really happy about! With accommodation on a Friday & Saturday night, it would have cost me £180.00.
A few points to keep in mind about how I visited Amsterdam on a Budget for a Budget Weekend in Amsterdam!
I visited Amsterdam solo and I wasn’t bothered about partying or eating in really fancy places in Amsterdam.
My aim of going to Amsterdam solo and on a budget was to see the beautiful and iconic canals and streets, eat some dutch fries and maybe a waffle.
If this sounds like you and what you want from a trip to Amsterdam then read on. If you plan to go out drinking and clubbing you may not find this post as relatable as your costs will increase!
I hope this post helps you out and convinces you that you can visit Amsterdam on a Budget.
To look up accommodation in Amsterdam check out Booking.com!