Being a very popular tourist destination, Amsterdam isn’t the cheapest city in Europe to visit. However, it can be done cheaply if you are on a budget and are willing to make some “sacrifices”. To us, these are just what makes our trips amazing, and what makes them last longer! Here is our cheap(ish) guide to Amsterdam!
*All prices below are based on 2 people*
The cheapest place to hit the hay at night (or for some party-goers during the day?) is definitely a campsite. We spent €20/night compared to spending roughly €80 for a double private room in a hostel dorm. If you don’t mind sharing a room, then this is cost is obviously lower, however you will still fork out between €30-40/night.
We prefer the camping option as it meant we had our own privacy. It also meant we could book last minute locations, helping us maintain flexibility with our trip. We stayed at Vligenbos campsite which catered for tents, caravans and campervans. They also had small glamping pods available for rent. The campsite was very well equipped with plenty of amenities, a shop and café and even live music, depending on what day of the week you are there. This campsite is a 10-minute walk and then 2-minute metro to Amsterdam Centraal station.
The best way to travel around the city is by tram. The last time we visited Amsterdam we toured the city on foot which would obviously be the cheaper option, however if you’re short on time and want to see a lot of the city it would be better value to take advantage of the public transport. Spoilt for choice between the bus, metro and tram system, you will always find a quick way of getting around.
Day passes cost €7.50pp for 24 hours, €12.50pp for 48 hours or €17.50pp for 72 hours. We made our money back on these pretty quickly the amount of travelling we did on them. This was also surprisingly cheaper than hiring a bike for the day!
Food and Drink
Restaurants and bars can be pretty pricey in Amsterdam and if you eating out it would be best to avoid the areas around the square as they tend to be eye-wateringly expensive. If you are smart during your search for grub, there are lots of lanes branching off from the squares where you may find cheaper options.
Keep an eye out for places with lunch deals on that may finish at 5 o clock, that way you can have an early dinner at a cheaper price! If you’re heading out for a boozy night then your cheaper option would be to pre-drink on some cheap supermarket beer and then head out. If you stop by the local Aldi/Lidl, you can get cans of cold beer for as little as 50c!
If you are staying somewhere with cooking facilities, or even if you’re not, not all of your meals need to be bought from a restaurant. There are cheap supermarkets in the city: Deen, Aldi and Lidl. We got breakfast, 2 lunches, dinner, drinks and snacks costing only €13! Backpacker bargain! However, we did always say we want to try the local cuisine, so we made sure that we had at least one breakfast, lunch and dinner from a restaurant, and made the rest ourselves.
As much as restaurants and bars can be expensive in the city, the attractions are quite reasonably priced. We spent a total of €65 on attractions during our visit, giving us access to the Anne Frank house, A’dam lookout and swing, and a free walking tour which we loved so much we tipped €10. This is much cheaper than other famously expensive cities, such as London.
If you have access to the internet, try booking your tickets online as they will sell out fast and there is sometimes even a discount for booking online. If you don’t have internet access, pick up a leaflet from a Tickets and Tours shop, as these have discount coupons for attractions around the city. Each of these attractions we did were brilliant and we would highly recommend them. For more isnpiration for your trip, have a look at our favourite 15 activities in Amsterdam.
Amsterdam is a city full of beauty and a massive amount of history and it should not be skipped just because of its cost. We are quite famous amongst our friends for being extremely tight with money, yet we still adore this city.
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