Netherlands

Cheap(ish) guide to Amsterdam

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*

 

Amsterdam

 

 

Accommodation

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.

 

Amsterdam

 

 

Transport

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!

 

Amsterdam

 

 

Shops

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.

 

 

 

 

Attractions

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

 

 

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.

If you want to read more about our travels around Europe, have a look at our other articles here. Also subscribe to our monthly newsletter, where we will keep you up to date on our posts, as well as give you travel extras such as tips and discounts.

 

Gemma

 

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3 Comments

  • Esther - Little Explorer Adventures

    This guide is awesome! Got quite a few ideas now of how to save money when we visit Amsterdam. Really glad to hear there are supermarkets like Aldi, this will definitely be our go to place for snacks. Does the 24/48/72 hour travel pass include all modes of transport? Do we buy it from the main station? Also, do you have any more info on the free walking tour? Thanks!

    • Campbell

      Thanks for commenting! It includes all modes within the city, trams, buses and underground but not trains. You can buy it from any corner shop. We got it from the shop that sits within Amsterdam Sloterdijk. I’m sure you can also buy it from shops in Amsterdam Centraal or around the city. We simply googled Amsterdam free walking tour, however they leave from the main square almost every hour and carry huge umbrellas, so are easy to see! Enjoy your trip 😁

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