Amsterdam on a budget

Amsterdam on a Budget | Best Budget Amsterdam Guide

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If you are looking to enjoy Amsterdam on a budget then you are in the right place. Amsterdam is a notoriously expensive city and travelling to Amsterdam as a budget traveller can be quite difficult. However, with a few tips and tricks, discovered by a local like me, you can enjoy this stunning city without breaking the bank.

As the capital city of the Netherlands and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe, the prices for everything in Amsterdam are inflated. Hotels and restaurants are more expensive than in other cities in the Netherlands and finding budget options take a little bit of time. Luckily, there are some ways to save on accommodation and eating out, plus a plethora of free things to do in Amsterdam as well.

Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about visiting Amsterdam on a budget.

(Disclaimer: Some links in this post may be affiliate links, meaning if you click on the link and make a purchase, I receive a small commission. This is at no extra cost to you and you may even receive a small discount. See disclosure for more information.)

Daily Budget for Visiting Amsterdam

A daily budget for visiting Amsterdam varies greatly from person to person. It depends on where you stay, where you eat, what activities and attractions you visit, and anything else. However, below is an estimated budget based on the average traveler on a budget.

Amsterdam Daily Budget = ~140€

Hotel or Hostel: 60€Daily Food Costs: 35€Public Transportation: 7€
Entrance Tickets: 20€Alcohol: 20€Tips + Extra Costs: 5

You can always make these daily costs higher or lower depending on how strict of a budget you are on. For example, accommodation can cost less, however, the lower the cost the further you are from the city center which means higher travel costs. If you do decide to stay in a hostel in Amsterdam be sure to pack a good sleep mask, one of the top travel gifts, so you can get some sleep amongst the rowdy crowd.

Tips for saving money in Amsterdam

There are plenty of ways to save money in Amsterdam that will end up making your trip a lot more budget-friendly. Follow these tips:

  • Book your accommodation well in advance.
  • Book your visit during the offseason – November to February to find lower prices all around the city.
  • Take the train from the airport to the city center. Train tickets cost 5€ and will bring you to Amsterdam Central in around 20 minutes. From here you can take additional transportation.
  • Get an IAmsterdam City Card to save money on attractions and transportation. This card gives you access to various attractions all for a set price. If you plan on visiting multiple attractions this card is a must.
  • To save money on Transportation get the Amsterdam GVB Card. This ticket will allow you to save money while taking public transportation around the city. If you get the IAmsterdam Card you do not need this.
  • Rent a bike to save money on transportation.
Amsterdam on a budget

Things to do in Amsterdam on a Budget

Visit Dam Square

Dam Square is the biggest square in Amsterdam that is full of excitement. It is located just a short walk from Amsterdam Central Station and is a great thing to do in the city. Dam Square is home to the Royal Palace, Madame Tussauds, and is right by the city’s major shopping street. Entrance to the attractions costs money, but you can enjoy the square for free!

Dam Square

In the main area in front of the Royal Palace, there are always people ready to entertain. Whether that is performers, dancers, artists, or anything else. This is a great free place to visit in Amsterdam to enjoy a lively atmosphere with a ton to do and see. Be sure to add this to your Amsterdam on a budget itinerary.

Go to a Park

There are parks all around Amsterdam that are free to enter and enjoy. A visit here is a budget traveler’s dream because you get to enjoy the Amsterdam atmosphere at no cost. Parks are also a great place to head to for a budget lunch! Just stop at a grocery store and pick up a few items before heading to a park for a picnic.

The best parks in Amsterdam are: Vondelpark, Westerpark, Oosterpark.

Walk the Canals

Amsterdam canals

The canals of Amsterdam are unquestionably the highlight of the city. The vast canals lined with unique color houses are beyond stunning and exploring them is a must. There are so many stunning areas in Amsterdam to enjoy but the one with the nicest canals is the Jordaan. This is one of the more expensive areas that in the city that is packed with stunning canals and great attractions. Simply walking the streets of Amsterdam is not only one of the best things to do in Amsterdam but also free!

Explore the 9 Streets

The 9 streets are a famous grouping of 9 streets located in the Jordaan neighborhood of Amsterdam. These streets are full of trendy shops, unique cafes, and stunning surroundings. It is the best area to explore if you are looking for an aesthetic cafe or for a unique fashion item. When exploring the 9 streets you can just window shop if you are traveling on a budget. Find my complete guide on the 9 streets here.

Go Flower Shopping at Bloemenmarkt

Flowers and Amsterdam go hand in hand. The Netherlands is famous for its tulips fields that bloom in March-May, and they keep up the flower craze throughout the year. There are various places to find flowers in Amsterdam, the best being the floating flower market.

The floating flower market, called Bloemenmarkt in Dutch, is the world’s only floating flower market where you can find flowers, flower bulbs, and other flower souvenirs. It is the perfect place to walk around and admire the flower culture that is Amsterdam.

Visit a Museum


Amsterdam is full of amazing museums just waiting to be explored. A visit to a museum is not the most budget-friendly activity but if you save on a few other things and splurge on a museum ticket it can all even out. The museums in Amsterdam range from art to history, to science and more! Check out this complete Amsterdam museum guide for help.

If you plan on visiting a few museums and attractions be sure to get an IAmsterdam City Card. This card will save you a ton of money while in the city and is perfect for visiting Amsterdam on a budget.

Go on a Free Walking Tour

A free walking tour is a great way to see Amsterdam and learn more about the city. There are few walking tours in Amsterdam that will bring you to various famous places and attractions for no cost at all. The tour guides are always very knowledgeable which makes it the perfect thing to do to learn more about Amsterdam’s extensive history.

Join a Canal Cruise

Canal Cruise Amsterdam

Canal cruises are a great way to see Amsterdam. They bring you around the city for about an hour and show you the highlights of Amsterdam. You can embark on a canal cruise both morning and night to see the city of Amsterdam from a new perspective. A canal cruise costs about 15€ and is well worth the investment.

Stroll a Street Market

Amsterdam is full of street markets that are great to walk around and enjoy. This is a great place for budget travelers to shop for cheap items or to window shop. All the street markets in Amsterdam have a wonderful local flare that is wonderful to experience. The best ones to visit are Albert Cupy Market, Westerstraat Market, and the Waterlooplein market.

Visit the Red Light District

The Red Light District is one of Amsterdams most famous attractions. People flock here to view the unique environment where prostitution is legal. It is a very controversial area of the city but is well worth the visit as it is 100% free to walk around.

street in Amsterdams Red Light District

When to visit Amsterdam

The best time to visit Amsterdam on a budget is during the offseason. The months of November to February welcome far fewer tourists than the spring and summer months which means prices for everything are lower. Not only accommodation prices but also flights! This means you can enjoy a nice weekend trip at a fraction of the cost it would be during peak season.

Where to stay in Amsterdam on a Budget

The best place to stay in Amsterdam on a budget is in a hostel or cheap accommodation. You can find these all around the city in different neighborhoods. Find a complete Amsterdam neighborhood guide here. Below are some accommodation options.

Travel Insurance

It is important to have travel insurance before traveling. It’s the number one thing you should always pack before traveling that can save you a lot of money, time, and stress. World Nomads is a popular Travel Insurance choice. Enter your details below to get a free quote! 

Visiting Amsterdam on a budget is more than achievable! There are many ways to make your visit to Amsterdam fit within the budget constraints you need. Although it is a more expensive city, you can make it work for you.

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