Amsterdam on a Budget: 10 simple ways to save on your trip

Amsterdam isn’t the most expensive city in Europe (we’re looking at you London!), but it’s certainly not the cheapest. When visiting Amsterdam, you can expect to pay a little bit more for all of the essentials than you would in a place like Italy or Spain.

Luckily, with a little bit of planning and know-how, a visitor can easily keep to a budget in Amsterdam.

Amsterdam on a budget: 10 simple ways to save

Here are 10 ways to make that happen:

1. Avoid taxis if you can

Amsterdam is small and walkable, and public transport covers all areas of the city. A cab ride that costs you €20 to Museum Square is a quick and cheap €2.80 on the tram.

Please note: The city is not car-friendly, so time is rarely saved when cabbing it. If you must take a taxi, you can also try a private cab company like Uber. But a better solution is to go like a local and hop on a bike.


Wheels of Dutch cheese at the Saturday farmer’s market on Noordermarkt. Free samples are available! Photo: Craig Nelson

2. Shop the markets before the stores

This applies to food, clothes, trinkets, souvenirs, books and even wine. Waterlooplein’s flea market is open daily (except on Sundays) until 5 PM, while Nieuwmarkt and Noorderkerk have weekend markets with organic and locally grown produce and natural food products.

Mondays at Noorderkerk hold a vintage clothing market, while the Dappermarkt and Albert Cuypmarkt sell food, flowers, fresh fish stands, clothes, souvenirs and more. The flower market, however, is tourist priced. Here’s a list of our favorite outdoor markets in Amsterdam.

Related: 5 cheapo souvenir ideas to bring home from Amsterdam

3. Get an unlimited ticket for the trams

Instead of buying your tram tickets one by one at €2.80 each ride, think about an option that gives you unlimited access over one, two, three or seven days. The rates are quite reasonable:

  • One day ticket: €18
  • Two day: €24
  • Three day: €30

Not only will you save money, but it’s just easier to hop on and off with this type of ticket. Tickets can be purchased sometimes on the tram itself, but try to buy at the metro area under Amsterdam Central Station if you can. (You can also purchase them online through the official transportation website.)

4. Think before paying for audio guides at museums

Now, we do love audioguides, so nobody take offense here. But at most museums in Amsterdam, many (if not most) descriptions of artwork and artist biographies are posted in both Dutch and English. Most likely the free info pamphlets will also be in Dutch and English.

So before reaching for an audio guide that costs extra, make sure it’s worth it — or that you’re really into the subject. We think the Van Gogh museum’s audioguide is worth a splurge, but think twice with Rijksmuseum and Anne Frank House, as you might be fine without it.

5. Skip the hotel breakfast and head to a bakery

Amsterdammers aren’t big on breakfast. Brunch on the weekends has recently caught on, but the usual morning starts with a simple combination of a baked good paired with fresh orange juice or coffee. The city is stocked with bakeries on every corner, selling whole-grain croissants, freshly baked bread rolls and cheese-filled pastries. It’s a cheaper option than any café that serves a typical American-style breakfast, and it might just be a tastier option as well.

It’s also probably a more affordable option that what’s being served at your hotel. As we mention in our Amsterdam hotel guide, ask when checking into your hotel about the breakfast menu. Before committing to pay for it, know what’s being served. A nearby bakery is probably a better deal.

6. Buy water at grocery stores

All that walking (and maybe biking!) is going to work up a thirst. With a lack of drinking fountains and free tap water, you should try to always buy your daily water at the nearest grocery store.

A normal bottle of water will cost about €2.50 at a snack stand or kiosk in the center of town. And you’ll see tourists lined up to buy them. However, at a grocery store, that same bottle will cost less than a euro—even for the fanciest mineral water. In fact, you’ll be able to buy an entire liter for less than a euro.

It might sound small, but the savings can really add up over the course of a week.

Bicycle Hotel

Bicycle Hotel in De Pijp neighborhood offers rooms starting at $50. Photo: EuroCheapo

7. For cheaper hotels, think outside the center

Hotels outside the city center are usually newer, renovated and slightly larger than hotels in the Red Light District and around Dam Square. Although you can find some good deals in the center, venturing to neighborhoods like De Pijp, Plantagebuurt, or  Jordaan will offer refreshing alternatives not that far from the big attractions.

And plus, if you purchase an unlimited tram ticket (see above), you’ll still be able to explore the city to your heart’s content. See all of our recommended hotels in Amsterdam here and read out round up of our 10 favorite budget hotels in Amsterdam.

8. Avoid the Argentinian steakhouses

You’ll see them all over town, but there is really nothing Dutch or cultural about them. Argentinean steakhouses are just here for tourists. Most offer daily specials of steak and fries for about €20. Not too costly, but if you’re looking to spend your dime on quality food, try something else and use these tips to save when dining out.

9. Opt for beer and wine at the bar

If drinks are on the nightlife agenda, stick to beer and wine. Cocktails, mixed drinks, and anything bubbly is going to cost you. The alternatives are more impressive and half the price: house wine is usually something tasty from France or Spain, while the brews can be a classic pils or even a strong Belgian beer. Here’s a list of our favorite bars for beer.

Related: Navigating the exciting Amsterdam nightlife scene on a budget

10. Quantity over quality for bike rentals

To blend in like a local, hop on a bike to see the city. Timewise, it’s always cheaper to rent a bike for a long period of time, compared to just a few hours. Since bicycles are the main mode of transport in Amsterdam, it’s the most useful way to get around for natives and visitors alike. And rentals encourage this via their prices: a one-day rental could be anywhere from €7.50 to  €15, but a three-day rental could be also €15.

Here are a few rental agencies that offer the cheapest prices in town.

More ways to visit Amsterdam on a Budget

Be sure to check out more of our articles about ways to save on your trip to Amsterdam here.

The post Amsterdam on a Budget: 10 simple ways to save on your trip appeared first on EuroCheapo's Budget Travel Blog.

Source: Euro Cheapo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.