Your Perfect Plan For Visiting Amsterdam On The Cheap
We love Amsterdam. There’s almost nothing we don’t adore about the canal-filled city, from the bicycles to the markets to the cafes. However, it’s an expensive city (and we totally understand why since the quality of life is superb). So we broke down the best ways to make a trip to Amsterdam completely within your budget.
Where To Eat
It’s not the cheapest pie in the ‘Dam, but it’s definitely one of the tastiest. A coffee and appletaart here is the best way to start your day for less than $10. P.S. The apple pie isn’t on the menu, so just ask the waiter.
Pepperworte’s lunch deal offers yummy meals for about $10. Think quiche, salad and falafel wraps. Dinners won’t run you much more than $15 — still a bargain for a top tourist destination.
Buurtboerderij Ons Genoegen
This parkside spot is perfect for happy hour, with bar snacks like local specialty bitterballen (deep-fried meatballs) costing less than $5. A grilled cheese sandwich is about $3. And a beer? Just $2.50.
The move at Skek is small plates to share and splitting a main course. The grilled halloumi appetizer comes with blanched spinach and peaches ($6) and pairs nicely with the stuffed pepper entrée, served with couscous and salsa verde ($15).
Where To Drink
Amsterdam Roest has an indoor seating area designed to look like a swanky basement and an outdoor picnic area with a beach volleyball court. Cocktails are around $8 and it’s only a couple Euro for a beer (less than $5).
Canalfront Waterkant is a hotspot not too far from touristland. A pint here is around $6 and mixed drinks come in under $10. You’re paying for ambience here, but we’re on board for the views.
Brouwerij ’t IJ
This brewery takes beer seriously. And that means you can find a huge selection for a great price (around $4) and end up drinking with local connoisseurs.
Where To Stay
A lot of your Amsterdam budget will be taken by accommodations. Unless you’re a hearty partier, don’t be tempted by the cheap route at a hostel — they’re packed with stoned backpackers. (Yes, we’ve personally paid the price for being this particular type of cheapskate in the ‘Dam. Not pretty.)
The average price of an Airbnb in Amsterdam is $171, meaning you can easily find something around $80. This is still a more manageable route for a budget traveler than a hotel in the same area of the city. Our favorite neighborhoods are De Pjip, Amsterdam Oud-West and Jordaan, but the city has almost endless charming corners where you’ll fall in love with the local flavor.
What To Do
Luckily, the best part of Amsterdam is completely free — wandering the canals. But besides your self-guided walking tour, you can also do a lot for nada in the city. If you go during the spring, don’t miss the floating flower market right in the city center. It’s full of bright tulip blooms when they’re in season. The Vondelpark is Amsterdam’s biggest green space and a great spot for a picnic. Taking a peek at the Red Light District is also free, but know it’s not a free peep show — don’t take photos of the women in the windows. For shopping, check out the Albert Cuyp Markt for clothes, fresh produce and the best stroopwafel in the city.
Now, Amsterdam’s museums are a challenge to the budget traveler. Entrance to just one can cost close to $25. So we suggest prioritizing your museum picks from one to five and visiting your top two or three, depending on how much your wallet can spare.
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