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Ways to enjoy Amsterdam on a budget

Discovering Amsterdam on a budget is totally possible! This city is the perfect destination if you want a little holiday without spending too much time and money. The city, in fact, can be easily visited in as little as 4-5 days and, with these tips on the many ways to enjoy Amsterdam on a budget you’ll be able to make the most out of your stay!

staying in amsterdam on a budget

When planning a trip, it’s important to be realistic about how much you have and what expenses you will be able to cover with that; the ideal budget for a stay in Amsterdam is on average €40-€80 a day per person if you’re travelling on a “backpacker’s budget”. But what does that mean?

Amsterdam city map

What’s a backpacker’s budget?

Whether you spend more or less money, that depends on the choices you make every day. The options are endless and, starting from your accommodation, there is something for every price range.

If you want to stick to the €40-€80 backpacker’s budget, then you should go for hostels and cheap B&B and, although it might not be a fancy stay, it will help you save a lot of money that you can spend on food and attractions.

Despite the increasingly famous yet pricey Airbnb will discourage you from finding a cheap hostel, there are many websites to check out, like the very specific Hostel World.

amsterdam on a budget

Particularly thanks to the incredibly efficient bike paths, Amsterdam is widely visited by tourists who are willing to rent a bike for the duration of their stay in order to get a more authentic experience. Renting a bike, however, has its costs and, being this city very compact, you will be able to visit it without the necessity of a bicycle nor public transportation. You can, in fact, walk from an attraction to another.

amsterdam budget guide

Great things to do for free in Amsterdam!

Amsterdam is known for being one of the most beautiful cities in the world and, with its canals classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, you know that you will see some impressive things here.

However, there are many places you can visit for free and this, of course, includes parks! The largest and most popular park in Amsterdam is Vondelpark, which attracts millions of visitors curious to explore its lawns, walking paths, ponds and playgrounds. This park is great for kids and grown-ups and it makes the perfect place to spend a relaxed couple of hours and maybe have a very inexpensive picnic.

Another park worth mentioning is the Museumplein, located in front of the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum.

However, there are still many other things to do for free. Amsterdam, in fact, is host to many markets, from the largest one (Albert Cuypmarkt) to smaller cute markets, like the Noordermarkt.

Wander around the many stools and explore the city with your five senses, smelling the beautiful flowers, tasting all the food there’s on offer and losing yourself through the many artefacts and vintage accessories on sale.

Things you will have to pay for

Of course, walking around the city’s characteristic canals and alleyways is a beautiful experience, however there are many more attractions you might want to stop by, like many museums. The average price for an admission ticket to one of the museums (such as the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum) is around €17.00, that will take a big chunk off your daily budget.

However, if you’re keen on visiting a museum but can’t afford any of the famous ones mentioned above, you should consider lesser known ones, like the FOAM Photography Museum (admission is €10), which features works from big-names as well as up-and-coming photographers. There is also the Huis Marseilles Photography Museum (€8 admission) and the Museum Our Lord in the Attic (€8 admission), a Catholic church hidden in the attic of a 17th-century house in the Red Light District.

It’s also worth mentioning that in Amsterdam is located the Anne Frank House, where you can walk in the original house where the young diarist’s family hid from the Nazis during World War II. The admission to this museum is €14 so leave it to the last day and, if you have some money left, pay it a visit. You won’t regret it.

Other things you will have to pay for, of course, include food. Amsterdam is known for its laid-back, chill environment and, to reflect that, most of the food places in the city are very relaxed as well.


Especially when traveling on a backpacker’s budget, you can’t expect to dine at a five-star restaurant, however, many of the cheap food places you will find around the city offer great munches at cheap prices.

Takeaways will cost you as little as €5 and this includes anything from typical Turkish kebabs to greasy, delicious pizzas! More suggestions can be found on Amsterdam Foodie and Euro Cheapo.

And always make sure you check out the prices before entering a restaurant, that will save you from a bad surprise at the end of your meal!

These are the things to do in Amsterdam on a budget, however, if you manage to put a little money together and want to see more, check out these 15 things to do in Amsterdam for more ideas!

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