Kicking around Amsterdam doesn’t have to be expensive. There is so much to see for free. You will enjoy walking along the canals and taking in the art and architecture. People-watch from the sidewalk cafes and coffee houses. Here are some ideas to really stretch your budget; 10 things to do in Amsterdam for under €10.
Rent a Bike. There are, just shy of a million bicycles in Amsterdam. There are more bikes than people! Cycling in Amsterdam is made more accessible by the city’s fantastic network of cycle routes and flat terrain. Amsterdam is a super cycle-friendly city. Cycling is safe, enjoyable and great way to get your exercise. Find out more about bike rental in Amsterdam here. (€10+)
Relax on the lawn of the Begijenhof. The Begijnhof is one of Amsterdam’s oldest courtyards. Surrounded by a collection of historic buildings turned private dwellings, the courtyard is a serene, hidden gem. On the grounds where the former Béguinage (convent) was, there are two churches, Catholic Houten Huys and the English Reformed Church. Make your way through the heavy entrance door and step from the crowded city to a quiet retreat.(Free)
Eat like a local. In case you weren’t aware, food and drinks can be expensive in Amsterdam. For eating on the cheap, pick up your breakfast and snacks at day markets, like the Albert Cuyp Markt or Ten Kate Markt. For lunch eat like a local try the herring. Raw herring may sound intimidating, but every traveler to Amsterdam should try it. Haringhandels (herring carts) serving up this Dutch specialty can be found all over the city. Not sure what to order? Ask for a ‘broodje haring,’ fish served in a small sandwich with pickles and onions. For the very best raw herring try it between May and July. (€4+)
Wander around the Jordaan District. Said to be Amsterdam’s most charming neighborhood, Jordaan feels like a step back in time. Once a working-class area, the labyrinth of narrow streets and picturesque buildings are now desired by Amsterdam’s up and coming. You’ll find independent art galleries, antique shops, quaint courtyard gardens, bars, and restaurants. (Free)
Tour Westerkerk. Built between 1619 and 1631, it is Amsterdam’s largest church. The Westerkerk (The Western Church) bell tower is a source of pride and a symbol of the city for the Dutch. Climb to the top of the tower on a guided tour for breathtaking views. The guide will set you up with all kinds of information about other attractions around the city too. On Tuesdays, from noon to 1p the carillon concert on 42 bells is played from the Westerkerk Tower. Sometimes you can even hear them play Beatles tunes! (€7+)
Try Flemish fries with mayo at Vlemincky. Hands down the best fries you will find in Amsterdam. For over 57 years the Sausmeester has been selling home-made fries. Vlaams Friteshuis Vleminckx is well-known for his sauces. There are 16 different sauces to choose from including yellow curry sauce and Belgian mayonnaise. Seriously, who doesn’t like fries? (€6+)
Visit the Anne Frank House. The visit to the Anne Frank House is an incredibly thought-provoking experience. There were terrible crimes committed against the Jews during World War II. The Prinsengracht house is where Anne Frank and her family hid from the Nazis for two years. While the front of the house is now a fascinating museum, the back annex has been preserved. Wait times can be lengthy; so go early in the morning. (€9)
Take in a performance at Vondelpark. Vondelpark is the city’s largest park hosts an open-air theater where you can catch all kinds of performances in the summer. They have everything from dances to concerts and festivals to plays. Pack a picnic and enjoy!(Free)
Dive into the local brews. There are only eight remaining windmills in Amsterdam. Put de Gooyer in the Oostelijke Eilanden (Eastern Docklands) neighborhood on your list. Under the giant sails of this landmark rests Brouwerij‘t Ij; an award-winning artisan microbrewery with a large beer garden terrace. The brewery produces a wide range of organic and seasonal ales. You can thank me later. It’s only open for 2p-8p so plan accordingly! The brewery tour takes about 20 minutes and includes a free beer of choice. Tickets can be purchased at the bar. (€6)
Get Cultured. In the heart of the city, on the Keizersgracht, you’ll find the canal house, Museum Van Loon. Restored to its original 18th-century state, the home of the regent family Van Loon, offers a glimpse into the golden age of trading when Willem van Loon co-founded the Dutch East-India Company. The home was originally built in 1672 and houses a rich collection of art and artifacts from the day. (€9)
If you can afford it, go for the iAmsterdam City Card. It’s €87 for 72 hours. €87 might seem a lot, but consider everything included! With the iAmsterdam City Card, you get unlimited use of the GVB public transport system for the duration of your card. This includes all GVB buses, trams, and metros in the city. You can enjoy discounts on bike rentals, theater tickets, restaurants, and more! The iAmsterdam City Card also includes a free 1-hour canal cruise valid at all participating canal cruise companies. Other free attractions include a heap of museums, like the Van Gogh Museum. You can also access Amsterdam Castle Muiderslot, Museum Van Loon (mentioned above), Hortus Botanicus Botanical Gardens, Ajax Stadium Tour, Amsterdam Tulip Museum and so much more. They do have a 24-hour (€59), 48-hour (€74), and 96-hour (€94) cards as well.
What are your budget-friendly finds in Amsterdam? Let us know in the comments below.