Travelling On A Budget In Amsterdam

I am a budget traveller.  Hostels are the best places, in my opinion, to stay because you get to meet so many other people.  I think of it like this:  the accommodation is just for sleeping in.  However, there are some great little B&Bs and budget hotels around these days.

Travelling On A Budget In Amsterdam

Amsterdam isn’t cheap for travellers.  Especially in mid- and high-season.  Accommodation can be expensive – however, luckily things like food isn’t so bad!

In Amsterdam I got stuck between a rock and a hard place.  I didn’t book my accommodation there until the night before, all of the hostels were booked (I don’t know why) and unfortunately that is why I had to stay at a crummy hotel that was so overpriced.  It was $160 per night.  It did include a continental breakfast though.  Sadly, the room I was in was cold because the window didn’t shut properly.  It was spring time, but still chilly at night, and I was wearing my jumper, trackies and 2 pairs of socks.

Fortunately in Amsterdam I had 1.5 days and 1 night and  I was leaving for Bruges at about 12pm.  I had already spent time in Amsterdam with my family there prior to going to visit more family in Zeeland.  Getting back to Amsterdam was just a quick stop to catch my breath before going to Belgium.  This would be my third time in Amsterdam, so I feel like I know the city really well now!


Despite setbacks like accommodation being pricey, there are many ways that you can cut back on spending and limit how much you spend so that you can keep on budget.

  1. Visit the local supermarket (Albert Heijn is a good example) and buy some fruit, bread and a little bit of cheese for lunch.
  2. Get frites.  Ok, so you can find some great little places that aren’t too pricey.  And who can say no to frites anyway?
  3. For dinner:  This can be tricky – since I was staying in a ‘budget’ hotel I had no access to a kitchen.  I ended up finishing off some Krentenbollen that my mum’s cousin had given me.  If I was in a hostel I would probably make something really simple and easy like toast or pasta.
  4. Do free things.  Of course, there are exceptions – like Anne Frank’s Huis.  That is something that is sad, but it’s something that is historical.  There are also a heap of museums.
  5. Walk.  Amsterdam is a walkable, although big, city.  It is easy to get lost – look for the tallest object that you can see – e.g. church spire or train station – and use it as you mark.  If you get lost look for it and make you way back to it.

Here are a few photos from my time in Amsterdam.  It is certainly a beautiful city and I could spend many more hours, days, weeks and months there.

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There are honestly so many things to do in Amsterdam.  I love the city and can’t wait to go back again.  

Here are a few things that may be a bit pricey (but are totally worth it)

-Catch a movie at one of the oldest movie theatres in Amsterdam:Pathé Tuschinski

-Get Wok to Walk = a-ma-zing.

-Buy cheese.  I got some cheese as a gift for my mum.  There are a few places that sell cheese that you can take back overseas as it is packed specially.  Problem?  By the end of the trip my bag STUNK.  Every time I opened my bag I got a bad whiff.

-Hire a bike.  One of the best ways to get around Amsterdam is by bike.  Of course it is scary.  It was an fabulous experience biking into Amsterdam.  One of my fellow travellers crashed into a pole.  Another got her wheel stuck in a tram line.  I thought I was going to die and I couldn’t wait to get to the canal boat that we were staying in.  It was a great experience that I look back on and think ‘could I do that again?’.  Probably not, but at least I tried 😀

-Go to a small pub and order Bitterballen.  OMG NOM.  Seriously.  I love Bitterballen (my mum’s cousin makes divine Bitterballen – but pub ones suffice).

-Drink at least one beer.  My Uncle tried to educate me on different types of beer e.g. pils.  It went over my head.  It really doesn’t matter what beer you get.

-Go for a walk and accidentaly on purpose get terribly lost – getting lost in the Red Light District is optional 😀


If you want to have a look at my other travel tips and posts check out:

Maps and Guide Books

My Flight Essentials

Top Tips For Travelling Light


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