Traveling to Amsterdam on a Budget

For less than $250/week

Traveling to Amsterdam on a budget

Whether Amsterdam is cheap or expensive could be a matter of perception, cause of course, every country has different minimum wages/cost of living. For the purpose of this post, I’m going to based my perception on the  american standards and give you some recommendations to keep it on budget. (As it is where I live)

In general, is not the most expensive city in Europe, although certain aspects of the city are not cheap.

Hostels vs Hotels

The best way (for me) to save money while traveling is by staying in a hostel. It is also a good way to meet people from all over the world (It’s really hard to meet people in the confines of your lonely hotel room ), and you can find plenty of cozy, cool and vibey ones.

If you decide to stay in a hotel, lodging will be for sure one of the largest expenses of your trip. You might find some cheap ones, (outside the centre) but they will still be more expensive and I still encourage you to stay in a hostel instead.

When you stay in an Amsterdam hostel, prices start at $10/per night in low season, against $60/night in a hotel for the same dates.

My favorite for sure is the the Meininger Hostel: 100% recommended, it looks just like a hotel: modern, cozy, cool and renovated. You can choose whether you wanna share the room with 3, 6 or 12 people. The rooms are beautifully decor, very clean and they offer vending machines in every floor. It is not in the middle of the town (one train station away instead)  but it’s worth it. We will talk about transportation costs later on.

So let’s say we only spend $50 here.

Walking and Biking

Transportation in Amsterdam shouldn’t be expensive if you decide to do what the locals: walk or bike everywhere. You could rent a bike for 5 euros a day if you wanna experience the full dutch experience (you can literally find bikes in every corner) but it’s not necessary in Amsterdam, as everything is within walking distance (besides the Heineken Museum, 20 miles away) while you enjoy the beautiful views of the cannal & architecture that this city has to offer.

If you are not staying in the centre but out in the suburbs for example, you could buy the 3-day ticket bundle (metro, bus, train) for 28 euros, or you can buy the Iamsterdam card from 60 to 105 Euros, depending on the amount of days, that will give you public transportation + attractions (we will talk about this later on)

Let’s assume you are staying in the center but decided to buy an Iamsterdam card to enjoy all the benefits. $50 + $60 = $110

Dining

It can be relatively affordable to eat and drink in Amsterdam. A cone of fresh fries with mayonnaise (dutch typical food) won’t be more than 4 euro, prices stay within that price range for beer & wine.

Seating in restaurants is of course a little bit more expensive, but still affordable. Prices could go between 7-10 euros per person.

The easiest way to keep food and drink costs low is to eat/cook at your hostel.

Let’s round the numbers to $20 a day in food, for a total of $100 for the week. There we have $210.

Museums and Attractions

There are a couple must-seen attractions in Amsterdam that will also fit in out budget:

If you decide to buy the Iamsterdam card, you could go with the 80 euros card (48 hours of unlimited time) and play around with your schedule, or you could choose the museums you want and save some bucks.


The museum is located just by the Central Station, in the centre. With an interesting and variety collection,  from pictures of the golden shower to live performances (people having sex in the middle of a room) and many pieces of art. It is not comparable to any other sex museum I have visited. Tickets are 5 euros and its open from 9:30am to 11:30pm every day.

Free with the Iamsterdam Card


A well known attraction worldwide. From brothels and sex shops to museums, it has it all.  It is a free to look. Unfortunately I do not know prices if you decide to get sassy.

The Netherlands stands out for being one of the most liberal and tolerant countries, embracing the fact that people will work in this industry.  So instead of criminalizing it, they “legalized”  prostitution, giving employees health insurance and forcing them to pay taxes.


Heineken Experience

$210 + 18 = $238

The Heineken Experience is one of Amsterdam’s most authentic and famous attractions, a good chance to test your bartender skills and learn about the most famous dutch beer there is. This factory used to manufacture all of the brand’s beer until 1988, when the production line was moved.

It is now a museum that offers self-guided tours, where you can discover the history of the company, the ingredients of the beer, the brewing process, a tasting room and the shop.

At the end of the tour you can enjoy 2 Heinekens and learn how to perfectly draught a beer. Tickets are 18 euros if you buy them online, 21 at the entrance.


Amsterdam canal at sunset with colorful bikes on the railway

Free 🙂

Canals are a symbol of Amsterdam, in between other things. The waterways with its picturesque buildings and nature can’t be found anywhere else. They were built in the 17th century to allow merchants to take their cargo directly to their own warehouses anywhere in the city. They are not a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Fun Fact: Amsterdam has more canals than Venice (and over 1500 bridges).


coffee shop amsterdam

8-10 euros= $248

As the Netherlands is one of the few countries that have “legalized” cannabis, (There are still regulations, you can find more on this topic here) Amsterdam coffee shops are for sure in the bucket list experiences of many tourists that come visit, from cannabis savvys to curious first-timers.

My advice: Don’t underestimate the effect, I did that mistake myself. Even if you’ve tried cannabis in the past, the dutch quality is usually higher and the strains are stronger.


Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam

Free with the Iamsterdam card we bought

Amsterdam offers an amazing lineup of museums, around 70. You can spend an entire day wandering around.  The Rijksmuseum Museum houses one of the most interesting history collections. The Stedelijk museum, instead,  is one of the world’s richest collections of contemporary art, with ninety thousand modern paintings, sculptures, photographs, graphics and designs.

The Van Gogh Museum is another must-see. Beyond great art, there is the Anne Frank House (where her family hid during the Nazi era)


Amsterdam houses the largest market in Europe. The Albert Cuypmarkt opens Mon-Sat; 9am-5pm and is located in the Pijo neighborhood, it has everything from food and clothes to art. If you wanna go local,  Marqt and Nieuwmarkt/ Boerenmarkt sell fresh produce and flowers grown by Dutch farmers.

Free 🙂


Amsterdam has a solid nightlife scene, with big variety when it comes to clubs and pubs. Is one of the most unique and diverse amongst Europe. There are venues, dance festivals and club nights for every taste. Being The Netherlands the capital of the electro music, DJs keep the crowd going all night long.

It depends on you alcohol consumption 🙂

Traveling to Amsterdam on a Budget

For less than $250/week

Traveling to Amsterdam on a budget

Whether Amsterdam is cheap or expensive could be a matter of perception, cause of course, every country has different minimum wages/cost of living. For the purpose of this post, I’m going to based my perception on the  american standards and give you some recommendations to keep it on budget. (As it is where I live)

In general, is not the most expensive city in Europe, although certain aspects of the city are not cheap.

Hostels vs Hotels

The best way (for me) to save money while traveling is by staying in a hostel. It is also a good way to meet people from all over the world (It’s really hard to meet people in the confines of your lonely hotel room ), and you can find plenty of cozy, cool and vibey ones.

If you decide to stay in a hotel, lodging will be for sure one of the largest expenses of your trip. You might find some cheap ones, (outside the centre) but they will still be more expensive and I still encourage you to stay in a hostel instead.

When you stay in an Amsterdam hostel, prices start at $10/per night in low season, against $60/night in a hotel for the same dates.

My favorite for sure is the the Meininger Hostel: 100% recommended, it looks just like a hotel: modern, cozy, cool and renovated. You can choose whether you wanna share the room with 3, 6 or 12 people. The rooms are beautifully decor, very clean and they offer vending machines in every floor. It is not in the middle of the town (one train station away instead)  but it’s worth it. We will talk about transportation costs later on.

So let’s say we only spend $50 here.

Walking and Biking

Transportation in Amsterdam shouldn’t be expensive if you decide to do what the locals: walk or bike everywhere. You could rent a bike for 5 euros a day if you wanna experience the full dutch experience (you can literally find bikes in every corner) but it’s not necessary in Amsterdam, as everything is within walking distance (besides the Heineken Museum, 20 miles away) while you enjoy the beautiful views of the cannal & architecture that this city has to offer.

If you are not staying in the centre but out in the suburbs for example, you could buy the 3-day ticket bundle (metro, bus, train) for 28 euros, or you can buy the Iamsterdam card from 60 to 105 Euros, depending on the amount of days, that will give you public transportation + attractions (we will talk about this later on)

Let’s assume you are staying in the center but decided to buy an Iamsterdam card to enjoy all the benefits. $50 + $60 = $110

Dining

It can be relatively affordable to eat and drink in Amsterdam. A cone of fresh fries with mayonnaise (dutch typical food) won’t be more than 4 euro, prices stay within that price range for beer & wine.

Seating in restaurants is of course a little bit more expensive, but still affordable. Prices could go between 7-10 euros per person.

The easiest way to keep food and drink costs low is to eat/cook at your hostel.

Let’s round the numbers to $20 a day in food, for a total of $100 for the week. There we have $210.

Museums and Attractions

There are a couple must-seen attractions in Amsterdam that will also fit in out budget:

If you decide to buy the Iamsterdam card, you could go with the 80 euros card (48 hours of unlimited time) and play around with your schedule, or you could choose the museums you want and save some bucks.


The museum is located just by the Central Station, in the centre. With an interesting and variety collection,  from pictures of the golden shower to live performances (people having sex in the middle of a room) and many pieces of art. It is not comparable to any other sex museum I have visited. Tickets are 5 euros and its open from 9:30am to 11:30pm every day.

Free with the Iamsterdam Card


A well known attraction worldwide. From brothels and sex shops to museums, it has it all.  It is a free to look. Unfortunately I do not know prices if you decide to get sassy.

The Netherlands stands out for being one of the most liberal and tolerant countries, embracing the fact that people will work in this industry.  So instead of criminalizing it, they “legalized”  prostitution, giving employees health insurance and forcing them to pay taxes.


Heineken Experience

$210 + 18 = $238

The Heineken Experience is one of Amsterdam’s most authentic and famous attractions, a good chance to test your bartender skills and learn about the most famous dutch beer there is. This factory used to manufacture all of the brand’s beer until 1988, when the production line was moved.

It is now a museum that offers self-guided tours, where you can discover the history of the company, the ingredients of the beer, the brewing process, a tasting room and the shop.

At the end of the tour you can enjoy 2 Heinekens and learn how to perfectly draught a beer. Tickets are 18 euros if you buy them online, 21 at the entrance.


Canals are a symbol of Amsterdam, in between other things. The waterways with its picturesque buildings and nature can’t be found anywhere else. They were built in the 17th century to allow merchants to take their cargo directly to their own warehouses anywhere in the city. They are not a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Fun Fact: Amsterdam has more canals than Venice (and over 1500 bridges).


coffee shop amsterdam

8-10 euros= $248

As the Netherlands is one of the few countries that have “legalized” cannabis, (There are still regulations, you can find more on this topic here) Amsterdam coffee shops are for sure in the bucket list experiences of many tourists that come visit, from cannabis savvys to curious first-timers.

My advice: Don’t underestimate the effect, I did that mistake myself. Even if you’ve tried cannabis in the past, the dutch quality is usually higher and the strains are stronger.


Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam

Free with the Iamsterdam card we bought

Amsterdam offers an amazing lineup of museums, around 70. You can spend an entire day wandering around.  The Rijksmuseum Museum houses one of the most interesting history collections. The Stedelijk museum, instead,  is one of the world’s richest collections of contemporary art, with ninety thousand modern paintings, sculptures, photographs, graphics and designs.

The Van Gogh Museum is another must-see. Beyond great art, there is the Anne Frank House (where her family hid during the Nazi era)


Amsterdam houses the largest market in Europe. The Albert Cuypmarkt opens Mon-Sat; 9am-5pm and is located in the Pijo neighborhood, it has everything from food and clothes to art. If you wanna go local,  Marqt and Nieuwmarkt/ Boerenmarkt sell fresh produce and flowers grown by Dutch farmers.

Free 🙂


Amsterdam has a solid nightlife scene, with big variety when it comes to clubs and pubs. Is one of the most unique and diverse amongst Europe. There are venues, dance festivals and club nights for every taste. Being The Netherlands the capital of the electro music, DJs keep the crowd going all night long.

It depends on you alcohol consumption 🙂

And this is how we could travel to Amsterdam on a budget and spend less than $250 in a week.

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