Amsterdam on a budget

Taking a trip to one of the most popular cities in the world can definitely be expensive – but it doesn’t have to be! Amsterdam has plenty of options for tourists on a budget. There are plenty of things to do in Amsterdam that won’t cost you a cent. Our staff at Shelter Youth Hostels have put together some of their favourite free things to do in Amsterdam for those of you who are on a budget.

Free Concerts

If you love live music, Amsterdam is the place to be. The city is filled with street performers. Spending an afternoon enjoying entertainment from some local artists is a great option for travellers visiting Amsterdam on a budget. You can find these talented musicians in several places throughout the city, including markets, parks, and outside museums.

If you’re visiting Amsterdam on a budget and prefer to stay indoors, there are also free concerts at Het Concertgebouwon on Wednesday afternoon and at Het Muziektheateron on Tuesday afternoon . These short, thirty-minute concerts are put on by musicians as they practice for paid performances later in the evening. However, their afternoon performances are free! These venues each offer some great afternoon entertainment that will not cost you anything. You can also enjoy some free jazz music every Tuesday evening at the The Bimhuis.

Parks & Nature

Amsterdam is filled with beautiful parks where you can enjoy nature and simply relax. Vondelpark is the perfect spot for a picnic or a run. This is one of Amsterdam’s most popular parks. However, if you’re looking for a less busy location, we’d also recommend visiting Westerpark or Oosterpark. However, if you’d still like to spend time in the city reading a book or admiring the architecture, you can also visit the Begijnhof, a small square surrounded by 18th and 19th century houses.

Canals & Buildings

Amsterdam’s architecture is one of the things that makes the city so iconic. If you’re looking to get a feel for the culture and history of the city, walking along the canals and admiring the buildings in Amsterdam is a great option for travellers on a budget. There are many areas in Amsterdam that are especially beautiful, the Jordaan being a very famous one. This area offers several little cafes and shops to enjoy. While not all shop prices in this area are ideal for travellers on a budget, there are several budget-friendly hidden gems to be found in the area if you’re willing to look for them. This area is also a close walk or bike ride away from both of the Shelter Hostels.

Market Mania

Markets are in high supply in Amsterdam. Amsterdam offers a wide selection of flower markets, flea markets, cheese markets and many more markets. These markets can be found all across the city, and vary from day to day. This is definitely a great option for those visiting Amsterdam on a budget, even if you end up buying things because the markets have great prices. Going to a market is definitely part of the full Amsterdam experience.

Free Walking Tours

While canal and bus tours of Amsterdam can be more expensive, walking tours are typically the best way to see Amsterdam if you’re on a budget. The tours are often free or simply provide the opportunity for you to support them with a donation. Free walking tours are available, leaving from Dam Square at different times in the day. In addition to being a budget-friendly way of seeing the city, walking tour guides often have a lot of interesting insight into Amsterdam’s history as well. Both the Shelter Jordan and Shelter City hostels offer free walking tours of Amsterdam for guests.

Free Museums

Amsterdam also has several budget-friendly and free museums. The Cheese museum and the EYE film museum are just a couple examples. The Tulip Museum, though not free, is one of Amsterdam’s less expensive options. It is located next to the Cheese Museum, which is free and offers free samples in addition to products available for purchase. If you’re interested in visiting some of Amsterdam’s larger museums, be sure to look at their prices before your arrival. Some museums, will offer group or youth rates. For example, the Rijksmuseum offers free entrance for youth under 18 years.

Restricting your budget during your time in Amsterdam doesn’t have to restrict your enjoyment of the city. Amsterdam has something to offer for everyone. Be sure to ask our staff for more of their personal favourites when you visit!

Discover the beauty of Amsterdam