Visiting Amsterdam on a Budget

Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam is the artistic capital city of the Netherlands known for its picturesque and iconic canal system.  Narrow houses line the canals and bicycles–the main mode of transportation–fill the street.  Dutch culture is not one to be missed.  Although this city is on the more expensive side, you can still visit Amsterdam on a budget. We recommend spending at least 2 days here.  Here is our guide on visiting Amsterdam, Netherlands on a budget. 

One of the iconic canals in Amsterdam

Note: This guide is written on a trip taken in early April

What to do in Amsterdam on a Budget

Anne Frank House Tour

This is out #1 recommendation to do in Amsterdam. The story of Anne Frank is truly remarkable. Seeing where she and her family lived during the war is very humbling. 

Tip: Make your reservation ASAP.  This tends to book out months in advance.  

Anne Frank Museum

FYI: You cannot take any pictures inside the museum/house 

Tour of the City via Bike

A very close #2 recommendation in Amsterdam is to take a biking tour. Biking is the main mode of transportation in Amsterdam so there is really no better way to experience the city than by biking through it. The tour we took brought us through all main areas of the city (Jordan Quarter, Vondelpark, Red Light District, etc) and it was fun to learn some history about each area along the way.

Biking Tour in Amsterdam
Biking Tour in Amsterdam

Amsterdam Bike Tour

Fun fact: Notice how narrow some of the houses are along the canals? The historic houses here tend to be taller than wider because when they were originally built, taxes were based on the width of the house, not the height, so people built houses as narrow as possible in order to keep their taxes down.


Vondelpark, Amsterdam
Vondelpark, Amsterdam

Vondelpark is the largest city park in Amsterdam where you will see many locals walking their dogs, biking, running, relaxing, etc. 

This park was very close to our hotel so we ran here in the morning, rode bikes through the paths in the afternoon and walked here for a free concert at night.  The vibe was different at all times of the day and we would recommend, if time allows, seeing it at a couple different times. It is also neat to see the very impressive and expensive houses that surround the park.

Bonus: Consider taking a day trip to Keukenhof Gardens (iconic tulip fields) if you are visiting in the springtime and have an extra day.

What to eat in Amsterdam


Stroopwafel in Museum Square in Amsterdam
Stroopwafel in Museum Square in Amsterdam

Warm creamy caramel placed in between two very thin and crispy waffles.  This desert is absolutely delicious.  Make sure you get at least one, if not more, while you are here.  

Where to Stay in Amsterdam on a Budget

We’d recommend staying near museum square or Vondelpark as both are very central locations. You will be able to walk to all the main attractions from both. 

Museum Square, Amsterdam
Museum Square, Amsterdam

Max Brown Hotel Museum Square

We stayed at Max Brown Hotel Museum Square and would highly recommend it. 

This quaint hotel is made up of four traditional townhouses. With the traditional townhouses comes extremely steep stairs and small rooms.  Pictures do not do either justice.  Both the steep stairs and small rooms added to our true Amsterdam experience. 

The very narrow steep stairs common in Amsterdam
The very narrow steep stairs common in Amsterdam

The breakfast included here was excellent and when we left earlier than the scheduled breakfast time to catch a train our last day morning in Amsterdam, they packed us a to-go breakfast.  

This hotel was more expensive than what we typically spend on hotels but it was more budget friendly than everything else we found in Amsterdam.

Max Brown Hotels

We hope this post helps you plan what to do while visiting Amsterdam, Netherlands on a budget.  We’d love to hear your feedback and questions.  Anything else you’d add to our guide on visiting Amsterdam, Netherlands on a Budget?  Leave us a comment! 

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Planning a multi-city trip to Europe? See our How to Plan Your First Europe Trip on a Budget guide for more tips on how to do this.

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