Easy as ABC – Amsterdam for the Budget Conscious
The Budget Conscious: Ahh, Amsterdam. Windmills. Those infamous windows and cafes. And then there’s the… umm… is that it?
If you don’t plan to visit Amsterdam, you plan to miss out on one of Europe’s coolest cities and, unlike the tourist hubs of Paris and Barcelona, there’s plenty of room to get around! Here are some ideas to get you started.
See why UNESCO liked it and put a ring on it
Okay, the ring was already there. In fact, the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Canal Ring of Amsterdam is 400 years old and still famously striking. The elegant gables and the curious leaning of the buildings make them look like gingerbread houses. Add a few canal festivals throughout the year and this enticing city becomes even more colourful. Unsurprisingly, the best way to appreciate the canals is by a cruise. Prices start at a reasonable €15, but look online for better rates and get the best deal by purchasing a group ticket with some fellow travellers. Staying in a hostel? Ask if there is a tour already booked that you can join.
Get a windmill selfie – or five
You’re in The Netherlands, you need a selfie with a windmill. We get it. By why limit yourself to just one when you can catch the 391 bus to the Zaanse Schans, a free open air museum of Dutch industry that works as a retirement village for old windmills. There are plenty of opportunities for windmill selfies, wooden clog selfies and giant cheese selfies. While you’re there, try some free cheese samples. Purple-coloured lavender cheese, anyone?
Skip the cookies and enjoy snacktastic street food
the Budget Conscious: The cafés that your parents won’t admit to visiting are still there. But there is much more to consume in Amsterdam beyond cookies and brownies. The Dutch have mastered snacking, so look out for street vendors selling well-priced, easy-to-carry food (a very useful form in a city that’s easily doable on foot). Stacked fries with dozens of sauce options (Vlaamse Frites), deep-fried meatballs (Bitterballen) and fluffy mini pancakes (Poffertjes) are all essential eats during your stay and there’s bound to be a few vendors close to your accommodation. Don’t want to wait? You can get croquettes from vending machines. Seriously.
End your day (and start your night) with cheap drinks
What happens when a bass player tours Europe and gets addicted to Belgian beer? He buys an old bath house and creates Amsterdam’s biggest brewery. Savour this unusual success story with a €5 brewery tour at ‘t IJ and get a drink included in the price. When it comes to the rest of the hot drinking spots in town, look out for pub crawl tours. Some may include drinks, but better deals can be found with free tours that offer discounted drinks instead. Pop into any of the city’s hostels to find out what tour deals are on offer, the staff there is bound to know!
Tell everyone about how they are missing out!
Amsterdam is a young city at heart, with a relaxed daytime vibe and a lively night scene. There is a confidence to Amsterdam: the city knows how great it is and doesn’t need to shout it. Once you’ve spent a few days soaking up that feeling, you’ll have that confidence too.
Amsterdam isn’t just affordable, you can’t afford to miss it!