Traveling on a Budget in Amsterdam – Tips for an Unforgettable Visit

Amsterdam marked the start of my recent European adventure, and it was nothing short of a dreamy introduction. Wandering through its cobblestone streets and alongside iconic canals, I found myself enchanted by the city’s charm. With a reputation for rich history, artistic heritage, and a friendly atmosphere, Amsterdam promised me a one-of-a-kind experience. Surprisingly, even with its fancy image, I figured out how to enjoy the city without emptying my wallet.

Amsterdam Central

Amsterdam, often touted as an expensive city, pleasantly surprised me with its budget-friendly options for savvy travelers. During my 5-day stay in the city, I managed to explore and experience a lot. Thanks to my shoestring budget, I uncovered affordable attractions and stumbled upon local gems that made my Amsterdam adventure truly unforgettable. If you find yourself in this city, here are some wallet-friendly tips for making the most of your stay.

Affordable Activities in Amsterdam

Basilica of Saint Nicholas

Exploring Amsterdam on a budget doesn’t mean missing out on all the fun. There are plenty of affordable activities to enjoy that showcase the city’s charm and culture without draining your wallet. From leisurely bike rides along picturesque canals to visiting free museums and exploring charming neighborhoods, there’s no shortage of options for budget travelers in Amsterdam. Join me as we uncover some of the best activities this city has to offer that will make your trip both memorable and affordable.

1. Explore the City by Bike

Bike tour in Amsterdam

When visiting Amsterdam, exploring the city by bike is an absolute must. Whether you choose to rent a bike or join a guided cycle tour, it’s an excellent way to fully immerse yourself in the local culture and embrace the city’s unique atmosphere. On my first day in Amsterdam, I decided to rent a bike and set off to explore on my own. With Google Maps as my trusty guide, I pinned interesting locations to ensure I didn’t miss any must-see spots. Biking through Amsterdam’s charming streets and alongside its famous canals provided me with a sense of freedom and excitement that’s hard to replicate. In just one day of biking around the city, I had the opportunity to visit most of the iconic attractions.

2. Take a City Canal Cruise

City canal cruise tour

Another must-do activity when in Amsterdam is to join a city canal cruise tour. It’s truly one of the best ways to immerse yourself in the city’s unique ambiance. Gliding along Amsterdam’s enchanting canals, you’ll be treated to views of the UNESCO World Heritage canals, iconic bridges, and charming waterfront houses that define the cityscape. During my visit, I had the pleasure of joining one of the city canal cruise tour, and their 75-minute tour was an absolute delight. It offered me a wonderful opportunity to see Amsterdam from a different perspective and left me with unforgettable memories of the city’s beauty.

3. Go on a Walking Tour

marxtermind in Amsterdam

Exploring Amsterdam on foot offers both an enjoyable and budget-friendly option for travelers. Whether you opt to join one of the many free walking tours available or embark on a self-guided stroll through the city, you’re guaranteed to have an enriching experience and see a lot of what Amsterdam has to offer. During my stay, I decided to stroll around the neighborhood where I was staying, and I was pleasantly surprised by the number of nearby attractions. I discovered charming parks, beautiful canals, and interesting museums. Walking around let me experience the local vibe and find hidden gems along the way.

4. Purchase a City Card

Amsterdam Canal

If walking or biking tours aren’t your preference but you still want to explore Amsterdam independently, I recommend getting a City Card. This card offers unlimited travel on all GVB trams, buses, ferries, and metros, both day and night. Available for 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 days, the City Card is the most convenient and cost-effective way to experience Amsterdam. Additionally, the City Card grants free or discounted access to numerous museums and attractions, making it a great value for travelers.

Tourist Attractions to Visit in Amsterdam

Damrak in The Netherlands

From the famous canals and historic buildings to the cozy cafes and bustling markets, there’s so much to see and do in Amsterdam. Here are some of the iconic landmarks and tourists attractions I was able to visit while I was in the city for 5 days.

  • This is Holland
  • Amsterdam Central
  • Damrak
  • Basilica of Saint Nicholas
  • De Wallen
  • Oude Kerk Amsterdam
  • Royal Palace of Amsterdam
  • Torensluis
  • Anne Frank House
  • Westerkerk
  • Jordaan
  • Nergen Straatjes
  • Begijnhof
  • Staalmeestersbrug
  • Groenburgwal
  • Rijksmuseum
  • Van Gogh Museum
  • Museumplein
  • Heineken Experience

Budget in Amsterdam

Amsterdam Central

To help with your trip and make sure you enjoy your vacation, here’s a rough estimate of how much I spent during my 5-day stay in Amsterdam.



  • City Card (2 days) – Php555
  • Bike Rental (1 day) – Php840
  • City Canal Cruise – Php1,050


  • Roundtrip flight ticket from Manila to Amsterdam via Saudia Airlines – Php23,600
  • Train from Schipol Airport to Amsterdam Central – Php370
  • Other transportation expenses – Php1,000


  • Food and drinks (estimated cost for my lunch, dinner, and snacks for 5 days) – Php10,000
  • Schengen tourist visa – Php4,904
  • Schengen tourist visa courier fee – Php480
  • Travel insurance – Php2,890
  • International Sim card AIS (valid for 15 days) – Php1,480
  • Shopping – Php10,000
  • Philippine travel tax – Php1,620

Approximate total expense per person: Php88,149

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Disclosure: Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through the link. For more information, see my disclosures here.

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