Amsterdam is an expensive city, but you can still save money if you know where and how to find cheap Amsterdam trips. Here is a detailed guide that can help you save money on your next Amsterdam vacation.
Cozy coffee shops, breathtaking tulip gardens, world-class museums, the infamous red light district, and historical art pop into our minds whenever we think of Amsterdam.
But if you’re a frequent traveler, you’ll know that planning short trips to Amsterdam can be a daunting task. That’s mainly because the city gets crowded during peak times, and the prices can also get astonishingly high.
To make sure you get your hands on the cheapest rates for your Amsterdam vacations, you’ll have to plan accordingly. This means you’ll have to take into consideration factors such as hotel bookings, flight bookings, and daily itineraries before you set out.
How to Plan Amsterdam Trips
The Dutch capital of Amsterdam is a boisterous modern city where you’ll see activity everywhere you look. You’ll find a plethora of things to do, from bicycle tours to canal tours.
Whether you’re planning an all-inclusive trip to the city or a weekend trip to Amsterdam’s Anne Frank House, you should plan meticulously beforehand to not miss out on any attractions the city has to offer.
Here’s everything you’ll need to prepare for your next Amsterdam vacation.
When Should You Plan an Amsterdam Vacation?
The main question is: when should you visit Amsterdam to get the cheapest vacation package? Amsterdam is a city famous for its flower fields and scenery, so the best time to visit is spring. Tourists usually start pouring into the city in April, and the season continues until late September.
This is the ideal time to plan your long or short trip to the beautiful city of Amsterdam. Because the temperature levels are mild, you’re unlikely to experience any harsh blizzards or heavy rainfall. Because the flowers are in full bloom, the city’s natural beauty will be at its peak.
However, the best time to visit Amsterdam on a cheaper budget is during the winter and holiday season. The snowy season, combined with holiday decorations, accentuates the city’s beauty and makes it a lovely sight to behold.
Moreover, if you travel right before the end of autumn, you’ll find the cheapest airfare and Amsterdam hotel rates compared to other times of the year. Also, the tourist spaces and main attractions are less crowded during this season, so you can enjoy a peaceful, hassle-free trip and save money at the same time.
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Moving Around the City
While planning your Amsterdam vacation, you’ll have to think about transport before you set out. All the city’s tourist attractions are quite scattered, so you’ll have to move around a lot.
You can easily move from Amsterdam’s city center to different parts of the city without any problems. The good news is, the city has an extensive network of public transport that includes ferries, buses, metros, and trams. You can buy a card that lets you access all the transportation options at the beginning of your trip, then move around as you like.
If you want to move around in your own comfort, you can rent bicycles and cars from several vendors around the city. If you’re with family, renting a vehicle is an excellent choice. However, if you opt for a solo Amsterdam vacation, the iconic blue and white train system is the best way to get around town.
Pack According to the Weather
The notorious weather of the city can end up spoiling a trip to Amsterdam if you’re not prepared. To avoid this fate, you should plan for the weather before leaving your home country.
Depending on the season you travel in, you should take warm or cool clothing with you. Due to Amsterdam’s location near the North Sea, the city gets frequent temperature shifts. This means a perfect sunny morning can be followed by a rainy afternoon unexpectedly.
Make sure you carry a waterproof jacket, an umbrella, and water-resistant shoes so that you don’t have to cancel your plans in the city due to the weather.
Plan Your Daily Itinerary
For example, if you’re close to nature and the outdoors, you can take a canal tour and visit the tulip gardens. Similarly, if you wish to appreciate the city’s historical aspects, you can do so by visiting the Van Gogh Museum and the Anne Frank House.
From its infamous red-light district to cutting-edge restaurants and clubs teeming with nightlife, you’re bound to stay occupied for the whole day if you plan your itinerary well. Here’s a list of the places you must visit on your trip to Amsterdam to make your trip memorable.
Anne Frank House
This is the place where Anne Frank and her family hid during World War II. If you’re an avid reader and remember reading her famous diary, you’ll particularly enjoy the tour across the house.
Remember, if you wish to take a tour, you may have to book the ticket months in advance, as the museum only allows a limited number of tourists per day. Check out these other top museums in Amsterdam if you’re a culture junkie.
Take a Canal Cruise
Your Amsterdam vacation is incomplete until you tour the city’s beautiful canals. This extended network of 165 canals was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010.
Taking a canal tour allows you to view the city’s notable historic architecture. You’ll be able to watch the landscape modernize as you move toward the Amstel River.
If you plan your tour between November to January, you can witness Amsterdam’s annual light festival and popular art installations from well-known Dutch artists along the canal.
Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum is a treat for art lovers. This museum is home to unique Dutch and Flemish art pieces from renowned artists such as Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Van Gogh.
If you want to experience the city’s art heritage, a great idea is to dedicate a day from your itinerary to the city’s multiple museums. You can start at the Rijksmuseum and move on to the Van Gogh Museum adjacent to it. The Van Gogh Museum contains the world’s largest collection of works by Vincent van Gogh with more than 200 paintings and 500 drawings.
After that, check out the Stedelijk Museum, an extensive collection of modern and contemporary art.
The Tulip Museum
One of the cheapest and most beautiful museums in Amsterdam, this is a must-visit place for nature lovers. It’s located inside a famous tulip shop, so you can purchase your favorite flowers on your way out.
The museum displays the fascinating history of the tulips in Holland, how they came into being and how they connect with the country’s rich history.
The Houseboat Museum
Rather than a conventional museum, this is a decorated houseboat, which is open to visitors every day.
It’s a cozy place that gives you a clear idea of what it’s like to live on a canal. This museum can get quite cramped inside, so you should avoid it if you’re claustrophobic.
Food and Drink
Amsterdam is a city famous for its variety of food and drink. The city’s food stalls have it all, from the traditional stroopwafels, bitterballen, and raw herring to Vietnamese, Spanish, and Indian cuisine.
Similarly, you can visit the House of Bols and nearby Glouglou to sample famous local cocktails, liqueurs, and wines, tasting them with traditional snacks such as different slices of bread and cheeses.
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Hotels and Accommodations in Amsterdam
You’ll want to pay attention to your budget as you pick your hotel or accommodation before you reach Amsterdam. You could always walk into one of the hostels at Oud Zuid or De Wallen Hotel if you’re backpacking alone, but if you’re taking a group trip to Amsterdam, it’s better to pre-book your lodgings.
The easiest way to book a reliable hotel is by picking an Amsterdam vacation package that includes everything from flights and accommodation for your entire trip.
Along the inner canal belt in Amsterdam, you’ll find the most expensive and luxurious hotels. Other choices include boutique hotels such as Canal House, Park Plaza Victoria Amsterdam, Jan Luyken Hotel Amsterdam, and Pulitzer Amsterdam.
If you wish to go to a well-known hotel chain, you can choose from Marriott or Hilton hotels in Amsterdam. Also, you can always crash vacation rental from VRBO if you’re having trouble finding hotel bookings during peak season.
If you want to get more insight into these experiences, read our personal experience from staying at the Pulitzer Amsterdam.
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Flights to Amsterdam
Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world. With more than 108 airlines flying into the city from over 300 destinations worldwide, the airport has the third-highest passenger volume of any European city.
Once you reach the airport, you can take a cab for five euros to the Amsterdam City Center and go anywhere you want in the city. You can also take a cab ride directly to Amsterdam Zuid or take the metro to move around Amsterdam quickly.
You can reach Amsterdam by train from other parts of Europe as well. Specifically, if you’re taking trips to Amsterdam and Paris, you can fly to Paris from your home country and take the high-speed train Thalys to Amsterdam.
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Weekend Trips to Amsterdam – The Costs
Amsterdam is an expensive city, so even if you try to be as frugal as you can when selecting your Amsterdam vacation package, it’s likely to cost a lot. However, if you’re passionate about taking your first vacation to Amsterdam, here’s an approximate breakdown of how much every aspect of your journey will cost you.
The accommodations are in many ways the most important part of your trip. If you take Airbnb options in Amsterdam, a dorm-like room would cost you around $60 per night, while a private room is worth about $80.
Single rooms in a three-star hotel in Amsterdam start from $120 in the peak season and run around $80 at any other time of the year.
If you don’t mind crashing with some fellow tourists, you can try the city’s inexpensive hostels, which charge around $30–$50 per night. However, this is not an option for those taking an Amsterdam vacation package with their families.
Next, you’ll have to take your dining costs into account. You can get cheap Dutch food at roadside stalls for between $2 and $10. Expect to enjoy anything from burgers to pizza slices and falafel.
Apart from that, you can go to budget-friendly restaurants and avail yourself of their prix fixe (fixed price) menus for between $10 and $15. Expect to pay around $20 to $25 for a single combo meal at mid-range restaurants.
You may want to treat yourself once or twice during your trip to a six or seven-course meal from a high-end restaurant. This might cost you around $80 to $100 per person.
Tours & Excursions
Finally, you’ll want to spend some money on tourist attractions and shopping while you’re in Amsterdam. If you avail yourself of free tours and take public transportation around the city, you can settle for about $70 per day. For a start, Anne Frank House costs about $7 to $14 for teens and adults.
How to Take Cheap Trips to Amsterdam
As we mentioned, trips to Amsterdam can be quite expensive. The small city has limited spaces for accommodations, which hikes up the prices. But that doesn’t mean you can’t travel to your favorite city on a budget. Here are a few tips you can follow if you want to take a cheap trip to Amsterdam.
Invest in an All-Access Pass
You can find tourist passes for your Amsterdam vacation that let you inside most of the city’s historical tourist attractions, including museums and canal tours. Besides that, the passes include free public transportation if you’re going from one museum to another.
The prices start from $60 to $70 per day and go up as you increase the number of included attractions. The best pass is the I Amsterdam City Card.
Buy The Museum Card
The Museum Card is a frugal investment that can make your trip to Amsterdam relatively cheaper. It’s an excellent choice for people taking long weekend trips to Amsterdam, as they allow access to over 30 museums in Amsterdam and 400 museums in the Netherlands.
Not only can you visit any museum you like during your tour, but you also get free repeat visits to your favorite museums. The card, which costs only $70, is a treat for history and art enthusiasts.
Take Walking Tours
Touring the city is perhaps the best activity to take up while staying in Amsterdam. Unfortunately, if you take the conventional bus or car tours, you’ll have to pay a lot. Also, a guide through the city will cost you extra. From Amsterdam’s city center, you can explore Dam Square, the Royal Palace of Amsterdam, art galleries, and open-air theatres.
Taking walking tours is an ideal way to avoid these expenses. You can book guided walking tours through popular tour companies without spending a fortune.
Get a Nightlife Ticket
To live Amsterdam nightlife to its optimum level, invest in a nightlife ticket. The ticket costs only $15-$20 and is valid for a week.
It gives you unlimited access to over eight clubs across the city. Along with that, you get free welcome drinks at almost all clubs and free entry to Holland Casino. Similarly, you’ll get discounts on your Uber rides at night as well.
Rent Your Boat
Many tourism sites offer expensive canal cruises if you wish to explore the city’s extensive canals. However, you can save on expenses by hiring your own boat through boat vendors across the city. This is a top recommendation if you are going on a romantic vacation in Amsterdam.
Eateries can end up being the most expensive places on your Amsterdam tour. Go for cheap ones if you want to spend your cash carefully. Places such as Febo, Walk to Wok and Maoz offer good food offers at low prices.
You can try cafes that offer prix fixe lunch menus or even cook your food. Honestly, Dutch cuisine may not be something you’ll crave every day. So, after you’ve dined at fine restaurants once or twice, consider making your own sandwiches to eat for the rest of your trip while saving money.
Keep an Eye Out For Free Stuff
Especially during the holiday season and the peak tourism season, Amsterdam is teeming with festivals and carnivals. Keep checking local city boards to stay in the loop. By staying updated, you can visit upcoming concerts, shows, or markets that let you in for free.
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Best Amsterdam Vacation Packages
Amsterdam vacation packages for solo or group trips depend entirely on your budget and needs, as well as the length of your trip. If you’re planning day trips to Amsterdam, you can quickly get good packages on tourist sites, which often offer amazing discounts covering your transportation, lodging, and tourism expenses.
On sites such as Viator and GetYourGuide, you can find not only tailor-made tours to save on your day trip but also wallet-friendly tour plans for trips to London, Paris, and Amsterdam combined.
However, if you’re looking for trips to Amsterdam all-inclusive or you want to take day trips from Amsterdam to other countries, you should look for packages that include flights and hotel bookings as well. Check out where to get the best packages for your Amsterdam trip and the cheapest flights to book in the list below.
Cheap Amsterdam Flight
Lots of flights travel from the United States to Amsterdam almost every day. You can choose from various airlines, including KLM, Delta Airlines, United Airlines, and American Airlines.
The per-flight prices for these airlines range according to the aircraft they use and the facilities they provide. While each of the mentioned airlines has direct Amsterdam flights from various U.S. cities to the Netherlands, you might also find flights with stopovers for cheaper rates.
However, some airlines have flights from limited U.S. cities only. For example, Norwegian Airlines only flies to the Netherlands from New York. Similarly, the charter airline TUI fly the Netherlands and only takes off from Miami and Orlando.
Check flight booking sites such as Skyscanner, Momondo, and Tripadvisor to determine which Amsterdam flight takes off from your city or the nearest city to your location. These sites let you compare rates to book the cheapest flights from multiple options.
If you wish to travel further, you can book flights for day trips from Amsterdam to Germany and Bruges through these sites at the best prices.
Best Travel Package Sites
If you’re looking for the best Amsterdam vacation package for your Amsterdam tour, consider checking online travel booking sites. These sites gather information from various hotels, airlines, and transport services to provide tailor-made vacation packages for you.
Their packages include flights, hotel bookings, and tourism, and you can customize your package according to your needs. Get your customized Amsterdam package today by picking from these:
If you only need to book cheap vacation flights to Amsterdam, check the section above. Those who want hotel bookings for their trip can use the following sites. Just enter your vacation dates and get quotes for the cheapest packages available.
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Amsterdam Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Now that you’ve gone through the guide for cheap trips to Amsterdam, you’re probably ready to book a vacation package for yourself. Here are some answers to common questions to help you out on your Amsterdam trip ahead.
How Much Does an Amsterdam Trip Cost?
A trip to Amsterdam can cost anywhere from $2,000 to over $10,000 depending on how well you use your finances and how long you stay.
According to the above article, if you plan a one-week trip on a budget, you’ll spend around $650 on airfare, $1,100 on hotels and lodgings, $300 on food, and a few hundred on attractions around the city.
However, if you choose to spend a luxurious vacation in Amsterdam, you can end up spending a lot of money.
Are Three Days Enough for Amsterdam?
Amsterdam has a plethora of tourist attractions, and if you don’t want to miss out on anything, three days is definitely not enough.
Nevertheless, if your trip planner does not allow you to stay further, you should hand-pick the places and attractions that intrigue you the most. Then create a proper three-day itinerary to make the most out of your trip.
What Is the Cheapest Time of Year to Go to Amsterdam?
The cheapest time for you to plan and visit Amsterdam is during the fall. Consider traveling around October and November, before the holiday season.
Similarly, visiting after New Year in January and February will also ensure a cheap trip.
Is Amsterdam Cheap to Visit?
No, Amsterdam is not cheap to visit. It is one of the most expensive cities in Europe. However, you can get an Amsterdam vacation package by choosing your flights, hotels, and other travel necessities wisely and spending your money effectively.
For travel enthusiasts, tourism prices can be heartbreaking. But many resources are available to make cheap traveling possible nowadays. Make sure you conduct thorough research while planning your trip to get the best deals on all your purchases. Remember, online purchases can easily become subject to malpractice.
Conduct proper due diligence from your side regarding any platform or website before buying a vacation package. This way, you can avoid throwing your money into less-than-trustworthy sources. Happy holiday travel!