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Amsterdam is expensive, 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 consider factors such as hotel bookings, flight bookings, and daily itineraries before you set out.
- How to Plan Amsterdam Trips
- When Should You Plan an Amsterdam Vacation?
- Moving Around the City
- Pack According to the Weather
- Plan Your Daily Itinerary
- Food and Drink
- Hotels and Accommodations in Amsterdam
- Flights to Amsterdam
- Weekend Trips to Amsterdam – The Costs
- Tours & Excursions
- How to Take Cheap Trips to Amsterdam
- Invest in an All-Access Pass
- Buy The Museum Card
- Take Walking Tours
- Get a Nightlife Ticket
- Rent Your Boat
- Eat Cheap
- Keep an Eye Out For Free Stuff
- Best Amsterdam Vacation Packages
- Cheap Amsterdam Flight
- Best Travel Package Sites
- Amsterdam Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- How Much Does an Amsterdam Trip Cost?
- Are Three Days Enough for Amsterdam?
- What Is the Cheapest Time of Year to Go to Amsterdam?
- Is Amsterdam Cheap to Visit?
- Final Words
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 many 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 famous for its flower fields and scenery, so spring is the best time to visit. Tourists usually pour 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 is mild, you’re unlikely to experience 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 holidays. The snowy season and holiday decorations accentuate the city’s beauty and make it a lovely sight.
Moreover, if you travel right before the end of autumn, you’ll find the cheapest airfare and Amsterdam hotel rates compared to other times. 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 must consider 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 public transport network 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 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 city’s notorious weather can spoil a trip to Amsterdam if you’re unprepared. It would be best to plan for the weather before leaving your home country to avoid this fate.
You should take warm or cool clothing depending on the season you travel. Due to Amsterdam’s location near the North Sea, the city gets frequent temperature shifts. This means a perfect sunny morning can be unexpectedly followed by a rainy afternoon.
Ensure 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 visit 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 can stay occupied 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.
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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 daily. 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.
A canal tour lets you 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.
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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 adjacent Van Gogh Museum.
The Van Gogh Museum contains the world’s largest collection of works by Vincent van Gogh, with over 200 paintings and 500 drawings. After that, check out the Stedelijk Museum, an extensive modern and contemporary art collection.
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The Tulip Museum
One of Amsterdam’s cheapest and most beautiful museums, the Amsterdam Tulip Museum is a must-visit place for nature lovers. It’s located inside a famous tulip shop so that 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 open to visitors daily. 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 everything, 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 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, including flights and accommodation for your entire trip.
You’ll find the most expensive and luxurious hotels along the inner canal belt in Amsterdam. Other choices include boutique hotels such as Canal House, Park Plaza Victoria Amsterdam, Jan Luyken Hotel Amsterdam, and Pulitzer Amsterdam.
If you wish to visit a well-known hotel chain, you can choose from Marriott or Hilton hotels in Amsterdam. Also, you can crash vacation rental from VRBO if you have 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 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 possible 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 costs around $60 per night, while a private room is worth about $80.
Single rooms in a three-star hotel in Amsterdam start from $120 during 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 money on tourist attractions and shopping in Amsterdam. If you avail yourself of free tours and 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 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 increase 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.
You can visit any museum you like during your tour and get free repeat visits to your favorite museums. The card costs only $70 and 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, you’ll have to pay a lot if you take the conventional bus or car tour. Also, a guide through the city will cost you extra. You can explore Dam Square, the Royal Palace of Amsterdam, art galleries, and open-air theatres from Amsterdam’s city center.
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
Invest in a nightlife ticket to live Amsterdam nightlife to its optimum level. The ticket costs only $15-$20 and is valid for a week.
It gives you unlimited access to over eight clubs across the city. You also get free welcome drinks at almost all clubs and free entry to Holland Casino. Similarly, you’ll also get discounts on your Uber rides at night.
Rent Your Boat
Many tourism sites offer expensive canal cruises to explore the city’s extensive canals. However, you can save on expenses by hiring your 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 like Febo, Walk to Wok, and Maoz offers cheap food.
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 sandwiches 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 offer amazing discounts covering your transportation, lodging, and tourism expenses.
On sites such as Viator and GetYourGuide, you can find tailor-made tours to save on your day trip and wallet-friendly tour plans for trips to London, Paris, and Amsterdam.
However, if you’re looking for trips to Amsterdam all-inclusive or want to take day trips from Amsterdam to other countries, you should look for packages that include flights and hotel bookings. 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 Air Lines, United Airlines, and American Airlines.
The airline’s per-flight prices 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 reviewed the guide for cheap trips to Amsterdam, you’re probably ready to book a vacation package. Here are some answers to common questions to help you on your Amsterdam trip.
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. 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 spend a lot of money.
Are Three Days Enough for Amsterdam?
Amsterdam has many tourist attractions; 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 three-day itinerary to make the most of your trip.
What Is the Cheapest Time of Year to Go to Amsterdam?
The cheapest time 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 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. Conduct thorough research while planning your trip to get the best deals on all your purchases. Remember, online purchases can quickly 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!
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Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of ViaTravelers.com. He is a full-time traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started ViaTravelers.com to help travelers experience a fully immersive cultural experience as he did initially living in Italy. He’s a converted finance nerd and Excel jockey turned world wanderer (and may try to get lost on purpose). After visiting 12 countries and 13 national parks in a year, he was devoted to creating and telling stories like he’d heard.
Plus, after spending more time on airplanes and packing, he’s learned some incredible travel hacks over time as he earned over 1 million Chase Ultimate Rewards points in under a year, helping him maximize experiences as much as possible to discover the true meaning of travel.
He loves listening to local stories from around the world and sharing his experiences traveling the globe. He loves travel so much that he moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Amsterdam with his small family to travel Europe full-time.