Museum Plein is home to the three most important museums in Amsterdam. These include the Rijksmuseum, the Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art and the Van Gogh Museum and makes this an art lover’s paradise.
Of course the best way to really experience the most of the city’s cultural is to stay right in the heart but if you are anything like me you probably still need to watch your budget! So, here are my tips on how to experience the best of Amsterdam without breaking the bank.
1. Choose your hotel carefully:
Museum Plein has a wide variety of accommodation options available to travellers. There are some very high end luxury hotels like the Conservatorium which can cost anywhere from 500 euros per night and up, depending on rooms and options.
There are also some smaller boutique hotels which will come in around the same price and most offer breakfast as well.
There are a few budget hotels such as the Owl Hotel, which offer basic amenities for about 50 euros a night for a single.
By far the best way to save money here though is to check out the hostels, especially if you are travelling with friends. You can book a four bed hostel room with a private bathroom for 100 euro, split four ways you only pay 25 euro each and use your savings for admissions!
2. Go to free attractions:
Amsterdam is filled with open air markets and gardens and it would be easy to spend an entire day window shopping without spending a dime.
If you like boating you can get out onto the canals and waterway for free by taking a ride on the Buikersloterwegveer ferry, it’s a short five minute ride but offers spectacular view.
There are also many free concerts available to attend during lunch hour in the park. The Concertgebouw is famous for its free lunchtime concerts but don’t forget to book early as attendance is limited. The orchestra occasionally plays outdoors as well so check their schedule.
You can also go to the beach, Blijburg aan Zee is a great beach right in the city and always has a busy schedule of activities.
3. Eat in or have a picnic:
Eating is a major expense for any traveller but there are plenty of ways to keep the costs downa nd I personally get sick of eating out after a few days.
Always try to find accommodation with breakfast included whenever possible but if not then be prepared to make something of your own. One of my favourite travel breakfasts is a protein powder shake like Dymatize Iso 100 because there is no need to refrigerate. Just add water to your favorite protein powder flavor and shake it up. Breakfast is done and you will be energized for your sightseeing.
Lunch can be as easy as heading to one of the great markets and grabbing some bread, local cheese and meat. You can grab a couple of beers or a bottle of wine and then make your own picnic in the park.
With all the money you saved on breakfast and lunch, you can afford to have a nice dinner at a café or pub before your night out on the town. Or if you prefer, there are also plenty of street vendors offering up yummy treats like kebabs and frites covered in mayonnaise.
4. Walk, bike or take transit:
Staying right in Museum Plein means you are never too far away from the major attractions and most will be in walking distance. There are free maps of the city online that you can print and take or grab one from the tourist office.
Another great option is rent a bike for the day or half day. Biking is a popular form of transportation in much of Europe and Amsterdam is no exception. There are multiple pick up and drop off locations all over town and you can drop off anywhere. Pick up from one location and drop off at another, it’s all very flexible. There are also some great guided bike tours for around 20 euros you will get a 3 hour guided tour of the city. It’s a great idea for your first day to help get the lay of the land.
Amsterdam has a chip card system for their trains and is the required form of payment. You can pick one up at the tourist office and use it for your entire trip, everything is rated based on distance so don’t forget to swipe out when you exit the system or you will be billed the maximum of 4 euros.
5. Get a discount card and save big:
There are three basic discount cards for Amsterdam and they were made for museum lovers!
- Amsterdam Holland Pass– this is an incredible bargain that is totally customizable depending on what you want to do while visiting the city. It is a free airport transfer and also allows free transit for a specific period of time. In addition you will receive free passes to many of the major museums and this include VIP access which means no line ups! Check out their website for more information.
- iAmsterdam city card- this is also a great value and provide a ton of free and discounted museum entries, bike rentals, transit access and discounts at some shops and markets.
- Museumkaart- this is a year long free admission pass to over 400 Amsterdam museums and depending on how many you plan to tour during your stay it may be the best choice.
Check out each website and plan according to your interests and length of stay.
I hope these tips help you save your money for the best museum tours possible during your upcoming trip to Amsterdam!