Ultimate Travel Guide for AMSTERDAM
Who doesn’t know Amsterdam? It doesn’t matter if you have ever traveled the world or not, this is one place on everyone’s travel bucket list. This city is world-famous for its canals, houseboats, architecture and the coffee shops. Every country’s at least one famous movie has been shot in this city. It would be safe to say that Amsterdam is one of the most beautiful and picturesque cities in the world. There is nothing fulfilling than just sitting in one of its parks or cruising around the canals. There is much more to this place than what the famous movies or shows show you. Get out of the city center and into the old neighborhoods and you will see some of the most amazing road-side canal cafes and a lot more.
While we are at it, we know prostitution is legal in Amsterdam. But, what’s the big deal? Maybe we all can ignore that and just get the feel of the actual beauty of the city. Now that we have covered the intriguing basics, let’s venture into this complete Amsterdam Travel Guide on a budget, so you know you definitely have to go and visit this city when you are on your Euro Trip. So enjoy our Amsterdam Travel Guide and plan your trip to Amsterdam in 2020
Must Read, Places to see and things to do in Amsterdam
EVERYTHING YOU’LL FIND ON THIS AMSTERDAM TRAVEL GUIDE
- Duration for Your Amsterdam Trip
- Recommended Budget
- The Good, The Bad & The In-between
- Where to Stay?
- How to Go Around?
- What to Eat & Drink?
- Party Life in Amsterdam
- Money-Saving Tips
DURATION FOR YOUR AMSTERDAM TRIP
Amsterdam might be compact, but this city has a lot to offer. More than you can imagine. Most of the people who plan their trip for a day or two end up extending it, because they find much more to do in the city. This is the reason we recommend you to spare at least three to four days to get the best out of this city. You can spend time even more than this one, but if you are tight on budget or short on days, you will be able to cover the majority of spaces within this time limit.
The best time to visit Amsterdam is either between April and May or September and November. If you go before or after these months, you might be flocked with endless tourists gathered to capture the essence of the city.
Another amazing thing about Amsterdam is it offers a lot of day-trip options nearby. There are some really beautiful cities located right outside Amsterdam, so you can extend your trip to accommodate those as well.
RECOMMENDED BUDGET for Amsterdam
Amsterdam is another one of those European cities, which are on the expensive side. If you are on a tight budget, then you wouldn’t want to exceed your trip to three days. It isn’t just the accommodation, but majorly all the attractions are expensive too.
For someone on a backpacker’s budget, we suggest you keep at least €45 – €85 a day in your mind. As always, you can easily spend a lot more than this when in Amsterdam and you can go lower as well, if you are efficient and miser with your money.
THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE IN-BETWEEN
It is necessary that every time you plan a trip to somewhere you know the good and bad’s about it. Even though I love Amsterdam, but there are certain things you must be aware of. Let’s give them a read:
What You’ll Love About Amsterdam
A sight to Behold – Goes without saying that Amsterdam is the sight to behold. It is one of the most beautiful cities you will ever visit and we can bet on that. The major attraction of the city is the central areas and canals and they have been classified as UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you associated canals with Venice only, you are in for a treat. Amsterdam has more canals than Venice. Can you imagine that? It also has around 1500 bridges. This means that if you just walk around the canals or on bridges and do nothing, you will still have the blast.
Bicycling – Before you ask, why would we keep bicycling as a good thing about Amsterdam vacation, hear us out. This city is not only beautiful, but it is bike-friendly as well. What we mean is the best way to capture the beauty of Amsterdam is to rent a bike and just go around. It will be one of the best vacation activities you will ever do.
Locals – One of the most worrisome things while planning a trip is locals and their attitude. Let us tell you, Dutch aren’t only the tallest people but they are the most attractive as well. Cherry on top, they are friendlier than most of the other Europeans.
Relax & Enjoy – Yes, this is the mantra of entire Amsterdam. While you might credit it to weed, but let us tell you the citizens of Amsterdam sure know how to enjoy a laid-back lifestyle; chill and relax. You won’t feel out of place and we are sure you will notice the common pleasant and enjoyable spirit.
Museums – This is especially for all those who dwell over history and enjoy days long gone by. Amsterdam is the home to some world-class museums, so make sure you pay them a visit.
What You Might Not Like About Amsterdam
Drunk & High – As much as we love the spirit of the party through Amsterdam, this is one thing that irritates a good amount of people as well. Not just the specific seasons, but throughout the year, Amsterdam is for party-goers. This implies that you might stumble upon a lot of high and drunk people when on the street, especially at night.
Bicycles – You will notice that we are writing most of the good activities here too. Well, it is all about humans and their diverse nature. As much as bicycling is one of the best activities, the entire Amsterdam seems to be doing it. Not only are the bikes everywhere, but apparently the pleasant locals turn into monsters if you are standing in their bike lanes and will run into you. So, be a little aware there!
Weed – Smoking pot might be the only reason you plan to visit Amsterdam, but this one thing turns into a nuisance. There are lots of tourists who go gaga over weed and then turn into an absolute party-pooper for others.
Food – One of the things we all look forward to when on a vacation is the authentic local food we’ll get to try. However, Amsterdam might not be the best place to eat out. What’s more is mediocre restaurants are over-priced as well, so you won’t even be paying heftily for good food. While the city is improving in culinary, you might have to go out of the regular tourist areas to satisfy your taste buds.
WHAT TO EAT?
Every travel guide is incomplete if it’s not covering the aspect of food. So for this particular Amsterdam Travel Guide, we would give you a heads up that Amsterdam is a difficult destination for foodies. We are warning you for the second time, so you don’t have high expectations. Though the food is much better now than the yesteryears, don’t get your hopes high.
If you are searching for cheap places to eat, you will easily be able to find so many. Takeaway meals like fries, Turkish Kebabs, and Indonesian food, etc. will be for €5 only. You can also find a cheap pizza for €5 easily. You can also go to FEBO or VEBO (for vegetarians) if you want cheap fried food. Both are vending machine restaurants.
However, it is necessary that you do try out traditional food. Here are a few things you should try out:
Herring & Fried Cod
It is the local’s favorite food. You might often find them completely sold out. It is usually served raw or deep-fried, topped with a variety of sauces. Some of the best places to try it out include; Frens Haringhandel, Fishmongers Albert Cuyp, Vishandel Kroon, Rob Wigboldus, and Vishandel Centrum among others.
It is a famous sweet treat, which consists of a syrup layer in between two thin waffles. You can find them in many grocery stores, but do try to eat fresh ones, as they taste best when warm.
Thick-cut Fries & Sauce
Say aye if you love fries. This is one of those street foods that will protect you if you don’t like anything else. The fries are thick-cut, topped with a lot of sauces and served in a cone. You can go to Manneken Pis or Vlaams Friteshuis Vleminckx to try out the best Amsterdam fries.
Dutch Apple Pie
Dutch sure know how to make a delicious apple pie. Make sure to grab a few pieces from places like Winkel 43, Back to Black, De Koffieschenkerij, and Café Papeneiland.
Gouda is a famous Dutch cheese and has different types. You can easily find it in any grocery store and you can try out other forms of Dutch cheese as well.
Topped with powdered sugar and butter, these mini pancakes are fluffy and you can easily find them anywhere in the city. The regular pancakes are popular as well, so you can try them out too. Some famous places include Pancakehouse Upstairs, The Pancake Bakery, De Carrousel, and the Happy Pig Pancake Shop among others.
These are easily available in any pub. Bitterballen are deep-fried meatballs, which are super crispy from the outside with a side of mustard sauce. Eat them with a cold beer and you will love the combination. Some of the places you should try it from including De BallenBar at Foodhallen Food Hall, Winkel 43, Eetsalon Van Dobben, and FEBO.
Stamppot is the Dutch version of comfort food. It is a combination of vegetables and mashed potatoes topped with sausage. You will easily find it at any place that offers local cuisine.
Oliebol is oil balls. They are similar to doughnuts and are deep-fried bread balls. However, they are popular as a Christmas goodie and you might not be able to find them easily otherwise.
MONEY SAVING TIPS while in Amsterdam
Here are some of the tips you should keep in mind if you wish to save money and not overspend it:
- If you are around 3-4 people, instead of taking a canal tour, hire your own boat. It would be cheaper that way
- Hostels in Amsterdam have some of the best deals, so drink in them only. Even if you aren’t living in a hostel, the bars and pubs are open, so go there for a drink
- Dutch cook isn’t that good and we have already told you that. If you dislike it much and would rather save money, cook your own food
- Rent a bicycle. It not only saves you money, but there are a lot of bikers around only and Amsterdam is best visited on wheels
- If you want to save money and don’t mind staying with locals, use Couchsurfer. It saves you money and locals can guide you a lot on what to do and what not to
- If you are into museums and tourist attractions a lot, buy the IAmsterdam Pass as it offers free access to many places
- Get the Museumkaart, as you can get into as many museums as possible within 60 euros
These were all the things you must know while planning a trip to Amsterdam. It had us all excited only by writing this guide, we are sure you are going to have a blast.
WHERE TO STAY in Amsterdam?
Hostels in Amsterdam are expensive. If you are a budget traveler, you can’t even imagine living at a hotel because that would equate to almost all of your budget. There are only a few hostels with a good rating in Amsterdam that actually are good. If you are strictly on budget, you will have to look for hostels outside the city center. However, you need not worry as the public transportation network is nice and you will be able to move around the city without any issue.
We recommend you check Hostel World to look through various hostels as per what you can afford. We can’t recommend you a budget for accommodation, because this one is entirely up to your luck and if you are comfortable staying in stingy hostels to save money. Personally, i would say that it Hostelworld is one of the best tips i could give you in Amsterdam Travel Guide.
HOW TO GO AROUND in Amsterdam?
Amsterdam isn’t that big of a city and most of the places can be covered on foot. The city is so beautiful that you won’t mind walking either. You can bike around the city or take public transportation, which is cheap and widely available. The trams and buses have the same ticket so you don’t have to take one continually.
You can get a single ticket for €3.20, 24-hour pass for €8.00, 48-hour pass for €13.50, 72-hour pass for €19.00 and so on. There is also a reloadable travel card called OV Chipkaart for €7.50 with €1.50 as the per-ride cost. You can also rent a bike for only €3 – €15 a day.
Amsterdam Travel Guide