Ultimate Travel Guide for AMSTERDAM
Who doesn’t know Amsterdam? It doesn’t matter if you have ever travelled 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 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 world’s most beautiful and picturesque cities. Nothing is more 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 centre and into the old neighbourhoods, and see some of the most fantastic roadside canal cafes and a lot more mantle we are at it, we know prostitution is legal in Amsterdam. But what’s the big deal? Maybe we all can ignore that and get the feel of the city’s true beauty. Now that we have covered the intriguing basics, let’s venture into this complete Amsterdam Travel Guide on a budget so you know you must visit this city on your Euro Trip. So enjoy our Amsterdam Travel Guide and plan your trip to Amsterdam in 2023. Also, my focus in this guide would be backpackers’s guide to Amsterdam as well.
EVERYTHING YOU’LL FIND IN 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 live in Amsterdam.
- Money-Saving Tips
DURATION FOR YOUR AMSTERDAM TRIP
Amsterdam might be compact, but this city has a lot to offer. Most people who plan their trip for a day or two end up extending it because they find much more to do in the city. We recommend you 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—more than you can imagine.
The best time to visit Amsterdam is 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 city’s essence.
Another fantastic thing about Amsterdam is that it offers many day-trip options nearby. Some charming cities are outside Amsterdam, so you can extend your trip to accommodate those.
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, you wouldn’t want to exceed your trip to three days. It isn’t just the accommodation; 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 if you are efficient and a miser with your money.
THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE IN-BETWEEN
It is necessary that every time you plan a trip somewhere, you know the good and evil about it. Even though I love Amsterdam, 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 – Amsterdam is a sight to behold. It is one of the most beautiful cities you will ever visit, and we can bet on that. The city’s major attraction is the central areas and canals, which have been classified as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. If you associated channels 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. You will still have a blast if you walk around the channels or on bridges and do nothing.
Bicycling – Before you ask why we would 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. We mean that the best way to capture the beauty of Amsterdam is to rent a bike and go around. It will be one of the best vacation activities you will ever do.
Locals – One of the most disturbing things while planning a trip is the locals’ attitude. Let us tell you; Dutch aren’t only the tallest but also the most attractive; they are friendlier than most other Europeans.
Relax & Enjoy – This is the mantra of the entire Amsterdam. While you might credit it to weed, 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 familiar pleasant spirit.
Museums – This is mainly for all those who dwell over history and enjoy days long gone by. Amsterdam is home to world-class museums, so make sure you visit them.
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 also irritates many people. Not just the specific seasons but throughout the year, Amsterdam is for party-goers. This implies that you might stumble upon many high and drunk people on the street, especially at night.
Bicycles – You will notice that we are also writing about the most suitable activities here. Well, it is all about humans and their diverse nature. As bicycling is one of the best activities, Amsterdam seems to be doing it. The bikes are everywhere, and 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. Many tourists go gaga over weed and then turn into absolute party-pooper for others.
Food – One of the things we all look forward to when on vacation is the authentic local food we’ll get to try. However, Amsterdam might not be the best place to eat out. While the city is improving in culinary, you might have to go out of the regular tourist areas to satisfy your taste buds. What’s more, is m mediocreaurants are over-overpriced; you won’t even be paying heftily for good food.
WHAT TO EAT?
Every travel guide is incomplete if it does not cover food. So for this particular Amsterdam Travel Guide, we would give you a heads-up that Amsterdam is a challenging 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, 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, you must try out traditional food. Here are a few things you should try out:
Herring & Fried Cod
It is the local’s favourite food. You might often find them completely sold out. It is usually served raw or deep-fried, topped with various 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 consisting of a syrup layer 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 many sauces and served in a cone. You can go to Manneken Pis or Vlaams Friteshuis Vleminckx to try 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 try other forms of Dutch cheese.
These mini pancakes are fluffy and topped with powdered sugar and butter, and you can easily find them anywhere in the city. Regular pancakes are also famous so you can try them out too. Some favourite places include Pancakehouse Upstairs, The Pancake Bakery, De Carrousel, and the Happy Pig Pancake Shop, among others.
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. These are readily available in any pub. You should try 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 quickly 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, hire your boat instead of taking a canal tour. 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 for a drink.
- Dutch cook isn’t that good, and we have already told you that. If you dislike it much and would instead save money, cook your food
- Rent a bicycle. It saves you money, and there are only a lot of bikers around, 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, buy the IAmsterdam Pass, which offers free access to many places.
- Get the Museumkaart, as you can get into as many museums as possible for 60 euros.
You must know these things while planning a trip to Amsterdam. It had us all excited only by writing this guide; we are sure you will have a blast.
WHERE TO STAY in Amsterdam?
Hostels in Amsterdam are expensive. If you are a budget traveller, 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 good ratings in Amsterdam that are good. If you are strictly on a budget, you must look for hostels outside the city centre. However, you need not worry as the public transportation network is excellent and you can move around the city without any issues.
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 cheap hostels to save money. I would say that 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 this 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, a 24-hour pass for €8.00, a 48-hour access for €13.50, a 72-hour access 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 daily.
What to see in Amsterdam?
Here we have a whole section of places you can see and explore in Amsterdam.
Amsterdam Travel Guide
backpackers guide to amsterdam