13 x Low-Budget Places in Amsterdam

Looking for cheap things to do in Amsterdam? Our 13 low-budget tips have got you covered.

We selected low-budget options that still offer an authentic experience. As locals, we understand all too well that Amsterdam isn’t known for being a cheap destination. The city’s vibrant culture and attractions often come at a cost. But fear not! We’ve handpicked great low-budget options. In this article, we unveil tips on lesser-known attractions, suggest areas to stay, museum visits and even some free options

1. Gardens of Rijksmuseum

Open every day from 9AM until 6PM

Tucked away behind the iconic museum, these gardens offer a serene escape—a place where locals love to spend their time. The best part? Admission is absolutely free! As you sit or stroll through the garden, you’ll be surrounded by beautiful plants, art, fountains and history. These gardens are an absolute must-visit during your stay in Amsterdam.

Garden of Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam
Museumstraat 1 | Het Rijksmuseum

2. Brouwerij ‘t IJ

Open daily from 2 PM until 10 PM

Next to the iconic De Gooyer Windmill you’ll find Brouwerij ‘t IJ, a Dutch Brewery. This brewery has become a local favorite for beer enthusiasts and visitors alike. Offering a diverse selection of local craft beers brewed on-site, Brouwerij ‘t IJ provides a unique and atmospheric setting to savor quality beers. With beers starting from € 3.95, it’s the perfect place to add to your low-budget trip. The spacious beer garden adds to the charm, providing a relaxing spot to enjoy your beer! 

Brouwerij 't IJ in Amsterdam
 Funenkade 7 | © Brouwerij ‘t IJ

3. Rent a Bike + Route

Grabbing a bike in Amsterdam is one of the best things you can do! Amsterdam’s bike-friendly streets open up a world of possibilities, allowing you to explore iconic landmarks, charming neighborhoods and hidden gems with the wind in your hair.

man on a bike in Amsterdam

We’ve created a route that not only covers the city’s main attractions but also takes you a bit through some off-the-beaten-path and non-touristy areas. The route takes roughly 1 to 1.5 hours.

You start your tour on A and end it at I. Every letter on the map is clickable, offering some nice information about each location. We’ve got you covered to give you the full experience :).

You can book your bike here.

>> If you hop on a bike, don’t forget to check out our article about the do’s and don’ts of biking through Amsterdam

4. Scenic City Views on a Free Ferry Ride

Hop on one of the city’s free ferry rides for amazing scenic views of the iconic Amsterdam skyline. The ferry services connect various parts of the city. One of the must-try routes is the ferry to the North side of the city, where you can explore the vibrant NDSM wharf for free. This former shipyard has transformed into an open canvas for street art and graffiti, making it a dynamic and colorful area to discover. Immerse yourself in the artistic atmosphere and witness the creativity that adorns the walls of this unique Amsterdam neighborhood. 

The ferry departs every 30 minutes (45 and 15) from Amsterdam Central Station and every 15 minutes during rush hours. Board ferry F4, located on the far left (when facing backward to Amsterdam Central station), named NDSM.

View of Amsterdam from the ferry ride

>> Read our full article about all the ins and outs of public transport in Amsterdam.

Cheaper Areas

While it’s true that Amsterdam isn’t the cheapest city, there are still some great options for your stay.

  • Oud West: around Vondelpark, offers a laid-back vibe with local charm. The neighborhood has a relaxed and easygoing atmosphere, making it perfect for people who enjoy both culture and a chill vibe. At the park, you can unwind by the ponds, take a bike ride, or enjoy a nice picnic. This area is really close to places like the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, etc.
  • Amsterdam Noord (North): a unique and alternative neighborhood, nestled just across the river from the city center. The streets are filled with innovative cafes, artistic spaces and cultural hubs set against a backdrop of repurposed warehouses and avant-garde architecture. It’s a haven for those seeking a more bohemian atmosphere. It’s a great location because you’re still close to the city center. You can either take the free ferry or the metro.
  • Red Light District: If you’re up for a bustling atmosphere, the Red Light District is actually a budget-friendly area. It’s a unique and a world-famous district where you can explore a diverse range of cafes, restaurants and nightlife options. However, bear in mind that it’s a highly touristy area and evenings might be a bit noisy. Consider that the Red Light District is just one facet of Amsterdam’s rich culture, so take the opportunity to explore other parts of the city as well.

>> Want to know more about all the different areas in Amsterdam? Read our full article about it.

6. Jazz Café Alto

Open every day from 5PM until 3AM

Situated in the heart of Amsterdam, you’ll find this lively and characterful place that has been attracting jazz music enthusiasts since 1953! This intimate cafe is known for its relaxed atmosphere and features live jazz performances from both local artists and international talents. With its warm lighting and cozy decor, Jazz Café Alto provides the perfect setting for a night out in Amsterdam’s music scene. Whether you’re a seasoned jazz lover or simply seeking a unique experience, Jazz Café Alto is a must-visit for anyone looking to enjoy great music and a bohemian atmosphere.

Entrance fee: Sun-Thu € 5 and Fri-Sat € 7.50

Live music at jazz cafe Alto in Amsterdam
Korte Leidsedwarsstraat 115 | © Jazz Café Alto

7. Van Dobben

Open daily from 10 AM until 8 PM

Indulge in the classic and famous Dutch ‘kroket‘ at Van Dobben, a beloved spot among locals. Choose between ordering a single kroket or opting for it in a white sandwich paired with mustard. Want to go for the truly local experience? Order a glass of cold milk with your kroket. Enjoy :).  

Van Dobben Kroketten
Korte Reguliersdwarsstraat 5-7-9 | © Van Dobben

8. Sunset Viewpoints

What better way to end your day than by watching the sunset over the beautiful canals of Amsterdam? As locals who loooove watching sunsets, we’ve created a map for you with some of the best spots in the city.

Sunset from Scheepsvaartmuseum in Amsterdam

9. Markets

Immerse yourself in local culture and savor diverse flavors and crafts. Go to The Albert Cuyp Market as this is one of Amsterdam’s most iconic and bustling markets. Nestled in the lively neighborhood of De Pijp. There are plenty of delicious foods to try, including the Dutch stroopwafel, along with a variety of global culinary delights. Additionally, the market is an excellent destination for purchasing unique souvenirs. The market is open from Mon-Sat 9AM until 6PM. 

An other of our favourites is the oldest flea market of amsterdam at Waterlooplein. Located in the heart of the city, this market is a haven for vintage lovers! As you wander around, you’ll discover a diverse array of second-hand clothing, antiques and other unique stuff. The market is open from Mon – Sat from 09:30 AM until 6PM. 

Market in Waterlooplein Amsterdam

>> Want to discover more? Find all the info about the best markets in Amsterdam.

10. Secluded Courtyards (Hofjes)

Discover the hidden gems of Amsterdam by exploring its charming hofjes, secluded courtyards surrounded by historic buildings. While the Begijnhof is well-known, there are many other beautiful and lesser-known hofjes. 

  • Begin your journey at the populair Begijnhof, a serene oasis in the heart of the city. Address: Begijnhof 1
  • From there, head to the peaceful Karthuizerhof which dates back from 1650. Back in the day, this place was created for 100+ unmarried women or widows with children. Now, you’ll find locals living a peaceful life here. Address: Karthuizersstraat 87-171
  • Other nice hofjes: Claes Claeszhofje and Van Brienen hofje. 
Courtyard in Amsterdam

TIP >> At certain courtyards, you may need to pass through a closed door, which will be unlocked during their opening times. Please be quite when entering these courtyards, as they are residential areas for locals. 

11. City Archives Amsterdam (Stadsarchief)

Open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 AM until 5 PM

Discover Amsterdam’s dynamic past at the City Archives (Stadsarchief) for free! Here, you’ll find a huge collection covering more then 750 years of documents, maps and pictures detailing the city’s evolution. From iconic landmarks to cultural shifts, find out about Rembrandt or Johan Cruyff and their times. The building used to be an old bank and a really cool detail is that all the collections are housed in the large safe, which you will enter when you go down into the building. This is called the ‘’Treasure room’’. 

Inside the City Archives of Amsterdam
Vijzelstraat 32 | City Archives Amsterdam

12. NEMO Rooftop

Open everyday from 10AM until 17:30PM

Experience breathtaking panoramic views of Amsterdam from the rooftop of NEMO Science Museum for free! The amazing and huge open-air terrace, accessible after climbing the grand stairs, provides a unique view over the city. Perfect place to take some instaworthy pictures of historic canals and architectural landmarks. Enhance your visit with a drink from the rooftop cafe. And of course check out the energetic exhibition!

View from the NEMO rooftop in Amsterdam
Oosterdok 2 | NEMO

TIP >> After coming down from the rooftop, don’t forget to check out the old boats in the harbor (Oosterdok on the map). Among locals also known as the museum harbor. The ships, along with the impressive Maritime Museum and VOC ship, showcase Amsterdam’s maritime history.

14. La Perla

Open daily from 11:30 AM until 10 PM and in weekends until 10:30 PM

Located in the trendy Jordaan neighborhood, you’ll discover a pizza lover’s paradise! This authentic pizzeria is known for its delicious and traditional Neapolitan-style pizzas. You’ll often find the We Like Amsterdam team here :). Pizzas start from €12.50.

MUST >> As this place is popular among locals you need to make a reservation in advance here.

Pizza Oven at La Perla in Amsterdam
Tweede Tuindwarsstraat 53 | © La Perla

We’ve also curated a list of 19 Free Things To Do in the city for you!

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