I’ve heard it from several people and I’ve seen blogposts naming it before (I named it before too): Amsterdam is not a cheap city. I live in the Netherlands, so I am used to the prices and to be honest, I don’t notice the expensiveness of the city. However, I can understand other that other people do. Especially if you are from eastern Europe, or Asia. However, I think it all starts at the beginning: flying into Amsterdam isn’t cheap, and if you want to book a comfortable, centrally located hotel than yes, I can imagine it is pretty expensive. However: eating and visiting museums in the city is fairly cheap to do, so how much does a weekend in Amsterdam actually cost you?
FLYING INTO THE CITY As I just said: flying into the city is pretty expensive. Air fares to and from Schiphol are fairly high and there aren’t much budget airlines flying into Schiphol (with the exception of Transavia and EasyJet). I will assume that you aren’t flying in from Asia or the USA for just a weekend of Amsterdam, but you’re instead planning a trip through Europe. So I will give you the average price for flying into Amsterdam from anywhere in Europe. Which is around €100,- for a roundtrip. This however does depend on where you are flying from. If you are flying with EasyJet from out for example London it can be around €50/€70 euros for a roundtrip. If you are flying our from Scandinavia or from South-east Europe it can easily be around €150 / €200. But as I just said: most air faires are around €100,- (I advise you to book with KLM Cityhopper).
INTERRAILING Traveling from Paris, Brussels, Berlin or London leaves you with the option to take the train. This can (depending on time and day of the year) either be very expensive or very cheap. But the average price will be around €50,- for a single ticket. However, I traveled to from Amsterdam to Paris last summer for €35,- business class (single ticket)!
HOTEL STAYS As in every city Amsterdam has budget options and expensive options. Below I’ll give you three hotel prices: budget, normal and luxurious. Of course prices vary throughout the year, and you’ll be guaranteed to pay higher prices on national holidays and during high season. You’ll be traveling cheapest during the months January, February, March, Oktober and November.
Lets say that you are staying in Amsterdam for three nights. Then you’ll get the following prices:
Budget: €35,00 for a bed on a dormitory Where? Amsterdam Hostel Leidseplein
Normal: €209,00 for a double room Where? Hotel Royal Taste
Luxurious: €450,00 for a double room Where? Park Plaza Vondelpark
Transportation in Amsterdam
Amsterdam is a pretty walkable city. You don’t need any form of transportation around the city center. If you however want to go a little bit further outside the city center and see some other neighborhoods like the Jordaan you can take the train or tram. For €7,50 you can buy a day ticket for the tram (GVB) which will get you to most places in Amsterdam! If you want a fun ‘Dutch’ way to explore the city you can rent a bike. This will cost you around €10/€14 euros for a day – depends on what kind of bike you want.
Taxi’s in The Netherlands are pretty expensive and I wouldn’t recommend taking a cab unless you are arriving at Schiphol in the middle of the night.
Eating in Amsterdam
BREAKFAST Breakfast in Amsterdam doesn’t have to be expensive at all. If you have a normal or luxurious priced hotel you can count on it that breakfast is included in your stay. Otherwise you have to eat somewhere in the city. A normal priced breakfast will cost you around €6,00 – including coffee and/or a fresh orange juice.
LUNCH If you want to eat a budget lunch you can just grab a sandwich somewhere or go to a supermarket which will cost you around €6,00 including drinks. However if you want to go to a lunchroom to have some proper lunch you’ll have to pay for it. My favorite lunchroom in Amsterdam is SLA – which is a lunch spot with very healthy and delicious meals (mostly salads) and smoothies. A lunch in a normally priced lunchroom will cost you around €17,00 per person.
DINNER When I went to Amsterdam with my sister last week we had dinner for €27,50. I was shocked to see it was so cheap.. In fact: I’ve never paid so little for a dinner for two persons. However, the only thing we bought was a basket of bread and butter, two pizzas and four drinks. So yeah: you can eat dinner for cheap. If you want to eat a three course meal however, you can easily count on €27,50 per person. Of course there are always exceptions and restaurants who will only ask €20,00 for a three course meal or give high discounts to students. If you want to go really budget you can buy a €4,00 meal at the supermarket (Albert Heijn) and microwave it in your hostel. You can make your dinner as expensive as you want obviously.
Amsterdam has a lot of museums and you can’t possibly access them all when you are only visiting the city for a weekend. But here are the ones you should add to your bucket list for sure:
Van Gogh Museum: €17,00
Anne Frank Museum: €9,00
Stedelijk Museum: €15,00
The Heineken Experience: €18,00 (online €16,00)
The prices above are all full prices: it is possible that you can get a discount because you are a student, or have a Holland Pass or something like that.
Because The Netherlands is such a small country you should really include a day trip to your visit. The best ones are a trip to Lisse (tulip fields) in spring, a trip to Antwerp, a trip to the Cheesemarkets in Alkmaar, a trip to Rotterdam and Madurodam, and a trip to Volendam. Prices of these tours can range from €50,00 to €100,00.
OTHER TOURS YOU CAN DO
Canal cruise: €14,00
Free walking tour: €5,00 (tip)
Bike tour: from €20,00
Food tour: €70,00
So how much does a weekend cost?
For the average budget traveler? €248,00 ($280,00)
For the average traveler? €426,00 ($481,00)
For the luxurious traveler? €730,00 ($825,00) (of course, when you are a luxurious traveler without a budget, a trip to Amsterdam can easily become more than thousands of dollars.)
These prices are based on a three night stay in Amsterdam including: hotels, airfares, food (2x breakfast, 3x lunch, 2x dinner), transportation, entree to three museums, one other tours and a day trip.
I did not include: (souvenir) shopping, snacks and drinks you possibly buy at a bar.