This blog post was updated on September 28, 2018.
Amsterdam sets itself apart from other European cities with its wealth of canals, countless bridges, more bikes than permanent residents and lively neighborhoods. A city with a history stretching back to the 13th century is filled with character. However, all of that character and spirit comes at a price, creating the need for finding deals in town. If you want to experience this Dutch city, you don’t have to save and save. Rather, there are a number of budget friendly attractions and offers in the city that still paint a picture of Amsterdam that would make Rembrandt proud.
Purchase the I Amsterdam City Card: Most major European cities can take a toll on budgets after a couple of museum visits and a ride around on the metro. Amsterdam helps cushion the blow of those entrances fees with its I Amsterdam City Card. After purchasing the card, you can use the bus, tram and metro in the city for unlimited trips. You can enter major museums and attractions in town without paying the entrance fees. And you can even set sail on a canal cruise with the card. The card costs €47 for 24 hours, €57 for 48 hours and €67 for 72 hours. To make certain that the card is worth your while, there is a nice breakdown of how much these entrances fees and train tickets would cost you individually versus buying the card on the I Amsterdam City Card webpage.
Lap Around Amsterdam’s Canal Ring: One of Amsterdam’s biggest attractions certainly won’t break the bank. The canals of the city are legendary, specifically Canal Ring, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The unique urban landscape boasts foundations in the 17th century. The over 400-year-old waterways feature 80 bridges throughout the dedicated space. You can roam the canals and bridges without opening your wallet. Of course, if you want to learn more about Amsterdam’s famous canals, you can visit the Museum of the Canals. Entrance is free with the I Amsterdam City Card. The museum provides a fine overview of the history of Amsterdam’s legendary canals.
Sniff Out The Scents of the Bloemenmarkt: You can’t go to Amsterdam without seeing a tulip or two. Amsterdam’s most fragrant space is also a budget-friendly attraction. Bloemenmarkt features countless flower stalls located on floating barges along the canal. It is easily the most colorful spot in the city. You can admire everything from classic Dutch tulips to more exotic flowers, a delight for every traveler’s camera. While it is free to roam the market, purchasing a bouquet might set you back a few. Amsterdam has been in the business of flower markets since as far back as the 17th century. If your nose still craves more, you can visit the Amsterdam Tulip Museum. With free admission offered if you have the I Amsterdam City Card, you could get an in-depth history of the Netherlands’ favorite flower.
Take The Diamonds…Tour: Amsterdam-based diamond cutting and trading company Gassan Diamonds offers free tours of its historical diamond factory. Tours take visitors through the cutting and polishing process where you can see diamond cutters at work. The guided tour also provides the history of the craft, explaining just how Amsterdam has been known as the City of Diamonds for over 425 years.