How to spend a weekend in Amsterdam on a budget

Amsterdam—city of clogs, canals, and cannabis?

Amsterdam—city of clogs, canals, and cannabis? Whether it’s the impressive De Nieuwe Kerk, or the many canals cluttered with quirky shops, Amsterdam is sure to be everyone’s cup of tea—if you manage to dodge the bicycle wheels, that is.

A city with a costly potential

Sadly, Amsterdam is not rife with ‘student discount’ potential, so prepare for costly museum trips if you’re keen to experience some culture. Entry to the Rijksmuseum comes at a price of roughly £15. Don’t worry if this is a bit steep though, it’s impossible not to notice the stunning architecture that seeps from all over this beautiful city and most of it you can enjoy for free.

Similarly, if the high-brow and sky-high prices don’t appeal to you, there is always a ‘right-of-passage’ visit to the Sex Museum. This costs around 4 euros and is full of surprises, to say the least. However, this trip is definitely not one for the prudish, but it might give you a cheap giggle.

Don’t expect photos of scantily-clad Victorians to fill up more than an hour-or-so though…

For an equally enjoyable but more cost-effective weekend, bike rental is definitely the route to take. Cycling is a great novelty for most tourists, and Vondel Park is definitely an appealing place to practice without your stabilizers.

When you start to feel a bit empty from all that exercising, there is also a conveniently located park café, which does good self-service sustenance at reasonable prices. (Although you do have to pay to use the bathroom!)

The city with perks

When it comes to accommodation, Hans Brinker Budget Hotel is definitely the place to bunk up if you’re trying to keep your weekend costs to a minimum. I was almost in tears when I saw some of the ‘Improve Your Immune System’ and ‘Accidentally Eco- Friendly’ advertising, but fear not, this is all just a clever marketing campaign.

Even the squeamish will be pleasantly surprised to discover the basic but clean rooms and en-suite shower and toilet facilities. What makes Hans Brinker stand out from the crowd however, has to be the communal area. This is where you can catch a complimentary continental breakfast every morning, and this is sure to fuel you through any agonizing hangover.

The communal area is a spacious hive of activity with plenty of places to sit and enjoy a book, munch on some cheap grub or take advantage of the free Wi-Fi. Incidentally ‘Happy Hour’ between 5-6  is also a great way to start any evening in Amsterdam, with ‘2for1’ on wines and beers its certain you’ll be in for a good night, wherever you end up.

Everybody knows that Europe is an expensive place to booze. Amsterdam is no exception, so be sure to take advantage of the drinks deals wherever you decide to stay or you could find yourself out-of-pocket before the nights even begun.

Most hostels will cater to student budgets making them not only the cheapest but also the most fun places to stay as you’ll get to meet lots of budget backpackers from all over the place!

Amsterdam is well worth a visit, with so much to see and do you’ll definitely have an action packed and exciting weekend, no matter what it is that you enjoy.

To make the most of your time in handsome Holland, I would recommend visiting for at least three days , this will give you time to do all the exploring that your heart desires.

What do you think? Have you been to Amsterdam? Have your say in the comments section below.

Image: Jane023 / Wikimedia Commons