Ah Amsterdam your sure are a different beast and budget to Brussels. Unfortunately for me I arrived the day after Queens Day so got all the extra cost for late booking a hostel and none of the fun that goes with it.
Amsterdam was a chance to have a night out and really have tourist central force fed to me. Sure I did Paris and while it is touristy I don’t think it has anything on Amsterdam with the streets of souvenir shops and of course coffee shops on every corner.
There was only two things that slowed my fun in Amsterdam, the weather and my hostel. Something about big corporate hostels that cater to backpackers through to families just isn’t my thing. Yes it was still early in my adventure but I was discovering I liked the smaller hostels that had character. But anyway here’s what you came to read.
Getting around in Amsterdam was made easy thanks to a 72 hour city pass that only cost me 11 euro. As my hostel was a 15 or so minute tram ride from where all the action was it did make things a lot easier. Unfortunately the trams don’t run all night (12amish is stop time) so if you get caught its a long old walk home in your drunken stupor.
My first big corporate hostel and to be honest I really hope its my last. It lacked character, fun and just a general feeling of community. On top of that I seemed to be to have been roomed with all the single weird old guys.
I learnt later in my travels that most good hostels actually put the solo travellers together in one room so you can easily make friends and enjoy your hostel stay.
I’m sure had it not been such a busy time (my first night was 45 euro, ouch) I’d have been able to book a better place. In saying that, its worth keeping in mind that Amsterdam is a major hotspot for travellers and everybody there knows that so book ahead and read the reviews on booking sites or ask other travellers for their opinion on the best hostel to stay at.
Oh where do I start. Anne Frank House (8.5), Heineken Brewery(15), Free Walking Tour(5 in tips), Red Light District Tour(10) and not to forget a Sex Show(20 discounted heavily for a group of 5) and all of that was just in my second day.
The Heineken tour does give you 3 free beers so it isn’t all bad (unless you don’t like Heineken), and the rest seemed reasonable enough for what you got. Even the Red Light District Tour provided a free shot at the end of the tour. I could have easily have spent more had I been the type to take part in the Coffee Shop scene or a window session (50 euro for 15 minutes boys, or girls) but hey not everything is for everybody.
I spent most of my time eating when I felt like it here. The hostel provided breakfast and while it wasn’t spectacular it was included in my fee so I made the most of it.
I found most of central Amsterdam littered with fast food this and cheap over the counter that. Maybe it’s to satisfy the Coffee Shop folk or just the general tourist trade. I left the country wondering what is a traditional food from the Netherlands as all I could see were Burger King, McDonalds, Pizza Shops and so on.
Just about all my misc costs went on beer. Except for the final day where I had my first encounter with a H&M store and bought a hoodie to help keep me warm. I’d packed for summer/coolish weather and at the time Amsterdam was freezing my manhood off.
Total Cost for Amsterdam
All up, four days in Amsterdam run me 302 Euro or 443.37 AUD (at an exchange rate of 1 AUD = 0.68 Euro). This averaged out to just on 75 euros a day. Had it not been for the cold wet weather the entire time I was there I know I would have easily spent more. Amsterdam is a place to party and have fun, with that comes a great deal of expense. Looking at the costs now I can’t believe I spent over $400 aussie dollars in just 4 days.
To compare the costs to today’s exchange rate, leaving Australia now (November 2014) it would cost you $431.67 AUD with the current rate of 1 AUD = 0.70 Euro.
Honestly the cold weather really saved me here. Just my second night there and I was walking home to my hostel after a sex show at 3am. Not to forget I’d almost left my backpack with my passport at the show as well.
As well as all the party life that so many come here to see, the attractions will quickly run your budget down as well. I had wanted to see the Van Gogh Museum but you have to draw the line somewhere. Personally if your coming to Amsterdam, double your budget whether your partying or not for those days. I got lucky and broke about even on my 70 euro a day plan but it could so easily have been double that.