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.
|Day||Transport||Hostel||Attractions||Breakfast||Lunch||Dinner||Misc||Total €||Total $AU|
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.
Amsterdam is definitely one of those cities I’d love to go back and see. Glad you had a pretty good time, without emptying your wallet.
I’m not sold on Amsterdam just yet. I mean sure its beautiful with its canals and all but something just didn’t lure me in as much as other places have.
I’ll go back but its not a place I have that burning desire to see again.
I had the same feelings towards Amsterdam. I had a great time, but based on its reputation I was a bit let down. I think a lot of beginner travelers go to Amsterdam and are blown away, for me it is not even in my top 20. You can cover the city in 2-3 days, while other places seem like they would take a life time to explore.
I have to say that I loved Amsterdam. Once spent 5 weeks there. For keeping prices down, camping is a cheap option if you have the gear — there’s a nice campsite on the other side of the rive from Centraal Station – a 15 minute walk.
For me, Amsterdam is the perfect town to wander about. I could spend days peeking into antique shops, soaking up the sun at the park or chatting with other travelers at a pub. It’s a party town, for sure, but there’s more to it than that.
I know why you enjoyed Amsterdam Wes 🙂
You could definately spend days and days walking the canals and relaxing I don’t doubt that. Unfortunately I seemed to have arrived when all it wanted to do was rain. When your stuck running from sheltered area to sheltered area all of that joy is taken away and it didn’t leave me with as many options to explore.
We stayed at a campsite too last time we were there.
We had no gear but stayed in a little hut for a much cheaper price than a dorm bed in town, so it’s a great option 🙂
“Just about all my misc costs went on beer.”. Ummmm. Just beer? Come on mate…. 😉
haha Michael, yes beer it was. I’m not fond of the green stuff 🙂
4 Euros for lunch! I’d love to know what you’re eating haha 🙂
Joey, I was just getting things from street stalls and shops as I went. From memory the first couple of days was pizza and then a kebab. I almost stopped off at a great steak restaurant with a friend but that was before we looked at the cost.
So I have been reading your “BUDGET” post & they really scare me. I love them cus 1) I love budget post & 2) you give us great details of everything you spend on. The reason they scare is because I plan on spending 2 months(originally 4) in EUROPE during my RTW but it seems too expensive. I wanna be able to travel for a long time with the money I have saved up and I think EUROPE may break the bank. Hmm I’ll have to be very smart about it.
Jaime without a doubt europe is expensive, once I got over east things were much better on the wallet but still had their costs. You can get a basic idea on what’s expensive around the world by looking at where the majority of travel bloggers are.
By far they all head for asia for long stays and journey to places like Australia/Europe for short trips to break things up. Think I’m a little crazy for spending so long in this part of the world, but with a 2 year visa for the UK it sure helps.
How much did you budget for over a daily/weekly basis on your trip?
Once I finish my budget posts I’ll have a grand total and reflect on things that could have been done cheaper etc but it still won’t change the fact Europe is expensive.
Oh man you are lucky then. You will be able to explore then work & then explore some more.
My budget for Europe I really want to try to keep it at $65 a day. I know thats going to be hard but I have seen some do it for less. I am only planning to spend 2 months so I should be fine.
That’s the plan Jaime. I’m currently working through the winter in preparation for the coming summer.
I know I could probably have done it on $65 for a bit but I really didn’t want to feel like I missed something due to lack of funds.
Just one day seeing a couple of sites and hostel plus food would easily blow $65 out of the water.
Amsterdam is very expensive…where did you stay while you were there?
Matt I got there just after Queens Day so ended up in the Stayokay Vondelpark as everything was booked solid. Next time I visit I’ll be skipping the big corporate hostels as it had no character at all.
I did Stayokay in Rotterdam….so bland and boring. Did give me a chance to get some quiet time for blogging after crazy amsterdam!
I adore Amsterdam, an alternative to a hostel is Jonas’ houseboat. It’s around the corner from the Botel, it’s cheap and cheerful, and you share with Jonas’ and his son. I loved the houseboat, and it gives you a really authentic view of real Amsterdam life.
Thanks Aussie Nomad for your breakdown its great. I am going to Amsterdam in 3 days and hopefully you will get back to me in time.
Just a few questions if you don’t mind?
Did u get a taxi anywhere and if so was it cheap?
Do you get bothered on the street to buy things?
Is it cobled streets in most of amsterdam?
Thank you 🙂
Hey Dannie, enjoy Amsterdam I’d like to get back at some stage and hopefully enjoy it a bit more than I did the first time. As for your questions no I didn’t catch a taxi just walked and got the tram. I didn’t find the central part of town so big so was easy to walk it.
Nope never had any problems with people trying to sell me things at all. Felt just like walking around any big city.
Cobled streets are only in certain parts from memory. Just make sure you don’t walk in the bike lanes which I often did. The bikes take no prisioners there and you will no doubt hear the bike horns blasting at you.
Hope that helps and if you need anything else feel free to ask.
1 Euro = 0.68 AUD **** L0L
it is 1 AUD =0.68 Euro It should be other side mate
uday thats a rather embarassing pickup given I’d made the same mistake on about 3 other posts as well and they were written over a year ago. Cheers for noticing.
wow, great post, although im 2 years late posting a comment. im planning to go Amsterdam for 4 days solo in september. any good hostels u can recommend where i cant meet other solo travellers. thanks mate!
Hi Errick, I’ve only stayed in Amsterdam the once and that was at the stayokay hostels, I’d advise skipping them as they are not overly friendly or fun at all. I’d lookup the Flying Pig or the Bulldog if you want to surround yourself by other travellers looking to explore and enjoy the city.
Loved this. I agree with the food, would of loved to find some more ‘traditional’ food there..
Georgia I know right, I guess thats what happens to places that have a high tourist factor.
I live in Amsterdam and I can imagine what you’re talking about. Bad weather for a couple of days can really spoil the fun. The city centre is very touristy and with a lot of fastfood. Sure, you should see the Dam Square, Red Light District/China town.
I’d recommended the areas Jordaan and De Pijp (especially the Albert Cuyp market), two typical lively hip former working-class neighbourhoods. And “De Negen Straatjes” (the nine (little) streets), now a very trendy area with boutiques, nice cafés, and fasion workplaces. Also the North of Amsterdam, just on the other side of the water near Central Station is very upcoming with a lot of creative industries.
Van Gogh museum is very good. Visit the Rijksmuseum as well if you like Rembrandt paintings; the building itself is also impressive.
Food you can try:
Chocoladeletters: Just chocolate in the shape of a letter. You can buy them everywhere from sep-dec since it is part of the Sinterklaas (Saint Nicolas) celebration (5 Dec). A big children’s celebration like Santa Claus (probably based on the same figure).
Hollandse Nieuwe Haring: Fresh, raw herring! You eat it raw and is dellicous. Buy them at the fish stall at the market. You can also try the fried cod!
Patat: French fries, but larger. Eat it with mayoneise.
Poffertjes: small pancakes
Stamppot: Traditional meal of mashed potato with carrot or borecole/kale and smoked sausage.
Stroopwafels: Syrup waffle. A delicious cookie.
Kroket: the best snack in town. A kroket or croquette is a breadcrumbs fried food roll with ragout, beef or veal. Very tasty, mostly served on a bun. You can also buy it at McDonald’s: McKroket.
You can also eat saté (satay) in almost every bistro, pub with kitchen or restaurant. Since Indonesia used to be a Dutch colony, there are a lot of Indonesian restaurants in the Netherlands.
Maybe this could be useful for backpackers that want to avoid the tourtisty areas.
I’m thinking to visit Amsterdam next week for 1 week. Would love to take a bicycle around the suburbs eg. windmills etc. Is this a good time as it’s winter now?