Home Dating 7 Cheap Date Ideas in Amsterdam

7 Cheap Date Ideas in Amsterdam

by Micaela Zaslabsky

Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands is one of the most romantic cities to visit if you know where to go. Avoiding the touristic areas, Amsterdam is full of cool new places to visit, beautiful photogenic spots and magical corners. However, Amsterdam can end up being rather expensive: if you are looking for an idea for cheap dates, don’t worry, this city has it all.

  1. Beer by the Amstel
  2. Picnic in Vondelpark/Rembrandtpark
  3. Coffee by the canal
  4. Cycling: Keukenhof, Zaandam, Beach
  5. Free exhibitions and museums
  6. Cooking at home
  7. Free Gym Trial

I think the ideas one can come up with for a cheap date are mostly valid worldwide: However, Amsterdam is one of the most amazing, fun and beautiful cities in Europe, which would make your date an even more special one. If you want to know some of the coolest ideas, here there are some great ones for a rainy or sunny day.

Date Ideas: Amsterdam Edition

Before meeting my boyfriend in Amsterdam, I have to admit I have gone on some dates and I have experienced all kinds of them, from the fanciest ones to the cheapest and most improvise ones. I must admit that as much as I like dressing up and visiting new and yummy restaurants, the best dates are the cheap and improvise ones, hands down.

I have been thinking about my best dates and here I have created a list of 7 great ideas for any type of person, any type of date and weatherproof!! Because let’s face it, if you are going to plan a date for a sunny day, you have to wait half a year or ask your crush.

Cheap Date Ideas in Amsterdam: Sunny Day

I have decided to divide the dates into two parts, the sunny day dates and the indoors because it is miserable outside dates. I love Amsterdam every single day of the year, however, you get to appreciate the sun when it comes out and doing an outdoor activity is always a good idea, even more on a date.

1. Beer by the Amstel

For a great cheap date by the Amstel river, the recipe calls for:

  • Magere Brug (or bridge of choice)
  • Wine or beer at AH 
  • A snack, fruit or chips
  • Good company
Magere Brug || Photo Courtesy of Roman Schmitz

One of my favourite days was during the summer months, after work I was meeting a classmate who was enjoying his free days in the city at a festival with his friends. Before going to the festival, we decided to meet and enjoy the late sunsets Dutch summers bring (the sun goes down at 10- 11 pm!!!). We went to AH to go and bought some beer (which you can easily exchange for wine or a soft drink) and some strawberries and went to sit by Magere Brug, a wooden bridge in the middle of the Amtel river, next to the Hermitage Museum, a bridge that is covered by fairy lights during winter and a great spot for sunsets during the summer.

2. Picnic in Voldepark or Rembrandtpark

Another great idea for those who don’t have a big budget to take their significant other for a fancy dinner is a picnic. In any case, an advantage of living in the Netherlands it is that is never bad to “go Dutch”, because nobody would expect you to pay for them.

Photo by Srdjan Stojiljkovic || Flickr

However, either because you are on a budget and want to surprise someone or to get out of the routine, enjoy a sunny day (out if the very few we get in Amsterdam!) and have some fun preparing things, you can do a picnic. Any park close to you is valid but the all-time favourite ones are Rembrandpark and Vondelpark.

The menu for the picnic can be anything from some to drink, pre-cut fruit to sandwiches, salads, grabbing a burger or kebab at a FEBO or anywhere and go sit in the grass. I strongly recommend it. Recipe for a great cheap date:

  • Sun
  • Find a cute spot in a park, either by a lake, canal, flower fields, etc.
  • Something to drink-Towel or table cloth would be nice
  • Homemade food, sandwiches or a fruit salad, anything is valid
  • One again, good company

3. Coffee by the Canal

Everybody knows that a typical picture of two lovers drinking coffee in a Parisian cafe with a view of the Eiffel Tower. Well, grabbing some good coffee sitting by a canal is the Dutch version of it. The key is finding the good spots, far away from the tourists, where things are calm but still cool and up to date.

Stach || Photo Courtesy of Franklin Heijnen || Flickr

Let’s face it, coffee in the Netherlands is expensive, but all in all, it is not much for a date if it is only coffee or coffee and cake. Plus, coffee is good ;). Some of my favourite coffee places for a date are:

  • STACH: It is not the most romantic one, but I genuinely like their coffee and my favourite is at Stach Overtoom.
  • Koffie Academie: great coffee, cool atmosphere and perfect for a first casual date. Also by Overtoom, next to Vondelpark.
  • De Brabantse Aap: one of my favourite places for both coffee and beer. It is located in the middle of Spui but has an amazing view of the canal (Singelgrach) and it is in the border with the touristic area. Perfect!!

Extra tip: during a sunny day, my tip would be to walk all along Singlegrach, from Dam square, including the PC Hoofstraat area, by the UvA. There are plenty of cafes that normally don’t have chairs outside that take them out for the occasion, it is sunny in the Netherlands! And that way you also enjoy a nice walk 😉

4. Cycle to a City or a Beach

Besides my boyfriend, everybody else has a bike if they live in Amsterdam. If that is the case, a great cheap date idea for those of you who are more sporty or into an active date, this is a good one.

Windmill Adriaan || Haarlem

The closest cities to cycle (an hour away from Amsterdam) are Zaandam or Zaanse Schans, the beach in Amsterdam, direction Haarlem or direction Keukenhof during spring to see the fields of tulips (nor entering Amsterdam).

  • Zaandam: you have some amazing architecture to see and it is close to Zaanse Schans. It is more or less 10KM away from Amsterdam Centraal Station.
  • Zaanse Schans: you will be able to enjoy the most amazing windmill landscape in the North of the Netherlands, also 10 km/ an hour away from Amsterdam.
  • Haarlem: a beautiful city with a nice beach to walk by during winter or summer. A great outdoorsy activity.

Cheap Date Ideas in Amsterdam: Rainy Days

If you live in Amsterdam you will be used to getting wet and making plans indoors 350 days of the years. Here, some cool ideas for a cheap date to avoid the rain.

5. Free Exhibitions and Free Museums

If you have a Facebook account and friends in Amsterdam, you will constantly receive messages of “your friends are attending this party or even today”. It is always worth being up-to-day to everything Facebook has to say to have new ideas for dates.

Eye Film Museum

Moreover, in our blog, we have an article I wrote about Free Museums in Amsterdam and another one about Free Things to Do in Amsterdam. There is no cheaper date than a free one 😉

The free museums and galleries that are worth checking out are the following (you can read more about each of them in the article):

  1. Rijksmuseum Gardens
  2. Nieuwe Spiegelstraat
  3. Light Festival
  4. Multatuli Museum
  5. Cultural Park
  6. Eye Film Museum
  7. Schuttersgalerij
  8. Diamond Tour
  9. ARCAM
  10. Museumkaart

Extra Tip: you can always ask the person you are going on a date with if they have their Museumkaarts. Some of my favourite dates have been going to museums. My favourite one is the Stedelijk Museum but the Rijksmuseum is always a good idea. This is also a great proposal for a rainy day. Besides, if you don’t have your Museumkaart, and you are a student, you get a significant discount, worth checking.

6. Cooking at Home

Is there anything more romantic than someone you like inviting you over for a homecooked meal they have made themselves?

It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, everybody loves pasta, with that, a good wine (or Coca Cola in my case, sorry), and some fruit, a dessert bought in AH or something like that you have a lot of extra points. The good part about this idea is that you can spend as much or as little as you want or have.

7. Free Gym Trial

This is the last one and probably the weirdest one but, isn’t it fun to laugh at yourself, try a new activity and maybe learn something new while on a date?

Sportcity Wibaustraat Amsterdam || Photo Courtesy of https://www.sportcity.nl/

One of my favorite dates has been going with my boyfriend to the gym. At his gym, he had the chance to let someone give it a try for free, so he offered me the entrance and we had a training session together. It is original and fun and I will recommend you to ask your gym if that is an option.

Here you can read more about the Best Cheap Gyms in Amsterdam.

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