Even though Amsterdam is a very tempting and interesting destination for almost everyone, it is also a very expensive city, a city that invites tourists to spend more and a city that offers so many things that you will have a hard time not wanting to do it all. But, how much would it really cost to spend a weekend in Amsterdam?
|Lower Budget (for two)||Normal Budget (for two)|
|Hotel||100-150 euros per night||150-200 euros per night|
|Transport Airport||Bus (return) 12 euros per person||Taxi (one way) 50 euros|
|Lunch||5-10 euros per person||15-20 euros per person|
|Dinner||15-20 euros per person||25-50 euros per person|
|Museum entry||15-20 euros per person||15-20 euros per person|
|Extra Expenses (Shopping, museums, transportation, cinema, zoo, coffee, souvenirs, bikes, etc)||50-100 euros||100-200 euros|
|350-450 total||550-650 total|
How much you spend while visiting Amsterdam depends a lot on the decisions you make. There are some free activities to do in the city, it also depends if you like walking, if you like cycling, if you are arriving late and need to take a taxi or even where you decide to eat. If you want to know more about it and you want to plan your visit, keep reading this article, I will include my own experience, a lot of useful articles with hotel options, dinner recommendations and more.
How Much Does it Cost to Visit Amsterdam?
For a weekend in Amsterdam, one has to calculate to spend around 400-600 euros excluding flights. The flights will depend on where you are coming from, and it is also important to consider what time of the year you are visiting the city. High seasons such as summer holidays and Christmas period will cost more than going offseason, from January to March, September to October, etc.
In general, Amsterdam is a city with a lot of offers, you can go on a budget and decide where to spend your money. Some of the fields you will be spending your money on are:
- Accommodation (a 2 or 3 stars hotel or Airbnb apartment)
- Food (calculating at least one meal at a relatively nice restaurant, etc)
- Transportation (not only inside the city but how to get there after you arrived)
- Museums (one or two museums for the weekend)
- Extra expenses (souvenirs to bring home, extra transportation cost, extra shopping, etc)
My estimate is around 350-450 euros as someone whose budget is a little bit more limited and 550-650 euros for someone who can splurge more on this trip. This is the total for two people for two days in Amsterdam. Weekends tend to be a little bit more expensive when it comes to booking flights and hotels, but it will be a small difference. In any case, Amsterdam is conveniently close to Schiphol Airport, a well-connected hub airport with many flight offers.
One of the biggest chunks of your budget is going to be for accommodation. Finding a hotel or apartment in Amsterdam for a good price is almost impossible. You will be paying a lot for not that much, so don’t expect the biggest and nicest room for 150 euros per night. This all depends on what time of the year you decide to go, so this is an approximation of the best places for the best price.
In any case, there are many hotels and accommodations to choose from, Airbnb options, hostels, centric hotels that are not that bad and really nice options.
Cheap Hotels in Amsterdam can be found for approximately 100 euros per night. Some of the best options are:
- Budget Hotel Ben: a hotel right in the heart of Amsterdam (350m away from Dam Square) for around 80 euros per night. It is far from being a luxury hotel but it does the job for a couple of nights if your main goal is to spend your time walking around the city.
- Hotel Casa Amsterdam: a three stars hotel a little bit far away from Amsterdam but with really nice rooms and a view. It is in Oost and it costs also around 80 euros per night, a lot more for the same price, but farther away from the centre.
- Hotel Park Plantage: another three stars hotel, with smaller rooms but way closer to the centre of Amsterdam. It is a very nice hotel located between Rembrandtpark and Artis Zoo. It will cost you around 110 euros per night during an offseason period.
Airbnb is also always a great option. It is not for everybody, there are people who prefer the experience of staying at a hotel, but these cities have a great demand for accommodation and Airbnb has always worked for me and my siblings, who have come to visit me in Amsterdam. It will also be great for couples with a baby, to have more space or prepare baby food. It will always give you the option of doing a meal at home and not having to spend so much eating outside. Check it out!
Some cool articles we have posted in this blog that would help you find the most suitable accommodation for you are:
- The Best Hotels in the Red Light District (for those of you considering staying in the heart of Amsterdam)
- My Favourite Couple Hotels in Amsterdam (for more of a romantic trip)
- How to visit Amsterdam on a budget (if you are looking for a cheaper way of visiting the city, there are ways such as staying at a camping space or maybe doing Couchsurfing is a great idea for you. In the Jordaan and in the Red Light District there are many hostels too and there are many ways to enjoy this city on a real budget)
- What is the Cheapest time to visit Amsterdam (if you don’t have a settled date and are still trying to figure out when it is best to visit)
From the beginning of 2020, there is a rise in tourist tax. When you book the hotel you should check if it’s included in the price or not. Tourist tax is 7% of the room price + 3 Euros per person per night.
If you come with 2 people for 2 days to a room that costs 150 euros, you pay 10,5 euros(7% of the room price) + 6euros(3 euro per person per night) = 16,5euro
In my opinion, one of the most expensive things to do in the Netherlands is eating outside. There are some cool places where at least you can make the most out of your money, pay the same but for one of the yummiest meals ever or for a good amount.
You can expect to spend 2,50-3,00 euros for coffee and 10-15 euros for breakfast or a sandwich for lunch. Having dinner outside it is a little bit more expensive, so you can expect to pay 25-50 euros per person for a dinner out. Drinks are the most expensive part.
Not so long ago I wrote an article recommending The Cheapest Indonesian Food, one of my favourite cuisines out of the many international ones you will be able to find in Amsterdam. There are many many great restaurants where you can eat great food for a small amount.
Other interesting articles with useful information are:
- Eat on a Budget in Amsterdam: on a budget doesn’t mean the taste isn’t amazing. In fact, there are many restaurants where you can eat for 10-15 euros. Since there are many different types of cuisines, you can expect to find nice restaurants for Sandwiches, Asian food on a Budget, Pizza, Vegetarian and Vegan, Meat and Fast Food.
- A Guide to Cheap Vegan Restaurant and The Best Vegan and Vegetarian Restuarant: for those of you with very specific dietary needs, a vegan guide
If you decide to book Airbnb accommodation, you will have the advantage of being able to cook while you are traveling. It will mean breakfast there or maybe some lunch prepping.
The first part that you have to consider is arriving at your accommodation when you get to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. The airport is 10km away from the city, a relatively short trajectory to go almost anywhere in the city.
If your flight is late at night or very early in the morning, you may want to consider getting a taxi to your destination. It will cost you 50 euros and it is better to book it beforehand and settle a price so that you don’t get scammed, something that happens a little too often at the airport. Uber also gets to the airport, so you can easily plan your trip and know exactly how much it would be.
If you are arriving between 7 am and 6 pm, you can take the Connexion Bus that will bring you to the center of Amsterdam, by Leidseplein. You can book it online or you can just get the ticket on the bus, just getting out of the airport. You can ask for it and they will give you indications at the airport to know exactly where to take it. The day bus is 397 and the night bus is N97. Busses come to the airport and go from the airport every 10 minutes during most of the day, the price is 6 euros and return around 12.
Stops of Connexion Bus are Museumplein (28 minutes), Rijksmuseum (32 minutes), Leidseplein (34 minutes) and bus station Elandsgracht (38 minutes).
Taking a train is always an option, it is a little bit more expensive than the bus and it takes a little bit longer, which is why I would recommend the bus. However, it is an option if it is more convenient for you for whatever reason.
Transportation in Amsterdam
Getting around Amsterdam is very easy since, even though it is a very populated city, it is relatively small (for me, coming from Argentina!).
In any case, you can decide if you want to walk around, rent a bike or go around with the trams, which is the best way to get around in the city center.
- Walking: get an umbrella and you are good to go. You will think that everything is close by and that you are getting everywhere but you will end up walking a lot. Perk: it is free!
- Rent a bike: probably the hotel where you are staying offers bikes to rent. In general, it costs around 10-15 euros per day (plus deposit). Some companies that you can check are Yellowbike, My hotel bike, etc.
- Tram: you will have to buy a ticket. This ticket will also work for metro and bus, which are less commonly used by tourists anyway. It’s a good idea to get a day public transport ticket in advance. Prices are: €6.50 for 90 minutes or Day/Multi-Day tickets – 1 to a 7-day ticket (€8 to €37), children 4-11 €4 per day.
For someone like me, visiting Amsterdam would mean that my biggest part of the budget would end up being for museums. There are dozens of museums in the city, one for everything and for all type of tastes. I would recommend at least visiting one, which means between 15 and 25 euros per person.
One of my favourite museums is the Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art. Another option is visiting the Best Museum in Amsterdam, the Rijksmuseum. Each ticket is 15 euros for an adult and free for children up to 7 years old.
If you are visiting Amsterdam on a budget, maybe you are interested to know about 10 Free Museums in Amsterdam. They are not the most popular ones but they are definitely worth visiting too. Besides, there are many activities going on that you can enjoy for free. You can always ask at the hotel reception.
Another way of getting the most out of your money is the cards: IAmsterdam Card, Museumkaart and the Holland Pass.
- Museum Card: the Museumkaart is the not best deal of all people, but mostly for locals. For tourists, only if you are interested in art museums and if the 5 museums you can get in are worth in total more than the 65 euros you pay for it. Therefore, the card costs 65 euros and in a whole weekend you need to get to at least 5 museums, so it may not be the best option.
- IAmsterdam Card: In the case of the IAmsterdam Card, besides museums, you can also enjoy of more popular options such as the Heineken Experience or Madame Tussauds. It is more expensive than the Holland Pass: a 24-hours pass is €60, a 48-hours pass is €80, a 72-hours one, €95.
- Holland Pass: It is the cheapest option of all three and a good deal for combinations such as bus or boat tour, museums, and other interesting activities. However, it is not the most popular one. There are three types: Small (45 euros): you get 3 credits 1x gold 2x silver), Medium (60 EUROS): 4 credits 2x gold 2x silver or the Large (75 EUROS): 4 credits 3x gold 3x silver.
In my opinion the best option for a tourist it’s IAmsterdam Card. It gives you access to museums, attractions, restaurant discounts,, and free public transportation. It’s a good idea to get the Iamsterdam Card in advance.
You always have to consider spending some extra money than all the things you calculate. There will be some events or activities you will like, a store with your new favourite coffee, new clothes or another museum you weren’t expected to want to visit. You should set up a budget for all the extra expenses and how much you can afford spending on those. These are some of the ones you may find in Amsterdam:
- Shopping: This is like the number one reason why many people come to Amsterdam. You will be able to find literally EVERYTHING. Not so long ago I wrote a post about the Best Shopping Areas in Amsterdam. You will be able to spend as much or as little as you want, but it is definitely a temptation. For some shopping tips, click HERE.
- Museums: as I mentioned before, there are so many museums in Amsterdam that you will end up finding one even if you don’t like them. Considering spending some extra budget here while in Amsterdam, is a good idea. Get the IAmsterdam Card.
- Cinema: Dutch cinemas have mostly OV movies so if you speak English you may want to join the amazing Theater Tuschinski.
- Zoo: Artis is one of my favourite places in Amsterdam, for both adults and children. It is open all year round and even when it is cold or rainy there are nice activities to do.
- Souvenirs: keep into considerating that once you are in Amsterdam you WILL start buying souvenirs. Consider this in your budget because you will find a painting, a design, a T-shirt or a hat that you like… or you will end up forgetting your umbrella and buying one at the museum. In any case, consider this part for your budget while visiting the city.
- Car: if you decide to visit Amsterdam by car, you need to include in your budget the parking expenses. Leaving your car in the streets of Amsterdam it is very expensive, and it also is when you leave it at a special parking load. This is definitely something to consider including on your list of expenses if you decide to come by car. Besides, most hotels don’t have parking space because their location doesn’t allow it.
- Day Trips: let’s say that you are in Amsterdam and you decide to visit Keukenhof… or out of a sudden somebody starts talking about how beautiful Haarlem, Den Haag or Utrecht are and you decide to do a small day trip during your weekend there. I think it is a good idea, but definitely something you have to consider while calculating your expenses for the trip.