Most people who hear ‘Amsterdam’ instantly think of multicultural environment, up-all-night parties and spending crazy time with friends. However, as the city is considered to be one of the most expensive in Europe, they wonder if partying in the city is actually affordable. This is why I’ve decided to research on prices of the most common alcoholic drink in the world – beer – to see how much it actually is.
An average price of a beer (0.33l) in Amsterdam bars is 4 – 4.5 Euro. However, in some more expensive hot spots in the center of the city it’s likely you’ll pay up to 7 Euros. An average beer price in Amsterdam supermarket is 0.80 Euro.
In the article you’ll find some more information about prices of beer in Amsterdam (both in pubs and supermarkets), as well as some useful tips on hunting special offers. On top of that I’ve added some facts about the history of Amsterdam’s beer and my recommendations regarding the coolest beer tours in the city.
Beer Prices in Amsterdam
On average, an Amsterdammer spends around 713 Euro on beer (per year) and drinks approximately 86 litres of beer during these 12 months. The average price of a beer in a bar (which is, as mentioned above, 4-4.5 Euro) isn’t very high when compared to other European cities. The table below shows some more details on beer prices in Amsterdam. The data included in the table comes from the Numbeo website.
|Type of beer||Average price||Range|
|Domestic beer (0.5l draught) in a bar/restaurant||4.50 Euro||3.0 – 6.0 Euro|
|Imported Beer (0.33l bottle) in a bar/restaurant||4 – 4.50 Euro||3.0 – 7.0 Euro|
|Domestic beer (0.5l bottle) in a supermarket||1.30 Euro||1 – 2 Euro|
|Imported Beer (0.33l bottle) in a supermarket||2.13 Euro||1.70 – 3.50 Euro|
As you can see, ranges are quite wide, especially in bars, pubs and restaurants. When it comes to beer prices, location plays a huge role. Spots in the heart of the city are definitely the most expensive – usually the larger distance from the city center, the cheaper beer they serve. If you are on a tight budget, you should consider visiting Café The Minds at Spuistraat, as well as OT301 at Overtoom and The Flying Pig Downtown Hostel at Nieuwendijk. These places are famous for cheap beer. If you don’t mind spending a little fortune on some beer adventures, you should definitely check out the following spots: Proeflokaal Arendsnest at Herengracht, Café Van Beeren at Nieuwendijk and Beer Temple at Nieuwezijds (make sure you try their pumpkin ale!). Keep in mind that in most places the price is for a small beer (0.3l).
What About Supermarkets?
Obviously, beer is much cheaper in supermarkets than in pubs and bars. The cheapest ones can be found in big supermarkets and discount supermarkets like Jumbo, Dirk van den Broek, Aldi, Lidl, and Spar. Prices usually start from 1 Euro there but sometimes you can buy some domestic brands for as little as 0.45 Euro per 0.5l (like Shutters). The price of beer typically differs per beer brand, as well as per package for the same brand. For example, a bottle from a crate of beer is usually cheaper than canned beer. The location where you buy also matters – a liquor store will often be more expensive than a market (but on the other hand it offers a wider selection of specialty beers) and a local market will be usually more expensive than a discount supermarket.
Large discount supermarkets like Aldi and Lidl are definitely the cheapest. Prices of beer in supermarkets can be easily tracked at Biernet. In the table below you can see some exemplary prices for a crate of 24 bottles (0.3l).
|Beer||Price for a crate||Price per liter|
|Duke Jan Pilsener||16.89||2.33|
|Jupiler lager (0.25l)||15.49||2.53|
|Grolsch Premium Pilsener||16.89||2.33|
|Warsteiner Premium Pilsener||15.79||2.11|
Be aware that when you buy a crate of beers you are obliged to pay a cash deposit. It’s usually around 4.5 Euro per 1 crate.
Where to Find a Discount
If you are a beer lover, you probably buy crates, not single bottles. It means. Most supermarkets have special offers and discounts for weekends or whole weeks. There’s a cool website you can check current special offers at. For example, this week you can get the advantage of the following special offers:
|Beer||Price||Where to buy|
|Amstel (a crate of 24 bottles (0.3l))||9.74||www.ah.nl|
|Heineken (a crate of 24 bottles (0.3l))||10.91||www.ah.nl|
|Brand (a crate of 24 bottles (0.3l))||11.04||www.ah.nl|
|Warsteiner (a crate of 24 bottles (0.3l))||9.99||Agrimarkt|
|Grolsch Radler Citroen (a crate of 24 bottles (0.3l))||11.19||Jumbo|
|Jupiler (a crate of 24 bottles (0.25l))||9.49||Hoogvliet|
|Hertog Jan (a crate of 24 bottles (0.3l))||10.50||DEEN|
As you can see, if you buy beer in crates, the supermarket prices are affordable. A price of 0.40 – 0.46 Euro sounds affordable and… tempting, huh? And the best thing is that such offers run every week.
And What About Prices of Other Alcoholic (and Non-Alcoholic) Drinks?
Again, the price is usually dependent on where you buy. Drinks at clubs and bars are of course the most expensive. The table below shows some exemplary prices of drinks in Amsterdam. Most data come from the Numbeo website.
|Glass of wine||4.5 – 5.0 Euro|
|A bottle of wine||From 4 Euro|
|New Amsterdam Original Vodka||750ml – 14.99 Euro, 375ml – 6.99 Euro|
|New Amsterdam Gin||750ml – 14.99 Euro|
|Thistly Cross Whisky Cask Cider (500ml)||9 Euro|
|A cocktail in a club or bar||From 7 Euro|
|Coke/sprite/mineral water per glass||2.50 Euro|
|Bottle of mineral water (0.7l)||2.50 Euro|
Even if Amsterdam is considered to be quite expensive, prices of alcohol are very similar to these in other European cities. Many of my ‘international’ friends even say that when it comes to prices of alcohol, Amsterdam might be cheaper than other big cities in Europe.
A Little Bit of History of Amsterdam’s Beer
It was the 12th century when beer became popular in Amsterdam. Back then, it was actually as popular as water. The beer culture (and the process of brewing) was brought to Amsterdam from Germany. Over centuries, more and more small breweries were opened and finally, the Amsterdam’s craft beer culture has grown really big. The most popular Amsterdam’s beer is for sure Heineken – it’s probably the most international beer brand in the whole world. Its historic brewery is one of the most often visited tourist spots in the Netherlands. Besides Heineken, there are also: Brouwerij’t IJ serving organic Dutch beer, as well as Bierfabriek where you can drink beer with your own taps at the table. Beer Factory (Bierfabriek) is located only 2 minutes from Dam Square. There are also some unique, small local breweries like De Prael serving 10 home-brewed beers named after famous Amsterdammmers.
How to Order Beer in Dutch
If you are planning an Amsterdam beer tour on your pat, make sure you know how to order beer in a bar or pub. Ordering beer may be a bit confusing for foreigners, because Dutch bartenders use dozens of different Dutch terms for different beer sizes. So, if you want a small beer, you should ask for ‘vaasje’ or ‘fluitje’. They some in slightly different sizes though. If you use the word ‘biertje’, it will get you a small glass of house beer, whichever brewery they have a contract with. Unlike most countries, Amsterdam bars don’t commonly serve pints.
Beer Tours in Amsterdam
Amsterdam might not be the first place that comes to your mind when you hear ‘beer’ or ‘brewing’ but it definitely should! The city is actually famous for popular beer brands and new-school breweries. There is even Brewer’s Canal out there! Besides, Dutch cuisine makes a perfect fit with a cold beer. Sipping on a pale lager, gulping some bitter ale or maybe sampling a strong triple malt? Amsterdam has a variety of beers to offer. If you want to learn more about local breweries, the process of brewing itself, and taste some nice Dutch beer, there are plenty of so-called beer tours to choose from. Beer-lovers will be in heaven when they see the range of offers here. The tours below are my three favourites:
For those who want to get familiar with Amsterdam’s craft beer scene. The local guide will provide you with plenty of information about the history of Amsterdam’s beer and take you to a traditional Dutch bar serving Dutch beer only. You will visit two small breweries (tasting included!) and two bars – one of them was built in 1895 and it has been operating since then. You can book this tour here.
Sipping beer on a boat? This sounds like a perfect holiday, doesn’t it? During the tour you will cruise the canals on a party boat. The tour takes around 90 minutes. While watching amazing views on a private boat you can enjoy free bars on board. The skipper takes you to some of the city’s hotspots, there’s also a chance to be dropped off at some places. Up to 4 cans of beer per person are included in the price. You can book this tour here.
A solid dose of knowledge for those who want to learn about the Dutch brewing industry. You will learn how Dutch beer has changed over the centuries. You will walk the streets, visit a place where Heineken’s building first stood and of course stop at bars and beer halls for some tasting. Believe me, there are many drink stops on your way (three beer samples and one typical Dutch bar snack are included)! The tour is handled by a great local guide. You can book this tour here.