Guide to Amsterdam for backpackers
I went to Amsterdam 4 times in the past 5 years. I just love it and I am always happy to return, but this city has a HUUUUGE problem for backpackers, it is the big nightmare for all of us that will force us to not stay and run away screaming: the high costs!
Amsterdam is expensive. Transports are expensive, hostels are incredibly expensive, restaurants seems to be only for reach people.
But if during summer the costs can be lowered due to the nice season that doesn’t force you to move from bar to bar (or coffee as more appropriately should be called), in winter, things change.
Because the cold that doesn’t allow us to stay on the streets for more than 60 minutes in a row, these expenses become mandatory for pure survival, unless you are an ICEMAN, and easy to realize 2 days after that you have spent much more than you had budgeted.
Can you visit Amsterdam at affordable prices? YES, YOU CAN!
I want to thank for these informations my local friends (Lennad and Charlotte) that not only hosted me in their beautiful flat in the Jordaan area but they also have told me some secret for living in Amsterdam with small budgets.
And the locals know more than we do!
Sleeping in Amsterdam
This is the first painful note of the city. The quality of the hostels in Amsterdam is not the best and the prices are very high (in relation to the quality).
An idea to save money, and actually if you are already 2 or more , even better, and absolutely the best , is to rent an apartment that at the end of the day will cost little more than a dorm bed in a hostel (from € 30 per night in a dormitory for 10 + people ). It of course gives you freedom, independence and privacy.
The more you are the less you’ll pay.
A very typical area that I recommend to take into consideration is the Jordaan .
Couchsurfing is another but, actually, it is very difficult to find a place to crash. Requests are a lot and find hospitality isn’t that simple. Worth a try but do it in time, don’t be a last minute person. It’s not going to work!
Trasportation in Amsterdam – Public transports Vs Bicycle
Public transport in Amsterdam work well but they are also quite expensive, especially if you buy tickets for single journeys (remember that check out before leaving trams or the ticket will not be longer valid for the second race, so just touching the reader when getting off). For ticket information, prices, routes, routes by public transport click on the official website of Transport in Amsterdam.
But the most economical and, certainly, more local way to discover the city is to rent a bike and ride around, just like a real Dutch. Recycled rentals, located at the central station, allows you to rent a bike for € 5 per day.
Eating on a budget in Amsterdam
After sleeping the record of high prices goes to the restaurant.
But even in this the solution exist! Let’s check them out.
The Dutch breakfast is called uitsmijer, it consists of: eggs, bread, cheese, ham.
This can be done at all typical dutch coffee at affordable prices. Make sure you are out of the center (Dam Square for instance) and look through the narrow streets close home.
Lunch, snacks and dinner
To save eating lunch “soup of the day” one of the most delicious ones are the erwtensoep and the groentensoep.
A typical (and economic) dutch dish is the stamppot (a kind of mashed potatoes mixed with vegetables and sausage).
If you are in a “sandwiches mood” than Broodje Bert is an economical and good choice, alternatively just look for a local bakery.
Less healthy than soups and local restaurants, but still cheap, are snackbars where you can buy: Turkish pizza, chips and various junk and inexpensive fast food.
Maoz is a good choice if you can spend between 4/7 Euro for a menu, it offers vegetarian food and delicious falafel with pita bread .
Amsterdam also offers several Self service Buffet, such as HEMA (a chain distributed around, with sandwiches from € 2) and for lovers of exotic cook then lots of Thai and Chinese restaurants that offer good food at good prices.
At the Eetcafes, populated mainly by students, are served lunch for about € 10.
But the Latest news Made in Holland are the Squat and The Pop Up Restaurants.
In the first restaurant, as the name says, you eat in squat, here you eat what they prepare for the day, there is no menu you can choose from .
Generally food is vegetarian. You must book in advances so that they can prepare enough food for everyone.
Price per person don’t exceed € 10 pr person ( to find them on google.com just type ” Squat restaurant Amsterdam” and choose the one that most appeals you ) .
The Pop Up Restaurants are restaurants arranged by privates in their houses.
They offer a traditional local menu ( for example, Spanish, or Italian etc … depends on the chef’s specialty and nationality), you eat healthy food and will enjoy the company of the cook coming from who know where!
In short, a sort of private chef at an affordable cost and a great experience of socialization.
What to do at night in Amsterdam
At AUB Ticket shop in Leidseplein or the Tourist Office in Amsterdam ( opposite Central Station ) you can find many last minute tickets for concerts, shows and events, but also discounts of 50%.
If you want to spend the evening at the bar, the city offers numerous bars everywhere, needless to say which is the best, but the area frequented by local is Nieumarkt .
For lovers of house music, Holland in fact responds to the German techno music with the house one, the most famous clubs are : Club Up , Trouw , Studio 80 , OT301 and the legendary Supperclub, now a bit ‘ all over the world but born in the Dutch capital .
Maybe Amstedam is not the cheapest city in Europe, but it is worth it … OH if it does!
Winter is very cold, the ideal period would be spring, summer and early autumn … but a Beautiful Lady in summer remains as much beautiful also in winter.
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