Travelling throughout Europe isn’t cheap, and the capital of the Netherlands really is no exception to that. Everything from accommodation and food to activities and sights can put huge dents in your budget if you are not careful. But Amsterdam doesn’t have to cost you a second mortgage to visit, you just have to know some of the unmissable sights and activities beyond the stereotypical drug induced haze and stag do activities that won’t cost you a single cent.
5. Listen to a free classical concert at the Concertgebouwplein.
Head down to the Concertgebouwplein on a Wednesday lunchtime between September and June (the cultural arts season) and you can get a free preview of the classical concerts that will cost a hefty portion of your budget if you go later in the evening.
This collection of traditional houses and open courtyard is an architectural gem. If you can find the secret wooden door, you can enter a hidden courtyard surrounded by historical houses (one of them the oldest in Amsterdam), churches and relics surrounding some manicured gardens and lawns. Well worth a few hours of your time to seek out and explore.
3. Stroll through the Flower Market.
This is a little bit of a cheat as it is a market and you will have to pay if you want to buy anything, but paying a visit to the Bloemenmarkt is more than worth an hour or two of your time just to stroll around this unique floating flower market. Quite simply it is one of the most picturesque sights in the city, with flowers of all colours blooming against the backdrop of the scenic canal. There are tours which take tour groups around for a n hour or so, but why pay money? Just turn up at 0900 when it opens and look for yourself, it’s free to enter!
2. Take a picnic in Vondelpark.
Okay, you may have to shell out for lunch for the picnic, but Vondelpark is an amazingly scenic park in the middle of the city where you can take a relaxing stroll around the lakes and relax on the grass, perfect on a summers afternoon.
1. Take a free walking tour.
I love walking tours, and this is no exception. Tips are nice for the volunteers but otherwise this is a free service where local guides will take you round the major sites of Amsterdam including the Palace, the Ann Frank House and the Red Light district for starters. They depart daily at 11.15 and 13.15 from the National Monument in Dam Square.
I hope you are enjoying this ‘free things to do in …’ series and find it useful, if you have any specific requests then please let me know in the comments section below. If I have been there then I’ll add it to the list!