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Amsterdam For 3 Days on a Budget

Chloe on the airport conveyor belt with her back to the camera.  Wearing her blue jeans, grey t-shirt and black backpack and white rebok trainers.

3 days on a budget

So, if you read at the beginning of this year –My 30 before 30 list – on there I said I wanted to go to Amsterdam. Well, my friends – I did just that! how bloody exciting.
I decided to take my boyfriend over for a wee budget friendly weekend (gotta save that coin) for his birthday, as we both had never been before but had wanted to go for a LONG time. It ended up being a great wee weekend away.  
I wanted to share some tips for how to do Amsterdam cheaply if, like me, You need to / want to do it on a rather small budget.

Amsterdam is such a beautiful, vibrant city. I really loved going there, and honestly, I think three days is a perfect amount of time to spend.

The Stunning Canals

Okay so let’s get the beautiful canals, out the way as it were. We have all seen the photos of how beautiful the canals are. And they are just as stunning in real life. Exploring the canals is a great way to see the city and not spend any money. We pretty much walked the whole time we were there (totally racked up those sweet 10,000 steps +.) That’s until we learnt about the trams (which I will mention further down)
I think it’s just a BEAUT way to see the city, and I would highly recommend doing it, especially on your first day there. On our first day there from just wandering the canals, we walked 15km + steps, which is pretty good I’d say.
It’s a great thing to do on the first day, you get to see lots of the city, you get your bearings for where everything is. It also gives you a chance to scout out the main pubs, cafes and restaurants on the canal side.

One thing we didn’t do, we didn’t go on the canal boats, however, Some of my family who have been to Amsterdam before, have and they said it was worth the money. So if your budget can stretch to it, It sounds like something to try out.


Now arguably I should have put this above ‘canals’ but I just wanted to quickly mention them first.
So travelling, a great way to get to Amsterdam, for at least people in the UK, and on a budget is to fly. It’s an hours flight (or thereabouts and remember I’m Scotland so will be different depending on where you are) I know you can get the ferry over but it takes a lot longer and can end up being more expensive. The flight is so easy, and once you arrive, get the trains from the airport, they don’t cost a lot either and the train system is quite easy to navigate.
Another tip I’d have for flying is travel mid-week, it is cheaper than flying on weekend days. I know this is quite obvious and I know this applies to most places. But when I was booking flights, It was amazing how much cheaper mid-week was to the weekend.


Okay so I have a recommendation for a good hotel, there two one in the city centre and one in the west of Amsterdam. We stayed in the central one, and it was great!
It’s called the Student Hotel Amsterdam. I love the concept for this hotel. It looks amazing, it’s so cheap and if your like me and arent to fussed on where you stay, its great. Even though it is incredibly cheap it is still a quality hotel. The rooms look like student rooms, so real basic, but htasts kind of all you need really. I am totally going to stay ther next time we go becasue I loved it that much. It’s also in a really handy location, the train station is right outside. and your a 20 minute walk away from the main hustle and bustle. There are also lots of amenities right outside as well, like a supermarket. Check it out.


Okay so when we went, I don’t know what happened but we didn’t upeating that much. which sounds bonkers but yeah that’s just what happened. When we did eat though we went to street food stalls. There was so many of them! If you get the chance find a chip stall.   One of our favourite places was Manneken Pis Fries Chips, the chips were so tasty! It does get really busy and has long queues, but honestly, the queue moves so fast that it’s pretty much worth it – ps try the vegan sauce yum!
The good thing about all the stalls and take away places is they are so cheap, but also really good food. Another place start was so cute and the food is just, insta worthy was van wonderern stroopwafels! It’s in the main shopping / high street area of Amsterdam.

One thing we avoided, was restaurants we heard that they are quite expensive for what you get. So they didn’t really fit into our budget. But the street food was just so good anyway that I kinda forgot to even go to a restaurant. I’m not sure about cafes, there are so many that there must be some reasonably priced ones.


Okay so like a mentioned. We walked everywhere like 25k on one of the days. But once we worked out the tram system, oh my gosh, did my feet thank us! The trams are cheap, easy to use and they can take you further afield which is great! we used it to get to the more hipster area of Amsterdam. Which was great there was a small market on the day we arrived. There were beaut cafes and more independent run shops. So yeah I would recommend the trams. You can get a ticket that can last you for the three days that you are there, which will cut down costs.

Oh and for the trams don’t take money out, they don’t accept money on them, just use and take your cards. But I’ll talk about money more down below.


Okay so money. Money is kind of what screwed us over and made us a bit broke. Now we know though and want be making the same mistake twice.
So like every holiday we took out money before hand, as you do. However when we got there, nowhere accepted our money! and I mean nowhere! They only accepted our cards. It’s great and I don’t understand why more places aren’t like this. But it was also really inconvenient since we had taken all this money out and had nowhere to spend it. So just make sure you don’t take money out before you go. This would have been quite useful for us to know before we went but yeah, now you know.


So, unfortunately, if you have a tight budget, you might not be able to do the mega touristy things. Unless it is, high on your list of must-dos, then you might just have to sacrifice some of your budgets to do those things. However, if you’re not wanting to do that then here are some free things you can do in the city.

If you’re into Instagram and taking photos, Amsterdam has so many beautiful spots! I might do a whole post on areas to go for photos. They have the canals, murals, alleyways amazing architecture. One tip i’d give for photos is going really early! Amsterdam (at least when we went) was dead to the world before 8am. You’ll get beaut lighting and not many people around to busy up your backgrounds.

I mentioned it briefly before, but they have a main high street with lots of familiar and popular brands, so if you enjoy shopping you might like to go there for a little afternoon. Just watch as this is another area that gert super busy super quick. If you go to the waffle place I recommended then you are there!

There are also some beaut parks to check out, like Vondelpark, Oosterpark. Just chill out and relax during the summer monhts.

I loved Amsterdam, and I’m already planning another trip.


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