Traveling is always fun, although it can sometimes get a little pricey, especially if you decide to go a little further afield - maybe somewhere like Europe? But even in Europe, there are many ways you can travel without breaking the bank!
Here are some essential tips for exploring Amsterdam - a city where bikes outnumber people and adventure awaits even the thin-walled?
1. Getting there
One of the hardest parts of traveling outside your country is choosing the right route to get to your destination. I recommend using the Skyscanner website or mobile app to help you find the cheapest flights available. This eliminates middleman commissions and could save you a few bucks!
Be warned, though, that the trip can be a bit tiring because you'll likely end up having to take a transit route, meaning you'll have to stop in a different county or two to change flights before finally reaching Amsterdam.
Alternatively, you can fly direct to Amsterdam via KLM. If you are traveling from European countries, try to opt for their low cost airlines such as Eurowings (also found on Skyscanner) or simply travel to Amsterdam by train.
now there is adirect train from London for just £35! And if you're planning to do the train route, I highly recommend checking out sites liketo be.
#HHWT Hint:We recommend booking your tickets online in advance as it is much cheaper than paying at the counter, especially when it comes to train tickets.
2. When to visit Amsterdam
Credits: @rodextravelNo instagram
The best time to travel to Amsterdam - weather-wise - would be during spring. For those who love nature and flowers, a trip to Amsterdam would not be complete unless you pay a visit to the beautiful Keukenhof Gardens! If you want to get the tulips your best bet would be between the 3thirdor 4ºApril week as the weather is mild and the tulips would be in full bloom?
Unfortunately, visiting in the spring isn't exactly easy on the pocketbook. For a truly affordable 'local experience', try visiting during the fall off-season. Between the end of September and the end of October is the best time for budget travelers!
Credit:mariusz kluzniakno Flickr
The weather might be a little cooler, but sweater weather in Amsterdam has its own charms. The city seems infinitely more peaceful during autumn. It's also the best time to hang out in cozy cafes, visit some of the free museums or check out what's currently happening with the local scene!
3. Choosing where to stay
In any destination, it is almost certain that the closer to the city center, the more expensive it will be. Amsterdam is no different! If you are traveling with a large group, we recommend booking a serviced apartment as it will offer you a much more comfortable stay. Check out Airbnb or Agoda!
Credits:Hotel Ibis Schipol Amsterdam Airportno Facebook
But if apartments are not for you, but you still want a comfortable, cheap and convenient place, I recommendIbis Hotel near Schiphol Airport. Based on personal experience, does it fit all of the above?
There is a free shuttle service that can take you from the airport to the hotel (and vice versa). If you want to venture out into the city, there's a train from the airport to Amsterdam Central that only costs around 8 euros (compared to a taxi or van which can cost up to 70 euros!).
Credits: @@stayokayvondelparkNo instagram
In addition to hotels, Amsterdam has some very affordable hostels.Stayokay Amsterdam Vondelparkis located right in the Vondelpark, the green heart of the city! In addition to clean rooms, it offers free Wi-Fi, free city maps, and even bike rental.
You can also walk to the city's best attractions, including the Van Gough Museum and the Rijksmuseum? The icing on the cake is that the staff is also very friendly!
A more affordable and Instagram-worthy hostel is ClinksNOORD Hostel, located in the vibrant Amsterdam Noord area. The hostel is just 10 minutes from the back of Amsterdam Central Station. Can the pure aesthetics of this place keep you in the hotel all day? It also comes with free WiFi, fantastic social spaces to meet and chat with other backpackers, laundry facilities and a female dorm!
4. Getting around in Amsterdam
Depending on what you want to do and where you'd like to go, traveling around Amsterdam is pretty easy.
One of the best things about Amsterdam is that you can reach a lot of cool places on foot. If you have a specific place in mind, just Google the location and simply start walking. Alternatively, if you have nothing on your mind and would like to avoid aimlessly wandering around the city, check outSandeman's Nova Europa. It offers a variety of free walking tours, coveringmany of Amsterdam's top attractions including Dam Square and the Royal Palace!
to go by bicycle
If you prefer to get around town like the locals, consider renting a bike! If you get an 'I Amsterdam' card, you can also get 25% discounts at selected bike rental places like MacBike and Amsterbike?
It's almost mandatory to explore this beautiful city by bike and we've got you covered.with this complete guide on how to ride like a local in Amsterdam!
Don't know how to pedal and don't like to walk? Don't worry! Amsterdam's public transport is quite accessible, although I encourage you to invest in theAmsterdam travel ticket.
This includes train travel to and from Schipol Airport, as well as unlimited public transport. There are three types of tickets available; the 1-day ticket (€16), the 2-day ticket (€21) or the 3-day ticket (€26). Definitely cheaper than buying single tickets!
5. Must-visit places
Besides being famous for its canals and bicycle population, Amsterdam is also home to some pretty famous museums. If you enjoy the arts, wouldn't you want to miss the chance to visit the famous Van Gogh Museum, which houses a huge collection of works by the artist?
The Rijksmuseum is also amazing and effortlessly beautiful, covering topics on Dutch art and history from the Middle Ages to the modern day!
Another must-visit famous museum is the renowned Anne Frank House (which was also featured in that heartwarming book/film, 'The Fault in Our Stars'!). As you stroll through the biographical museum, you'll be able to see Anne's original diary and other notebooks on display, as well as get a glimpse of what life was like for the Frank family, who had to live in hiding during World War II. because of Hitler's terrible reign?
If you prefer outdoor art, the Rijksmuseum public garden (free) is an even more scenic option with its meticulously manicured flowerbeds, stunning seasonal art installations and pieces of historic Dutch architecture!
#HHWT Hint:If you plan to visit, I strongly suggest you buy your tickets (or guided tour tickets) online. In addition to being cheaper, it avoids the long queues at the counters!
While Amsterdam is undeniably exciting with its picturesque canals and culturally rich buildings, would you miss out on the beauty of Holland if you didn't take a day trip to the Dutch countryside?
The peaceful village of Zaanse Schans, with its green wooden houses, is home to a collection of historic windmills that are still in full working order! Witness firsthand how these windmills are used to make spices, saw wood and grind oil.
Credits: @@ann_kaiserNo instagram
Best known as the fishing village of Holland, Volendam is home to the Volendam Cheese Factory? Here, you can taste traditional Dutch cheeses and learn about their production process!
You also can't miss the Wooden Shoe Factory in Marken! Take the famous photo of Amsterdam in clogs or watch a clog-making demonstration. The process is fascinating to watch and you will have the chance to see how the shoemaker brings an ordinary block of wood to life! Also, get your hands on some cute keepsakes?
If you like just being in the 'moment', I suggest having a picnic in one of the green oases that dot the city. One of the most popular and well-known parks in the Netherlands is Vondelpark!
Located close to the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum, it's the perfect place to have a picnic, people-watch, go for a run or just lie on the grass. If you're lucky, you can also catch a free concert in the open-air theater☺️
6. Muslim-friendly food
As Islam is the second largest religion in Amsterdam, finding halal or Muslim food here is very easy! Ranging from Middle Eastern food to Malaysian cuisine, there are plenty of options to satisfy your cravings, although Muslim visitors should beware as some of them are not Halal certified and serve alcohol.
For those places without Halal certification, we recommend checking with restaurants in person before consuming there!
For breakfast, opt for something light and sweet at Ma Bella Cakery! Are you vegetarian and the waffles are amazing?
If you want something cheap and a little heavier, head to one of the many Turkish kebab places to stock up. Leeman Doner has been around since 1992 and is certified halal. Portions are quite big and there is a good variety of what you can get (from traditional kebabs, durum and even baklava).
Another option that we personally love is Amsterdam street food! You have to try their Stroopwafels - soft and chewy, covered in chocolate! We also gathered someStreet food in Amsterdam for Muslimsfor your next food hunt!
Alright, so this next place isn'twhatcheap, but considering the portions and variety, I'd say it's reasonably priced. 'Bazaar Amsterdam' is another certified halal restaurant, located in the heart of the Pijp district; just below Albert Cuyp Market Street. The interior of this Middle Eastern and North African restaurant is beautiful - with hand-painted wall decorations, bright chandeliers and the chill vibe that makes it a really relaxing place to just enjoy your meal
7. Pass the Markets
When it comes to food, clothes, trinkets and souvenirs, you'll save a lot by visiting local markets instead of visiting traditional stores. Waterlooplein is the oldest and most famous flea market not only in Amsterdam but also in Holland!
Observation:It is closed on Sundays!
Wandering around the market, you will be able to appreciate the different stalls while perusing what to take as a souvenir. From vintage cameras and antiques to jewelry and paintings, who knows what treasures you might find?
So there you have it! Amsterdam is by far one of the most beautiful cities in the world, but who said a trip heretembe a ridiculously expensive affair? With these helpful tips in mind, it's time to start planning a visit there!