Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Visiting Amsterdam on a Budget

I’m a student, so believe me I tried to stick to my budget when I visited Amsterdam.

I knew the reputation that Amsterdam had for it’s prices in comparison to other cities in Europe, not necessarily the reputation but through word of mouth. But don’t be worried, it is VERY easy to see Amsterdam on a budget.
From accommodation to where to eat, there are plenty of places for you to enjoy Amsterdam whilst not breaking the bank!
If you need some advice from a gal who likes to budget, then keep on reading!

This is obviously for those that are flying from the UK, just a warning for those who are (if its possible) reading from outside the UK.
Comparing to flights I have paid to Spain, Italy etc.. Amsterdam is a bit more expensive, but you can get return flights for UNDER £100 from all major airports (obviously just hand luggage). Most people go to Amsterdam for a few days, so hand luggage is all you need!
London is generally the cheapest destination in the UK to fly from with flights starting from £50 the earliest that you book, unless you make use of deals like Black Friday etc.. Birmingham is also around the same price for Amsterdam too if London is a bit too far down South!
There are also some other airports down south which offer flights including Southampton (we paid £78 return – we booked a month before, there are also flights from Bristol too.
Right now flights from Manchester, for those up north start from £60, which is pretty good for last minute prices, seeing as they tend to be more expensive. All major airports, including Edinburgh up north tend to be around £50-70 price range for those on a budget.
The BEST thing about the flight  was the time, it was only 55 minutes so as soon as your up, your down!

The first thing that I noticed when I researched hostels and hotels was that they are slightly more expensive than other cities in Europe. So I was worried when I saw the prices but we did leave it quite late (the month before)!
We decided not to stay in a hostel at first my mind was just going “BUDGET – HOTEL – BUDGET – HOTEL” and it went back and forth many times because stigma of budget travel is hostels.
I love hostels, I plan to stay in many hostels in the future including Sant Jordi Hostels in Barcelona next week but you can find very affordable hotels in Amsterdam.
We booked through and there was so much variety from Houseboats to Hotels. We found XO Hotel Inner by the Museumplein and for 3 nights it cost around £120 (including tourist tax) which is around £10 more than if we stayed in a hostel which I don’t think is that bad!
For a budget price, the hotel was rather bloody beautiful! 
If you want to stay in a hostel in Amsterdam, I recommend you read some reviews from Katie also known as The Hostel Girl. One of the first Travel Bloggers I read and she is such a lovely girl, definitely worth a read of her website and follow her social media! 

Tours and Attractions
When it comes to tours and attractions, a price is expected to be paid, especially for most recognised attractions.
But the best thing to do, especially if you booked through, is to use the offers that they send to you. Mikaela booked it through her account and she got a QR code sent through with a discount code to some of the major attractions including Heineken Experience and the Canals.
Off my head I can’t actually remember how much I saved but I believe it was anything from £2-£7 on different attractions. The most I paid for an attraction was £15 and that was for the Rijksmuseum which I thought was pretty good!
Also within our hotel, there were leaflets by the entrance door with discount codes of attractions too. Some gave us cheaper access and queue jump benefits as well which is great if you go during the busier months.
In terms of queues, the maximum and only time we waited was for the Anne Frank House and we waited 10 minutes maximum, I was very surprised how well operated the attractions were.
So my top tip would be, make the most of any offer that is offered to you because a couple of euro that is saved can go towards more food etc..

Amsterdam Card
I kept getting TONS of adverts pop up (thanks to internet remembering my searches) about the Amsterdam Card.
So I am not too sure if this would have made any difference to how much I spent on my trip, but the Amsterdam Card includes free entry into most of the attractions, free giveaways and free unlimited use of the GVB transport in Amsterdam.
You can choose from 24 hour card – 59 Euro, 48 hours card – 74 Euro , 72 hour card – 87 Euro or the 96 hour card – 98 Euro.
To be honest, we didn’t use any of the transport and the attractions we went to definitely didn’t add up to 87 euro for the three days that we were there.
So perhaps if we used the transport then this would be a great option on a budget.

Food and Drink
Okay.. I really can’t preach about where to find restaurants/bars to go to if you are on a budget cause we did not stick to it at all and we gave up finding places and spent A LOT of money on McDonalds! BEWARE, the McDonalds in Amsterdam is very bloody expensive compared to England!
Because I am useless at this section, I am going to list some people that got it right!

Free Things to do
So we didn’t do many free things either… I’m such a useless budget traveller it’s a joke! Also many of the free things that I read were outside and I feel the cold like a duck to water… I’m always cold so I would pay anything that let me stay inside!
I’m not completely done with my trip to Amsterdam, I still have a few things on my bucket-list including these free things to do in some VERY useful articles!

Next week I have absolutely NO clue what I will be doing, I am working on my dissertation all week and will have an idea sometime this weekend!
BUT, next week is a very exciting week. I am off to an event in London for work on my dissertation on Wednesday and Thursday, I am finally returning to BARCELONA!!
It has been a very long 8 months, a lot has happened since but I am so excited to be going back to this beautiful city!
I really want to meet some more travellers, so if you want to connect with me my Instagram is @mollywooders
Mol xo


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