Amsterdam, with its allusively charming alleyways, movie scene worthy buildings and world famous canals it is no wonder that people are often in wonder at the charming beauty that is Amsterdam. But like any city its not a cheap feat trying to discover everything it has to offer and sometimes you can run in the thousands just trying to discover a bit of ‘Amsterdam’. Well if your anything like me and always seem to be on a budget, then you will love my 5 tips of discovering a piece of this city that won’t break the bank.
1. The wind in your hair, the sun on your face and oh wait the ringing bell of 50 or so riders behind you wanting to get past… As much as you may love the idea of cycling through Amsterdam City the reality of it is not so romantic, after all it is a city, it is extremely busy and the Dutch don’t ride for comfort but for neccessity which means getting to work and getting there on time…So move over tourist cause the Dutch are coming through. Instead I suggest to hire a bike (roughly between 5eur to 15eur per day) and take the free ferry over to Amsteram Noord, cycle around this pituresque place and view lovely quintessential houses that give you a feeling of the genuine authentic Amsterdam, it also much (much) less crowded than trying to cycle in Amsterdam City. When you have finished taking in the lovely views, stop for a refreshing drink at Pllek before you jump back on the ferry.
2. Pay a visit to www.freedamtours.com and go on a FREE tour of Amsterdam. This tips only based tour company has an oustanding 5 star rating on Tripadvisor and a plethora of great reviews and feedback including my own tour with them which will entice you to happily leave a generous tip I’m sure. Being tip based, they go that extra mile to ensure that you have an awesome day learning about this pretty city without breaking your bank account.
3. Travel West and check Westermarket on a Saturday, you can buy some lovely delicious market food and check out the awesome local stalls they have there. Once you’ve had your shopping fix take a cycle or tram towards Westerpark where you can chill out in the beautiful open park space, sunbathe in your swimmers or go for a lovely walk along the trail… Find more details at www.amsterdam.info/markets/westermarkt.
4. If you love a good challenge and can do some smooth talking with the staff/elevator guy then this tip is perfect for you! Head up to the top of Hotel W and take in the amazing view of Amsterdam City. Right in the heart of Amsterdam it is free to go upstairs (we have managed to charm our way upstairs a few times) if you do feel like splashing out on some cash you can even have a meal and drink up there but trust me it isn’t cheap.
5. Head to Norderlicht Cafe, with its hip and quirky greenhouse style you can enjoy some delicious healthy food that won’t break the bank, or just chill outside in the open space whilst listening to the plethora of cultural activities and music they provide. If your a musician or singer you might also manage to catch (and play) their famous Amsterjam sessions of unscripted spontaneous jam sessions which run well into the evening. Its guaranteed to be an evening of music and fun if you decide to come here. If you can read Dutch or don’t mind trying to interpret badly translated english than head to noorderlichtcafe.nl for more information.