free things in Amsterdam you want to see or do
In Amsterdam there are plenty of things to do for free. Perfect for whatever reason you have not to spend money and to enjoy the city anyway! And trust us that Amsterdam is cool, even without spending anything. We made a list with the nicest free things to do in Amsterdam so that you won’t get bored when your budget is low. Completely free! Perfect for the visitors of our beautiful city but also for the locals. Get to know the city even better and check our list with our favourite free things to do in Amsterdam!
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13 X free things to do IN AMSTERDAM for when you’re broke
Het Begijnhof: This court is hidden behind a door at the busy Spui in the centre of Amsterdam. Once you enter, it feels like you are in a completely different world. The courtyard is so peaceful and beautiful! While you’re standing there you wouldn’t think this place is so old, but it’s actually been there since the fourteenth century! Religious women used to live in this courtyard. Now it’s a perfect spot to escape from the busy city centre.
Musea: Amsterdam has a lot of museums and yes, a few of them are for free! Close to the Begijnhof you can find the Schuttersgalerij which is part of the Amsterdam Museum. Impressive portraits of the Dutch nobility can be seen here. Are you curious about the treasures of Amsterdam? The Stadsarchief van Amsterdam gives free access to the treasure room! So, no need to buy expensive tickets if it’s for free!
Ferry: Another great trip is to take the ferry to Amsterdam North. During this trip on the water it’s so nice to see the view across the IJ and to get some fresh air! Take the ferry to the NDSM wharf to see street art on the industrial walls of the warehouses. Afterwards shop at one of the cool addresses like Blom & Blom and Neef Louis, or have a drink and a bite at Pllek, Cafe de Ceuvel.
Markets: Nothing is better then strolling through a market. Besides the many (food)markets that are held, there are also some classic ones that locals like to visit. The Noordermarkt in the Jordaan sells the best organic product on Saturdays. My favourite place to visit in the weekend.
Churches: Maybe not so trendy, but Amsterdam has beautiful churches that are definitely worth a visit! A lot of churches are used for exhibitions like the Old- and New Church. Do you want to visit a church that still performs services? The Noorderkerk and the Westerkerk in the Jordaan are accessible.
Amsterdam festivals: Every year there are plenty of free festivals and events in Amsterdam. These festivals are for example, the Amsterdam Light Festival, Kingsday, Gay Pride, Uitmarkt, Open Monumentendag, Grachtenfestival, and the Vondelpark concerts.
Street art: Are you also a real street art fan? It’s always so cool to spot the newest art pieces! In Amsterdam there’s plenty of street art to see. For example the walls of the warehouses on the NDSM wharf, or in the Jordaan, Spuistraat, Wijdesteeg and the city center.
Concerts: Every day (from September till June) at 12.30 there is a free lunch concert that only takes thirty minutes, at the Concertgebouw, next to Museumplein. I’m might not be the biggest fan of classical music, but this is an opportunity to see this beautiful building from the inside! And who knows, it could surprise you :-). You can also visit the Nationale Opera & Ballet for a free lunch concert on Tuesday.
The smallest house: In Amsterdam you can find the smallest house in the world. It’s only 1 meter and you can find it on Singel 7 in the centre of Amsterdam. And actually it’s not the complete house but the façade that’s so small. But still. You can also find the smallest house of Europe in our city. A 2 by 6 meter place on the Oude Hoogstraat 22, which is now open as a tea and ceramics boutique shop. Nice to see, nice to visit, and all for free!
Parks: What obviously can’t miss on this list are the great parks in Amsterdam. In summertime it’s ideal to have a picnic or barbecue in the park or to go for a walk or run. For the locals the parks are the ideal place to get some fresh air. A thing that makes me very happy is the green parrots at Vondelpark! One day they escaped from the zoo and made the Vondelpark their new home. Other great parks are the Westerpark, Amstelpark, Oosterpark, and Sarphatipark.
Walking and cylcing: The best way to explore the city is by bike or by foot. After living here for several years, I still spot new cool place while riding my bike or by taking side roads while waking. There is so much to discover in the small streets of the Jordaan for example! Take a walk through the Jordaan and visit al the hidden courtyards. Cycle through one of the parks in Amsterdam or walk passed the beautiful canals.
Our newest lists
Movie nights: keep an eye on the open air cinemas in summertime. In most cases you don’t have to bring anything beside a chair to sit on!
Vondelpark open air theater: it’s the same for the open air theatre in the Vondelpark. From May till September the theater is open and that means you can visit music concerts, theater performances, readings and even cabaret performances for free.
There are so many free things to do in Amsterdam. Try them all!
THINGS TO DO:
⋙ Canal Cruise by day or in the evening
⋙ A bike tour through Amsterdam OR Rent a bike by yourself
⋙ The best view over Amsterdam from the A’DAM Lookout
⋙ Visit Artis Royal Zoo
⋙ Rijksmuseum with the Dutch masters
⋙ Van Gogh Museum, a staple in Amsterdam
⋙ Stedelijk Museum for modern art lovers
⋙ MOCO Museum for street art
⋙ Photography museum FOAM
⋙ Amsterdam Light Festival (during winter months)
⋙ Cruise like a local with your own boat (great with good weather!)
ONE OF A KIND:
⋙ Discover the Instagrammable experience WONDR
⋙ Red Light District tour
⋙ Get out of town and into the Dutch country side of Giethoorn
| TIP: Buy an I amsterdam City Card. Save money on entrance fees to museums and attractions, public transport and profit from discounts on everything from restaurants to concerts. You can also skip some lines to make the most of your time in Amsterdam! You can buy a card for 24 hours up to 120 hours. Check the prices here >>
Our favourite hotels:
AFFORDABLE // €
☾ Generator Hostel: the best poshtel of the city located in a park.
☾ The Student Hotel: budget proof in trendy East.
☾ Het Volkshotel: affordable and with a cool rooftop bar.
☾ CitizenM: all you need is that XL bed (location near Amstel is great).
☾ Motel One: budget design hotel with locations at
VERY VERY NICE // €€
☾ Hotel V: with two locations and a great restaurant, in the city center and East.
☾ Sir Adam: with the coolest view over Amsterdam.
☾ Sweets: a unique stay in former bridge houses.
☾ Park Plaza Vondelpark: located next to Vondelpark and beautifully renovated.
☾ Hotel Dwars: small scale around the corner of the trendy Utrechtsestraat.
☾ Pillows Anna van den Vondel: great hotel close to Vondelpark.
☾ Hotel Mercier: new hotel in the cosy and historic Jordaan district.
☾ INK Hotel: lifestyle hotel in the heart of the city.
☾ The Hoxton: favourite lifestyle hotel right on the canals.
☾ Morgan & Mees: boutique hotel in Amsterdam West.
☾ Conscious Hotel Westerpark: in a beautiful building at the industrial Westergas area.
☾ QO Amsterdam: eco design hotel with a great skybar.
TOP LUXURY // €€€
☾ Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam: if you have something to celebrate this is the one.
☾ Pulitzer Amsterdam: on the canals at the border of the Nine Streets and the Jordaan.
☾ L’Europe: this hotel has the best spa with a view in Amsterdam.
☾ Conservatorium Hotel: located in one of the most beautiful buildings in town.
☾ W Amsterdam: with great restaurants and a rooftop bar with swimming pool.
Let’s get social
I really hope you enjoy your time in Amsterdam! On my Instagram account @yourlbb you can find more recommendations and new hotspots in town.
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