Amsterdam is a top destination in Europe for travellers of all ages. But just how much does it cost to go to Amsterdam? Well, that depends on a few different factors including your travel style, what time of year you visit, and where you are flying from.
Amsterdam is the largest city in the Netherlands, so it’s easy to spend a full week exploring all of its neighbourhoods, especially if you are interested in the city’s many museums and galleries. So, for the purpose of this article, I’m going to suggest a one-week (7 days, 6 nights) itinerary in Amsterdam. This will include return airfare, average meal costs, transportation, and admission to the major attractions.
Please note that this guide is based on a single person. If you are travelling as a couple, make sure to double cost estimates (except for hotels).
Amsterdam trip cost
|Accommodations||$960 ($160 per night)|
|Food & drink||$315 ($45 per day)|
The above estimate is in American dollars, so please use xe.com to find out the average costs in your home currency.
The above estimate is for a solo traveller, so if you’re travelling as a pair, double your travel expenses except for accommodations. Also, keep in mind that this is just an estimate. Amsterdam is not a cheap travel destination, however savvy travellers will be able to reduce their vacation costs by using some of the tips and suggestions I share throughout this article.
Flight costs will vary depending on where you are flying from and the time of year you plan to visit, but $650 is a good number to work with. Offseason and shoulder season (September to December) will allow for the best flight prices while June to August tends to see the most expensive fares (over $1000). Flights during holiday times (Christmas, Easter, and Kings Day in April) can also be more expensive. Fortunately, Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport is a major hub, so getting flights to the city is easy.
If you’re Canadian, you may want to consider applying for one of the best travel credit cards in Canada to help offset your costs by collecting points. For example, the American Express Platinum Card gives you a generous welcome bonus that’s often worth more than $900 (potentially more if you transfer your points to Aeroplan or Marriott Bonvoy). There’s also the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card that has no foreign transaction fees, and it comes with airport lounge access.
There are a variety of options for accommodations in Amsterdam depending on your travel style and your budget. The city offers everything from hostel dorms to luxury hotels. I have estimated the average cost at $160 per night as many of the mid-range hotels fall into this price range. Keep in mind that, like flights, hotel rates will fluctuate depending on the season. It’s also cheaper to stay mid-week than on weekends. With that in mind, here are some accommodation options in Amsterdam for you to consider.
Hostels – Hostels tend to be the accommodation of choice for backpackers or travellers on a tight budget. Most hostels offer multiple dorm sizes (ie; 4 beds, 8 beds, 12 beds), and the bigger the dorm the cheaper the rates. Some hostels also offer private rooms which, while more expensive than dorms, are cheaper than normal hotel rooms.
Mid-range hotels – Amsterdam has hotels for all budgets but mid-range hotels are your best bet for staying on budget and getting a nice room. Top hotel locations around the city include Dam Square, the Museumplein, and Central Station; all of which are central and close to main attractions. If you stay outside the main areas, you can probably save a little more money.
Luxury hotels – If you prefer more upscale accommodation in Amsterdam, don’t worry, the city has plenty of beautiful luxury hotels as well. Please keep in mind this will bump up the estimated costs for a week in Amsterdam by at least an additional $100 – $200 per night.
Airbnb – Renting an apartment via Airbnb has become a popular choice for many travellers, including myself. Most offer clean and safe places to stay at reasonable prices. Just make sure to read the reviews ahead of time. As with hotels and hostels, make sure to choose a central area. Use my invite to get $45 towards your first stay.
If you have the right credit card, you can save a fair amount of money on hotels. Americans should strongly consider the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card since you can earn up to 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy points and $300 back at U.S. restaurants as a welcome bonus.
Canadians should consider the Marriott Bonvoy American Express, which gives you up to 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. That’s enough points for a few free nights at some hotels, which could easily have a value of over $500.
Overall, Amsterdam can be done on foot the entire time you’re there. If you do decide to take public transportation, it costs €3.20 for a 1-hour trip via the trams, bus, or metro. Buying an OV Chipkaart is advised as you can use it throughout Holland and it’ll cost you just €7.50 plus the funds you load onto the card.
The OV-chipkaart can also be used for regional trains, but you need a balance of at least €20. The best place to buy the card is at your point of entry into Amsterdam which is usually the airport or Centraal Station.
Most people end up taking a few day trips to say Rotterdam or Marken/Volendam/Zaandam. These day trips won’t cost you a lot, but it’s something to factor in. Overall, you’ll want to budget about $60 for local transportation. That said, if you plan on travelling further out to say Brussels or Paris from Amsterdam Centraal, you’ll need to budget more for the Eurostar.
The I Amsterdam card is by far the best deal for travellers looking to explore the city’s museums and attractions. The 4-day card (96h) is 110 euros or roughly US $115. It covers entry to the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, Rembrandt House, Nemo Science Museum, a canal cruise, and more. It also covers all of your public transportation within the city centre (not to the airport) and offers discounts at various shops and restaurants.
That said, if you don’t plan on doing all those museums, it may be cheaper to pay as you go for each attraction (budget $85). I recommend buying your tickets from Klook in advance as you can usually get a small discount and skip the lines when you arrive. Here are the top attractions:
- Anne Frank House
- Heineken Experience
- Van Gogh Museum
- Volendam, Edam, and Zaanse Schans windmill village day tour
- Amsterdam canal cruise
Food and drink
Food and drink budget will vary by person, but a rough estimate for a meal including drink is as follows:
- Breakfast – $5
- Lunch – $10
- Dinner – $30
This amounts to $45 /day per person, but chances are you won’t actually spend that. Amsterdam isn’t generally known as a big foodie destination so if you are looking for somewhere to cut back on costs and save, this might be a good place to do it.
You can try plenty of local favourites including stroopwafels, rookworst, and bitterballen on a budget. If you want to try a different and unique dining experience in Amsterdam, try a rijsttafel. It’s actually an Indonesian meal that has been adapted by the Dutch consisting of many (often 40) tiny bite-size dishes.
Of course, other things you must try include french fries from Mannekenpis or croquette from just about anywhere. Please resist buying fast food from the vending machines at Febo, the food is awful there.
Beer isn’t too expensive, but it’s more than what you’d be used to if you’re coming from North America. Sandwiches tend to be the best value if you’re looking to save money.
Most travellers tend to pick up some souvenirs to bring home when they travel. Amsterdam has no shortage of souvenir shops and options from typical tourist t-shirts and keychains to tulip seeds, to more risqué novelty items. Amsterdam also has some yummy local snacks such as stroopwafels, and delicious cheeses that most travellers enjoy trying. However, nothing is too expensive so you will probably be safe budgeting an extra $100 for your week in Amsterdam.
If you are a shopaholic, you will want to increase your budget. Amsterdam has some fabulous shopping areas including De Negen Straatjes (The Nine Little Streets), De Jordaan, and the Old South area.
Amsterdam trip cost
So how much does it cost to go to Amsterdam? My research estimates approximately $2,255 per person for one week including flights, accommodation, food, transportation and attractions, and some extra spending money. For more travel inspiration, check out my guides on London, Paris, Barcelona, Rome, Portugal, Ireland, Croatia, Malta and Greece.
Is Amsterdam expensive to visit?
Amsterdam isn’t a cheap destination. That being said, it doesn’t have to be super expensive either. If you are worried about the cost of Amsterdam and looking for a more affordable way to explore this popular European city, then take a look at my Amsterdam on a budget guide for my tips and tricks on how to save money when in Amsterdam.
What are some day trips from Amsterdam?
If you are looking to escape Amsterdam for a day or two a couple of options worth considering include:
- Zaanse Schans
- Keukenhof (famous for its tulips in the springtime)
- The Hague
What can you do in Amsterdam in 3 days?
Quite a lot. Amsterdam is pretty compact and 3 days is a good amount of time to see and explore the highlights. Take a canal boat cruise, check out some of the famous museums and galleries, explore the Red Light District (I recommend taking a guided night tour to learn about the sex trade in Amsterdam).
What is Amsterdam famous for?
Amsterdam is best known for two things: the Red Light District (sex work is legal in Amsterdam) and its coffee shops (which are actually for marijuana, not coffee). Of course, there is a lot more to this city than sex and weed. Other popular attractions here include the Anne Frank House, Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum. Of course, there is also the scenery too, Amsterdam is famous for its canals and bikes.
What should I avoid in Amsterdam?
The biggest no-no when in Amsterdam is taking photos of the sex workers in their windows. While many tourists are drawn to this part of the city because it is so different, it is important to note that not all the women (and men) who work here are Dutch. Many come from countries where sex work is illegal and photographing them can have major negative impacts. So keep your camera hidden, because if they see it they will come out and yell at you. Some have even taken tourists’ phones/cameras and smashed them or thrown urine at sneaky photographers.