Amsterdam is a top European destination 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 a big city, 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 this 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).
|Accommodation||$960 ($160 per night)|
|Transportation & Attractions||$145|
|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.
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 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. Offseason and shoulder season will allow for the best flight prices while June-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.
Canadians will also normally see more expensive prices than Americans, however depending on where you are flying from, you may be able to use a budget airline. Travellers from Montreal and Toronto have access to WOW Airlines, a budget airline with a stopover in Iceland. With WOW airlines, you can easily get return trip airfare for around $500CAD (or less if you hit one of their sales). However, this does not include luggage so don’t forget to take those costs into consideration. Regardless of which country you’re from, make sure you apply for a credit card with no foreign exchange fees before you depart.
There are a variety of options for accommodation 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 hotels 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.
My preferred booking site is Booking.com since it lists hotels, apartments, B&B’s, vacation homes and inns. In addition, they price match and you’re not required to pay until after your stay for almost all accommodations. After five bookings, you become a member of their Genius program which gets you an extra 10% off on selected properties. If you haven’t tried booking.com for accommodations, use my affiliate link now to get $25 CAD off your first stay (this applies after you complete your stay).
Attractions and Local Transportation
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 98 euros or roughly $120USD. 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 and offers discounts at various shops and restaurants. That being said, if you don’t plan on doing all those museums, it may be cheaper to pay as you go for each attraction.
There are a couple additional costs that are not included in the I Amsterdam city card including the train from Schiphol airport (approximately $13 return) or to the Anne Frank House (roughly $11 per person).
Overall, Amsterdam can be done on foot the entire time you’re there. If you do decide to take public transportation, it costs €2.90 for a 1-hour trip. However, if you purchase an OV Chipkaart for €7.50, each ride will then be just €1.20 which means after 5 trips, you would have made your money back.
Keep in mind that you may also take 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.
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 bit 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.
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.
So how much does it cost to go to Amsterdam? My research estimates approximately $2360 per person for one week including flights, accommodation, food, transportation and attractions, and some extra spending money. Amsterdam is not known as a budget destination, but it can be affordable. Plus, if you use some of the tips and advice suggested in this article, you can further reduce your costs.