If you’re strapped for cash but looking to have a fun weekend in Amsterdam, don’t worry! We’ve put together a handy guide to help you decide how to spend an Amsterdam weekend on a budget.
Getting to Amsterdam
Schipol is a big international airport with flights landing regularly from all over Europe and beyond. No need to spend a fortune on flights, as there are plenty of budget airlines that fly here. Check out Skyscanner or Kayak to compare the prices of different airlines.
The Eurostar now also runs a service from London to Amsterdam so it’s worth comparing prices of flights and trains. Do bear in mind however, that there is currently only a direct outbound service and the journey back to London would involve changing trains and therefore a longer journey time.
We compared the price of flights and trains on a few different weekends throughout the year and found that flying, if travelling at peak times like Friday evening and Sunday night / Monday morning, works out as the cheaper option.
Return flight from London to Amsterdam = € 65 (approx – may vary depending on where you’re flying from)
2 X night stay in a dorm at ClinkNOORD = € 50 (may vary depending when you’re visiting)
Total spent so far = €65
7pm: Touch down in Amsterdam!
It’s Friday night and you’re in Amsterdam, baby! Having hot-footed it from the office to catch your flight, we’re sure you’re about ready for a nice cold Dutch brew. Well, rest assured, it won’t be long until your thirst is quenched. The train into the city centre runs directly from Schipol airport every 15 minutes or so and takes just 20 minutes to get into Amsterdam Centraal station. Grab your ticket (€5.40) from one of the yellow OV-chipkaart machines and jump aboard the direct service into the city! This is the cheapest and most effective way to get into Amsterdam.
Once you arrive at Amsterdam Centraal follow the signs to ‘Ferries.’ Hop aboard the free short ferry (runs 24/7) to ‘Veer Buiksloterweg’ and then ClinkNOORD is just 400m away.
Train ticket =€5.40
Short ferry to ClinkNOORD = Free
Total spent so far =€70.40
8.30pm: Arrive at ClinkNOORD
Welcome to ClinkNOORD! Whatever time you arrive, day or night, there will always be someone to help you get settled. Check in with our friendly reception team who will give you your room key and fill you in on all the ‘need to know’ details of your stay. Most importantly, you’ll get your BOGOF (buy one get one free) drinks voucher!
Dump your stuff in your room and then head down to ZincBAR where you can grab a beer, wine or soft drink – and get another one completely FREE. If you’re feeling hungry after your travels then our kitchen team are ready and waiting for your order. On the ZincBAR menu are thin and crispy pizzas, pastas, local specialities – and more – all at great value hostel prices that you won’t find out in the city.
We’ve got free daily events running too, so if you’re in the mood to get involved then check out the schedule to see what’s on!
2x Beer (BOGOF) = €2.90
1 x Pizza (Shared with a friend) = €4 each
Total spent so far = €77.30
9.30am: Breakfast time!
If you’re staying with us at ClinkNOORD then we’d totally recommend filling up on the tasty, all you can eat buffet breakfast. With a selection of cereals, cooked items, bread, cold meats and cheeses there’s loads to choose from. It’s a great budget way to fuel yourself for a day exploring Amsterdam. Book direct with us for your whole stay and eat and drink to your heart’s content for just €5.90 a day!
2 x Breakfast (Saturday & Sunday) = €11.80
Total spent so far = €89.10
10.20am: Walking Tour
If you’re looking for an fun, informative (and cheap!) way to acquaint yourself with the city, then why not join a walking tour with our partners Sandemans. Join fellow travellers down at reception at 10.20am where your knowledgable and charismatic guide will come and pick you up. As you walk past some of central Amsterdam’s main sights, your guide will share tales of Amsterdam’s fascinating history – from the tragedy of Anne Frank and the city’s Nazi occupation, through to the city’s decision to decriminalise drugs and prostitution. It’s a great way to make new friends too, and you can head off to explore more of the city together afterwards.
Walking tour = €0
If you’ve worked up an appetite from all that walking, then you’ll be in need of some sustenance. If the weather is nice, why not take a walk over to Amsterdam’s favourite green space Vondelpark, picking up a baguette and some cheese along the way. Find a nice tree and settle down to enjoy a cheap and cheerful picnic in the sunshine.
If the weather hasn’t been so kind to you then perhaps make a stop in one of central Amsterdam’s little gems. Slightly off the main tourist drag, Lavina is a great little lunch spot that offers up all day brunch, lunch and snacks. Why not ‘Go Dutch’ and split one of their snack platters with a friend to save yourself some dolla.
Baguette & Cheese = €4.50
Snack platter at Lavina (shared with a friend) = €6.25
Total spent so far = €93.60
3.30pm: Culture Time
Amsterdam is a city jam packed with culture. A lot of tourists visiting the city, of course, are eager to tick off the most famous cultural establishments like the Rijksmuseum and The Van Gough Museum. However, if you’re looking for quieter, more budget friendly options then it’s worth exploring some of the city’s lesser known museums and exhibits.
A visit to The Amsterdam City Archives is a chance to explore the city’s rich history, discovering its myriad of stories through a huge range of documents including official papers, letters and even early audio recordings. You can visit the ‘Amsterdam Treasures’ collection for free. The exhibit showcases a host of interesting documents including a letter from Charles Darwin to Artis Royal Zoo and the report of the theft of Anne Frank’s bicycle in 1942, also mentioned in her diary.
If art and photography is more your thing then a visit to FOAM might be up your street. There is a modest entry fee of 11 EUR but it’s well worth the price to see its well-curated selection of small exhibits that feature both world-famous and up and coming photographers. The museum is situated in a beautiful 150 year old canal house, brought up to date with modern chrome and glass that makes for a beguiling museum experience.
Entry to The Amsterdam City Archives = FREE
Entry to FOAM Photography Museum = €11
Total spent so far = €93.60
8pm: Dinner at MKZ Vegan
Amsterdam is certainly not short of fancy restaurants. But our favourite places to eat are the ones that have local character and charm in abundance. Luckily, some of these spots also happen to offer some of the best-value food in the city.
One of these favourites is MKZ Vegan, a spacious and lively collective-run restaurant that shares a venue with anarchist library, Bar Bollox and Underground music venue OCCII. Each day a different crew of volunteers runs the kitchen and you can get a tasty 3 course vegan meal for just €5 – and all profits go to social or grassroots initiatives. It’s worth noting that you’re expected to wash your own dishes at the end. But considering how little you pay, we reckon it’s a great deal – and also a lot of fun!
Dinner at MKZ Vegan = €5
Total spent so far = €98.60
10.30pm: Time to dance!
Amsterdam can be an expensive place to go out, especially on a Saturday night. However, if you’re willing to venture out of the city centre a little more than your average tourist then you’ll be able to find some pretty damn cool places to dance the night away that won’t cost the earth.
One such place is VILLA, an abandoned funeral home turned bar and nightclub. Who knew that a former home for the dead could be such a jumping night time venue? VILLA is a hip bar and club in the Nieuw-West scattered with vintage sofas where you can enjoy cheap drinks in a buzzy atmosphere. Unlike a lot of clubs in central Amsterdam, VILLA’s Friday and Saturday club nights are free entry and open until 3am.
Entry to VILLA = Free
Drinks for the night = €20 (approx, depending on how thirsty you are!)
Total spent so far = €118.60
3.30am: Early morning snacks …
If you’ve survived until the wee small hours then you’ll no doubt be in need of a late night / early morning snack …
Not really intended for the sober, FEBO (pronounced ‘fay-bo’), offers oh-so-convenient fried food which you can procure straight out of a hole in the wall. That’s right, this is basically a vending machine full of delicious but nutritionally void junk food that is sure to sort you right out after a big night out. Simply insert coins, take your pick and tuck in …
FEBO munchies = €2.50 (approx, depending on your snack of choice!)
Total spent so far = €121.10
Caught in the Dutch rain? We’ve got you covered? Here’s the best things to do in Amsterdam when the weather isn’t so great …
10.30am: Rise and Shine
Hopefully you made it up in time to fill up on the hostel breakfast but if not don’t fear! Today is the day to explore ClinkNOORD’s local neighbourhood ‘Amsterdam Noord’ and there’s plenty of places where you can grab a tasty bite to eat en-route.
Head to reception and grab a bike hire voucher from one of our friendly reception team (€13.50). You can collect your bike just around the corner at our partners TIP.
Amsterdam Noord is a former industrial area of the city and is fast becoming one of Amsterdam’s most creative and culturally vibrant areas. Jumping on a bike is a great way to explore this lesser known side of the city as you can travel easily between areas that are a bit more spread out – and there’s also a lot fewer bikes and traffic making it a much more welcoming place for non-local cyclists!
Bike rental = €13.50
Total spent so far = €134.60
11am: Blow away the cobwebs!
With your bike, jump on the free short ferry that takes you back to Centraal Station. From here, catch the ferry that takes you to ‘NDSM Werf.’ This takes around 15 minutes and is a fun and refreshing way to travel and see some more of the city.
NDSM is an old shipyard and is now home to artists warehouses and some pretty cool bars and restaurants. Make sure to check out the huge murals that adorn the walls of the area. These also make for some great Instagram backdrops ;)
12pm: Grab a bargain
Come on the right weekend and you’ll find Europe’s Biggest Flea Market inside a huge old warehouse at NDSM Werf called IJ Hallen. Vendors selling all sorts of wares – from vintage clothes to homewares and bric-a-brac – line the halls. You can rummage through to your heart’s content and find a budget-friendly bargain!
Vintage buy at IJ Hallen = 15 EUR (approx, depending on your shopping self control!)
Total spent so far = €149.60
If hunger strikes then there’s a couple of budget friendly places at NDSM where you can grab a bite to eat.
Noorderlicht Café is a former greenhouse turned cool hippie hangout that focuses on serving seasonal, ethically sourced food and drink at very reasonable prices.
Just round the corner is Pllek. Made out of shipping containers and sitting on a manmade beach on the banks of the IJ river, it’s a great spot to grab a beer and a snack and watch the big boats go by.
Lunch at Pllek or Noorderlicht = €12 (approx)
Total spent so far = € 161.60
2.30pm: Pedal power
Now it’s time to work those leg muscles! Amsterdam Noord offers some picturesque cycling routes where you’ll discover the inspiring and rustic landscapes of Amsterdam’s North.
Iamsterdam have a put together a handy route which takes you from the shores of the IJ river along the dykes of quaint historical villages Nieuwendam and Durgerdam to Ransdorp, and than back via Holysloot and Zunderdorp.
A cycle around Noord feels like a real adventure and a chance to see a different side to the city.
Cycle around Amsterdam Noord = Free
5pm: Film Fantatics
If you’ve got the energy after your cycle, pop into the EYE film museum which is just next door to ClinkNOORD.
This architecturally striking building, designed by Austrian architecture firm Delugan Meissl, sits on the banks of the River and has great views of the water.
The basement area (Panorama) houses a free permanent exhibition which showcases items marking important moments in cinematic history.
Visit to the EYE Film Museum = Free
Total spent so far = €161.60
7pm: Chill …
You’ve already packed a lot into your short time in the city, so we reckon you might be ready for a chilled out evening!
Luckily, ClinkNOORD has got you covered. With plenty of comfy sofas, chill out areas and fun events lined up each night you can have a cosy and cheap evening in the comfort of your own home away from home.
Grab some dinner from the great value ZincBAR menu and ask our bar team about board games that you can play with fellow travellers.
If you’re lucky, you might even catch one of our Stay & Play acts performing at the bar. Watching some great live music with a cold beer is one of our favourite ways to wind down and a great way to end a jam-packed weekend in Amsterdam!
11pm: Bed time or party time?
If you feel like you’ve filled your weekend with enough fun and frolics, it’s could be about time to tuck yourself in for the night. If not, then why not check out one of our Sunday night favourites to carry on the party?
Vereniging De Trut is a gay / lesbian bar (but open to everyone) and a great venue for a bit of cheap Sunday night fun. A former squatters base, the crowd here is young, creative and artistic. Entry is just €3 and beers are only €2. (Beware the Monday morning hangover – especially if you have to catch a flight!)
Dinner and a drink at ZincBAR / A night out at Vereniging De Trut = €12
Grand Total spent this weekend = €173.60
Coming in at less than €200, you can see that is possible to have fun in Amsterdam on a budget! We’ve got great value beds at ClinkNOORD too, starting at just €17 a night. If you’re travelling in numbers, check out our group accommodation page. So if you’re planning a visit, then check availability now or speak to one of our friendly team on live chat.