11 Free Things to do in Amsterdam (All Year Round)
While it’s very easy to go wild with your euros in Amsterdam (trust us, we know), the Dutch city can definitely be enjoyed on a budget. We’ve rounded up the best things to do in the capital for FREE FREE FREE - which means more money to spend on food, accommodation and travel costs. All of these free activities combined will make for an unforgettable trip without having to break the bank...
1 SANDEMANS FREE WALKING TOUR
Dam 1, 1012 JL Amsterdam, Netherlands
The tour meets at Dam Sqaure. Photo credit: Alice Dundon
The best kind of tours are the ones you can do for free! Our guests can sign up to this free walking tour run by Sandemans at the hostel reception. The 2 and a half hour tour will take you through main sites such as The Royal Palace, Anne Frank's House, The Jewish Quarter, The Old Church and much much more. The tours take place daily - the informative tour guides also have some great tips and recommendations to steal, so you can really make the most of your stay! It’s also one of the best ways to get to know people. The tour begins at Dam Square - just be sure to tip your tour guide at the end.
2 IAMSTERDAM SIGN
Hobbemastraat 19, 1071 XZ Amsterdam, Netherlands
Photo credit: Alice Dundon
Probably one of the most photographed spots in Amsterdam. This iconic sign featuring huge letters spelling out ‘i Amsterdam’ is a bustling spot for photo opportunities. Tourists flock to stand on the letters that spell out what has now become the city’s catchphrase.
3 FREE BOAT TRIP
Take the free ferry across to the Northern side of Amsterdam and get a view of the city from the water. The ferry departs every few minutes behind Centraal station. This is one of the most popular ferry routies in the city terminating at Buiksloterweg. The ferries are also very frequent so you don't have to wait long to hop onto one.
4 ENJOY THE PARKS
Vondelpark is the largest and most famous city park in Amsterdam, perfect for a picnic. Situated near the Van Gogh Museum, it welcomes around 10 million visitors every year. This huge park is home to several ponds, green spaces and lakes, a great respite from the city. In summer enjoy free Open Air performances including classical presentations, music and cabaret. Explore Vondelpark in a typical Dutch way by renting out a bike.
Old Film Museum in the Vondel Park
Located in Amsterdam Oost, Oosterpark is considered the most multicultural park in Amsterdam. You’re allowed to light up a bbq at this park (BBQ’s aren’t permitted at Vondelpark), so it’s a great place to set up for the day with your friends to eat, drink and relax under the sun. It is filled with ponds and streams and is the home of many important monuments and sculptures.
Warmoesstraat 141 - 1012 JB Amsterdam
Stay safe, kids! Pop into the world's first ever condom shop. This world-famous condomerie is located on Warmoesstraat and is worth a visit (even if you're not looking to buy anything) - which is why we've featured it in this list. This colourful place offers a HUGE range of condoms and related items. And come on, you can't come to Amsterdam and not go into the worlds first ever condomerie. It's all part of the experience - and of course, Amsterdam's tolerant attidue to smoking and sex can't be missed at this next place...The Red Light District.
6 RED LIGHT DISTRICT
Get a feel for Amsterdam’s more promiscuous culture on the Red Light District. This neon-lit area is lined by sex shops, brothels and museums…and it doesn’t leave much to the imagination. It’s definitely worth checking out while you’re visiting the Dutch capital to get a feel for the liberal views of the city - and it’s safe, too. When walking around at night, just make sure you're with someone (or a group)!
7 SEE THE NARROWEST HOUSE IN THE WORLD
Amsterdam's narrowest houses are quite a sight to see - and something the city is famed for. One house is located at Singel 7; it is claimed to be the narrowest in the world from the facade. Another property at Singel 166 is unique in its structure, with an outdoor width of just over one metre wide. Both are worth checking out! And both are tiny.
8 STREET ART
Photo credit: Alice Dundon
The places to head to for street art: Spuistraat and Wijdesteeg. Spuistraat’s vibrant buildings and Wijdesteeg’s colourful brick lane are famed amongst street artists. This area was once known for squat houses, colourful murals and political posters. While this energy can still be experienced today, many of the squat houses have been moved in recent times. These electric streets, take you out of the city centre and are worth the visit.
9 GET THE VIEWS
Photo credit: DigiDaan
Nemo isn’t just a famous science museum, it also has an huge rooftop terrace boasting a great view of the city. The roof terrace is accessible for everyone offering a huge seating area - even if you don’t fancy buying anything from the cafe, you can still bring your picnic and have a nice lunch admiring the views. It’s worthing checking out the museum, too (if you’re interested in Science although entry is not free).
10 ALBERT CUYP MARKT
Amsterdam’s largest street market Albert Cuyp is a feast for all the senses. Stroll around and see what’s on offer, taste some free samples and soak up the hustle and bustle of the market. Let the fumes from the different cuisines from all over the world fill your nostrils. Wander amongst over 300 stalls. Markets are always a great place to explore to take in the vibes of a new city and it's always quite nice to see what's on offer, And if you do fancy buying something, it’s a pretty cheap market where you can find some bargains.
Article by Shereen Sagoo