Affordable Adventures: Amsterdam

January 5, 2016

How to spend 24 hours in Amsterdam

Amsterdam the capital of the Netherlands! Known for its red light district, marijuana coffee shops, music festivals, water canals, beer, and many many bicycles. This quaint city is a beating heart of culture, beauty, and history. If you’re planning a short or lengthy trip to this city I have some affordable adventures for you to add to your itinerary.

European breakfast

Nothing like starting your morning with a cup of espresso and a warm butter croissant. Coffee with a pastry is a very typical European breakfast. This small breakfast is a great way to jump start your adventures with a warm, full belly to boost your energy for the day.

Sipping coffee and enjoying a toast or biscuit in a small quaint cafe is also one of those simple pleasures for any first-time traveler in a new European country. You can feel the tradition of such a simple thing that has been Europe’s morning routine for decades.

How affordable is it?
Coffee (depending on what you order): € 2 – € 4
Pastry: € 3 – € 5
Bottle of Water: € 1.00

Espresso Time Rent a bicycle

Holland is very well known for its traffic of bicycles. In fact, very few people drive cars in the city centers. Tourist often can’t figure out where to walk because of the crowds of bicyclists that overrun the streets. I often found myself getting “dinged” at all the time because I didn’t realize I was in a bike lane.

Renting a bike is a great way to zoom around the city and feel like a true Dutch. This characteristic of the city lends to its beautiful culture and environmentally friendly reputation. Rentals are generally inexpensive and makes seeing the city easy to view at a relaxed pace.

There are many bike rental shops in the city, however, during the high season they can easily be rented out, so is a good idea to take a reservation in advance. Rental includes locks and equipment for children. Other add-ons are available upon request. 

You can check out:

  • Bike City
  • StarBike Rentals
  • Mac Bike
  • Mike’s Bike Rental

How affordable is it?
Average price for a bike is about €10.00 per day.

Exploring the water canals

The water canals are something to see and impossible to miss when you visit the city of Amsterdam. It is considered the most watery city in the world with more than 100 KM of canals and 1,500 bridges. That is a lot of bridges! Amsterdam is a city that was literally built on top of the Bay water.

The most notable canals are:

  • Singel –  this area encircles the medieval area of Amsterdam and should not be confused with the Singelgracht
  • Keizersgracht
  • Prinsengracht – is the longest canal in Amsterdam and named after the Price of Orange. It is here that you can find Anne Frank’s Haus.

There is the option of taking a cruise ride on a boat to tour around the city. There are many different cruises you can take that will have you putting around the city like a 17th-century aristocrat. Select what kind of cruise you would like and be sure to book your cruise in advance.

How affordable is it?
Bike riding or walking around the canals: free
Day time cruise: € 15-35
Dinner Cruise: € 60-90
Private Cruise (2 hours): € 250.00

Anne Frank’s Haus

The home Anne Frank is a must for those who love European or WWII history. Getting there a little earlier might mean waiting in a shorter line. I don’t want to give away any information because it is an experience to witness for yourself. But You will learn and see so many amazing things from the story that many of us were taught in elementary school. You can purchase tickets here.

How affordable is it?
Adults: € 9.00
Age 10-17: € 4.50
Age 0-9: free
Online ticket: €0.50 surcharge.

Holland Coffee Shops

Don’t be fooled into thinking that coffee shops carry hot beverages. They are joint shops where different strains of marijuana and hash can be purchased by the public. Know that some coffee shops may not sell to tourists. This is a law that was passed in 2012 and is upheld by some coffee shop owners. Technically the selling of marijuana is “illegal. but not punishable”. In order to participate in this activity, you must be over 18. Be sure to have fun in a respectable and responsible manner. It’s fun to try new things in new countries but it’s rude to make a spectacle of yourself so please use responsibly.

Note: If you are looking for an espresso or cappuccino you want to look for a cafe or bar. Coffee shops are dedicated to selling the green stuff.

According to, the top coffee shops are:

  • The Bulldog
  • Mellow Yellow
  • Barney’s Coffeeshop
  • Greenhouse United

How affordable is it?
€ 4 – € 35 per gram, but the average is about € 8

Check out a Holland pub

Amsterdam has a great night life. Partying at a pub is a great way to meet new people or enjoy the evening with friends. Grab a Heineken and enjoy the experience of drinking a Dutch beer in a Dutch bar surrounded by Dutch people. You’re having an adventure! Enjoy the authenticity of your time spent in this wonderful country.

How affordable is it?
Depends on the pub and the beer but average would be around € 5.00

If you like this article and other cheap travels check out my affordable adventures to see more.

How to spend 24 in Amsterdam - Planning a trip to the Netherlands? Amsterdam is a must-see! You can check and Dutch cafe, see the house of Anne Frank hang out among the water canals and more more.

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