Looking for something fun to do in Amsterdam without breaking the budget? The city has got a lot to offer all types of travellers, with plenty of interesting architecture and cool spots to visit. For less than two cups of coffee (yes, in this case I mean actual coffee…), you can check out all of these free activities and get a feel for the city’s history, culture and beautiful sights.
Visit NDSM (FREE)
This former shipping yard has since gone through its hipster renaissance and is covered in amazing street art and quirky little spots to eat, drink and stay. You can take the free ferry over and explore the restaurants made from shipping containers and greenhouses; and accommodation built out of boats, cranes, trains and buses. One of the most popular spots to have a drink is Plleck, which you enter through a sticker-covered shipping container, then walk through to a modern interior and pretty outdoor area by the water. A lot of the shipping containers have also been fitted out as artist studios, so there’s plenty of art to feast your eyes on!
Check Out A City Viewpoint (FREE)
Two of the best free lookouts in Amsterdam are the Oba Public Library and the Nemo Panorama Terrace. I know a library may not be high on your to-do list, but the view from the top floor is awesome! The Nemo Panorama Terrace is another great free viewpoint with lots of spots to relax in the sunshine. Just be sure to climb up the big stairs on the right side of the building, rather than paying entry to the museum itself at the bottom. Alternatively, you can catch one of the free ferries near Amsterdam Centraal and see the city from the water.
Visit The Anne Frank Museum (€10)
As one of the most important historical and memorial spots in The Netherlands, Anne Frank’s house is a popular and important place to visit while in Amsterdam, the issue is that it can be very difficult to get tickets unless you book up to two months prior. I’ve found there there are three ways to get in: you can book early; wait in line and hope to get in from 3pm onwards; or check the website at roughly 8am and 11am on the day you want to visit, as they release a set number of tickets at a different time each day (hot tip!). I got my tickets at 8am the day that I visited and definitely didn’t envy all the people waiting in line in the rain outside.
Take A Picture At The IAMSTERDAM sign (FREE)
Most people don’t realise that there are actually two of these signs in the city. The busiest one is in the Museum Quarter, so I’d recommend you visit really early if you want a nice picture there. The second is located just around the corner from the Busabout recommended hostel, Clink Noord, and is far less touristic. It’s also the perfect spot to watch the sun set over the water.
Peek In At A Peep Show (€2)
If you’re interested in spending two minutes of your life in a small room looking at someone doing something very ‘Amsterdam’ right in front of you, then you could try a peep show. This is also a much cheaper way to see such a funny/sexy show (depending on how you look at it), without having to go to the Casa Rosso sex show. There are rooms with television screens playing videos, and rooms with a live show, so you can choose your own adventure.