Before visiting Amsterdam, I spent hours and hours searching through different travel websites, blogs and forums to determine how much my trip to Amsterdam would cost me. Not only are there a range of different factors such as accommodation and flights but also other factors such as spending money, attractions and landmarks and many more! Even the smallest of things such as travel insurance can't be overlooked especially when travelling internationally as these prices seem to increase dramatically in consideration of my health as well as the tablets I’m currently on. I kept every single receipt from the moment I booked my flights and hotel to the moment I got on the plane at Amsterdam which marked the end of my trip. There are 7 different factors which compiled my budget:
Flights to Amsterdam are very generally very cheap when travelling from Europe, the UK especially, since it’s less than an hour's flight or just under two for those living in countries such as France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland and Denmark to name a few. Regardless, if you book flights in advance then you’re more than certain to get the best deal whereas if you book last minute then you’ll be expected to pay a premium price for leaving it so late. Luckily for me I was able to book return flights with easyJet for £50.98 as there was an offer promoting flights for £29.99 for a one way journey, therefore I took advantage and booked return flights at this price. However, EasyJet does charge passengers to reserve a seat but since this flight was less than an hour, I decided against paying £4.99 per seat, per way, which is a price that grew the closer you got to the front rows of the plane. Luckily I was able to check-in 30 days before and found out that I was seated in the eighteenth row with both an aisle seat and the person I was travelling with sitting next to me. Even though I’ve always boasted about how EasyJet are a low-budget airline therefore there are minor faults to be expected, my journey back from Amsterdam was nothing short of a nightmare. Therefore, I wouldn’t be flying with EasyJet in the future since I’d rather pay extra and fly with airlines such as British Airways as they pride themselves on great customer service and satisfaction. Although, if you want to find out more information regarding easyJet then click here to see whether easyJet are worth flying with for their inexpensive tickets. If you want more information regarding easyJet Plus, a service providing additional benefits and extras for an annual fee, then click here to read more.
Amsterdam attracts 20 million tourists throughout the year, as people travel from far and wide to visit Anne Frank’s House, The Red Light District, The Van Gogh Museum as well as the hundreds of different landmarks and activities that Amsterdam offers. There are thousands of different accommodation options in Amsterdam, each located near to a popular tourist destination and important landmark, in turn increasing the price drastically and some establishments wanted upwards of €100 for one room for one night, with little amenities but the unique selling point that they were located within Amsterdam’s City Centre. Either way, I began searching for accommodation in Amsterdam by using Booking.com to search through and narrow down my choices of accommodation for a hotel in Amsterdam, rather than searching for a hostel or an apartment. From there I narrowed my search down to hotels that were located within the city of Amsterdam but far enough away from major attractions to prevent overpaying for a room that would’ve otherwise been a lot more inexpensive. After an extensive search of hotels located near various transport links to get around the city as well as a hotel that wasn’t too far away from the City Centre since I didn’t want to be reminded of the vibrant nightlife that Amsterdam has. With a list of a handful of hotels located near Leidseplein I did my own research into the hotel’s reviews from TripAdvisor which was very surprising yet I’m grateful I dug deeper into people’s experiences with certain hotels. Even though Leidseplein is primarily known for its nightlife, I found a hotel located down a quiet street surrounded by restaurants and less than a minutes walk from a wide variety of shops. I finally decided on the hotel I wanted to stay at: Hotel La Bohème which cost £158 per person, as there were three of us travelling. This price was based on a 3-night stay which included a double room with a double bed as well as another spacious room with lots of different amenities both in the room and the hotel itself. The hotel prided itself on their high rating from previous visitors as well as their high standards, to which I can vouch for, as our stay was perfect from the moment we arrived to the moment we left. What I liked most about Hotel La Bohème is that it prides itself on being an “small eco minded hotel with a homely atmosphere” and there was even a cat called Mimi - it doesn’t get any better than that!
I’ve visited Amsterdam before and I’d experienced firsthand how Amsterdam came to become the Bicycle Capital of the world with the added feature of canals everywhere you looked. Moreover, I walked near enough everywhere when I visited Amsterdam previously and this trip was planned to be exactly the same - even using public transport to get to and from the airport in the bid to be more environmentally friendly. However, it should be noted that Amsterdam has a very extensive Tram Network to which takes tourists across the city for €3.20, the price of a ticket for an hour of the GVB Network, to which is all a tourist needs if travelling to attractions such as The Anne Frank House, The Van Gogh Museum or even if they’re travelling to a destination to meet up for a walking tour (this is something I’d highly recommend). Additionally, public transport was very handy when travelling to and from Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, which is accessible by Train, Bus and Taxi. On my outbound journey I got the Amsterdam Airport Express Bus, Line 397, which cost €6 for a single ticket, which had a journey time of 45 minutes but nonetheless had beautiful sights throughout it. On the other hand my return journey consisted of walking to Centraal Station, taking around 35 minutes, to then getting the Train run by Dutch Railways, costing €5.50 including €1 surcharge for a disposable ticket. This journey time was very quick with a journey time of only 15 minutes, we sat down and then found ourselves getting comfortable then having to get up again. Regardless, I only spent £10.12 (€11.50) while in Amsterdam as I walked to every attraction and only had to pay to make my journey to and from Schiphol Airport.
One of the most important factors travellers should consider before booking their flights and accommodation for Amsterdam, or any holiday in general, would be purchasing travel insurance. Travel insurance is so important as it prevents travellers from being out of pocket as well as being covered for their gadgets, baggage, flights or anything that may misfortune travellers throughout their trip and most importantly their health. As I say, you cannot put a price on health, but while buying travel insurance I was more than happy to pay £8.52 which was a Single Trip Insurance which covered mostly all of the factors mentioned above. Even though I thankfully didn’t need to use my travel insurance, I was more than grateful to have it if I did need it.
Attractions & Activities
Attractions and activities can range in price depending on the budget of the person travelling as well as what they plan to do throughout their stay in Amsterdam. For example, if a traveller wants to visit The Red Light District then they can do so for free, as it’s just a street, whereas others may want a private tour detailing the specific history of the street. This may set travellers back anywhere from €10 to €50 depending on the size of the group as well as if it’s a private tour or if it operates on a “Pay-As-You-Feel” basis. The same rule applies for those wishing to visit a range of different museums while in Amsterdam, as some museums offer free admission whereas others operate on a basis where visitors must pay and in some cases reserve a ticket. For example, Anne Frank’s House requires visitors to pre-book a ticket online, preferably two months beforehand, to which they then reserve a specific time slot and arrive there accordingly. Tickets cannot be bought on the door anymore as there were a range of issues with people queuing up for hours without the guarantee of a ticket as well as people queue jumping and pushing in. However, the same principle doesn’t apply for The Van Gogh Museum as tickets can be bought in advance or on the day throughout the self-service machines provided outside of the building itself. Although I would advise those planning to go to reserve a ticket as it allows visitors to skip the queue to which the line looks never ending. As those I travelled with wanted to see Amsterdam but was unsure of what to see and where to visit, I participated in two walking tours with a company called Amsterdam Free Walking Tours. Amsterdam Free Walking Tours operate on a “Pay-As-You-Feel” basis which makes travellers not feel obliged to pay for a service that they didn’t enjoy or deem worthy of a monetary tip. However, these two tours provided by Amsterdam Free Walking Tours were thoroughly enjoyable and informative, which allowed me to learn more about Amsterdam while seeing the highlights of the city, even though I’d visited before. Since I enjoyed these tours I was able to leave monetary tips for the guides services and since they rely on tips for their work. More information regarding the debate where “Free Walking Tours” are actually free can be read more thoroughly by clicking here. Throughout my time in Amsterdam I also visited Anne Frank’s House since after reading Anne Frank: The Diary Of A Young Girl again, it was an immersive experience by putting a visual image to the text in the book. Additionally, I visited the Xtracold Icebar as well as Glow-In-The-Dark Mini Golf for a bit of fun throughout my stay, which was inexpensive but worth every penny in terms of finding an activity to do in Amsterdam that wasn’t swarmed by tourists. It should be noted that most attractions and places to visit are free to see, it shouldn't be deemed expensive as people only pay for what they wish to see. In total I spent £67.24 (€76.50) on attractions and activities in Amsterdam. All tickets were booked in advance via GetYourGuide where you're able to buy tickets that allow visitors to skip the line as well as being able to modify or cancel these tickets before or during your trip. Additionally, the tickets for Anne Frank’s House can be bought directly on the website where there’s added information regarding your visit, opening times as well as how to get there.
Amsterdam has a range of shops throughout the City Centre including well known brands such as Primark, C&A, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, DKNY, Mulberry, Ralph Lauren as well as Foot Locker. There’s tons of shopping promenades across Amsterdam, most being surrounded by souvenir shops and overpriced tourist traps the closer you get to Centraal Station - the reason being is that before people travel to Schiphol Airport these shops become an attractive option. Either way, I was able to put some money aside for souvenirs for family members and friends, this came out to a lot more than I was expecting. Even though I’d visited Amsterdam previously, there were a wide array of people I needed to buy souvenirs for including those I worked with as well as for family members who had requested specific products they couldn’t get where they lived. Moreover, since it’s unlikely I’d travel back to Amsterdam for a while I took full advantage of the range of souvenir shops nearby. As Amsterdam is known for The Red Light District, there were quite a few souvenirs that I bought and hoped friends would see the funny side - what was not funny however was the security staff pulling these souvenirs out of my suitcase and holding them up proudly. I got a range of different souvenirs ranging from baby grows, a frame, a postcard, magnets and bookmarks - I could’ve easily set up shop on the plane and offered these to tourists returning home. In total I spent £40.18 (€45.66), this is quite a lot on souvenirs but considering it’s very unlikely that I’ll return as well as buying for a wide range of family and friends, it seemed reasonable.
Food and Drink
It's very hard to determine how much travellers should budget when travelling to Amsterdam for food and drink. There are people who don't mind a €1 chocolate bar and a €3 pastry or piece of cake whereas there are others who prefer to dine in fancier and therefore more expensive restaurants. I had three meals per day, breakfast, lunch and dinner and sometimes a quick snack. Within the price of the room rate breakfast was included, La Bohème offered a wide spread of continental items as well as a selection of cooked items leaving us spoilt for choice. In this section I include snacks bought from supermarkets and small corner shops near the hotel, as we were able to store them in the room since there was a lot of storage. La Bohème also offered a vending machine which offered soft drinks to visitors, which were priced at €1-2 per item, which was a lot cheaper than buying the item from a supermarket so of course I took full advantage. Every person has different tastes in food as well as some having dietary requirements which makes it hard to pinpoint a budget for food and drink. I budgeted €30-40 per day:
TOTAL SPENT FOR 4 DAYS IN AMSTERDAM: £407.85 (Approximately €462.93)
Even though this was my second trip to Amsterdam I had still planned that I would spend a lot, especially with accommodation and shopping since it would be unlikely that I would return to Amsterdam as I’ve now been there twice. There wasn’t one category that dominated the majority of my expenses except for the flights and hotel, which is expected since they’re unavoidable to get at a very low price. As I split the expenses with two other people that I was travelling with, it made it a lot more affordable and overall made the trip more enjoyable. Others may prefer airlines, hotels and dining at restaurants that cost less whereas others may pay for more if they want to experience Amsterdam in style and luxury.
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