Five Tips to Affordable Amsterdam

Amsterdam Canal

Europe doesn’t have to be expensive. Sure, the exchange rate with the euro has been brutal for a while, but if you plan a little, you can take some of the sting out. Amsterdam can be particularly tricky, especially with the cost of hotels, but you can manage that, too! If you’re looking for a trip to Europe’s sin city that doesn’t break the bank, we’re here to help. Let’s start with these five tips:

Start saving now: Your affordable trip starts with cheap tickets to Amsterdam. I know it sounds obvious, but every dollar you save when booking your flight translates to more fun for you when you land!

Sacrifice some convenience: On my trip last summer, I found a cheap Amsterdam hotel by the airport on CheapOair (I use the product religiously – and have since I started writing for the blog). With the free airport shuttle and the train from Schipol into town, it was easy to get back and forth. Doubtless, it was a tad inconvenient, but I saved at least $100 a night this way, which was basically a free dinner, with drinks, every night I was there!

Control your libido: It’s easy to drop a fortune in the red light district. If you want to keep your expenses under control while you’re in Amsterdam, you can look, but you shouldn’t touch. Remember: money can’t buy happiness.

Sample the street food: Limit yourself to one big, exciting dinner when you’re in Amsterdam (maybe two, depending on how long you plan to be there). In between, eat like a local! Check out the food carts on the street. And definitely get a big order of fries. The kiosks are everywhere, they aren’t expensive and you’ll walk away comfortably full. Who doesn’t love fries, right?

Break the law: I found out while taking the train from Schipol into Amsterdam every day that nobody takes your ticket. There are spot-checks, but no turnstile as you’d find in New York or London. So, if you like living on the edge, you could always skip buying a ticket for the train and hope you don’t get caught. (Disclosure: I continued to pay the fare, even when I realized the odds of getting busted weren’t high – respecting a local culture starts with respecting its laws.)

So, how would you save money in Amsterdam. Leave a comment, and share your tips with everyone!

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