Great 'MoneySaving holiday guides, #4: Amsterdam' Hunt

Great 'MoneySaving holiday guides, #4: Amsterdam' Hunt

We're continuing our holiday guides series this week with the lovely Dutch city of Amsterdam. Please give us your MoneySaving tips if you live there or have been there before.

View past Great Hunts.

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  • Doc_N
    Doc_N Posts: 8,261
    Name Dropper First Post Photogenic First Anniversary
    edited 4 August 2011 at 2:03PM
    If you're staying for more than 3 days, and want to visit some of the excellent museums on offer, coupled with travel on buses, trams and metro across Amsterdam, buy a combination of all-in tickets. The main museums charge €10 Euros or more for entrance.

    But forget the overpriced I Amsterdam City Card (€59.00 for 3 days) - go for the €39.95 Museum card (valid across the whole of the Netherlands for a full year and covering all the main museums in Amsterdam), coupled with a travel card (€15.50 for 3 days and €30.00 for a week):
  • hollydays
    hollydays Posts: 19,812
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    edited 3 August 2011 at 9:18AM
    Top moneysaving tip-whatever you do,get a basic grasp of getting around amsterdam on foot BEFORE you go.Its confusing and essential to recognise the dutch words for canal (-gracht) and street and square (plein).The basics as i understand it is the centre (centrum) is the gratchengordal( canal belt),these are about three horshoe shaped concentric canals.Another central point is the station with the rather seedy wide street Damrak leading off it .

    explains it better .

    Amsterdam hotels aren't cheap, like any international destination,but the flying pig hostel, consistently gets good reviews.Its a fun place,not quiet so probably for the youngsters or young at heart.

    Areas that are "lively" ,Dam and rembrandtsplein area,I avoid staying here.

    More hotel suggestions from Frommers

    I once booked a top secret hotel that turned out to be the Moevenpick hotel 4 or 5 star, outside the centre, but only just,nearish to the station,not in the red light area.
    I sometimes have stayed at a flat in a gorgeous village outside Amsterdam called Monnikendam,and bus in.

    For cheap eating,research indonesian restaurants
    and falafel eg the Maoz on Muntplein

    Indonesian food can be fab and great value ,they do something called a rijsttafel (ricetable?)

    Local snack is an Uitjsmiter (pronounced oots-might-er),Eggs and ham on toast,some varations including cheese beef etc,yum,its served at most cafes ,but the ones on the side streets are cheaper.

    Areas to maybe avoid staying ,with families

    Last but not least,one treat I like to buy from supermarkets there-Stroopwafels.
    Once tasted,you will have to join the ASA (association of stroopwafel addicts) see below.Take some back for friends.

    If you arrive at the Station, and are walking,the first supermarket is Albert Heijn chain,on Damrak,not the cheapest,something like Waitrose I think.You can buy strippenkarten transport tickets at theis chain.Also the Main AH dept store has a great value food plaza.
    Dept stores and supermarket info.

    Grocery store Souvenirs:

    Things to do
    Visit the fleamarket on Waterlooplein.
  • Roberta1
    Roberta1 Posts: 649 Forumite
    I would recommend the wonderful Stayokay as a budget place to stay for families. There are a few in Amsterdam - we stayed at the Zeeburg one.

    We had a clean, private, ensuite room, breakfast included. The whole place was fab and cheap for Amsterdam.

    As a fun activity I would recommend taking a pedalo onto the canals. You can hire one (much cheaper than other boat hire) from the canalside just outside the Anne Frank House.
  • lucy1038
    lucy1038 Posts: 7 Forumite
    edited 4 August 2011 at 2:04PM
    I found the cheapest way to get accomodation for amsterdam was with a flight+hotel package through The flights we wanted were with klm and were £125 per person if bought by themselves. We got them along with 2 nights in the eden hotel amsterdam (great location but super pricey if booked seperately- £200 per night) for £400 for two people flights plus hotel. We also had a superior not standard room included in the price. Was by far the cheapest way to do it. Also book well in advance. We had friends there the same weekend who booked relatively last minute and ended up paying way more than us (£50 each per night) for a grotty hostel in the red light district with 8 to a room!

    The hop on hop off canal pass was good value for the day and very enjoyable sightseeing. Restaurants were expensive but we found Bird, a thai restaurant to be great value. Avoid restaturants around Rembrandtplein in general as they are aimed at tourists and therefore expensive. One exception is Coco's Outback which in the only australian bar restaurant in amsterdam. It does decent reasonably priced food and a great happy hour on cocktails and beer.
    We didn't use the tram system at all as Amsterdam is relatively small so we walked everywhere.
  • coffey1
    coffey1 Posts: 2 Newbie
    edited 4 August 2011 at 2:05PM
    If you want to see Amsterdam from the water, you can avoid the over crowded glass top boats and head to Boom Comedy club on Leidesplein. It's a bar come comedy club but they also do amazing insider boat tours (there's a folder on the bar/ ask staff). The tours are free but they do ask for a donation at the end (you'll want to give them something- it's brill). You will be taken out in a small boat by an really nice guy who encourages you to bring your own wine/ smoke etc if you want to (if you are against the Dutch tradition or easily offended by those who partake, this might not be for you — but it's authentic and done in good humour). You'll see the Dam from a whole new angle, learn lots and go down canals that the big boats can't. We donated after our trip but a lot less than you would spend for a stuffy half hour on tourist boat.
  • sjg666
    sjg666 Posts: 194
    First Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    ^^ Love the above post! Thank you.

    Myself and a couple of friends are off to Amsterdam (well Duinrell in Holland on a Sun 9.50 holiday - £50 each for a week away isn't too shabby - including accommodation, ferry and petrol money!). We want to do things like the Heineken Experience and the tour of the Bols factory (we all work in bars so it'll be good for us to see these kinds of things).

    If anyone has any suggestions regarding these and suggesting for parking in Amsterdam (as I've read online that this can be expensive and difficult) that would be brilliant!
  • xfive71
    xfive71 Posts: 285 Forumite
    Amsterdam is great anytime but the most fun I had was going during the Queen's Birthday (end of April). The whole city turned to a big fleamarket with people hawking their 2nd hand wares on any available space and almost everyone is dressed in oranje and is in a party mood. That time is lovely to go since the Keukenhof would be in bloom too. And don't miss the market at Waterlooplein and ethnic food at the Pijp
  • Best thing we did in Amsterdam, though sobering at best and depressing at worst - the wartime museum opposite the Zoo (and you definitely do need to go by tram, much too far to walk from the centre). It takes you through the whole of the occupation during WW2 and really helps you to understand what it was like. Really great for kids who are doing WW2 in history and actually you'll be lucky to avoid Dutch school parties going round it, but quite right.

    Also - if you're going to the Van Gogh Museum which opens at 10, it is *really* worthwhile getting there by 9.30 so you're near the head of the queue (or maybe even earlier - we were there in April and that was when the queue really started building up, but it may be worse in high season). Basically, the day before we got there at five to ten, took one look at the queue and walked away, but it would have been a shame to miss it.

    The day ticket for the canal boats is really good - we used ours from 11.30am one day to 11.29am the next and covered a LOT of water and saw a huge amount. Much easier on the feet than walking!

    Another brilliant and slightly out-of-the-way sight is the East Indiaman, a replica of a 17C sailing ship that you can go round. Great for kids too.

    And if you're a cat lover, don't on any account miss the cats' home on a boat Very near the station. My husband refused to come in with me but still got ambushed by a trusty, a cat that's allowed to wander around freely, and ended up giving it a ham sandwich :), it was so nice to him.
  • If you want a great choice of freshly cooked food at lunchtime or early evening, go to the Vroom and Dresman department store for the wonderful selection of cafeteria style food on offer.Everything that you could wish for is there and many things are cooked to order. Everything looks Very tempting, not forgetting the fab cakes, drinks etc. I can really reccomend it, plus its not too expensive.
  • first ever post, so be nice.
    drove over amsterdam a couple of weeks ago but the hotel wanted 25 euro's to park the car!!!
    amsterdam have Park & ride's just off junctions of their M25 equivilent. and it's 8 euros per day and you get a return public transport ticket into the central train/tram station for every passenger in your car. Bargin.

    becuase this is my first post i can't cut & paste the hyperlink so copy & paste this search string into google. the first hit back is the page you want.

    " iamsterdam parking and further travel "
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