Despite its high-end reputation, there are plenty of thrifty ways to enjoy sophisticated Amsterdam. We’ve planned a budget-friendly 3-night city break – complete with flights, a cool hotel stay and oodles of culture – starting from just £110 per person (plus spending money).
Who says a fabulous long weekend away has to be pricey?
Walk 30 minutes or take a tram along the waterfront to hip, architect-designed Lloyd Hotel. There’s an extraordinary double-height restaurant on site, plus you get quirky rooms with rates starting from just £40 per night*. This means a 3-night stay could come in at as little as £120. They still have good availability throughout June and July, so snap up a bargain, quick!
Free things to do
Here on a Saturday? Stroll along Amsterdam’s cobbled streets, taking in the neat 17th-century terrace houses and concentric waterways, until you reach Noorderkerk’s weekly Organic Food Market. Browse and sample the fresh produce, before stocking up on cheese, bread and fruit for a Vondelpark picnic. There are free open-air theatre performances amongst the park’s picturesque trees and lakes throughout summer 2016, so you’re sure to find an afternoon’s entertainment.
Visit Amsterdam before 26 June 2016 and you’ll be in time to see FabCity, a self-sustaining campus developed by local students, artists, professionals and creatives. Located on Java Island in the Eastern Harbour District, it’s open to all and there are free guided tours featuring insights into 3D steel printers and cardboard houses.
Seek out the very central but rather well-hidden Begijnhof, a leafy enclosed courtyard originally built as a catholic sisterhood refuge. You’ll find a 15th-century church, historic plaques to read and Amsterdam’s oldest house, Het Houten Huis, which dates back to 1420. Come during the day for a peaceful respite from the bustling city.
Catch the free ferry from Amsterdam Centraal station to Noord Amsterdam, where quieter streets and cool warehouse conversions await. The ferry only takes a few minutes, and on a warm evening you can soak up the sun at Pllek, an industrial-chic space constructed from shipping containers. Their organic menu and sandy ‘beach’ area draw a hip crowd keen to enjoy the open panoramas of the River Ij and the city beyond.
*Rate quoted is for a 1-Star Room with shared bathroom, booked on a prepaid accommodation-only basis (fully non-refundable, based on 2 people sharing and not including 5% tourist tax).