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Is Amsterdam Expensive?

How Much to Budget for a Trip

Updated: September 1, 2023

Compared to some cities in Europe, it is. But Amsterdam isn’t the most expensive destination. 

This post details the costs of a 3-day trip and a 5-day trip to Amsterdam, for both low-budget travelers and moderate-budget travelers.


This guide is based on the costs for one adult traveling during the off-peak season. Accommodations are less expensive as fewer tourists visit Amsterdam and hotels compete for business.

1) Airfare is not included as there are too many variables to predict the cost - where you are traveling from, what time of day, last-minute sales, etc.

2) What IS included in this post are the cost of accommodations, local transportation, sightseeing costs, and food expenses.

3) We list costs for two types of travelers: those on a low budget and those on a moderate budget. We do not include shoe-string or backpacker budgets.

Budgeting for a trip to Amsterdam can make the difference between a relaxing experience and a stressful one. Image source: Pixabay user Alexander Stein.
Budgeting for a trip to Amsterdam can make the difference between a relaxing experience and a stressful one. Image source: Pixabay user Alexander Stein.

Low-budget travelers have a set amount of money to spend. This means:

  • Staying at 3-star budget hotels or hostels.
  • Enjoying primarily free activities and visiting two paid attractions.
  • Eating food from local markets or supermarkets and not dining out at restaurants.
  • Using public transportation only. 

Moderate-budget travelers have a flexible, but not unlimited, amount of money to spend. This means:

  • Staying at 4-star hotels.
  • Enjoying primarily free activities and visiting several paid attractions.
  • Dining out for a few meals, but also eating food from a food market or supermarket.
  • Using public transportation most of the time, with a cab ride or two when needed.

4) Prices are listed per day. You can use the per-day cost to estimate a budget for any number of days. 

5) In the summaries below, we have totaled the costs for both a 3-day trip and a 5-day trip

For some travelers, 3 days is enough time to see some of the most well-known sites in Amsterdam.

For travelers who want to have a relaxed trip, 5 days are enough to visit many attractions without rushing and even take time to sit in a cafe or two.

TIP: When planning your trip you may find it helpful to look at our post, How Many Days In Amsterdam Are Enough?


The summaries in this section are based on the detailed per-day calculations for each of these expenses beneath this section.


3-day trip

  • Accommodations €270
  • Transportation €32.80
  • Sightseeing €39
  • Food €75

Total €416.80

5-day trip

  • Accommodations €450
  • Transportation €44.80
  • Sightseeing €55
  • Food €125

Total €674.80

Moderate budget

3-day trip 

  • Accommodations €360
  • Transportation €32.80
  • Sightseeing €55
  • Food €120

Total €567.80

5-day trip

  • Accommodations €600
  • Transportation €44.80
  • Sightseeing €97
  • Food €200

Total €941.80


Other than airfare, your hotel room will take the most significant bite out of your wallet. 

How much you spend depends on your lifestyle and what your needs are when it comes to where you will lay your head at night. 

For this post, we assume that you will be staying in a hotel, but do read about staying in a hostel below, as it is an accommodation option worth exploring.

Note: Prices below are the average cost per night for 1 person and do not include the mandatory 7% city tax nor €3 per night tourism fee.


We looked at only hotels located in and around the center of the city and in safe areas. We list some recommendations as well.

On average, a budget-friendly hotel in Amsterdam costs €80-120 per night and a mid-range hotel costs €120-150.

Be sure to look at the hostels listed below which offer private rooms with private bathrooms, which are priced between budget and mid-range options.

Low budget: €90

Moderate budget: €120

The less expensive the hotel, the more likely your room will be small with not much more than a twin bed, a small desk, and a bathroom. 

Some hotels offer “basement” rooms which simply means they are on a sub-level, but do have windows to let light in. 

You can save a few euros by staying in a basement room, which should be fine since you won't be in your hotel room all that much! 

TIP: If your accommodations are not able to hold your luggage for a few hours before or after you check in/out, find out where you can store luggage in Amsterdam affordably.


For the ultimate savings, look into staying in a hostel. Amsterdam hostels are known for being among the best in the world. 

They are run efficiently, are clean, and often located in prime neighborhoods. 

Hostels offer beds in shared dorm rooms with shared bathrooms. A bed in a shared dorm can be as low as €20 per night, though expect to pay more like €30-40. 

Many excellent hostels also offer private bedrooms with en suite bathrooms. Some are family-friendly as well. 

A private room with a private bathroom in a hostel ranges between €85-125.

Most hostels have shared kitchens, so you can save even more by buying groceries and preparing your food.

Here are a few of the top hostels in Amsterdam:


You'll be disappointed to hear that there aren't many private Airbnbs that cost less than a decent hotel room.

Amsterdam has a high cost of living and apartment owners who rent their apartments to tourists have to charge a premium.

If you are willing to have your own room in a shared apartment, usually with the owner, you may find better Airbnb options.


Your cost to travel around Amsterdam will depend on your preferred mode of transport as well as how many times a day you expect to travel from location to location.

When estimating how many rides you will take per day, keep in mind that Amsterdam is quite walkable, so you may be able to walk between destinations if you like exploring a city on foot!

We chose not to include taxi costs because public transportation is inexpensive.

Cost To/From Schiphol Airport

It is 99% likely that you will be flying in and out of Schiphol Airport. Regardless of your budget, the cost is the same, unless you take a taxi - which will cost you quite a lot.

The Dutch National Rail (Nederlandse Spoorwegen) offers trains that take you from Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam Central Station in an average of 14-17 minutes. 

The cost is €5.90 each way so €11.80 round-trip.

Read our post on how to get from Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam City Center.

Public Transportation

The city’s public transportation system known as GVB consists of trams, buses, metros, and ferries. The metro service is the fastest way to travel to popular locations.

The buses, trams, and ferries may be slower but can take you to places in the center of the city as well as to the outskirts.

You have two options for what kind of ticket to buy. 

You can purchase a ticket good for either 60 or 90 minutes (€3.20 /€6.50) or you can buy a public transport pass.

Unless you are planning to take one ride per day or two within such a short amount of time, you are better off getting a public transport pass.

These come in increments of 1 to 7 days. A pass allows you to use all GVB services such as unlimited travel for the duration of the pass you choose. The more days you choose, the lower the price

  • 3-day pass €21 
  • 5-day pass €33

Read our post on how to use Amsterdam public transportation for detailed explanations, prices, and other tips.

TIP: One way to combine transportation costs with sightseeing is to take an Amsterdam hop-on hop-off bus tour. For one price, you can travel between popular tourist attractions. 

Get off the bus to see those that interest you and get back on when you are done and ready to go on to the next site.

Many of these bus tours include a free cruise which, in a city of canals, is a must-do activity!

Find out more about Amsterdam cruise and boat tours.

By Bike

Amsterdam is one of the most bike-friendly cities in Europe, so much so that there is a huge network of bike lanes that will take you almost anywhere.

Renting a bike will cost between €10-15 per day. 

Though it isn't less than a transport pass, it’s a fun way to explore the city! 

Find out more about Amsterdam bike rentals and bike tours. 

TIP: If you are considering purchasing one of the Amsterdam tourist passes, two of them include GVB passes and some include bike rentals, hop-on and hop-off bus tours, and cruises. 


When calculating these costs, we considered how many things you can see and do realistically given the number of days you are in Amsterdam.

Regardless of your budget, take advantage of the many free things to do in Amsterdam, like seeing the Floating Flower Market, strolling through Vondelpark, and visiting the Red Light District.

One of the best free things to do is to take a pay-what-you-wish walking tour of Amsterdam where you’ll learn about the city from a local who will show you the best sites.

Below are some of the most popular tourist attractions that you may want to see and the ticket cost.

Here are even more things to do in Amsterdam and a list of 60+ museums in Amsterdam.

Low Budget

3-day trip

This includes any free activities PLUS 2 ticketed attractions, for example:

Total €39 

5-day trip

This includes any free activities PLUS 4 ticketed attractions for example:

Total €55

Moderate budget

3-day trip

This includes any free activities PLUS and 3 ticketed attractions, for example:

Total €55

5-day trip

This includes any free activities PLUS 5 ticketed activities, for example:

Total €97

How to Save Money with a Tourist Discount Pass

If you are planning on visiting ticketed attractions, you should consider buying one of the many Amsterdam Tourist Discount Passes.

With an all-inclusive tourist pass you pay one price and see an unlimited number of attractions included in that pass. 

Some passes also include free transportation passes, bus tours and cruises. 

All-inclusive passes are sold in increments of the number of days. Both the Go City Amsterdam Pass and the I AMSTERDAM City Card have 3-day and 5-day passes

There is also an option where you can purchase a pick your attractions tourist discount pass and purchase a specific number of attractions for one low price.

Find out more about this money-saving opportunity here!


If you ate all three meals out at inexpensive restaurants and cafes, you could easily spend €55+ per day.

That’s not even including great Dutch beer! 

Using the cost-cutting ideas below, you could keep your costs down to:

  • Low budget: €25 per day
  • Moderate budget: €40 per day

Tips to Save on the Cost of Food

Eat at ethnic restaurants, of which there are many excellent ones in Amsterdam. It is an international city after all.

Pizza is also a good choice as is grabbing food from local markets or food kiosks. Fast food is good, but not as cheap as you may think.

Don't eat breakfast out. Does your hotel or hostel include breakfast? Great!

If not, are you able to prepare a simple breakfast like yogurt and granola or jam sandwiches in your room?

If you are in a hostel, take full advantage of the communal kitchen. Buy groceries and prepare your meals there. Save even more money by packing a lunch each day.

DON’T waste money buying bottled water from a store. Bring a water bottle. The tap water in Amsterdam is safe to drink.

DO allow yourself some treats like Stroopwafels. No trip to the Netherlands is complete without them!

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About The Author

Stephen Pickhardt

Stephen is the CEO of Free Tours by Foot and has overseen the transformation of a local walking tour company into a global tour community and traveler’s advice platform. He has personally led thousands of group tours in the US and Europe, and is an expert in trip planning and sightseeing, with a focus on budget travelers. Stephen has been published and featured in dozens of publications including The Wall Street Journal, BBC, Yahoo,, and more.
Updated: September 1st, 2023
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