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Ten things to do for free in Amsterdam

Vondelpark openluchttheater Amsterdam

Sometimes you just want to go on a city trip and not spend too much money while you’re there. Maybe you’re on a student budget, or you splurged on your plane ticket, or maybe you just forgot to set a budget and now you have to get around Amsterdam on your last pocket money. We’ve got good news for those on a small budget: there is so much to discover in Amsterdam without spending any money at all!

Cycle to picturesque little villages around Amsterdam

Well, you DO have to rent a bike or borrow one from someone, but as soon as you have a bicycle it’s the best way to get around Amsterdam and discover what the city and its surroundings have to offer! If you cycle out of the city towards the north-east, you’ll come to the picturesque villages of Durgerdam and Ransdorp. From there, Amsterdam North is just a stone’s throw away. Another option is cycling south from Qbic and Amsterdam South to Oudekerk aan de Amstel.

Free ferry ride in AmsterdamFree ferry ride in Amsterdam

Between Central Station and Amsterdam North you can take the ferry to cross the IJ river. Riding the ferry is free at all times and you can bring your bike with you. A visit to Amsterdam North means experiencing Amsterdam from a completely new perspective. We recommend visiting the NDSM Wharf, a former shipyard which has been turned into a creative hotspot, with great hangouts like Pllek.

Blijburg city beach AmsterdamVisit Amsterdam city beaches for free

City beaches have popped up all around the city. We love the ones at Sloterplas (in Amsterdam West), Blijburg, and Diemerpark Beach (both in Amsterdam East).

Free concerts

You can find a free concert nearly every day of the week. We especially love the lunch concerts in the Concertgebouw on Wednesdays. The Dutch National Opera & Ballet gives free concerts every Tuesday. At least once a week the jazz venue Bimhuis offers a free evening concert, workshop, or jam session.

Go out for a run

Recently, a few new running routes using beacon technology were launched to motivate locals to get active by tracking their running results and activity. You can find these routes in the Oosterpark, Martin Luther King Park near Qbic, and a few other places. We also love running around the Vondelpark or around the Sloterplas. Both of these routes are between seven and eight kilometres.

Vondelpark Open Air Theatre in AmsterdamFree concerts at Vondelpark Openluchttheater

During summer, the open-air theatre in the centre of the Vondelpark provides a venue for upcoming musicians, workshops, theatre performances, dance previews, film nights, and sometimes even a performance by a well-known artist. It’s a great place to hang out from Friday to Sunday, and you can bring your own drinks and food!

Visit one of Amsterdam’s markets

Amsterdam has plenty of markets selling vintage clothing, second-hand items, multicultural street food, and fresh produce. Our favourite is the weekly Noordermarkt on Saturday! We can also recommend the Ten Katemarkt, the Mercatormarkt, the Dappermarkt for a multicultural vibe, or the Bloemenmarkt for fresh flowers.

Free walking or cycling tour through Amsterdam

Whether you would rather wander around by yourself or join a group, there are several free tours available with or without guidance guide. Self-guided tours by foot or bicycle can be easilt downloaded, or if you want to explore the city with a group, Sandeman’s New Amsterdam walking tour is free.

Visit a park in Amsterdam

Why not head into the park on a sunny day for a picnic, morning jog, or stroll? The most popular park in Amsterdam by far is the Vondelpark near the Museum District. But almost every part of the city has its own park.

King's Day in AmsterdamFree festival visit

If you’re in Amsterdam on a festival day, you’ve really hit the jackpot. As you wander around the city, you’ll enjoy the vibe without having to buy an admission ticket! Amsterdam is the location of many free celebrations like King’s Day, the Uitmarkt, Amsterdam Light Festival, or the open air film festival ‘Pluk de Nacht’.

Enjoy spending your time in Amsterdam on a budget!

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