Free Things to Do in Amsterdam

Amsterdam, with its intricate canal system, historic architecture, and lively cultural scene, is a destination many travellers dream of visiting. Fortunately, while there are several attractions that might require a ticket, the city offers an abundance of free activities that can make your visit both enriching and economical. In this guide, we will delve deeper into the myriad of cheap and free things to do in Amsterdam, this vibrant European capital.

The Charm of Amsterdam’s Canals

At the heart of Amsterdam lies its breathtaking canals. Taking a leisurely stroll alongside these iconic waterways, admiring the centuries-old houses with their unique facades, is an experience in itself. As night falls, the canals take on a mystical aura, with the shimmering lights reflecting off the tranquil waters. For families with children, a simple game of spotting various houseboats or identifying different bird species can be both fun and educational.

Things to do in Amsterdam with Kids

When planning a family trip to Amsterdam, you’ll find an array of exciting things to do in Amsterdam with kids. The city is brimming with child-friendly activities, from exploring the captivating Artis Royal Zoo, home to diverse wildlife and a mesmerizing planetarium, to embarking on a charming canal cruise, offering a unique perspective of Amsterdam’s picturesque architecture. The NEMO Science Museum is a hands-on delight for young minds, featuring interactive exhibits and fun science experiments. For outdoor enjoyment, Vondelpark offers sprawling green spaces and playgrounds for picnics and play. Don’t miss a visit to the endearing Miffy Museum, dedicated to the beloved bunny character, or indulge in delightful pancakes at one of the city’s many pancake houses. Amsterdam ensures a fantastic family holiday filled with memorable experiences for both parents and kids alike.

A Day at Museumplein

While some of Amsterdam’s world-famous museums might charge for entry, the expansive public space of Museumplein is open to all. Here, you can lounge on the grass, indulge in a picnic, or even engage in some playful activities with kids. The open-air exhibitions that occasionally grace the square provide an added artistic touch to your visit.

Street Art and Cultural Performances

As you meander through the city, especially in the vibrant neighbourhoods of Jordaan and Spui, be on the lookout for intriguing street art that speaks volumes of Amsterdam’s eclectic culture and its talented artists. Additionally, squares such as Leidseplein and Rembrandtplein are often buzzing with street performers – from enchanting musicians to captivating mime artists, providing spontaneous entertainment at no cost.

A Trip to Albert Cuyp Market

Experience the hustle and bustle of the Albert Cuyp Market, one of Europe’s most extensive street markets. Even if you don’t wish to purchase, absorbing the vibrant atmosphere, engaging with local vendors, and maybe even sampling some free treats make for a memorable outing. It’s also a hotspot for picking up budget-friendly souvenirs.

Crazy Things to do in Amsterdam

For the adventurous souls, there are plenty of crazy things to do in Amsterdam:

The Unique Catboat

The Catboat, or ‘De Poezenboot’, is truly one of a kind. Anchored on the canal, this boat is a sanctuary for stray and abandoned cats. Animal enthusiasts can step aboard for free and spend some quality time with its feline inhabitants.

EYE Film Museum’s Open Exhibitions

The EYE Film Museum, apart from its main exhibits, often has free sections that film aficionados can explore. Furthermore, the ferry journey to the museum provides an unparalleled view of Amsterdam, especially when the city lights up after dark.

Free Musical Evenings

Throughout the year, especially during the warmer months, Amsterdam comes alive with free concerts spanning various genres. From soulful jazz to classical symphonies, the city’s parks and open spaces become a haven for music lovers.

Cheap Things to Do in Amsterdam

While these might involve a nominal fee, the experiences they offer are well worth the price.

Cycling Through Amsterdam

Biking is ingrained in Amsterdam’s culture, and renting a bicycle can be an economical way to see the city. Navigate through the maze of canals, discover hidden alleyways, and live like a local, all while getting some exercise.

Savouring Dutch Delicacies

Dutch cuisine, with its array of tantalising snacks, is not to be missed. From the tangy herring to the sweet stroopwafels, street vendors offer these delights at surprisingly affordable rates.

Local Festivals and Celebrations

Amsterdam’s calendar is packed with festivals, many of which are either free or have a minimal entry fee. From vibrant tulip festivals in spring to cultural events showcasing Netherlands heritage, there’s always a reason to celebrate.

To sum it up, Amsterdam is a city that can be enjoyed on any budget. With its plethora of free attractions and affordable activities, visitors are guaranteed an unforgettable experience that is both enriching and kind to the pocket. Whether you’re a solo traveller, a couple, or a family with children, Amsterdam has something for everyone.

Also, please check our Romantic things to do in Amsterdam for couples article!