Well, yes, when you talk about traveling to a totally foreign country, you’re (almost) immediately going to think of one thing – how much it’s going to cost you. And in more ways than one, you are correct in thinking of costs. You have probably experienced it before; you came unprepared for costs and you went on a vacation abroad. It was probably a total disaster, or at the very least, a total hassle. Thus, when you travel, especially in places absolutely foreign to you, it’s important that you come well-prepared, especially in the area of finances.
And yet, at the same time, if you decide to visit a city as dynamic as Amsterdam, you’ll eventually realize that money might actually be the least of your worries. This is because, in Amsterdam, there are several activities that you can enjoy, without having to shell out a single cent. Here’s a list of those things (along with the hope that you really will try them out for yourself).
Free Activity #1: Do some (or a lot of) walking. Admittedly, this just might be the best way to see any city. What’s even better is that Amsterdam actually offers so many ‘free’ walking tours to help you find your feet. Sandemans, Freedam Tours, Free Walking Tours and 360 all offer tours on a tips-only basis – and nope, you don’t have to give any tips (although with the enjoyment that you’ll feel because of these walks, you’ll want to, anyway).
Free Activity #2: Check out Amsterdam’s green spaces. Amsterdam is known for its many parks, and touring these parks is certainly something you wouldn’t want to miss. For one, Vondelpark is the best known and most popular park in Amsterdam and is well worth a wander round or a pit stop, especially on a fine summer’s day.
Free Activity #3: You can check out a free opera or ballet, if you’re feeling extra artsy. Doing nothing during lunchtime? Or do you find yourself bored sometime at noon? Not to worry, on a lazy lunchtime, every Tuesday, the National Opera and Ballet offers a free lunchtime show, which then covers all that hunger for art and culture.
Free Activity #4: Go out and hit the beach. While lazying around in your hotel room can be quite the temptation when you’re on vacation, still nothing beats getting out and getting some sun in your eyes and sand in your skin and toes. In fact, there are some spots that are accessible via free ferries. Of course, it’s important that you get the schedules right. The free ferries depart from behind Amsterdam Central Station – you get to take to the water and get off the beaten track. Pllek is 14 minutes away on ferry line 906; during the summer it has live music and a waterfront bar.
Free Activity #5: Give those ears a treat and watch a free concert. Remember Vondelpark? Well, apparently, it’s not just good for walking. Vondelpark also boasts of a music culture. The Open Air Theatre in the Vondelpark hosts free summertime performances of theatre, comedy and different genres of music between May and September. Between September and June the Concertgebouw on Museumplein holds free lunch concerts on Wednesdays (reserve a spot on the day; you can’t do it online).
So, there you have it, a whole list of things you can do for free in Amsterdam. While this list is by no means complete, it’s definitely enought to get you started in having the vacation that’ll truly be worth remembering.