FREE THINGS TO DO IN AMSTERDAM
Amsterdam is a city of countless opportunities. Although traveling to Amsterdam on a budget can be difficult, in such a picturesque city, there are so many ways to have fun without breaking your limits.
What Are the Best Free Things to Do In Amsterdam?
It is possible that you have read online that Amsterdam is one of the most expensive cities for tourists. While from a certain point of view this is correct, we have prepared a long list of free activities that will make your trip just as amazing and unforgettable.
If you, however, wish to experience the nightlife of Amsterdam, it could be quite expensive. Luckily, we have a solution for you. By purchasing our Amsterdam Nightlife Ticket, you will have free access to over 30 nightclubs, experiences and special events for 2 days.
In addition, you also get additional extras and discounts for different activities which can come handy if you eventually want to try something that has an entry fee. You get all this and much more for only €10 for 2 days.
With this said, here is our list of some great free things to do in Amsterdam.
Join a Free Walking Tour
Few capitals in Europe offer such long walking tours for free. Instead of walking around on your own, take advantage of the free guided tours which last for around two hours. You will be taken to the most emblematic sightings in the city and learn the most important facts about each one in a fun and interesting way.
Make sure you book your place on the tour in advance. Amsterdam is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe and there are many people no matter the season.
There are three walking tours every day – from 10:30, 13:30, and 16:00. Usually, they are done in English and start from the National Monument on Dam Square.
Although the tours are free, you can leave a small tip to your young guides as this is how they make their money.
Try a Free Tour on the Canals
While you can always simply walk around, there is no better way to experience the authentic atmosphere of Amsterdam than a tour on the canals.
There are paid tours all around the city but in order to do it for free, you should look for the white and blue boats behind the Central Station. They pass through all of the main canals of the city all the way to Amsterdam Noord.
Honestly, you will miss a lot if you decide to skip the boat tours. It is one of the most popular daily tourist activities in the Netherlands, not only in Amsterdam.
We do have the cheapest combination offer in town where you only pay 15 Euro for a canal cruise, if you do decide to see the entire city by boat.
Study the History of Amsterdam
Stadsarchief is the largest municipal archive in the world. If you are a fan of history and want to learn more about the history of Amsterdam, you can take a look at their different exhibitions. These include photos and documents of high importance.
However, only the ground floor of the building is free of charge. If the exhibitions there wake your interest, you can always pay the small fee which will give you access to the entire building.
Enjoy a Free Concert
There is more than one spot where you can enjoy free concerts in Amsterdam. In Vondelpark, for example, which is literally one of the most beautiful parks, there is a stage from May to August where you can see concerts and shows in different genres. Make sure you take a look at the program online and simply choose a show which interests you.
In Concertgebouw, for example, there is a free concert every Wednesday around lunchtime. It is only a 30-minute show but you need to know that this venue is known as one of the three best concert halls in the world.
As you can see, there are a lot of free things to do in Amsterdam and we are just getting started.
Visit the Museum of Condoms
Without a doubt, you didn’t expect to read this but there is an actual museum of condoms in Amsterdam called Condomerie. It is a different but entertaining experience which is completely free of charge.
You will see the collection of condoms of all shapes and colors which you can actually also purchase. Honestly, it is not entirely a museum but a shop as well. In the end, nobody said that you need to buy anything. You can simply go and have fun while looking at the incredible condoms.
A 360° View of Amsterdam
There are few places in Amsterdam that will give you the chance to see the entire city from a high spot for free. You can do that from the roof of the NEMO Science Museum in Amsterdam.
On the terrace itself, there are benches where you can simply sit and enjoy the view. There is no better opportunity to take some incredible photos of Amsterdam, especially if you brought a camera with you.
Visit the Diamond Factory
Gassan Diamonds is a diamond company with over 400 years of craftsmanship behind it and they offer a free guided tour. You can learn everything about diamonds, see some incredible pieces of jewelry, and watch the employees in their working environment.
Even if you can’t afford such expensive jewelry, you can still enjoy their beauty. It is one of a kind experience which will leave you breathless.
Visit the Cannabis College
Everyone connects the Netherlands to weed. After all, it was the first country to legalize it. People from all around the world come here to experience the best weed without being forced to hide from the law.
Even if you are not a smoker, Cannabis College is an incredibly interesting spot. It is actually a good idea to go to Cannabis College before you decide to sit in a coffee shop. This free informational tour will give you all the necessary information about the different sorts of weed and what you need to try.
Especially if it will be your first time, it is quite useful to gain some knowledge before you try the plant.
In addition, the Cannabis College offers free samples and trying sessions for its guests, so you can actually try out different types of weed on spot.
Honestly, if you are looking for unique experiences, this is surely one of the best free things to do in Amsterdam.
Poezenboot – A Cat Heaven
We all love animals, don’t we? In Amsterdam, there is an old houseboat that was transformed into a cat sanctuary in 1966. Today, it still has the same functions and houses around 50 cats.
You can enter for free but any donation is highly appreciated. The majority of cats are up for adoption so who knows; maybe you can leave your vacation with a loving furry friend.
Take a Walk in the Red Light District
The Red Light District has become such an iconic area that every tourist passes through for some reason or another. If you are unfamiliar with the area, this is one of the few places in the world where prostitution is legal. It has been like that since the very beginning of the district in the 14th century.
This may sound dangerous, I know, but it is actually quite the opposite. You will be left surprised by the number of tourists and locals from every age group that walks around day and night.
Even if you don’t plan to pay for any particular sexual services, you will have no trouble just walking around and looking at this fascinating part of the city. A key thing to know is that you cannot take photos of the women or you will receive a painful fine.
Play Large-Scale Chess at Max Euweplein
Chess may not be such a popular game for the younger generation but if it is one of your interests, then you should visit this spot in Amsterdam.
Max Euweplein is a square named after one of the greatest chess players in the history of the game. He was a Dutch world champion almost a century ago and the square was named this way to honor him.
Today, there is a large chess board on the ground which is used by old locals every day. Do you think you stand a chance against them or would you prefer to just watch a fun large-scale game? The chess pieces can be used from 10:00 local time up until the late-night hours.
Visit the Amsterdam Forest
Amsterdamse Bos (Amsterdam Forest in English) is an artificial park just outside of Amsterdam. Besides the obvious green scenery, it includes pools, biking trails, and a river. Most importantly, it includes a small petting zoo.
In this small zoo, you can pet pigs, horses, goats, sheep, and other friendly animals. It is a calming and refreshing experience and is the perfect location if you have your kids with you.
You can reach the Amsterdam Forest by renting a bike or car, or by taking the Museum Tram. Visiting this park is a must as it is one of the largest in the world and houses over 150 species of trees and plants.
Want to Party?
As previously mentioned, you need to be prepared to spend a lot if you want to party in Amsterdam. Visiting just one or two clubs will not be enough to experience the true nature of the crazy nightlife. Unfortunately, the majority of the clubs and venues have surprisingly high entry fees.
If you landed on our website, then the chances are that you have already heard of our Amsterdam Nightlife Ticket. It was created by us with only one purpose – to give you the opportunity to have the time of your life without spending a fortune.
As we already gave you a long list of suggestions for free things to do in Amsterdam during the day, let us give you some information on the cheapest way to party at night. With our Nightlife Ticket, you can enter over 30 venues and clubs unlimited for 2 days for just €10.
Among the dozen other extras, you also get a free ride with UBER for up to €10 as well as other incredible discounts at key entertainment spots in Amsterdam. For example, there is no way that you will miss visiting the famous Hard Rock Café. Well, with the Nightlife Ticket, you will get a 2 for 1 offer on all cocktails, free access and a drink inside Holland Casino and much more. All you need to do is show them your ticket.
With this said, you can see a list of all clubs and venues that we are partnered with on our home page as well as a calendar with the special events in town.
Missing the nightlife in Amsterdam will be your big mistake. Combining the free activities we listed above and the opportunity to party almost for free is the one best option for you if you are visiting Amsterdam on a budget.