awesome tips from genuine locals

holiday in amsterdam | short stay | expat student family | don't miss this |

Amsterdam has been thoroughly gentrified over the last 20 years. Prices for housing, services and dining raised steeply, especially in the old 'labourer neighbourhoods'. Despite this, the city offers many opportunities to experience awesomeness at low cost or for free. "cheap, not cheap"

Amsterdam is small in size, liberal at heart and friendly as a basic attitude. Eating out with a glass of wine is expensive, visiting a club with "adult entertainment" can drive you bankrupt on your first night out. So even when you do not travel on a tight budget, browsing this site can be a good deal for everyone.

been there done that & something's missing? :

individually tailored recommandations

Unsecure what to book in advance?You do not fancy crawling all great advisor websites?

Send a short mail with 7 keywords describing your background, expectations, wishes and no-goes than we'll see what we can do for you. *this is not an app*

online communication, payment in advance

be extremely careful when booking with a private person via online communication. Pics, an impressive Linked-In profile, scanned ID's, that all can be faked.

Ask for an Amsterdam landline phone-number (+3120.....), ask for photo's per mail and check details like date and camera-brand, ask for an email from a controlable adress like an employer, make a viewing per Skype etc.

Eventually you can order an on-the-spot check from us.

where to stay in amsterdam on a budget

In holiday seasons prices for "cheap" hotel double room start around € 90,00. Basic advise is to come during week-days and/or in low season monthes that are not too cold & wet: from mid of March, April, May, and end of August, September till beginning of October. When you come in a small group or with children, have a look at an appartment or studio. Being able to prepare meals yourself is a big advantage. Here some individual picks choosen from a reasoning perspective, not a specific recommandation.


Hostels are only cheap when staying in a 16 bed dormitory. Try an IYHF StayOkay Youth Hostel:

Vondelpark, Zandpad 5,1054 GA
Stadsdoelen, Kloveniersburgswal 97, 10011 KB
Zeeburg, Timorplein 21, 1094 CC (our fav)

Shelter Jordans, Bloemstraat 179, 1016 LA.

urban CocoMama, Westeinde 18, 1017 ZP

new WOW Artist Space & Hostel, in outer neighbourhood Bos & Lommer, Wiltzanghlaan 60, 1061 HC

Lucky Lake Hostel Vinkeveen is a 20 min drive from Amsterdam, Vinkenkade 75.


casa 400  
hotel not hotel  
west side inn 
 my home 
 flying pig uptown 
hotel abba  
 citizen m 
 hans brinker 
 st Christopher's 


Most appartments offered via Craigslist, Airbnb and other online platforms are expensive and run by professionals. Many house-owners with a too heavy mortgage try to ease the pain by renting out their appartment. Try to find original Dutch bed & breakfast websites or ask the official Amsterdam Tourist Information VVV. "Bed & Breakfast" is a long known concept in Europe to offer a sleeping room in a normal household to visitors from abroad.


Utmost romantic and "born-to-be-wild" experience. Not recommended with young children.

Most are sadly over-priced, but in general it's cheaper to live in an appartment. Negociate with the owner, there are now so many boats on offer, that you often have a choice.

Camping Sites

The Dutch are champion campers as a life-style. True campers recognise each other by the brand of their tent. A caravan is for softies.

That means a camping site can be a good alternative for bricks & mortel. Most sites offer cabins.

Bed and Breakfast

"Bed & breakfast" originally is a sleeping room in a household, shower and toilet shared with the family. In Amsterdam usually you'll get a studio, labeled b&b for tax-reasons.

Deep-browsing for individual websites can be worthwhile.

transport & parking in amsterdam | low cost

low cost parking locations in amsterdam

P & R public parking terrains along the highway-ring of amsterdam.

Park your car at a subisdized, low fee of only €1 or €8 per 24 hours when you continue your journey into the city per public transport. You have to show the used public tansport tickets when returning at the parking lot.

Public Transport Amsterdam  & Airport :

train & metro (subway)

Public Transport Amsterdam centre :


tram lines - tickets - routes

Public Transport Amsterdam, Volendam, Schiphol : Busses

Car Sharing

Amsterdam is a pioneer in car- and bike sharing. The "Witte Fietsen Plan" and the "Witkar Projekt" are dating back to the early 70s.

Bike Rental & Buy

Biking is a stressy way of transport in Amsterdam when you're not living for longer than 2 years in the city.

Visitors should not, we repeat, should not rent a bike that does not look like a rental bike unless you're very experienced in bike-riding in the following cities: Berlin, Beijing, London or New York.

Car Stop, Hiking

As a general rule hiking is safe in The Netherlands, in cars with Dutch numberplates (yellow with black numbers). Be cautious in the normal way like: women do not get in a man-only car or: when it doesn't feel safe, for whatever reason, even for no rreason, don't get in the car.

events festivals parties sports 2017

Amsterdam global village.

Amsterdam is a global capital with a village mentality. Breath in the unique "we are family" atmosphere and mingle.

Top 10 Things To Do In Amsterdam in Winter

Heineken Rowing Regatta

MARCH 14 & 15 | Amstel River. The Clubhouse of Amsterdams' famous rowing Club Nereus at Amsteldijk is center of ceremonies. Here you can have a good time (and beer), whilst on the river freshmen row their first official match and savvied seniors demonstrate they survived wintertime.

Stille Omgang | Silent Procession

In the night of MARCH 21 to 22 catholic people from all over the netherlands walk silently along the spot where in 1345 a miracle happened. As the story goes, this was the most busy night in the red light district.

Head of the River Amstel

MARCH 21 & 22 | Rowing Matches on Amstel River. Opening of Dutch Competition Rowing Season. An 8 km track from Ouderkerk aan de Amstel to Nieuwe Amstelbrug between Ruyschstraat and Ceintuurbaan. Watch out for madly dressed supporters on bikes that only have eyes for their Team.

Kings [Queens] Day

APRIL 27 | Queens' Day or Koninginnedag is a traditional Dutch citizens' festival to celebrate the Queens Birthday, since 2014 Kings' Day. Amsterdam becomes one big garage sale with semi-professional bargainers on both sides, aged 5 till 105. Vondelpak is for kids. A public party with 1 million smiling friends. Wear orange.

Gay Pride Festival | Canal Parade

JULY 27 - AUGUST 2 | Gay Pride Festival all over Town, with fun and celebration parties and more serious things to do. Saturday August 2 Boat Parade through Prinsengracht.

Sail Amsterdam

AUGUST 19 - 23 | Amsterdam Tall Ships Festival on IJ River. Tall Ships sail in, accompanied by hunderds of small ships from visitors, happy together without clear rules. The Tall Ships land at the kays where you can stroll along.

Magnifique Closing Fireworks

Rolling Kitchens | Food Truck Festival


Location: Westergasfabriek

Date: May 13 - 17

Amsterdam Light Festival

An initiative from Amsterdam headquartered company Philips, in collaboration with famous Amsterdam Light Artist Titia Ex and the City of Amsterdam. A light festival with installations of renowed international artists and others along AMstel River and it's surroundings takes place the dark monthes of December and January

Heading for Amsterdam?

Stroll and scroll this website for tips and information. Home made.

things to do and see in amsterdam

Borders of IJsselmeer

Biketrip crossing IJ-river per ferry from Central Station or over the bridges in Zeeburg. Head for Durgerdam.

Ferry Boats IJ-river

Behind Central Station you'll find the landing-docks for all ferries over IJ-river. As there is no tunnel for bikers and pedestrians, These are being run as a communal service, that means sharing economy oldschool, paid by Amsterdam inhabitants, free for all! 

Borders of Amstel River

The river that gave Amsterdam it's name, amstel re damme or dike in amstelriver is upstream from the famous Amstel Hotel, where Weesperzijde starts, a beautiful trip to stroll or bike. All the way to Ouderkerk is an hour bike-drive, cross the Bridge there and come back on the other side, passing a windmill and statue of Rembrandt

Rowing and swimming at Botshol, Waverveen

Serious Warning

Do not buy "stuff" on the street, may the deal sound great, and the dealer look really nice and trustworthy, do not buy stuff on the street. For wonderware like weed, hash, pot, you go to a "coffee-shop". It's allowed to buy small amounts here.

Weed, Hash, Pot

Cheapest place in Europe to buy weed, hash, pot. Buy it in official "coffee-shops", smoke it in the shops as much as possible. It's not allowed to drive stoned. If something goed wrong - call the police or an ambulance 112 -  do not lie about what you did "consume".

Red Light District

Against the background of human trafficking and exploitation, the City of Amsterdam Council has been closing down a lot of places in the sex-work-industry. The famous Red Light District still exists, but in a lean way. Mind this is the oldest part of Amsterdam and worth a visit anyway.

Must Eat Snacks

 haring bitterballen
 sate loempia
 borrelnootjes krentebol
gele vla chocoladevla
 hagelslag muisjes
 pindakaas kaas


only if you did that before. when you stay longer, buy a bad looking stadtfiets for around €150,00 in a fietsenwinkel of at the fietsenmaker. Buying at the street for € 25,00 means you get a stolen bike. Amsterdam inhabitants are not lucky with that. Buy good locks and lock the bike-frame always to a non moveable object

Permanent Fleamarket

Waterlooplein | Go there on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. With bad weather there won't be much daghandel stuff brought in on that paricular day. Many shop-a-like second Hand boots. Negotiating as a tourist will be difficult.

Amsterdam Yard Sale

A thriving vintage second hand stuff exchange community on Facebook where only the contacting is online. Further steps all offline - in real life.

Regular Flea Markets


good food in amsterdam . nice price

Chinese Restaurants

In the old sailor entertainment district "De Wallen", Close to Central Station, is a very small China Town. Check out the uncosy looking places, or for instance Kam Yin, Warmoesstraat 6 or Win Kee, Zeedijk 76.

Indonesian Restaurants

Westergasfabriek | Westerpark

Frikandel Falaffel Döner Shoarma

Wok to Walk


Café Getto


Pannekoeken are not exactly the same like pancakes, we also say. We say a pannekoek is a must. Famous variations are sweet 'n salty, like apples, bacon, syrup.

Café De Schutter

Students, loud, cosy, cheap, Voetboogsteeg


Leidseplein. UK concept, fresh cooked noodles, meat and vegetables in open kitchen. Dinning on long wooden tables sitting on benches. Often quick service, sometimes some waiting.

Friet | Patat

Learn how to cook Patat, Friet, or Pommes Frites, Patatas from true Potatoes. With a salad and home made mayoniase it is not sooo bad for your health....

Mana Mana

Hemonystraat 66

Wednesday Thursday Friday

Snackbar aan 't IJ

Piet Hein Kade, Close to Albertt heijn on the waterfrond side

University Mensa

diverse cool hot trend . typically amsterdam

Soccer in the park

In most bigger parts people make up pretty spontaneous teams that play europen style soccer, according the "streetsoccer or park rules"

Swimming & Sunbathing

IJsselmeer, Amstelriver close to office sky scrapers

Iceskating Jaap Eden IJsbaan

Named after an Amsterdam Ice Skating Champion from the 1920's (after that, not many Amsterdammers did so well in Ice-Skating, except for Ellie van den Brom) the Ice Skate Parcours at the East Part of the city is a great place to be.

Visit the Beach per Train

From Amsterdam Central Station a direct Train goes to Zandvoort, or "Amsterdam Beach" (don't say that loud in Zandvoort :))

Lectures & PhD Defend Ceremonies

Amsterdam University UvA organises lectures and PHD Defend Ceremonies are public by principle.


Public Rehearsal Concertgebouw Orchestra

Roof of Nemo

Awesome "please touch" science museum Nemo, close to central station, offers a free roofterrace. Take the bridge outside to walk up.

Oosterdok 2

Terrace Muziegebouw aan't IJ

Sky Terrace

Terrific  view from the SkyTerrace on the top-floor of Double Tree Hotel. Walk in, not too badly dressed, turn to the right and take an elevator to the top. Look for the terrace, order a € 5,50 french fries and sit like Paris Hilton.

Discount Cards


Friday Night Skate

Best Sunset Spots

Seeing the sun go down in autumn Amsterdam can be an awesome experience. The sky turns into a thousand shades of pink, and you can lie back and enjoy the iconic Amsterdam cityscape turn into a romantic movie scene - if you know where you can see it best!

Hacker Space

Nerds, tinkerers, thinkers, trying-it-outers, most male, some female, having fun in discovering by doing. Initiated, supported by Dutch Telecom Provider KPN / Xs4All

Social Wednesday Night.

Cheese on Daymarkets

Check neighbourhood day-markets like Dappermarkt,or Ten Catestraat Markt for good offers in cheese.

Weekend Amsterdam?

Get the best tips and trends here

Laundry Service

Was Salon or Wasserette

Not cheap, nor budget. Ask locals on the street in the neighbourhood were you live and check prices beforehand.

Take Care when Buying Wine

Wine is expensive when you're used to prices in Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Greece, Hungary, Austria and so forth.

We made bad experiences in buying wine in supermarkets.

public places & services | not touristic

City Halls

The main City Hall at Waterlooplein offers free wi-fi. City-district halls offer free wi-fi, working seats, cheap coffee or soda's.

Public Library

An awesome concept outside and inside. A piano free to play, lots of computers free to use and books, books, books. Offered by the Municipality of Amsterdam. At the top is a "snel-restaurant" with OK food and a terrace with great view.

Swimming Pools


This long street in Amsterdam Noord is a trip through a piece of Holland that one doesn't experience much. Normal people live in Disney World alike houses.

Look for your princess or prince.

Sounds under the Bridge

Underneath the bridge in front of Muziekgebouw aan't IJ an Artist created a sound world.

Tennis in Oosterpark

Weekly Markets

 Monday Lapjesmarkt Westerstraat
 Monday Fleamarket Noordermarkt
 Monday Plantjesmarkt Amstelveld
 SaturdayBiologische markt Noordermarkt en Nieuwmarkt 
 Saturday Weekmarkt Lindengracht, Jordaan

Kringloop Winkel

All over The Netherlands people can bring used, but usable stuff to a "Kringloop WInkel" or Recycle Shop. Mostly run by volunteers and people supported in return-to-work programmes. In Amsterdam, inside the old rings.

 Rataplan Willem Roelofsstraat 2, 1062 JX
 Rataplan Slingelandtstraat 39, 1051 CG
 JuttersdokKerkstraat 354
 Juttersdok Zeeburgerpad 90
 De Lokatie Camperstraat 42
 De LokatieDistelweg 85 

Daily Markets

Each neighbourhood has a daily market, organised by the City council. Fresh vegetables, fish, cheese, clothes, flowers, diverse daily deals, pommes frites, loempia and loads of local atmosphere.

 Ten Katestraat 
 Albert Cuyp De Pijp
 Dappermarkt Oost
 Mosplein Noord
  Bos & Lommer
 Bloemenmarkt Centre