Amsterdam continues to be a travelling hotspot, especially for Students. This said, it can be a very expensive city to visit, it’s easy to spend hundred on nights you won’t remember and experiences that just don’t live up to their Instagram expectations.
As a student, budgeting is essential to how I live my life and how I travel. In my previous post, I explored ‘A Day in Dam (for under £50)’, but came up short when finishing my day with a total of £58 spent. Hypocrisy? Maybe. But I wanted to show the importance of not letting your day-by-day expenditure rule your trip, it’s about setting overall spending costs: some day will be more and some less.
With that in mind Day Two in Dam was a similar spend, but keep following this series to see how the cost balances out without compromising on things to do!
Day Two: £50
12:00 Anne Frank Huis (£20)
A very sobering experience to say the least but a must-do for anyone travelling to Amsterdam. Regardless of age, gender, politics or understanding of the holocaust, the Anne Frank story is one that will touch everyone in a different way. Walking through the very house that she family hid in for years is a truly surreal experience and not one that it is possible to explain in words without shedding a tear.
2018 marked my third trip to Amsterdam and third time in the Anne Frank House and each time I appreciate her story on a different level, it’s a place you can visit over and over and never really understand what the Frank family’s life was like, but it’ll touch you as if you lived in their shoes.
Last Minute Travel Tip: Tickets book up quickly and for good reason. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t get tickets for a last minute trip. The website releases any spare tickets on the day, so as long as you’re up early to book, there’s no reason why you can’t go.
14:00 Take a walk up North
From the Anne Frank Huis, it’s a short walk up to Centraal Station, but passes through some incredible book stores and traditional Dutch eateries. For football fans, you’ll find a vintage shirt shop, home to global team shirts dating back decades so you can have your very own Georgie Best!
We decided to get a supermarket lunch to save on costs during our trip, but if you’re looking to get a hearty lunch try The Breakfast Club (highlighted on map below).
16:00 Red Light District (£0)
As visitors of the Red Light District will be aware, it is highly frowned upon to photograph this area of Amsterdam: it’s important to respect the privacy of those who work in the Quarter and indeed those visiting, but the outer areas is home to graffitied walls and more bicycles than just about anywhere else. If you visit in Winter, you’ll find that golden hour is upon you around 4pm, so take the opportunity to photograph the scenery around the edges of the District: that typical selfie on the bridge photo with sunset lighting? Sorted.
Once dark, the Red Light District becomes a busy neighbourhood of lights and well, sights. Whilst visiting this area of Dam has never interested me previously, it had to be done, out of curiosity. It’s recommended that unless you want to experience the live shows or coffeeshops first-hand, you visit before it gets too late. Whilst there’s a certain uneasiness about walking around a place that would be very illegal back in the UK, it’s interesting to see how other cultures embrace a side that the UK doesn’t.
If you’re just walking through for the sake of it, you shouldn’t need more than half an hour to walk from one end to the other. We took advantage of happy hour in a nearby bar rather than spending time in the District but hey, whatever floats your boat.
20:00 Hard Rock Cafe (£10)
This was more out of tradition than necessity. Amsterdam is home to a number of wonderful restaurants at a range of prices, but I have a Hard Rock pact with my Partner, so we decided to tick another one off our list. Having said this, the cafe is situated on the river, so when eating you look out directly onto the water, as if you were on a boat, but without the sea sickness!
Make sure you also check out the Hard Rock Shop for obligatory souvenirs glasses and then play a game of chess outside! The cafe is set in a square with giant board games, creating hours of fun for just about any age.
Budgeting in the City
£50 £18 As mentioned in Day One, we stayed in the Q Factory Hotel and used a number of vouchers and discount codes to take the price down from £100 a night to £18 each (just proving it pays to do your research)
To Do £20 entrance fee Anne Frank Huis
To Eat £12 for the Hard Rock Cafe (using a BOGOF Hard Rock Members offer) and a happy hour pint after visiting the RLD. We used our spare change to buy a sandwich and bottle of water during the day
Total Spend: £50
We were right on the money today! It just goes to show that even though we spent 3/4 of the budget on the hotel and one ticket, it is still possible to make a full-day out of sight-seeing! To get down to £50, you can see that voucher codes and negotiations were needed, but these were free of charge and found on the internet. For instance, by joining the Hard Rock Member’s Club, you’ll get sent offers that can be used worldwide, meaning no matter where you travel you can save money.
Have you visited Amsterdam before? I’d love to hear about your trip, tweet me or comment below x
Did you miss my first entry? Fear not! Catch up on my first day in Amsterdam here!