Top 10 Tips & Tricks for Backpackers in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a must do for any backpacker travelling through Europe. The city hosts beautiful canals, historic architecture, culinary delights and cobbled streets. There’s so much to discover in this unique capital! Are you planning on visiting soon? We’ve come up with 10 useful tips and tricks for your next trip to the city of freedom: Amsterdam!

1. Hire a bike

Most of the must see sites in Amsterdam are easily accessible, you can walk your way through the city center or buy an €8 day pass for the public transport. The best way to see the city is to go Dutch, hop on a bike like the locals and discover the city on two wheels! You can find bike rentals all over town, where you can hire one between €8 - €20 per day. It’s the most fun, easy, fast, cheap and green way to explore the beauty the city has to offer.

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2. Get an I Amsterdam city card

If you’re planning on visiting museums, attractions and getting around the city by using public transport, consider getting an I Amsterdam pass. The I Amsterdam pass includes free entrance to the most popular museums and attractions, a free trip on a canal boat, plus free use of public transportation and many other discounts.

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3. Free walking tour

A visit to Amsterdam can be expensive, the city is known for being on the pricey side. Luckily, there are ways to cut down on expenses, for example by going on a free walking tour! Sandemans New Europe hosts a three hour long free walking tour that will show you all of the must-see attractions. You’ll stroll by the iconic canals, historic Anne Frank House, classic Red Light District and much more. The tour meets at Dam Square, just make sure you leave a tip for the tour guide at the end.

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4. Visit the city parks

Dutch weather is famous for being unpredictable but when the sun shines it’s a dream! Everyone in Amsterdam heads to one of the many terraces to soak up some vitamin D. The best way to enjoy the summer rays is by checking out the city parks. Amsterdam’s parks are renowned for being well-kept and are perfect for a midday picnic. The most well known being the Vondelpark right next to the Flying Pig Uptown. Other beautiful parks favoured by locals include Westerpark, Oosterpark or Flevopark.

5. Food tips

When in Amsterdam, go on a culinary trip, because after all the best way to discover new cultures is through food. Classic Dutch dishes include cheese, poffertjes, homemade apple pie, stamppot, Pannenkoeken (Dutch pancakes) and bitterballen. Definitely check out stroopwafels,  thin caramel, waffles filled with sweet syrup. Delicious! Try to find a FEBO nearby, it’s a walk-up fast food restaurant where you can get fresh fries, hamburgers, Dutch kroketjes and other snacks. It’s most famous for the fast food vending machine; put in a coin and pull out a snack!

6. Go out!

Amsterdam by day is amazing, but Amsterdam by night? Even better! Dutchies love to go out, so you’ll find enough bars and clubs to choose from during your stay. The two main squares to go to when you find yourself wanting to party, are Leidseplein and Rembrandtplein. If you’re looking for a unique place to grab a drink, visit the Amsterdam Icebar, it’s (literally) a cool spot near the Rembrandtplein. Want to meet other backpackers? Check out Belushi’s, located in the Red Light District area it hosts Amsterdam’s longest Happy Hour from midday until midnight with DJ’s playing at night, guests staying at The Flying Pig get 25% discount off food there. Score!

7. Visit the Albert Cuyp market

Your trip to Amsterdam would not be complete without a visit to one of the most popular markets of the city: the Albert Cuyp market, located in the De Pijp. With more than 200 stalls, one thing is for sure, there’s lots to discover there. It is open six days a week and you can find anything and everything here: from flowers, clothing, shoes and fabric to Dutch treats like fresh stroopwafels, raw herring, fresh poffertjes and Vietnamese spring rolls. After you’ve walked by all the stalls, check out the rest of De Pijp, a lively neighbourhood full of nice bars, cafés and restaurants, cute boutiques and picturesque streets.

8. Explore other neighbourhoods

While most tourists don’t go beyond the city center, the neighborhoods outside the heart of Amsterdam are worth visiting. Hop on your bike and get lost in this beautiful city. In the westside of the capital you can find a lot of green and culture. In the Kinkerbuurt, near the Ten Kate market, there is an indoor food market called the Foodhallen. Here you can experience different types of food concepts and cuisines. Or visit the Amsterdam Noord, which you can easily get to by grabbing the ferry behind Central Station, for free. Enjoy the five minute ride, before you know it you’re there! Definitely visit the A’Dam Lookout, an observation deck with a breathtaking panoramic view of the city. If you’re a daredevil or a thrill seeker, make sure to get on Europe’s highest swing, on the deck!

9. Visit the fishing village Volendam

Do you have time left during your trip to explore the beauty of The Netherlands beyond the city of Amsterdam? Then why not take a day trip to Volendam. It’s is easy to access from Central Station by bus. Volendam is a historical fishing village where you can take a picture in a traditional costume wearing wooden clogs. Don’t forget to stop by a fish stall to grab a serving of raw herring or kibbeling, a fried snack consisting of battered pieces of fish served with a delicious sauce.

10. Money saving tips

After saving up for your backpacking adventure in Europe and the amazing city of Amsterdam, you might want to save some €€€. There are a lot of things you can see and do that don’t cost a thing in Amsterdam. In the heart of the center, on the Spui, you can find the Begijnhof, a historical courtyard that dates back to the 14th century. You can also visit the library, Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam (OBA), located near Central Station. The beautiful architecture of the building and the lovely panoramic view of the city from the top floor, are worth checking out!

Need a hostel in Amsterdam? Check out Flying Pig

Article by Nylo Damanafshan