5 Things To Do For Free In Amsterdam

Amsterdam…”Small city, big heart”

Believe me or not, but it’s easy to spend a fortune in one of the most famous and stylish capitals in Europe, but Amsterdam has a lot of free goodies up for grabs. Here are top 5 attractions totally free of charge, yet interesting and so much fun:

Black and white photo Amsterdam

#1 Visit the Bloemenmarkt

Take a trip to Amsterdam and, winding its quaint and unmistakably cosmopolitan streets, you’ll eventually find yourself at the Bloemenmarkt. A visual as well as cultural spectacle, the Bloemenmarkt is a floating flower market renowned for its depth of beauty the world over. It is in fact quintessential; the epitome of impermanence, a serenely beautiful manifestation of the temporal beauty known only to the traveller – a snapshot of something ‘other’, this floating monument enshrines our search for perennial beauty in the face of a world ruled by temperamental seasons.

Flower in Amsterdam

Resting between Muntplein and Koningsplein on the Singel Canal, the Bloemenmarkt is the world’s only floating flower market and a must see for any visitor. Enclosed in what appears to be a chain of greenhouses stacked upon a wooden mooring, the overall look of the market merges seamlessly with the high, ornate and many-windowed houses that line the canal. A riot of colors bursts from the shelves of this vibrant hot-spot, the tulip – national emblem of the Netherlands – vying with a cornucopia of equally bright and inviting flora and fauna.

To step into the Bloemenmarkt on a dreary day is to bask in natural wonder, while the heat of those easy summer days incites an aroma that seems to tickle the fancy even of the sunshine itself. Open from 9am to 5.30pm every day of the week except Sunday, when it opens at 11am, Bloemenmarkt is one of those truly bespoke cultural landmarks that begs hours of even the most casual visitor.

 #2 Relax  in Vondelpark

Vondelpark is Amsterdam’s most popular city park. It’s a peaceful and charming place perfect for a Sunday picnic, bike ride, decent book reading or even doing some yoga or meditation. If you get tired of overcrowded city center, don’t waste your time and hide there!

#3 Go for a free boat ride

Most of boat rides in city center are pricey, but did you actually know of the ferries behind Centraal Station where you can take  the free ferries to parts of the city many don’t see? Two of them last less than ten minutes so make sure to take the ferry that goes furthest east to Buiksloterdijk as this journey lasts the longest. Ferries operate between 6.30am and 6pm/9pm.

#4 Walk through the canals

Did you know there are more canals in Amsterdam than in Venice? Unbelievable! That gives you a great opportunity to admire a free, living museum of Dutch history and architecture when strolling down the streets and passing by the beautiful canals. If you don’t feel like walking all day long, pick up a bike and cycle around.

#5 Experience free live music 

Let’s say you feel like going out with a bunch of friends on the cheap on a Sunday night. The best idea would be to go to Mulligan’s Irish Bar in Amstel for their free open jam sessions. Moreover, there are some free gigs at Jazz Cafe Alto on Korte Leidsedwarsstraat every Tuesday and free session of blues and soulful rock at Malo Melo on Wednesday night. In order to keep yourself posted on any free events going on in Amsterdam, check out the official website of the city.

What else would you add to the list?

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Agness Walewinder
Agness Walewinder
Travel freak, vagabond, photography passionate, blogger, life enthusiast, backpacker, adventure hunter and endless energy couchsurfer living by the rule "Pack lite, travel far and live long!"
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48 thoughts on “5 Things To Do For Free In Amsterdam”

  1. Sam | Travelling King

    Great tips!
    Cant wait to visit Amsterdam one day! I keep saying next year and then somewhere else pops up :P

  2. Hi there. Great post, can’t agree more on how beautiful Amsterdam really is… ;-)

    Another thing to add to the Vondelpark, might be the open air theater, that has free venues during summertime; music, theater, cabaret, dance etc…

    Furthermore, there are sometimes free concerts subject to season, in a.o. the Royal Concertgebouw, Bimhuis, Music Theatre and a few more, info here:

    Cheers !

  3. Some awesome tips – even though I’ve lived in Amsterdam for a while I did not even know that the ferries were free to Amsterdam Noord! Thanks for that; will look into that on my next trip back.

    Except for the Bloemenmarkt, I would definitely add the Albert Cuyp Market, as there is no better way to experience the real Amsterdam culture then by walking around here. And if you love music, you can attend a free concert every Wednesday afternoon in het Concertgebouw .

    Owh and for more free activities to do in Amsterdam, follow Free Amsterdam on Twitter https://mobile.twitter.com/freeamsterdam). They upload the information on free events daily. Worth to take a look at it :)

  4. Molly @Green Global Travel

    Simply must make it to Amsterdam one day! Especially cannot wait to experience the canals you mentioned :) Great list!

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