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Free Things to Do in Amsterdam

Posted by Maria Inês Pinto on 27/08/2014

The capital of the Netherlands, Amsterdam is also known colloquially as the “Venice of the North” due to its enchanting canals, beautiful architecture and over 1500 bridges. As a vast European city, it is divided into seven main districts which offer something to every kind of visitor. Whether you are prefer the charm of a European city, to explore culture and history, or to enjoy an exciting nightlife – you’ll find it all in Amsterdam.


There are plenty of local attractions you can visit to get to know this exciting city. But if you’re travelling on a budget and you’re looking for ways to experience Amsterdam without spending a dime, take a look below at this list of 10 things you can do for free in this vibrant city:


1.  Walking tour


Explore the Red Light District, Anne Frank House and other local attractions on the tip-only basis Sandeman’s New Amsterdam Tour. You’ll get to spend approximately three hours discovering this exciting European city on foot with excellent guides.


2.  Canal Ring


Amsterdam has more canals than Venice and they are protected under UNESCO World Heritage Site status. A walk along the canal ring is free and you’ll get to witness unique beauty in the heart of Amsterdam!


3.  Free Classical Concert


Every Wednesday from September to June, the Concertgebouw hosts a 30 minute public performance during lunch time at 12:30 pm. This is a great opportunity to enjoy a meal in the midst of beautiful music performed by some of the country’s (and the world’s) best orchestras.


4.  Flower Market


The Flower Market can literally be a breath of fresh air during your days spent in the city. It’s free to walk around and smell the roses – but you’ll have to pay for a bouquet if you want to take one along with you.


5.  Free Boat Trip


Behind Central Station, there are plenty of ferry boats that cross the IJ River and can take you to different points of the city free of charge. Set out to explore Amsterdam Noord or hop on to reach the EYE Film Institute – the options are endless.


6.  Beginjhof


Beginjhof is a peaceful 14th courtyard hidden behind a discreet door on the Spui square. Once inhabited by religious women who dedicate their entire lives to serving God, the courtyard now houses a number of historical buildings as well as a small chapel and a church. It is a popular tranquil haven in the middle of the bustling city.


7.  Museumplein


The infamous “I Amsterdam” photo can’t be missed and it’s free of charge! The iconic sign is located in one of the city’s most popular squares, Museumplein, you’ll find it filled with tourists posing for their picture. And if you’re patient you’ll get your own too!


8.  City Archive


The City Archive is a great place to start if you know little about the history of the city of Amsterdam or if you consider yourself a history buff. Although the exhibitions upstairs require you to pay an entrance fee, entrance to the basement is free and the building itself is also worth a look.


9.  EYE – Film Institute


Housing the biggest film library of the Netherlands, the film institute offers free entrance to its interactive Dutch film displays on exhibition in the basement. The building itself is an architectural masterpiece worth your time.


10.  Vondelpark


Vondelpark is one of Amsterdam’s most popular and scenic parks. An afternoon relaxing by the beautiful lakes or lounging on the grass provides an excellent break from the city bustle.