Fun places to explore in Amsterdam…for FREE!
Amsterdam is definitely one of the most exciting cities to visit. There’s no shortage of things to do in Amsterdam – but many of Amsterdam’s top tourist attractions cost money, and this can get pricey after a while! Never fear – budget travel in Amsterdam is possible, and we’ve rounded up some of our favorite FREE things to do in Amsterdam! Keep reading for our top suggestions.
Try a free walking tour of the city
First time in Amsterdam? Why not try a walking tour of the city to get acquainted with all that Amsterdam has to offer? Walking tours are a great way to get to know a new city and to see the major sites. If you’re staying at a hostel, check with the front desk for their recommendations on walking tours – they’ll be in the know on all the free things to do in Amsterdam!
We recommend going with Sandeman’s New Europe Tours. Sandeman’s offers a number of guided walking tours, including a free guided tour of Amsterdam in English! The free walking tour takes place every day, leaving from the National Monument in Dam Square every half hour between 10:00 AM and 11:30 AM, and as well as at 2:00 PM. The tour lasts about 2.5 hours, and you can expect to see top tourist sites such as the Anne Frank House, Dutch East India Company, Red Light District, New Market, the Royal Palace, and more! You can sign up for your tour online (click here!) or simply sign up with your tour guide a few minutes before the tour starts. Tours are totally free of charge – just don’t forget to tip your tour guide at the end if you enjoy the tour!
Explore Amsterdam’s Canal Belt
Added in 2010 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Canal Belt is the perfect place for a bike ride or an afternoon stroll. Admire the beautiful canal houses and charming houseboats – the canals are the perfect backdrop for photos! Explore the “9 streets” area within the canal belt, a popular shopping area in the city full of boutiques and vintage stores. Short on cash? Window shopping is fun, too!
A must-see in the Canal Belt is Bloemenmarkt, the Amsterdam Flower Market. Located in the Singel Canal and open Monday – Saturday, Bloemenmarkt is the only floating flower market in the world. You can buy flowers in bouquet or bulbs, or just stop by and smell the tulips (a classic), geraniums, and more!
Visit the Rijksmuseum Gardens and the I AMSTERDAM sign
While the Rijksmuseum does charge an entrance fee for adults (17 euros/person, but those 18 and under can get in for free), its gardens are totally free of charge! A hidden gem of Amsterdam, the Rijksmuseum Gardens hosts a permanent collection of sculptures as well as seasonal art installations. The gardens are definitely on our list of fun places to explore. Enjoy the flowerbeds, fountains, and greenhouses as well!
Want to take your picture with the I AMSTERDAM sign? This Amsterdam icon is located behind the Rijksmuseum. There’s no charge to climb the letters, but be prepared for it to be busy with other tourists!
Spend a lazy afternoon in Vondelpark
Escape the hustle and bustle of city life and spend an afternoon at Vondelpark! Located in the center of Amsterdam, Vondelpark is the largest city park in the city. It’s the perfect place for a bike ride or a walk. Enjoy the gardens, ponds, and waterways. In the park, you’ll find attractions such as the Statue of Joost van den Vondel (the Dutch poet after whom Vondelpark is named), the cast iron music dome, and the Pavilion. Vondelpark is also home to animals like cows, sheep, and parakeets.
In the summer months, you can catch a free performance at the Open Air Theatre located in Vondelpark. A variety of performances, including music, comedy, dance and more, take place on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. For a full list of performances, click here.
Catch a lunchtime concert
Interested in a little lunch music? Catch a free lunchtime concert at Concertgebouw, Amsterdam’s exclusive concert hall. These half-hour lunchtime concerts take place every Wednesday (excluding July and August) at 12:30 PM. The free lunchtime concert is followed by a. Guided tour of The Royal Concertgebouw – get a behind-the-scenes look for only 10 euros per person!
You’ll also find free lunchtime shows at Muziektheatre, the Dutch National Opera, and Ballet. Shows take place on Tuesdays at 12:30 PM (doors open at 12:15 PM) and last half an hour. Sometimes a free behind-the-scenes tour of the theater follows the show – check online for the schedule by clicking here.
For the lunchtime shows at both Concertgebouw and Muziektheatre, make sure you arrive early, as tickets go fast!
So there you have it, Gooster’s recommendations on the top free things to do in Amsterdam. Looking for more free things to do in Amsterdam (or Berlin? Click here!)? Want personalized travel tips or suggestions of fun places to explore for your next trip to Amsterdam, Berlin, or Tel Aviv? Chat with Gooster, your personal tourist buddy, instantly on Facebook Messenger, and receive your recommendations today!