The Netherlands: Amsterdam on a budget

January 1, 1970

by Emilija

The Netherlands: Amsterdam on a budget

Travelling is an amazing experience which enriches everyone’s life. However, oftentimes people postpone or even worse, give up travelling because of a simple reason, they are lacking money. Marketing made it that the most amazing places in the world are too expensive for ordinary travelers. Every tourist attraction needs a ticket and every place becomes fancy when thinking about food and staying for a night.

I am a backpacker, so I am not a fancy traveler; therefore, I know how tourist entertainments can make your pockets empty. I always search for ways to save my money but I really like to visit places and you know, half-empty pockets never stop me. So, I want to tell you about my recent visit to Amsterdam, the Netherlands. I want to share with you ticket-free places in Amsterdam which can help you to save money.

EYE Film Institute

EYE Film InstituteNote: the entrance to museum costs. However, the building of the institute is amazing and you do not need to pay for chilling or taking pictures there. The building is a great example of modern Dutch architecture (if you have visited the Netherlands, you should know that Dutch buildings are splendid). When I visited the EYE Film Institute, there were many people just hanging around the building. Also, there is a free exhibit in the institute’s basement. Even more, there is one more ‘I amsterdam’ sign! This one is not so popular but definitely worth a visit as well, also, this place is not as crowded as city center, so, there will be less people on your photos.



This is a former shipyard, placed in Amsterdam. It bankrupted in 1984 and after that, a group of artists resurrected the place for a new life. Amsterdam city council liked the idea and financed the project. Now NDSM Warf is a tourist place to visit and it attracts its visitors with the huge collection of art made from shipyard’s remains. The outside of the building is colored by graffiti, the inside is decorated with various paintings and installations made from garbage. There is so much of everything in the area that we did not manage to walk all over the whole place (I plan to visit NDSM Wharf again and maybe even to write a separate piece about it). What we saw, that every garbage here somehow belongs, creating a complete exhibition of contemporary art. It is surely worth a visit and by now, it is my personal favorite among ticket-free places in Amsterdam. Next time I should definitely have lunch in a restaurant made of garbage!

Note: both EYE Film Institute and NDSM Wharf to be reached by free (yup!) ferry nearby the station. For EYE Film Institute take a ferry which comes each 15 minutes, for NDSM Wharf take the one that comes each 30 minutes. You can walk from the institute to the wharf but it is quite an exercise. Bikes on the ferry are allowed as well.

Amsterdam Public Library

Amsterdam's public libraryThe central library of Amsterdam is 5 minutes walking away from the central station. You will definitely see it because the building is quite standing out as for library (at least considering my impression about libraries). The Amsterdam Public Library is the biggest one in Europe, the Amsterdam's public librarybuilding is imposing and the library spreads over 7 floors. A unique book collection is spread over several floors according to their genres but it is not all. There is also a huge collection of CDs and DVDs, a theater, a radio station, conference rooms, study pods and a readers’ cafe. At the top floor there is a restaurant with a terrace, there you can have a meal and take a look at Amsterdam from the top. All over the library, seating is nicely arranged near the windows so you can have panoramic views. There are many cute chairs, armchairs and cushions that you can not only sit but also lay on while reading a book. The ground floor has a big playground for kids, so this is definitely a place to visit if you have small children. The Amsterdam Public Library is totally free (except restaurants, of course), it is quiet and lovely place to grab a book and chill


Civic Guards Gallery

Civic Guardians' galleryAmsterdam’s Museum is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Amsterdam but it does costs Civic Guardians' gallerysome money. Fortunately, you can enjoy some art for free as well. In one of the rooms of Amsterdam’s museum, there is a Civil Guards Gallery, which exposes a considerable number of exhibits for free. It is really enjoyable exposition of some popular paintings. I was amazed by how large ‘Arrival of Napoleon’ by Mattheus Ignatius van Bree is. The exhibit includes not only old paintings but also contemporary art pieces. At the moment, there is a 40 meter long rug, made by a contemporary artist. The title of the rug is ’My Town: A Celebration of Diversity’. The rug displays a vast number of nationalities of the Amsterdam’s population. I really encourage everyone to come and see how your country looks like in this beautiful rug!




‘I amsterdam’ Sign

Iamsterdam‘I amsterdam’ signs are arranged in several places all over the city, I believe that you do not even need to look for them, they appear everywhere. Well, the view is not so much of a deal but you definitely have to take a photo with one of them. Because, what is the better proof of your visit to Amsterdam than the photo with ‘I amsterdam’ sign?



Amsterdam is an amazing city full of different nationalities, cultures and events. Its industries, modern architecture and well developed bicycle paths are intermingled with old mansions, churches and canal boat trips. Thus, Amsterdam attracts dozens of people from all over the world to study, work or explore. I just want to tell you that you do not have to spend a ton of money to enjoy the beauty of Amsterdam. There are many ticket-free entertainments in the city, also, sometimes it is enough just to take a walk to see how beautiful the place around you is.

I currently live in the Netherlands, so I visit Amsterdam occasionally; I plan one more trip and one more research on what free activities you can have in this beautiful city. If you want to know about it sometime soon, join my blog!


By Emilija

I am Emilija. My motherland is Lithuania, a beautiful country near the Baltic Sea. There I have finished my English philology studies. Now I live in the Netherlands. I am a beginning writer and food lover. I travel and explore on a small scale, I approach cities, places that are not so popular but worth seeing. I believe that everyone may find something beautiful around them. Also, I am a budget traveler, if it's free, I must see it!


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