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Tip: free activities in Amsterdam

One of Europe’s most loved destinations, the city of Amsterdam offers its visitors a plethora of sights, monuments, attractions and activities. The Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum and the Anne Frank House are but a few of Amsterdam’s top-rated places, but even if you’re not willing to spend (a lot of) money, the Dutch capital has a range of free activities and sights to choose from. Here’s a selection to get you going.

Our favourite free things to do in Amsterdam

WALKING AND (BOAT) TOURS

- It won’t come as a surprise that a walk in the UNESCO protected Canal Belt will provide you with many of the city’s most beautiful views. Let your stroll take you along the Bridge of 15 Bridges, a bridge from which you can see no less than 14 bridges in different directions… while you’re on the 15th. This unusual view is especially romantic in the evening, when the bridges are lit up. You’ll find this lovely spot at the crossing of Reguliersgracht and Herengracht.

- A great way to get to know the inner city and learn a bit more about Amsterdam’s history is to take a free guided tour. You’ll be taken on a 2.5-hour walk along some of the city’s best sights, including the Royal Palace, the Red Light District, the Anne Frank House and the Jewish Quarter. Our favourite stop is the Beguinage, a peaceful hidden courtyard in the bustling city. The free tour of Amsterdam starts in front of the National Moment at Dam Square.

- A visit to Amsterdam isn’t complete without a boat trip. If you’re not ready to pay €15 (or more) for a canal cruise ticket, there is another way to still experience the city from the water – albeit shorter. Directly behind Amsterdam Centraal train station, you’ll find the city’s blue-and-white ferries, which carries passengers across the river IJ free of charge. There are 3 routes, the longest of which takes around 12 minutes one way.


NEMO Science Museum
The NEMO Science Museum
Canal belt

CULTURE AND ARCHITECTURE

- Not far from the entrance to the Vondelpark is the Roemer Visscherstraat, where you’ll find the “Houses of seven countries”, a row of seven houses designed by the Dutch architect T. Kuipers. Each of the houses was built in an architectural style representing a different European country, namely Russia, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Spain and Italy.

- The NEMO Science Museum is housed in an eye-catching building along the IJ. While there’s an entrance fee to visit the museum, the roof terrace is freely accessible to everyone. Here, you’ll enjoy beautiful city views from a spacious terrace.

- From September to June, you can enjoy free lunchtime concerts at the Concertgebouw once a week. The concerts, which last around 30 minutes, are usually held on Wednesdays and they’re quite popular so booking a (free) ticket in advance is necessary.