The most I’d pay in Amsterdam for a…


Amsterdam coffee
Head to brown bars for an authentic (and cheaper) coffee experience. Photo: jeffblum

It’s hard watching tourists coughing up too much cash when buying everyday items in (often the center of) Amsterdam. If only they knew what they should be paying!

This isn’t a “in a perfect Amsterdam world” price list. These are, in fact, prices that you can expect to find when purchasing everyday travel items in the Dutch capital. If you pay a bit more than what I’ve listed it’s fine. If you pay double, you’re getting taken for a ride!

The most I’d pay in Amsterdam for a…

1. Coffee: €2

Don’t bother with the classy cafes and specialty coffee stores. Hit the authentic Dutch brown bars for a classic coffee with a cookie on the side. (Here’s my favorite café.)

2. Croissant: Under €1

Head to the grocery store Albert Hein for freshly baked goods, from ham and cheese filled croissants to pain au chocolat and other pastries.

orange juice Amsterdam

Cheapo OJ squeezed on the streets. Photo: davidstanleytravel

3. Fresh orange juice: €2.50

Again, the grocery stores will usually offer fresh-pressed fruit juices, although outdoor markets like Albert Cuypmarkt and Dappermarkt will juice on the spot.

4. Beer: €2.30

Beer is plentiful here, and if you’re not fussy you can find small glasses for less than 2. Paying more than 3 for a Pilsner is paying too much. (Here’s a list of my favorite bars in Amsterdam for beer.)

5. Wine: €2.30

House wine in an average glass can cost almost the same as a beer; It depends on what’s available and how sophisticated your palate is.


Tosti, beer and ketchup. Photo: heather-d

6. Café tosti: €3

A toasted cheese, ham and cheese, or cheese and tomato sandwich is a common snack offered at cafes and bars. Cheap and tasty! (Ask for ketchup.) Also see my list of other favorite cheap snacks.

7. Bicycle: €40

Those looking to buy a bike should venture online, as listing sites like Craigslist and MarktPlaats offer used classic oma fiets bicycles at a low price.

8. Bike rental: €7 a day

Sadly, the most popular rental bike companies usually charge the most. Take a bit of effort and research your options. The mom and pop rentals (like StarBikes) offer great deals.

Kriterion movie theater

Get a cheap seat at Kriterion and other indie movie theaters. Photo: joshc

9. Movies: €7.50

Mainstream theaters are pricey, but catch a matinee at independent cinemas like Kriterion, Studio K or Het Ketelhuis and be rewarded with cheaper ticket prices.

10. Concert: €15

Concerts in Amsterdam can cost nothing at all, but even the popular bands touring sell tickets for half the price you’d pay in the US.

11. Postcard: FREE

Keep an eye out for funky, funny and free postcards ready to grab in shelves near the bathrooms of cafes, bars and museums.

12. Dinner for two (including drinks): €30

Head to up-and-coming neighborhoods like Oost, Oude West and Westerpark for the best deals, and steer clear of the Center, Jordaan and De Pijp. (Read my suggestions for easy ways to save on dining.)

13. Coffeeshop joint: €3

Never buy randomly downtown, and always do your homework to find the best, non-tourist trap coffeeshops that offer the safest deal. (Confused?)

14. Cocktail: €5

Look out for particular “cocktail nights” and happy hours across town for offers, from Café Cuba at Nieuwmarkt to Café Roest in the East.

Hotel Museumzicht Amsterdam

The Hotel Museumzicht is cheap, charming and has views of the Rijksmuseum.

15. Hotel room: €65

Bottom line is to never settle for something overpriced around Dam Square or the Red Light District. While the oldest part of the city might sound charming, it’s 16th century buildings are riddled with problems (and rooms here cost more). Check out our budget hotel recommendations for Amsterdam.

16. Museum entrance: €8 – €10

The must-sees cost more, but the smaller museums like FOAM, Hortus Botanical Gardens, and the Amsterdam Historic Museum are all great alternatives at €10 or less. (Also see my list of 5 free museums in Amsterdam.)

17. Taxi: €5

Sharing a cab with a group will be cheap. A taxi home alone will always cost more. If you pay more, you’re better off with a tram for €2.80 or the night bus for €4.50.

18. Bottled water: .30

Again, grocery stores are where it’s at for the cheapest food and drink in Amsterdam. Bottled water especially can be marked up at a kiosk for €2!

19. Transport to airport: €3.90

This is the price for a one-way train ticket from almost any Amsterdam station to Schipol, and the journey is made in less than 20 minutes. (Also read my tips efficiently navigating Schipol.)

20. Umbrella: Nothing

Buying an umbrella in Amsterdam usually means paying yourself to throw something away very soon. Stick to a light rain jacket.

About the author

About the author: Audrey Sykes hopped across the pond from the US eight years ago for a Masters degree in global journalism. Since then, she’s lived all over Europe, reporting and editing for music sites, snowboard mags, and travel media. She’s also the Amsterdam author for Party Earth, a guide to nightlife across Europe.

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