Traveling through and exploring the Netherlands can be pretty expensive, in fact the Netherlands is one of the most pricy countries in Europe. Just drinking a cup of coffee on a simple Amsterdam terrace will set you back 2,50 Euro’s… and I need about 3 cups to get started. Luckily the rest of the Netherlands charges a little less for a cup and there are still wonderful and enjoyable places where you can have breakfast, lunch or dinner at an acceptable rate. In this article I’ll try to prepare you for a budget trip to Holland that still allows for a lot of activities and fun.
Check online reviews of the hotel you’re planning to stay at and check out tips from other guests. Prepare you’re trip well, there’s a lot of free information available online.
When getting money at an ATM machine, which is the standard way to get local currency for travelers, don’t do multiple withdrawals of smaller amounts, for every transaction your bank will charge you a fee, so multiple withdrawals will cost more.
Transportation & attractions – getting around in Holland
One of the best tips on public transportation and discounts on attractions and museums is the Holland Pass. If you’re in Amsterdam, Utrecht, The Hague (and Delft) or Rotterdam and you’re planning to visit some museums and attractions I would suggest getting one. It will get you free tickets for attactions and public transportation and discounts on lot’s of other stuff. Hitchhiking is not very common in the Netherlands and it will probably take a long time to get picked up (if at all). I’d also avoid taxi’s as they are way to expensive and (in my experience) often charge more then they should.
Besides traveling off-season when hotelrooms are available at a discount rate it might be interesting to call the hotel and try to book directly (instead of using an online booking service), you might be able to get a bigger discount. Besides this you could also book a shared dorm room, for example the Marnix Hotel in Amsterdam has rooms available at 7 euro per person per night.
Before including breakfast in the hotel your staying I would check some of the reviews online… especially in budget hotels you might want to consider going out for breakfast yourself, travelling on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your breakfast (and there are cheaper options available that offer better quality for less). If you’re close to a HEMA (department store) you might wanna check out there 1 euro breakfast which includes a cup of coffee or tea, a croissant and a baguette with an omelette and bacon. One euro breakfast can also be found at IKEA but it’s unlikely there is one near your hotel. If you want a little more quality I would suggest Bakkerij Bart (Dutch chain of sandwich shops) where you can have breakfast for 2,50 euro, which includes a large cup of tea or coffee, a croissant with delicious jam, bread with cheese and some orange juice.
Besides the previously mentioned Bakkerij Bart there are many snackbars available and of course also a selection of famous fastfood restaurants like McDonalds, Burger King, Domino’s Pizza, KFC and Subway. Also have a look at the prices for lunch at some terraces, there are still eateries that charge honest prices.
Besides cooking yourself or eating at a fastfood restaurant there are a lot of restaurants that are stunting with prices and offer an all-in experience (3 courses including drinks) to get the customers in the restaurants on the quiet days. Most chinese restaurants in the Netherlands are often so called ‘Wokrestaurants’, these are selfservice restaurants that charge one fee and you can get as much as you want… very usefull when your hungry.