Best Amsterdam Winter Break on a Budget
Amsterdam is the ideal city for a short city break vacation. Winter is the perfect time because you save money on flights and hotels. The tourist crowd has gone and you share the city with the locals. Wander through museum and art galleries, amble along the canals and take a ride on the tram. Stop off in a brown café for a Heineken. Gobble scrumptious apple pie with a dollop of whipped cream, a wedge so large that you can skip your evening meal. Rummage through discounted fashion in the 9 streets shopping area, buy a City Pass and save money. Join the skaters at the ice-skating rink at Museumplein, free if you bring your own skates, or have fun watching them while sipping a mug of hot chocolate.
Winter Break on a Budget
Amsterdam winter break on a budget: forget about taxis but hop on one of the many white and blue trams that crisscross Amsterdam city centre or take a tour on the hop-in hop-off bus or even better buy hop on bus plus hop on boat cruise. Buy the I Amsterdam City card and enjoy free public transport and free entry to the most important museums of Amsterdam. Hop on Jump on tram 24 for the Heineken Experience, Royal Palace on Dam Square, Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum and tram 13 for Anne Frank Museum.
Save Money and stay in a Budget Hotel
Affordable accommodation is easy to find for your winter city break. Many budget hotels are located in the city centre. The budget is in the room size, not the service. Here are a few suggestions for affordable accommodation.
•Hostel Anne Marie, Jan Willem Brouwerstraat 14, Amsterdam, close to Van Gogh Museum and Vondelpark. A Super market is almost next door. Free WiFi and luggage storage. Rooms with bunks beds or single beds, some with private bathroom
•The Bulldog, Oudezijds Voorburgwal 220, Amsterdam, vlose to Centraal Station. A great place to meet young international travellers and to smoke a joint next door. Play a game of pool, sit at the bar or watch your favourite team play on the widescreen TV. Take your pick: dormitory, private room or one of the comfortable apartments.
•CitizenM Amsterdam City, Prinses Irenestraat 30, away from the centre near World Trade Center. Prefabricated bedrooms with an exciting shower and toilet. Kingzsize beds and moodlights make your stay romantic.
Your best bargain shopping options are Amsterdam’s open air markets.
•Waterlooplein flea market, just behind the Stopera on Waterlooplein, bustles with shoppers and browsers six days a week. Whether you are looking for a leather jacket, cannabis lollipops, graffiti spray canister or a fur coat, this is definitely the place to find them. Opening hours are Monday to Saturday from 09.30-17.30, closed on Sunday.
•Noordermarkt is open Monday morning from 09.00-13.00 and Saturday from 09.00-16.00 and very much a local affair. This market is easy to find because it is located near Prinsengracht and close to Anne Frank House. The stands are crammed with vintage clothing, belts, bags, shoes and jewelry mainly from the sixties and seventies.
Shopping in the Nine Little Streets
If it is too cold for outdoor shopping, go to the Nine Streets area because this is the place with the densest concentration of vintage and second hand stores.
•Laura Dols, Wolvenstraat 6, open 11.00-18.00 Sunday from 12.00.
Browse for skirts, dresses and tops. If Jacky Kennedy were still alive she would be shopping here. Rummage through the bargain bins and find that fifties dress with a belt to match.
•Zipper, Huidenstraat 7, open 11.00-19.00 Sunday 12.00-18.00
Men seem to like the oversized baseball shirts, women like everything, from a fifties pretty petticoat to hot pants and vintage pumps.
•Episode, Berenstraat 1, open Sunday-Thursday 11.00-19.00, Friday and Saturday from 10.00
Definitely more up-market than the vintage clothing stalls on Waterlooplein Market. They specialize in seventies and eighties clothing from casual to party wear.
Amsterdam Winter Break on a Budget
Finally, check out the ice skating rink at Museumplein for the ultimate Holland feeling. The rink is usually open from mid-December to mid-February, daily from 10 am – 8 pm. Skating is free if you have your own skates, or rent a pair for a few euro. December is a great months for shopping with lots of extra shopping hours. Find bargains in one of the open air markets, hop on a tram when it gets to cold or spend the afternoon in a museum or art gallery. Do all the above and save money on your Amsterdam City Break.