Don’t you just love it when a bit of extra cash comes your way?
You may have already heard that HostelBookers have been found 8.7% cheaper than their next largest competitor in an independent survey of hostels from 20 popular destinations. That’s around £6.75 – or $10 (and €8 Euros) for all you non-Brits out there.
Naturally this got us a little excited, so we started to think… what would we do on holiday in our favorite destinations with that extra money?
First we asked travelers in London; if you had $10 in Amsterdam, how would you spend it?
And here’s our top ten ideas for what you could do when staying in Amsterdam hostels with that 10 bucks in your pocket…
1. The Anne Frank Museum (€7.50)
The Anne Frank Huis is a deeply moving museum and an Amsterdam must-see. Tour around the famous annexe where Anne Frank lived in cramped conditions during the Nazi regime and recorded every detail in her intimate diary. There is also a moving exhibition hall detailing the Holocaust and promoting racial tolerance.
2. The Museum of Hash (€7)
Despite its beautiful architecture, fascinating history and cultural sights, most people end up coming to Amsterdam to smoke copious amounts in a coffeeshop. If you’re going to spend most of your trip in a hash-induced haze, you could at least learn about the stuff, too! The exhibits give a detailed history of the use and cultural significance of hemp throughout the ages, show smoking devices from around the world, and even explain how cannabis has the potential to become ‘one of humanity’s most valuable renewable energy resources’… fascinating, eh?
3. A Clandestine Church in the Red Light District (€7)
Yep, there is actually a holy church in the seediest corner of the city but, this being the Red Light District and all, it was an illicit place of worship. Back when Amsterdam wasn’t so tolerant and fiercely Protestant, Catholics resorted to secret worship in this hidden church. Today, the Amstelkring Museum (or ‘Our Lord in the Attic’) is well worth a visit for its beautiful church, tucked away in the attic of a historic house, as well as period rooms from and magnificent collection of paintings, sculpture and silver which provide an overview of Catholic history in the city.
3. A Water-Taxi Tour (€8)
Amsterdam is characterized by its canals and waterways, and one of the best ways to really see it is to take to the water. There are plenty of boats around for you to see the city from a different perspective.
The tourist boat tours are usually expensive and crowded, so head to Damrak Street and hop on a water taxi, which will take you on a one-hour tour of the canals for much less.
5. Drink Beer in a Windmill
Only in Holland…! The Brouwerij ‘t IJ (Funenkade 7, 1018 AL) is a micro-brewery and pub housed in a historic windmill. Tours of the brewery are free every Friday afternoon at 4pm, but the pub is open every day from 3-8pm serving delicious local and organic beers. At around €1.90 a bottle, you can afford to sample a couple. Just don’t blame us for the hangover!
6. A Historic Canal House (€6)
The Museum Van Loon (Keizersgracht, 672) is a double-sized canal house which dates from 1672 and is now a museum of Amsterdam life in the 19th century. The first resident was the painter Ferdinand Bol, one of Rembandt’s most famous pupils, and the (amusingly named) Van Loon family, many of whom were mayors, moved in in the 1800s.
The scenic houses along the canal come in all shapes and sizes and, whilst they are very pretty to look at on an afternoon stroll, you can learn far more about Amsterdam’s history by stepping inside. At theMuseum Geelvinck Hinlopen Huis (Keizersgracht, 633), you can wander around the immaculately preserved gardens and themed rooms – the ‘Red Room,’ ‘Blue Room’ and ‘Chinese Room’ show how the Dutch lived in style in the 17th century.
7. Rent a Bike (€6.50)
The most entertaining and healthy way to get around the winding alleyways of the city is to make like a local and hop on a bike – and it’s a great way to cover a lot of ground if you don’t have much time for sightseeing. Because so many people cycle in Amsterdam, there are heaps of cycle lanes and safe places to park your bike. You can pre-hire a bike online or turn up to Damstraat Rent-A-Bike (Damstraat 20-22, 1012), and it will only cost you around €6.50 for 3 hours (€8 with insurance) – perfect for a lazy afternoon ride.
8. A Taste of Suriname
Suriname (in South America, known as Dutch Guiana) is a former Dutch colony – which has led to many Surinamese emigrating to Holland, bringing a unique cultural tradition and delicious cuisine with them. Suriname is a cultural melting pot in itself, so the food is a mix of Indonesian, Indian and Creole dishes. Restaurants are popping up all over Amsterdam, especially in the ‘Pijp’ area – and Warung Malon (1e Van der Helststraat 55, Wed – Mon 11:00 – 20:00) is one of the best.
For a cheap and authentic dinner out you couldn’t do better – a main meal will cost you around €7.50, the staff are friendly and the restaurant is bright and bustling with native Surinamese tucking in. Dishes to try include roti (an Indian dough pancake served with curry) and bakabana, a huge piece of fried plantain served with peanutty sauce.
9. Dutch Cheese
One of Holland’s most famous exports besides Heineken is cheese, and it’s easy to find a good slice of Gouda or Edam in Amsterdam. The city’s high temple of cheese is the gourmet deli De Kaaskamer (Runstraat 7, The Canal Ring, Amsterdam), where you’ll find a cavernous and well-stocked shop, the walls lined with huge wheels of 440 cheeses, as well as a range of breads, cured meats and pâté to pair them with. At lunchtime there are massive queues for the excellent sandwiches, but €10 will buy you a more than hefty wedge for a snack!
10. Bulbs to Take Home (€5)
The Bloemenmarkt, or Floating Flower Market, on the Singel Canal is one of the prettiest sights in Amsterdam. Holland is famous for its beautiful tulips, with hundreds cycling the ‘Tulip Route’ every spring to catch the colourful flowers in bloom. Tulip bulbs make a great souvenir; you can buy around 12 bulbs for around €5 at the market, so take a big bag to grow at home, or just buy a bunch to enjoy right away!
What would you do with that extra $10 in Amsterdam? Let us know!
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