Budget Travel to Amsterdam, The Netherlands

There are many historic and beautiful cities in Holland, such as Haarlem, Leiden and Delft - and that's just part of The Netherlands.

Great Dutch artists have spanned the centuries and you can see the masterpieces of Rembrandt, Vermeer, Van Gogh and their contemporaries at the great museums of Amsterdam and The Hague.

Amsterdam's phenomenal and diverse nightlife is world-famous and it's not unique. The wonderful Dutch brown cafes, where you can pass hours in the mellow companionship of friends new and old, can be found in every town.

You'll discover that cliches such as tulips and windmills have their joys too. Every spring ribbons of flowers swath the fields in colour near Leiden, for as far as the eye can see.

The locals live on bicycles and you can too. Almost every train station has a shop to rent a bike and soon you're off on the infinite number of bike paths blazing your own trail wherever your mood takes you.

Finally there's the Dutch themselves. Warm, friendly and funny, you'll have a hard time alone in a cafe as someone will soon strike up a conversation, and usually in English. Revel in Amsterdam, don't miss exquisite Maastricht or pulsing Rotterdam and choose selection of small towns to add contrast. It's a very big small country.


If Amsterdam were a staid place it would still be one of Europe's most beautiful and historic cities, right up there with Venice and Paris. But add in the qualities that make it Amsterdam: the funky and mellow bars, brown cafes full of characters, pervasive irreverence, whiffs of pot and an open-air marketplace for sleaze and sex and you have a literally intoxicating mix.

Amsterdam's always been a liberal place, ever since the Golden Age, when it led European art and trade. Centuries later, in the 1960s, it again led the pack - this time in the principles of tolerance, with broadminded views on drugs and same-sex relationships taking centre stage.

Wander the 17th-century streets, tour the iconic canals, stop off to enjoy a masterpiece, discover a funky shop and choose from food around the world. Walk or ride a bike around the concentric rings of the centre then explore the historic lanes of the Jordaan district or the Plantage and bask in the many worlds-within-worlds where nothing ever seems the same twice.

Cheap youth hostels in Amsterdam are the way to stay if your backpacking through the Netherlands. Here's a list of the top 5 youth hostels in Amsterdam:

Cocomama 93%

What could be more exciting and unique than to stay in a place that was Amsterdam's most famous brothel back in the day? Cocomama is housed in a monumental building, complete with high ceilings, chandeliers and lots of daylight. The rooms are decorated with different Dutch themes to give you a real Holland experience. You will find comfortable beds, lockers, power outlets and a shower in your room, but we really want you to come and hang out with us and other travellers in the common areas.

Flying Pig Downtown 90%

Looking for some fun nights of chatting with fellow travellers on lounge pillows, playing pool, dancing in a bar, or relaxing in a 'happy room'? Downtown is the ideal spot! If you're in the 'want-to-mingle-tonight-and-just-want-to-watch-television-mood' there are DVD movies playing plus 24 hour free internet access. The bar, which has the cheapest beer in town, is open until 4AM every night!

St Christopher's at The Winston 87%

The Winston is a cool art hotel/hostel with Belushi's bar, beer garden and large indoor smoking area with pool table! Rooms and hallways are designed by independent local and international artists, or sponsored by famous brands. Choose from private rooms or dorm accommodation, all with an ensuite bathroom, breakfast, linen, towels and taxes.

Stayokay Amsterdam Vondelpark 83%

Stay in the green heart of Amsterdam! Stayokay Amsterdam Vondelpark; your best bed in low budget accommodation! This modern Hostelling International hostel is situated right in the middle of the famous Vondelpark, within walking distance of the Van Gogh- and the Rijksmuseum and at crawling distance from the Leidseplein with its famous nightlife.

The Bulldog 82%

Relax and unwind on the quiet side of the Amsterdam Red Light District, one of the world's best hangouts. The Bulldog Hotel, in the middle of all the action, is a self-styled, clean and cool hostel in the heart of the centre only 8 minutes walk from Central Station.