Free Amsterdam: concerts, excursions and floating markets

Free Amsterdam: concerts, excursions and floating markets

Amsterdam is one of the most expensive cities in Europe, but even if you’re traveling on a budget, that doesn’t mean you’ll have to limit yourself to walking and sightseeing. We tell you how to take excursions, take a ferry ride along the canals and listen to music at one of the best concert venues without spending a penny.


Free Amsterdam: concerts, excursions and floating markets

Photo: jeafish Ping/

To get to know the city, you can take a three-hour walking tour— Sandeman’s New Amsterdam hosts them all year round. Experienced guides show tourists the main attractions of Amsterdam, accompanied by interesting facts and details. Although the tours are free, tips for the guides are welcome. The tour schedule can be viewed on the website.

Another company, City Free Tour, offers free tours of the Red Light District, an area known for its brothels and coffee shops. Every Friday from 20:00 to 21:30, guides tell the history of the quarter and share the legends that surround it. To attend the tour, you need to register on the company’s website.

At the free tour of the diamond factoryGassan you can learn all about the carats, colors and clarity of diamonds, as well as watch the cutting process. Tours are available in 27 languages ​​and each lasts an hour. After finishing, all visitors are invited to go to the coffee shop and receive a free drink.

Free Amsterdam: concerts, excursions and floating markets

Interesting excursions from local residents in Amsterdam


Free Amsterdam: concerts, excursions and floating markets

Photo: posteriori/

Amsterdam has several small galleries with free entry – for example, the art and architecture gallery Radar or the one specializing in surrealism KochBox. If you are interested in contemporary art, you can visit the gallery W139 or the museum Melkweg Galerie, which hosts free photo exhibitions changing every month.

At The Netherlands Film Institute EYEthere is a free permanent exhibition and Dutch films are shown in the basement. In addition to the exhibition, the museum building itself deserves attention – by the way, you can get to it by free ferry Buiksloterweg, which runs from the Central Railway Station around the clock.

At the Amsterdam Cheese Museum you can learn about the history and features of cheese making, look at items related to cheese making, and try on the traditional costume of a Dutch cheese maker. In addition, here you can taste a variety of types of cheese, from famous to little-known and exotic – and all this is also free.


Free Amsterdam: concerts, excursions and floating markets

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In Amsterdam 165 channels – this is approximately three times more than in Venice. You can walk along them, or you can take a ride on the free ferries that depart from Central Station. Ferries operate on three routes: in addition to the film museum, they can take you, for example, to NDSM, a former shipyard converted into an art space. Admission to it, by the way, is also free.

Free Amsterdam: concerts, excursions and floating markets

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After walking along the canals, you can visit the oldest indoor courtyard in Amsterdam Beguinage, which appeared in the Middle Ages – it is called an island of peace and tranquility in the middle of the city center. In addition, here is one of the two remaining wooden houses in the city. The courtyard can be accessed through an inconspicuous wooden door on Spey Square.

Another place where you can relax from the hustle and bustle is located on the outskirts and is called “Amsterdam Forest”. This is a huge park with a river, ponds, gardens and monuments. There is even a small goat farm where tourists can feed the animals.

On a rainy day, it’s worth stopping by the OBA Library – one of the largest in Europe. Here you can look through books and magazines in different languages, listen to piano music and go up to the top floor, which offers panoramic views of the city center.

Another free terrace with panoramic views is located on the roof of the NEMO Science Center. In summer it turns into a kind of city beach with comfortable sun loungers.

Flea and floating markets

Free Amsterdam: concerts, excursions and floating markets


Amsterdam’s flea markets and markets are worth visiting, even if you don’t intend to buy anything. For example, there is the world’s only floating flower market, where you can admire exotic flowers and the famous Dutch tulips. It includes 15 shops, which are located on floating platforms along the embankment.

Art Plein Spui can be called an open-air gallery: paintings by local and foreign artists in a wide range of styles and techniques are sold here. It is open only on Sundays.

The largest and most famous market in the Netherlands – Albert Cuyp Market – appeared in the 19th century. You can find almost everything there: from traditional and exotic products to jewelry and cameras.


Free Amsterdam: concerts, excursions and floating markets

Photo: Andrew Balcombe/

At the National Opera and Ballet Theater free concerts are held every Tuesday at 12:30. At the same time, but on Wednesdays and from September to June, free sessions are held in the Concertgebouw , which is considered one of the best concert venues in the city. In both cases, the concerts last half an hour.

From 20:00 on Tuesdays, except July and August, you can listen to jazz at the club Bimhuis. At this time, jam sessions are held there together with musicians from the Amsterdam Conservatory. And every first Monday of the month, dancers and musicians put on an impromptu performance together – admission to it is also free.

If you prefer blues or acoustic rock, you can go to Maloe Melo, a bar widely known among musicians and blues lovers around the world. On Wednesdays there are free concerts here – they usually start at 21:30-22:00.

Text author: Yana Kasatkina
Preview photo: Nattee Chalermtiragool/Shutterstock. com

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