Amsterdam is a medium-priced city but you can still find plenty of things to enjoy even if on a tight budget.
Here are a few ideas on things to do in the city which will cost you €5 or less...
Museums in Amsterdam are not that cheap with most of the major museums costing €10-17 for admission. Get yourself a Museum Card for €60 which allows unlimited free entry into over 400 Dutch museums over 12 months - a great deal and if you manage more than 10 visits with the card you will effectively be getting admission for €5 or less.
The following museums in Amsterdam have admission prices under €5:
Houseboat Museum - Explore an authentic Amsterdam houseboat at Prinsengracht 296K - walk westwards from Spui. Entry costs €4.50.
Electric Ladyland - A unique museum showing fluorescent lighting art. At Tweede Leliedwarsstraat 5 in the Jordaan, entrance €5. Open Tue-Sat, 1300-1800.
Pianola Museum - This small museum has an exhibition of automated pianos. Open on Sunday afternoons only, at Westerstraat 106 in the Jordaan. Entrance is €5.
Persmuseum - This is the Dutch press (media) museum, located at Zeeburgerkade 10 in the east of Amsterdam. Admission €4.50.
Other cheap things to do in Amsterdam
HEMA €2 Breakfast - Fed up with expensive hotel breakfasts? Head over to Dutch chain HEMA where you can purchase a breakfast (baguette roll with omelette, croissant and jam plus a cup of filter coffee or tea) for just €2. Valid between 0900 and 1000, located at Nieuwendijk 174-176 (near Dam Square) or at the Kalvatoren shopping centre (near Muntplein). They also have a cheap coffee and cake deal after 1600.
Picnic in the park - On a sunny day take a picnic with you to one of Amsterdam's parks or open spaces. For example, there is a large underground Albert Heijn supermarket on Van Baerlestraat at Museumplein where you can pick up supplies - bread, cheese and a small bottle of wine can be had for around €5 - and take it to nearby Vondelpark or sit down on the grass at Museumplein. A wonderful way to spend a sunny afternoon...
Drink with a view - There are a few café/bars/restaurants where you can get a drink whilst admiring a panorama of Amsterdam. You could check out V&D La Place at the OBA library, Café Blue° at the top of the Kalvatoren shopping centre, Rooftop Café on the top of Nemo Science Center, Canvas in east Amsterdam or the Skylounge bar of the Doubletree Hotel near central station.
Eat a raw herring - Forget the junk food chains. For a couple of euros you can get yourself an authentic Dutch delicacy - a raw (cured) herring covered with chopped onions. The taste is surprisingly good and it is packed with healthy oils. Available for sale at street fish stalls all over the city including at the Albert Cuyp street market.
Art-deco swim - Go for a swim at the art-deco Zuiderbad building (Hobbemastraat 26, close to Rijksmuseum in the heart of the city). The pool is open daily and entrance is €3.60.
Transport ride - A 1 hour single ticket for a GVB or metro tram ride costs €2.90. Head to the GVB ticket office outside central station, grab a free transport map (lijnennetkaart) and see where you would like to go. Example trips: explore modern architecture at the island of IJburg (tram 26); visit the Flevopark (trams 7/14); have a look at the Amsterdam ArenA stadium (metro 54) or old Olympic stadium (tram 16); or take a train to Koog-Zandijk (standard single fare €3.10) to see the Zaanse Schaans windmills.
Water taxi - These yellow boat taxis can take up to 8 passengers and cost €1.75 per minute in the centre of Amsterdam. So for €5 per person a group of 8 could get just over 20 minutes on the water.
Historical tram ride - Every Sunday (Easter to end of October) you can take a tram ride on one of the city's historic old trams. The line starts at the Tram Museum depot at Haarlemmermeerstation in south-west Amsterdam roughly between the Olympic stadium and Vondelpark. The line is some 7km long and travels south through the Amsterdamse Bos (Amsterdam forest park), Amstelveen and on to the village of Bovenkerk. The trams run between 1100 and 1700 and the full journey takes around 30 minutes. A single ride costs €3, a retrun is €5.
Also check our Free Things To Do in Amsterdam Guide.