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The Best Things To Do In Amsterdam For Free

Picture of Tom Coggins
Updated: 8 April 2018
While it certainly isn’t the cheapest destination in Europe, there are plenty of free cultural attractions in Amsterdam, including the city’s famous floating flower market, one of the largest parks in the Netherlands, and a charming plaza that looks onto Artis Zoo’s flamingo enclosure. Here’s a roundup of the best places to visit in Amsterdam that are totally free of charge.

Check out the Flamingoes at Artisplein

Zoo
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ARTIS' flamingo enclosure
ARTIS' flamingo enclosure | © Eric de Redelijkheid / Flickr
This public plaza runs alongside the northern side of Amsterdam’s ARTIS Zoo and serves as Café Restaurant de Plantage’s terrace. There are seats and tables arranged on Artisplein from the morning till night and it is possible to order drinks and food from Café Restaurant Plantage while lounging on the plaza. As the flamingo and spoonbill enclosures are located next to the plaza, visitors to Artisplein can watch these birds while enjoying beer, coffee or other refreshments. The plaza also features a long racetrack-like fountain that spurts steam and water.
More Info
Mon - Sun:
9:00 am - 6:00 pm

Accessibility & Audience:

Family Friendly

Atmosphere:

Outdoors, Historical Landmark

Catch a free concert at the Concertgebouw

Music Venue
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Amsterdam's Concertgebouw hosts free concerts once a week
Amsterdam's Concertgebouw hosts free concerts once a week | © Sebastian Koppehel / WikiCommons
Classical music in Amsterdam revolves around the Concertbebouw. This beautiful, neo-classic building is located on the eastern side of Museumplein and looks directly onto the Rijksmuseum. It is considered to be one of the finest concert venues in the world and the whole building was specifically designed for orchestral acoustics. Once a week, the Concertgebouw holds a free lunchtime concert that often includes performances from Amsterdam’s leading classical musicians.
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Stop and smell the flowers at Bloemenmarkt

Market
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A stall at Bloemenmarkt
A stall at Bloemenmarkt | © Nathaniel White / Culture Trip

The world’s only floating flower market is moored to the southern banks of Singel canal in Amsterdam. This unique attraction has existed since the mid-19th century and was built on the water in order to make it easier for flower traders to move their wares through Amsterdam’s canals. Today, the market features around 15 individual stalls, mounted on barges, that sell a whole host of products related to horticulture, such as ready-to-plant tulip bulbs, fresh bouquets of flowers and garden ornaments.

More Info
Mon - Sat:
9:00 am - 5:30 pm
Sun:
11:00 am - 5:30 pm

Accessibility & Audience:

Family Friendly

Atmosphere:

Historical Landmark, Photo Opportunity

Climb to the top of Amsterdam Central Library

Library
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Amsterdam's central public library
Amsterdam's central public library | © Gkamiya / WikiCommons
While Amsterdam’s notoriously flat geography might make it an ideal city for cycling, it also means that it is quite difficult to find a decent vantage point. Fortunately, there are several large buildings dotted around the city that offer amazing views over its winding canals and picturesque neighbourhoods. Amsterdam’s central public library is among the tallest buildings in the city centre and is free to enter every day of the week. On clear days, many parts of Amsterdam are visible from its upper levels, including the bohemian quarter de Pijp and trendy Jordaan.
More Info
Sun - Sat:
10:00 am - 10:00 pm

Accessibility & Audience:

Family Friendly

Atmosphere:

Local, Instagrammable, Photo Opportunity

Check out Dappermarkt

Market
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Flowers at Dappermarkt
Flowers at Dappermarkt | © Kevin Gessner / Flickr

All of Amsterdam’s daily markets have their own distinctive charm and each sells a wide selection of products ranging from fresh fruit and vegetables to hand-knitted woollen sweaters. Although Albert Cuyp Markt in de Pijp or Nieuwmarkt in Amsterdam-Centrum are attractive due to their centrality, these markets can get notoriously busy (especially during the weekends). Dappermarkt, on the other hand, is only a little bit further away and contains an equal variety of local delights, clothing and fresh food. The market runs down the middle of Amsterdam-Oost, and is within walking distance from the area’s largest park, Oosterpark.

More Info
Mon - Sat:
9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Accessibility & Audience:

Family Friendly, Dog Friendly

Atmosphere:

Local

Discover NDSM-Wharf

Park
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