12 Jan Top 5 (almost) free activities in Amsterdam
As a student you probably don’t have much money, but you do have some free time. Amsterdam – one of the best cities in the world – is an amazing place to spend that time, even on a shoestring budget! Here are 5 great Amsterdam locations to spend a fun and cheap day, so you don’t have to live on peanutbutter crackers at the end of the month.
Explore Amsterdam from the ferry
Het ij, is the big lake that divides the center of Amsterdam with Amsterdam North. There are ferries to get bikers and pedestrians from one side to the other and those ferry rides are free! You can create your own route or use this one: cycle towards the Azartplein and take the ferry, when you are on the other side you go towards the Ijplein. There you take the ferry towards the Ruyter kade. Then you cycle towards Central Station and take the ferry towards the NDSM werf, then the ferry towards the Tasmanstraat and then another one back towards Central Station.
Along the way you see het muziekgebouw, the centre of music in Amsterdam. If you are lucky you will discover a beached submarine somewhere on this route. And most of all, you cannot miss this one, you will enjoy the sun and the wind and when you close your eyes, you can almost imagine yourself a pirate.
Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam
The Hortus is a big garden, partially inside greenhouses, to simulate a tropical climate. Here you can walk around all day and still be amazed by the bright colours and weird shapes of the plants. For Biology students the entry is free, for other UvA students it’s just 5 euros.
The view of the beautiful flowers and plants is great but they provide the most amazing studying place you can imagine! There is a little hidden away place inside one of the big greenhouses. It is next to the pond where the big leaves of some sort of tree create a nice comfy and private cranny. Best grades guaranteed!
Natura Artis Magistra
Artis is the zoo of Amsterdam. Unlike most zoos in Holland, it’s a real urban zoo, located in the city centre. Here you can admire well-known beasts like giraffes and penguins, but also lesser known animals like the pygmy marmoset and the Victoria crowned pigeon. For UvA students the entry is only 3 euros (outside weekends and holidays).
Beside the animals Artis has several monuments like the Western Man monument and the Kerbert monument. So even the monument lovers have a reason to go! As well as the history lovers because Artis is more than 175 years old!
Quite recently, 30-9-2014, Artis has opened a new building, Micropia. As the name says, it is all about the microscopic animals like bacteria and waterbears.
The Cannabis College
The Cannabis College foundation is a non-profit information centre about, ofcourse, weed. It is located in the heart of Amsterdam amongst all the coffee shops. They strive to provide visitors from all over the world as well students the correct and objective information regarding every aspect of weed. When you attend class and perform very well, you can even get your own Cannabis College diploma! Who does not want to have one!? Check out their website for more information.
One weekend a month, the IJ-hallen become the biggest and most charming flea market in Europe. If You can find the coolest and weirdest stuff – think iron harness, or coat rack with deer feet. The entry is 4.50 euros but it really pays for itself, with things like a great pair of shoes for 1 euro or less!
The halls are very large, they were used to build ships in, so there are no heaters. You have to keep this in mind if you go there in winter. Dress warm! Or buy a nice and warm coat of course!
Have you tried any of these activities? Let me know if you have any other specific tips! Or maybe I’ve missed the coolest cheap activity ever? Leave your recommendations in the comments!