The Cost of Entertainment In Amsterdam

My last blog post was about the cost of living for a student in Amsterdam. I just talked about the basics, like accommodation, groceries, transportation, etc. These won’t make up your only expenses however. As a student studying abroad in a new country, you’ll want to see new things and meet new people. So what does it cost to eat out, go to a movie or travel to another city?

Posted by Michael Anderson at Jun 09, 2017 04:15 PM

central station
Central station not only gets you around the country, but also has some good places to eat!

Eating out (all prices in euros)

Restaurant: 10-20

Heineken: 2.50 for 25cl, 5 for 50cl

Eating out in Amsterdam is not cheap, but is generally in line with much of the rest of Northern Europe. A regular restaurant in Amsterdam will generally cost around 10 for the meal and 2.50 to 5 for the drink, depending how fancy a beverage you opt for. There are some places that have lunch offers that can make it cheaper and can bring this total for a drink and meal down to about 10 euros, but they are exceptions rather than the rule.

This incredible meal cost me around 7 euros at lunch. Look at the Dutch cheese!!


Bars tend to have about the same prices for drinks as restaurants. Expect to pay at least 2.50 for 25cl of the cheap beer on tap. The cheap beers on offer tend to be Heineken, Jupiler and Brand. There are some bars offering student drinks throughout the city. With your student card, you can get a 25cl beer for 1.50.

One thing to take note of is tipping is not expected here. It is of course appreciated, but even when tipping, you would never need to give more than 10 percent. When tipping, rounding up to the nearest euro or two is usually fine.  As a student most people do not expect you to tip. Servers make a decent wage here, so if you’re from a tipping culture like me, try to remind yourself that you don’t have to feel bad about not leaving a good tip!

Movie ticket: About 10 (my favorite place is 13 for the main theater)

Movie tickets are about the same price in Amsterdam as they are in a big city in the US. My favorite theater to go to is a beautiful, art nouveau building, with an absolutely stunning theater. Like movie theaters everywhere, the food and drinks are expensive. Some places offer student prices that save you a euro or two, and some places offer a combo ticket that also gets you popcorn and a drink.

Amsterdam movie theatre
Movies in an Art Nouveau theatre! With student discount of course

Live Music: Free to 50+

This is impossible to really price because it depends on a lot of things! There are lots of bars around the center that have live music for free. Everything from jazz to pop, rock to classical (yes I’ve seen classical music in a bar!) are on offer. There are also many venues that offer more of a concert setting. My favorite, being the jazz musician I am, is called the Bimhuis. Student ticket prices there go from around 9 to 40 depending on the artist. There are many great music venues throughout Amsterdam and depending on the artist the price can go as high as anywhere in the world.

The Conservatorium van Amsterdam
My school, the Conservatorium van Amsterdam offers many free concerts throughout the year, including jazz, classical and pop music!

Travel within Holland: 2.50 or less to 15.30 with NS off peak travel time discount

If you want to take a lot of trips throughout Holland like I enjoy doing, I highly suggest buying the NS off peak travel discount (NS is the name for the train service in the Netherlands). It gives you 40 percent off all train travel on the weekends and during the weekdays excluding 6:30-9 and 16-18:30. Traveling to the other side of the country from amsterdam with this discount costs 15.30 one way, and you can get to Haarlem, a cute town near amsterdam for just 2.50 one way. The beach town of Zandvoort costs only 3.30 one way.

Zandvoort has great beaches on the Atlantic and is only 30 minutes from Amsterdam central!


Another great use of this discount is making the trip to Eindhoven airport cheaper. Even though Amsterdam has a great airport, many budget airlines leave from Eindhoven, often making it the cheapest option in the Netherlands. I got a 25 euro round trip flight to budapest from Eindhoven in march!

Flights from Eindhoven (when it's not cheap in Amsterdam) are a great way to see Europe!


Of course studying hard and earning your degree will be the focus of your time here in Holland, but being in a new place, you will definitely want to experience what the country has to offer. With this and my previous post about the cost of basic necessities, you should have a decent idea of how much it costs to live a fairly basic, no frills student life stlye.

Muiderslot Castle
Explore castles, museums and many other great attractions with the Museumkaart!


Also, I didn’t speak about museums, which are a huge part of my experience here in the Netherlands, because I wrote an blog post about the fantastic museum card. I encourage everyone to get it!

Let me know if you’re curious about any of the above costs or would like to know the price of anything here in Amsterdam!

Posted by Michael Anderson at Jun 09, 2017 04:15 PM