Of all the European cities you can use Couchsurfing, Amsterdam is one of the most popular. The city has a bohemian atmosphere that makes it perfect for this sort of travel community. Read on to find out more about couchsurfing in Amsterdam.
Couchsurfing in Amsterdam
If you’re intrigued by and interested in couchsurfing, Amsterdam is an excellent place to start. Couchsurfing lets travellers save on lodging by staying at the home of locals during their trip, and Amsterdam has grown particularly popular among members of the global hospitality network Couchsurfing.com. It's also a great place from which to explore other destinations in The Netherlands.
Amsterdam is actually one of the most expensive tourist destinations in Europe. Meals in a modest café can reach €34.Tickets to the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum could set you back €22. Hotel room rates range between €85 and €120 per night. Apartment rentals are from €75 to €135. And rates for overnight stays at hostels—€20 to €30 for a shared dorm room and €50 to €80 for a private room—are higher than the average in other European cities.
If you are travelling on a limited budget, you can minimise your expenses with the help of Amsterdam’s couchsurfing community, which includes over 30,000 hosts.
Couchsurfing Amsterdam Style
Compared to other popular cities for couchsurfing, Amsterdam offers more than the usual fare. While many of the city’s residents live in low or high-rise flats, your options here extend beyond apartments.
Amsterdam’s canals are lined with hundreds of houseboats. These floating homes are conveniently located in the centre of the city, offer picturesque views and make for an extra unique experience, should you get to stay in one.
If you’re big on history and architecture, seek out hosts living in traditional canal houses overlooking the canal area. Constructed during the Dutch Golden Age, these buildings are usually slim, long and high and have a striking facade featuring dual entrances and gables. Most also include an attic, basement and tiny garden.
Couchsurfing community in Amsterdam
With Amsterdam’s multi-cultural atmosphere, hosts here tend to be more open-minded and accommodating. Passionate about meeting and getting to know people, many go beyond host-guest interactions by providing opportunities for travellers to socialise and gain new experiences.
Such opportunities often come in the form of weekly meet-ups and events that local users organise. Examples include gatherings at cafés or bars, meet-ups at music festivals, meet-and-eat home dinners, baking lessons and language exchanges.
It’s also easy to find members who you can hang out with over coffee or a drink, who can show you around the city, or who you can bring you to “off-the-grid” dining spots.
Say you’re looking to buy cheese and stroopwafels. Your host will know where you can get more of these for half the price of what you would normally find around tourist sites. Or if you’re keen on trying authentic Dutch pancakes, your host can point you to the best pancake restaurants in the city (or he/she might whip up some homemade pancakes just for you!).
Beyond Couchsurfing: Amsterdam’s Top Attractions
Exploring the city can be as exciting and enriching as the experiences you gain from couchsurfing. Amsterdam, after all, has a lot in store for travelers, from museums and art galleries to charming neighbourhoods, markets and parks. Among the tourist favourites are:
The Netherland’s most-visited museum, the Rijksmuseum features more than 7,500 masterpieces, including Rembrandts and Vermeers.
By Marco Almbauer English: Please report references to marco.almbauergmail.com. Deutsch: Quellenangabe, weitere Fragen zum Urheber und Beleg an marco.almbauergmail.com erwünscht. (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Van Gogh Museum
This museum has the most extensive Vincent Van Gogh collection, with about 200 of the artist’s paintings on display alongside his drawings and letters.
The Anne Frank House
Here you can find the rooms of the “secret annex” where Anne Frank and her family hid, artifacts such as Anne’s actual diary, plus a reconstruction of Anne’s bedroom.
Rembrandt House Museum
Set in Rembrandt van Rijn’s original home, this museum has on display hundreds of the Dutch master’s drawings, etchings and copperplates, as well as the works of some of his pupils and contemporaries.
This quaint and romantic neighborhood is known for its narrow streets, courtyard gardens, antiques shops and art galleries.
Spanning 47 acres, Vondelpark houses lush English-style gardens, an outdoor theater, and bars and restaurants.
This industrial-building-turned-cultural-complex has a food hall, cinema, boutique hotel, library and array of hip shops.
This is the most accessible of the city’s eight remaining windmills and is also the site of an artisan microbrewery that offers beer-tasting tours.
This tranquil inner courtyard features historic buildings, including the city’s first-ever wooden house.
The only floating flower market in the world, this is where most go to buy colourful tulips as well as bulbs.
As you’ll often hear from those who have tried couchsurfing, Amsterdam and its locals don’t disappoint. So don’t let a tight budget stop you for exploring and experiencing the best that this city has to offer.