Budget Travel Ideas in Netherlands

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Opportunities for budget travel in the Netherlands may seem few and far between. It is hardly a backpacker's paradise, but then again it's hardly the most expensive place in western Europe to travel, either. With some research and perseverance, there are opportunities to save money in the Netherlands.

Student Discount Cards

For youths aged 12 through 25, the ISE international student discount card is worth purchasing. They are valid all over the world and can amount to huge savings when it comes to entertainment, accommodation, food and travel. Most museums, hostels and some restaurants honor these cards, offering free admission and discounts on items. The ISE international student discount card can be purchased online via their website.

YHA Youth Hostels

Although they are known as youth hostels, people of all  ages are allowed to stay. The YHA youth hostel association operates more than 30 hostels in the Netherlands, all offering comfortable and clean rooms at a very reasonable price. To stay, you need to be a member, but anyone can pay the membership fee when they arrive at the YHA hostel of their choice. Room prices will vary according to size, location and season, but many are still available for less than 20 euros per night.

Off-Peak Discount Rail Card

In the Netherlands, anyone can purchase an off-peak discount rail card. The cost is currently 55 euros, and the card offers half price off the standard off peak rail fair. Another advantage is that up to 3 friends can join in on the same pass, so the more the merrier and the cheaper. To purchase is simple. All you need to do is fill out a form at the rail station and provide a photo.


For travel within cities, the cheapest and most popular form of transport is the bicycle. Cycles can be rented cheaply or if you plan on staying a while, purchasing a quality used bike can save quite a bit of money. The Dutch are cycle-mad, and hopping on a bike will help you blend in with the locals.


For those that stay in youth hostels, one of the cheapest methods of eating is simply purchasing food and preparing it yourself. When this isn't practical, there are several cheap places to grab a quick bit for a few euros. Amsterdam is known for its hole in the wall pizza places and small, simple but tasty Chinese restaurants. They only serve 4 to 6 dishes, but it's all you can eat and less than 10 euros. For something quick, get the famous chips or french fries Dutch style. This means they are literally covered in mayonnaise. Not something you'd want to live off of, but for a quick meal that costs less than a euro it can't be beat.

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