Cheap Flights to Amsterdam

Amsterdam photo

Amsterdam overview

When to fly

The most popular time to take flights to Amsterdam is from the start of the warm weather, when the tulips bloom, through to early autumn. In spring and summer the weather is usually good, with open-air dining on sidewalks and canal boats. Consequently, hotels are hard to come by and the city is very crowded. Try to avoid the height of the summer if you can. If you are visiting the city at this time, be prepared for both cool and very hot weather. September and October are less crowded than the summer, the rates are lower, and the weather is often quite lovely. This is an ideal time for the beautiful low-angle light depicted in Dutch landscape paintings.

Peak season:

The most common – and arguably best - time to book your flights to Amsterdam is between April and September, as the temperature and daylight hours are more favourable for those seeking outdoor adventures (although it’s worth remembering that the weather is slightly temperamental at all times of year). The most crowded and expensive time to visit Amsterdam is the tulip season (April to mid-May) and July and August. The sun shining does make a difference to the feel of the city, with a much more cosmopolitan vibe in the air, but the benefits of this must be balanced with the drawback of the bustling crowds.

Off season:

Most cultural events are scheduled from September through June, so if you go in the cold winter months (December-March), there will be plenty to do when you get your cheap flights to Amsterdam. And if you’re there during one of the winters when the canals freeze, you can join Amsterdam’s residents on skates which is a lovely way to see the city.

If you’re looking to avoid the hustle and bustle, any time outside of the peak season would be your best bet to visit, with cultural events starting up in September – the Jordaan Festival in late September and Museum Night [Museumnacht] in November are both not to be missed. Whilst the cooler –often just outright cold – months between December and March are less popular with visitors to the city, Amsterdam is particularly cosy throughout this time, making it attractive to some travellers. Expect popular attractions such as the Anne Frank Museum [Anne Frank Huis] to still be busy. Christmas is a clear exception to the off-peak rule, as tourists choose to take flights to Amsterdam to experience the festivity of the city in its holiday grandeur.

Why visit?

The capital of the Netherlands is famous for its waterways and those narrow 17th-century canal houses as well as for its laid-back and liberal approach to life. It has unique charm which exists independent of the seasons, and as a culturally rich, historical city, has lots to offer even outside of its peak season. In fact, the Amsterdam experience is even better when the city is less busy with tourists and flights are usually cheaper.

Its list of attractions is long. Major museums include the Rijksmuseum, Rembrandt House, and Van Gogh Museum, which has the world's largest collection of works by Vincent van Gogh. The Anne Frank House, where Anne wrote her diary, is now a popular museum.

Visit some of the city's lesser-known cultural gems such as the secret attic church (Our Lord in the Attic - Ons Lieve Heer op Solder), the Museum of Bags and Purses and the Amsterdam Tulip Museum.

Amsterdam is well-known for its tulips, which bloom annually between mid-March and May, blanketing the city and its surrounding fields in all shades of colour. Many see this specifically as the most favourable time to visit, and tourists flock to make the most of the city’s natural beauty. The Keukenhof Gardens in particular become very busy around this time. The tulip bloom also happens to coincide with King’s Day (formerly Queen’s Day) – the celebration of the monarch’s official birthday – which is celebrated on April 27th annually.

King’s Day is celebrated with pop-up markets [vrijmarkt], street celebrations and outdoor parties. The canals quickly become packed full of revellers, all dressed in orange – the colours of the Dutch royal family. The city centre gets extremely busy, as locals and excitable tourists alike gather together for this fun - and very Dutch - event. Whilst this isn’t the time to take a quiet getaway, it is certainly a vibrant and very real reflection of an authentic Dutch celebration.

Getting around Amsterdam

It’s easy to walk around Amsterdam in just a few hours. You need to keep an eye out though – cars have the right of way and bikes, trams and buses crisscross the city. Rent a bike to speed up your pace without turning the city into a blur. 

Amsterdam is a very bike-friendly city. Bike lanes and bike racks are plentiful. Make sure the light on your bike is working; you can be fined for riding without a light after dark. To travel beyond the city, it’s easy to take the train or bus. It’s cheaper to rent your car in the city. The Netherlands road network is very good.

Getting downtown from the airport

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS) is around 16 km southwest of the city and serves a great number of international and domestic flights. Due to its size, there’s a great, wide range of facilities there to keep you entertained if you have a couple of hours to waste. Alternatively, the short journey can be made in as few as 15 minutes if timed well. A direct rail service connects the plaza just below Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam’s central railway station in between 15 and 20 minutes. Trains run regularly between early morning and late night. Airport shuttles are another great option and some can take you directly to your hotel – they service over 100 guesthouses throughout the city. Public buses are also available and run at various times – usually around every 15-30 minutes in daytime hours, and less frequently on weekends.

Private taxis are available from outside the arrivals hall; book in advance via the Schiphol website or choose one upon arrival. The trip takes around 15-30 minutes.

Amsterdam insider information

  • Vereniging voor Vreemdelingenverkeer (Association for Foreigner Travel), abbreviated to VVV (pronounced fay-fay-fay), is nationwide. VVV Amsterdam provides information, has brochures and maps, makes reservations for hotels and tours, and sells reduced-rate passes for attractions.
  • You can buy an all-day pass for the Canal Bus, which takes you to Amsterdam’s major attractions and provides historical commentary along the way. If you have less time or want to spend a day going only to museums, the Museumboot (Museum Boat) takes you to most museums, and the ticket includes half-price entry.
  • Museumplein and Vondelpark are the area where you will find the three major museums — the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, and the Stedelijk Museum — as well as the Concertgebouw concert hall, a variety of restaurants, Amsterdam's most elegant shopping area, and its best-known park. There are also small hotels that are a much better bargain than those along the canals and in the centre of the city.
  • The Anne Frankhuis, the building where the Franks and two other families hid from the Nazis for two years, is just as they left it, and remarkably like the descriptions in Anne’s diary. The adjacent building contains exhibits about the occupants of the hiding place, including the original diary.
  • If you walk along the canals after dark, you will see Amsterdam at one of its loveliest times. Subtle lighting bathes many of the 17th-century houses, and bridges are festooned with lights.
  • The Jordaan is an up-and-coming area of Amsterdam that still houses artists and students but is home to an increasing number of trendy restaurants and boutiques.
  • The tour of the Heineken brewery gives you a good view of beer-making, and the entry fee entitles you to some of the product.

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Prices found by our users for local departures to Amsterdam

Airports for Amsterdam

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How much do things cost in Amsterdam?

3 course meal for 2
$ 89.54
Local draught beer (0.5 litre)
$ 7.46
Small bottle of water (0.33 litre)
$ 2.67
Meal at McDonald's or similar
$ 10.45
Bottle of local beer (0.5 litre)
$ 1.53
Bottle of wine
$ 8.21
Large bottle of water
$ 1.54
Pack of Marlboro cigarettes
$ 9.25
Clothing & Shoes
Pair of jeans
$ 140.17
Pair of Nike shoes
$ 134.20
How much does transport cost in Amsterdam?
Taxi - fixed fee
$ 4
One-way ticket (local transport)
$ 4
1 km taxi journey
$ 3
Petrol (1 litre)
$ 2

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More information about Amsterdam

  • The city is also famous for its art museums, particularly the Van Gogh and Rijksmuseum
  • One-way flights are also often put on sale by European low-cost carriers
  • Beer fans can head straight for the Heineken Brewery, with guided tours including free samples on offer
  • Amsterdam is ideal for cycling so consider renting a bike from one of the city's reputable agents
  • The Anne Frank Museum offers a harrowing insight into life for Jews during World War II
  • Direct flights to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport are available from most major UK gateways
  • As Indonesia is a former Dutch colony, Amsterdam has some of the finest Indonesian restaurants in Europe
  • Some 165 canals encircle the city of Amsterdam, making boat rides on its waterways a popular attraction
  • Even if the Red Light District isn't your cup of tea, most tourists do some window-shopping just out of curiosity
  • If you visit Amsterdam during the winter, the city's canals offer an ideal venue for ice skating

International departures to Amsterdam