Amsterdam On Budget

Amsterdam is known for its vibrant culture & its unbarred grass consumption & traveling here comes with some “EXPENSE“. Budget is the foremost constraints which everyone thinks before the start of the journey. So, catering to those need; I will share tips & trades to cover Amsterdam on budget. I have already shared fun Things to do in Amsterdam & Amsterdam Travel Guide.

Visa cost involved is covered under the topic “Schengen Visa For Indians“.

Schengen Visa For Indians

 

Cheapest flights to Amsterdam can be searched on either by Skyscanner or Jetradar.

Other than, the main costs like visa & flights, rest of the cost involved are birfucated in following headings.

Accommodation:

Accommodation is an important factor which needs to be catered. There are many options available from luxurious hotels to decent dormitories. The best way would be to try for COUCHSURFING; if lucky enough one can find free accommodation. However, it is tough to find hosts. There is one other option which is hostels; hostels are the cheapest accommodation option available. However, the reason hostels are cheap is that one has to share a room with other people. The number of people depends upon dormitory one choose. The best website to search for hostels are booking.com & hostel.com. In my case, I had a friend who lives in Amsterdam, thus my accommodation cost was nil.

There is a trick in booking hostels. If you will book a hostel near the central part of Amsterdam (which is the most crowded place in Amsterdam), then one needs to pay a hefty sum. The average price of dorm rooms starts from 20 Euros near central Amsterdam.

Dorm room at some distance from central region will come at a cost of 15 Euros. However, the cost of dorms also depends on peak season, if there is a peak season expect to pay more than the normal rates. Find some of the cheapest hostels in Amsterdam from here.

Cheapest Hostels In Amsterdam

Average cost of Dorms: 18-20 Euros starting

Cheapest Hostels In Amsterdam

Commutation:

The best way to roam around the city is by buying CITY CARDS. Best vendor for providing city card is “Iamsterdam“. The card is available for 3, 4 & 5 days & if allows free unlimited public transport, these cards are very helpful if one is in for lots of site seeing. Best mode of commutation is bicycles, but the only thing which can hinder is right-hand drive; if one is not used to such driving than it will prove difficult to adjust to the driving. It is easy to find bicycles on rent, expect to pay 10 Euros per day for renting a bicycle for a day.

For a single journey one need to pay approx 3 Euros for an hour of journey. However, this is pretty expensive, that is why city cards are used instead of buying tickets.

Night commutation is available in the city, thus one can rely on public transport for traveling. However, there are only limited buses are available at the night times. Thus, check timings before plannig anything late night. Also, the charges are different during the night when compared to day. Hence, don’t get surprised if bus charges you more.

The cost of card starts from 54 Euros. 

I Amsterdam City Card

Food:

Dutch food is not something to look for. But, BAKERIES definitely are, try bakery products here. Other than bakery products, fries are other must thing to have, one can choose from different dips to enjoy fries. The best way to keep the price low on food is by buying food from supermarket & cook it your self. If too lazy to do so, expect to pay 2 or 3 Euros for a burger & THIS IS THE MINIMUM YOU NEED TO PAY. My advice would be to cook food your self.

Avoid Grass:

I know most of the people are here for grass thing & I feel it is more hyped. Avoid buying grass from coffee shops. The starting price is somewhere from 10 Euros. 

Alcohol:

Drinking alcohol at bars & pubs would escalate cost. Further, there is an entry charge in pubs & bars. The best way to keep this price low is by buying alcohol from market & drink minimum at the bars & pubs. Usually cost of beer glass starts from 3 Euros.

Site seeing:

There are lots of fun things to do in Amsterdam. But, every great place has some price attached to it. Covering each & every places will shoot up the cost. If planning for lots of site seeing, I will recommend buying City cards, museum cards etc from IAmsterdam. It will keep the cost low & also help you skip lines at some of the places.

Entry charges for museum starts from 7 Euros

 

Considering all the major expenses, the minimum budget I will sugest shall be around 50 Euros per day considering one spends wisely, stays at the dormitories & cook most of their food.

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Here is the extra information of Amsterdam

Amsterdam Mark My AdventureEurope Solo TripMark My AdventureThings To Do In Amsterdam

 

Things To Do In Amsterdam

Amsterdam is the capital of Netherlands. There are many activities, which one can do in Amsterdam.However, it becomes that more important to identify few activities & do them. Doing all the activities is costly as well as time-consuming. Hence, streamlining activities becomes a necessity.  I trust in doing those activities only; which I really want to try (Traveling for self, not for others 😀). So, here is my guide to THINGS TO DO IN AMSTERDAM.

Amsterdam GIFs - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

In my previous posts, I have covered topics like Travel Guide to Amsterdam, Schengen Visa application. Continuing on my voyage of discovering Amsterdam. Here are the things to be done while traveling to Amsterdam. The recommendation is based on my personal experience.

Things To Do In Amsterdam

Canal Tours:

Some will feel this is a waste of money. However, canal trip is ultimate to see the things which are hard to find out. I did canal tour with commentary (yeah! there are 19 languages in which one can listen to the history of the place). From crooked building (Moving buildings or dancing building) to the smallest bridge (It is assumed that; If you proposes below that bridge, you will be together forever with that person). Little stories like these are hard to find in any blogs & with the canal tour, I was able to know all this. I would surely recommend canal tour to know the place in a much better way. I enjoyed the tour. Sitting on a boat & covering places was a great experience for me.

Bridge Mark My Adventure

Cycle Tours:

Amsterdam is not big radius wise & best way to cover the place is by bicycles. There are many vendors which provide rental bicycles. Hence, finding bicycles won’t be a problem. Most of the people in the city commute through cycles only. Perhaps it is the most used transport mode. I had a cycle & explored the city on my own. It was fun to take random streets & explore it. The only thing that will matter will be your strength to ride cycle. Each street is beautiful in itself. The view while crossing canals are an exclusive experience. At the start, it was difficult to adjust to right-hand drive. However, once you get used to the rules. It was fun. To my surprise, I saw signals for cycle riders as well. PS: Don’t get surprised if you see an old age granny overtake you at a brisk pace. Ride on your own risk :P.

PS: Don’t get surprised if you see an old age granny overtakes you at a brisk pace. Ride at your own risk :P.

Red Light Area:

The most famous part of the Amsterdam is its age old Red Light Area. People who want to explore their kinky side should visit this place. As the name suggests the place has everything related to above 18. A huge number of crowd visit these places during the day as well during the night time. Crowded through out the day, this place has some surprise packages like Prostitute Museum & sex museum.

Van Gogh Museum & Other Museums:

Amsterdam has lots of museum. Some of them are must visit, I personally liked Van Gogh Museum especially his most famous work of Sunflower painting. He used one paint brush to paint an entire painting. It was amazing to see the detailing he did. His life was short but his work speaks for him. Other than Van Gogh there is history museum & Rijiskmuseum are other ones. Museum Lane is a place to visit. If you are lucky enough you can see few people performing on some musical instruments.

“Mighty is the way of life, not the years in life”

Parks & Zoo:

Amsterdam has cleanest of air & sky I have ever come across. The best thing to do in summer is to do outdoor activities. If one is sports enthusiast head towards parks. The lush green parks are amazing. The soft grass & clear sky will encourage one to try some activities. I visited Vondelpark & was excited on seeing people practicing kick boxing in open ground. Few people were cycling rigorously. This is not all one can also see few people smoking up ( Very common in Amsterdam). On a clear day, parks are the best places to be in.

There is one zoo, if traveling with kids, the best way to spend some quality time. I saw lion, he was not the strongest Lion but the way he roared it is something. I read somewhere that Lions have strongest of roar & once I  heard him roar I could sense the intensity when Lions are in full flow. Amazing creature. Gorillas were the other creature who demanded my attention.

Rotterdam:

This place is not talked about much, but it is worth a visit for some quiet time if one is from Asia than Rotterdam would be dead in terms of crowd :D. The major attraction of Rotterdam is its cubicle house, Erasmus bridge & some of the unique structure. Rotterdam is a wonderful place to spend a day & enjoy its unique structures.

Parties:

In Amsterdam party becomes much more important. The young crowd starts pouring in from 11 pm (still early as per the standard). The best place to party would be Leidseplein there are many pubs & bars located in line here. Expect to pay entry fees on weekends. One thing that can upset you is its music. Most of the clubs play Dutch music. So if looking for an international English. It would be tough to find. However, if you get one don’t leave that place; crowd starts to build around 11 or 12 pm so don’t get upset to see few people. There was one unique thing I experienced which was called smashing in which people push each other for fun. 

Things to do in Amsterdam

 

Coffee Shops & Truffles:

Perhaps, 90% of people would know Amsterdam is famous for its coffee shops. Smoking up is legal here. Thus, one can smoke up anywhere he or she wishes. The liberal culture made it possible to implement this. The fragrance of grass can be sniffed every where. Walk into any coffee shop & decide for yourself. There is a proper menu to choose from (Already in love with this place ??).

Truffles are other things which are famous here. Finding a truffle shop is tough. There are various types of truffles available. Smart shops are the name given to the truffle shop.The shop owner will ask about the expertise level & will suggest accordingly. I would recommend doing as shop owner say to avoid any mishappening.

PS: When having a truffle make sure you are on empty stomach & not mix with anything else. Also, Parks & open spaces are a preferable place to eat it.

Heineken Factory:

Heineken beer factory is a nice place to know all about the beer manufacturing. If one is a true beer lover. This place is a must visit.

Amsterdam Central:

Probably the most visited area in Amsterdam is central. The place has some of the brilliant architects. Madame Tussauds is located here. One can witness lots of street performances here. Spend a good afternoon here. This place surely is the most crowded part of the city.

Shopping:

The cheapest destination for shopping would be Primark. The quality of the clothes are good & the rates are very reasonable. Even, Zara is cheaper in Amsterdam. All shopaholics there is hidden opportunity to trace.

Evenings:

The best way to spend evenings would be sitting in some cafe near canals & have few drinks with your friends. The blissful feeling of sitting near flowing water, the calmness in the air & sky & few conversations to remember are the things to do.

Other than listed activities, there are few more places you can cover like Jordan, Anne Franke House, Hauge, Haarlem etc. There is so much to see in the city.

So what are you waiting for. Pack your bags & explore this beautiful city.

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Here is extra information on Amsterdam.

Amsterdam Mark My AdventureMark My AdventureRotterdam Travel Guide

“PRICES CAN’T BE EQUIVALENT WITH THE EXPERIENCES;

EXPERIENCES ARE MORE WORTHY THAN THE COST IT BEHOLDS”

 

 

 

 

Minimum Amount For Bangkok

An overseas trip is always difficult to plan. Money is one of the major concern while traveling abroad. But, never let money define your happiness. This I learned during my trips that; money is just a catalyst in your happiness. This post is for all those budding travelers who love traveling but are doing it because of financial constraint. This is a guide to the budget trip to Bangkok & also minimum amount required for a week stay in Bangkok.

The major components of expense are accommodation, food,  sight seeing & commutation. Usually, accommodation cost is pretty high in case of 2 or 3-star hotels. The best way to keep cost low is to stay in hostels. The cost of hostels starts from 125 THB for a day at a decent place.

Food: Plate of noodles cost 30 THB on streets. There are many restaurants which offer food at a nominal rate. It is easy to find bread and butter for 10 THB which can be a good breakfast. A glass of juice is 30 THB which is very fulfilling.

Commutation: Private taxis & cabs costs are usually on a higher side. On shoestring budget, it is best to use bus services. Buses are very frequent & cheapest mode of transportation. The cost of a ticket is 2 THB for shortest distance.

Site seeing: The cost of sites can not to compromised. So, pay the full amount at the sites.

If I calculate the cost for a day it will work out to be around 250 to 300 THB. This is the minimum amount as per my assumption. The rates I considered is of 2016. This cost is valid only if you spend decently.

So, for a 7-day trip minimum amount one needs to have is around 1,750 to 2,100 – THB.

I travel to different places to get the feel of the place. I live like a locale. So, I spend money decently. This is the minimum expense to be kept in the mind.  There is no upper limit to expenditure.

 

Minimum Amount For A Week In Bangkok

Visa On Arrival Thailand

Thailand offers VOA (Visa on Arrival) for Indians. This makes it one of the most favorite place for Indians.I chose Thailand as it is easy to get a visa on arrival. The process was simple & hassle free. Here is my guide to Thailand visa for Indians.

Visa process

There are few pre-requisite that need to kept in mind while applying for visa on arrival. VOA is generally valid for 15 days only & purpose of traveling should be tourism only.

  1. A valid passport with minimum 6 months of validity from the date of entry.
  2. Two passport size photograph (35mm X 45 mm) on a white background not older than 3 months.
  3. A filled application form available at the counter.
  4. A confirmed return ticket within 15 days from the Thailand.
  5. A covering letter stating details of your itinerary (Contact details, hotel name & booking details)
  6. A confirm booking of accommodation in Thailand.
  7. A cash of 2000THB at the counter as a visa fee.
  8. A detail of 10,000 THB per person or 20,000 THB per family (Bank account statements, credit card statements etc).

It is necessary to submit all the mentioned documents at the counter to have a trouble free entry.

Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok has a proper board mentioning direction for the booth for Visa on Arrival. This information is for first-time solo traveler. It becomes very uneasy to get down on unknown land. Just keep calm, follow the instructions & submit all the necessary documents.

I reached the airport at 4 in the morning & it took me around 20 mins to get a visa. The process was simple. Just fill the form, stand in a line & wait for your turn. The list of required document is also mentioned at the counter.So, cross check documents prior to submitting them.

Make sure you have a hard copy of everything as you need to put all the documents in a folder & submit it to the authority. After submitting the documents, authority will check your application & once everything is checked. They will give you a token number; once your token number comes, get your passport STAMPED.

For more details, you can visit the following website.

Embassy

Mark My Adventure

 

 

 

Bangkok On A Budget

Bangkok is the capital of Thailand. The place is on the list of every traveler. Throughout crowded with tourists & travelers, the buzz of this place is amazing. When traveling to this wonderful place; it is very easy to lose an account of money. I went for 4 days & spent around 15K INR inclusive of everything. The place is dirt cheap according to western traveler & I too feel the same. Here is my guide to cover Bangkok on a budget.

I have covered 3 countries till now (out of India) under INR 1 Lac cumulatively. When I circulate this fact, their eyes pops out.

So the big question

How I managed to keep my expenses low?

This post is the guide for Bangkok on a budget. However, the main principles to save money while traveling remains the same for each & every place.

Let’s Start

Expenses are generally bifurcated into broad headings like flight tickets, Accommodations, Activities, Food & site seeing. Out of all these expenses, the major chunk of money goes into Flight tickets. If this factor is catered, then it is easy to manage other heads.

 

Flights: Here is the tip, a TO & FRO Flights cost less compared to two individual flights. The prices of tickets from India to Thailand has dropped dramatically. During offer, it is easy to find flight tickets at a price of INR 3.5 K one way. Yeah!!!! Just INR 7 K from India to Thailand. But usually, the offer is from one or two airports only. In my case, I chose Chennai for my departure. I got an offer of 5K INR from Chennai. Whereas, the same flight costs me approx. 11K INR from Mumbai. Thus, I traveled to Chennai via train & boarded a flight from Chennai. This way, I was able to cut down on my flight charges. The best place to find cheap tickets is SKYSCANNER.

Accommodation: Staying is another factor which can pull a major chunk of money. However, as Thailand is much cheaper than western countries &hence it is easy to find good accommodation at a cheap rate. Hostels price starts from as low as INR 150 & goes up to INR 1500 for a night. I booked a hostel through BOOKING.COM & stayed in one of the best hostels at the premium location of Khan Sao Road; at a cost of INR 250 per night. I prefer hostels for two reasons; one it costs very low & second it provides an opportunity to meet new people. I made several friends while staying at hostels.

 

Food: Being vegetarian it is difficult to survive outside India. One of the best ways to eat cheap & veg food is to have food on streets. I was able to eat noodles, rice, bread & butter, juices all on the street that to at the cheapest of prices. A price of noodle plate costs INR 40; whereas the same plate cost approx. INR 120 in some restaurants. There is not a major difference in the taste but there is surely a difference in prices. There is one departmental store in Bangkok which is 7 11. It is the best departmental store I came across ever. The place is open 24 * 7 & it offers everything on an MRP. Thus, no matter where you are, you can always find a good offer in this shop. This shop is located at every corner of Bangkok. So, the best way to have anything is from this shop only.

Public Transport: Bangkok has a very efficient public transport system, buses, metro & waterway all have a decent connectivity. The buses run from each corner & connect major points in Bangkok. I traveled mostly through Buses & ferries. I liked ferries more as it was a nice change for me as it also gave a feeling of some movie. The prices of bus tickets are as low as INR 2.

Also, I have not done activities which do not excite me, I am a person who believes in experiences, so rather than doing everything; I just did the things which were interesting enough for me. This is a nice way to keep cost on a check.

All these techniques helped me to reduce price subsequently. If on a single trip one can save upto 40% of the trip cost (which is a huge cost); it is always a blessing. There will be many people who will be against such thinking, but it is ok. I am here to share my stories ;).

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