A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Amsterdam vs. Brussels for Nightlife, Backpackers, Attractions, and Food

Should you visit Amsterdam or Brussels?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Amsterdam or Brussels, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a laid-back, scenic, and historic city. It's an amazing and huge city with tons of activities and things to do. The famous beauty of this place is one of the main draws. It's also known for shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Brussels

Brussels is a historic, cosmopolitan, and multicultural city. With plenty of activities and things to do, it's a huge city that draws plenty of visitors. And you can't forget about the shopping, museums, and nightlife.

How is Amsterdam different from Brussels?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Is Amsterdam or Brussels better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Plenty of people visit the sights and museums in both Amsterdam and Brussels.

With a variety of museums, monuments, and historical sights, a trip to Amsterdam can be an interesting and educational experience. The city has a number of sights and museums including the Anne Frank House, the Van Gogh Museum, and the Royal Palace.

Visitors can fill many days exploring the museums and attractions around Brussels. Popular sights include Saint-Michel Cathedral, Place Royale, and the Belgian Royal Museum of Fine Arts.


Is Amsterdam or Brussels better for Food?

Brussels has a longer list of notable local restaurants than Amsterdam.

Eating is part of the travel experience when you visit Brussels. While the city is most known for its waffles and fries, the diversity of dishes and international restaurant selection continues to grow. Other popular dishes include moules-frites, waterzooi (a stew), and stoemp (made with mashed potatoes and vegetables).

Amsterdam offers some easy restaurants to choose from. Food is expensive in this city, particularly in the touristy areas. There are some markets that sell great local items and the dessert cafes are awesome!

Is Amsterdam or Brussels better for Nightlife?

With more options to choose from, you'll find a more vibrant nightlife in Amsterdam.

The nightlife in Amsterdam is well established with world renowned clubs and venues. The city has some of the best nightlife in Europe. There are plenty of bars, dance clubs, and other activities that you can enjoy throughout the night.

Brussels has an active nightlife scene for those who seek it out. The city's nightlife is quieter and more mellow than some other major cities around Europe. That doesn't mean there aren't plenty of dance clubs and bars where you can hang out. Keep your wits about you after the sun goes down as some areas are a bit rougher than others.

Is Amsterdam or Brussels better for Shopping?

Shopping in a popular activity in both Brussels and Amsterdam.

Amsterdam is a popular shopping destination with plenty of stores. For the best shopping in town, head to the Nine Streets area in the historic district and the two main shopping streets of The Kalverstraat and Leidsestraat.

Brussels is a famous shopping destination with plenty of stores. Although it's famous for diamonds, the city also has many shopping streets where you can find designer brands, vintage shops, and other unique boutiques that are fun to explore.

Is Amsterdam or Brussels better for Families?

Families will find a wider variety of activities in Brussels than Amsterdam.

Brussels is a very kid-friendly city. The city has a number of unique kid-friendly activities including a Mini-Europe Museum, a Comic Strip Museum, and Train World. The city is also a chocolate lover's dream with many factories and chocolate shops around town.

Amsterdam doesn't usually come to mind when thinking about kid-friendly destinations. The city does it's share of partying, and there are some areas, like the red light district, that aren't exactly kid-friendly, but there are some nice parks, playgrounds, and the impressive NEMO Science Museum that you can explore.


Is Amsterdam or Brussels better for Couples?

Amsterdam and Brussels are both fun to visit as a couple.

Couples visit Amsterdam frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. For many, a visit to this city is all about the party, but for couples who enjoy history, architecture, or boat rides along the scenic canals, the city also makes a great getaway. It's also fun to stay in a houseboat and have a unique experience.

Couples visit Brussels frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. From beautiful buildings and museums to shopping, dining, and chocolate shops, there are plenty of romantic spots around town.

Is Amsterdam or Brussels better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Amsterdam and Brussels are comparable places to visit for backpackers and budget travelers.

Backpackers and budget travelers come from all over the world to visit Amsterdam. With it's party-hard personality and countless low price hostels, this city attracts its share of backpackers. Do note that many of the hostels aren't focused on quality, so make sure you understand what you're paying for. It may be worth booking a slightly more expensive room in a hotel.

Many backpackers visit Brussels. The city has an active nightlife and a number of hostels that are great for backpackers, but do take note that some areas can get a bit rough at night, so make sure you understand where you are.

Is Amsterdam or Brussels better for Public Transit?

You'll find somewhat comparable public transit options in both Amsterdam and Brussels.

Visitors in Amsterdam can get around quickly with the extensive public transit system. The city has metros, trams, buses, and ferries that help you get around. Since this is the Netherlands, getting around by bike is very popular.

Brussels has a great public transit system. Transit options include train, tram, metro, bus and waterbuses.

Is Amsterdam or Brussels a more walkable city?

Amsterdam and Brussels both are comparable when exploring on foot.

Getting around Amsterdam on foot is easy. The historic parts of the city are very walkable and much of the city is best explored on foot.

Brussels is very walkable. If you stay in the historical area, it's easy to walk around and many boulevards are being converted to pedestrian areas.


Amsterdam and Brussels: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good nightlife
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty
Cons
  • Less popular for food
  • Less family-friendly
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities
Cons
  • Less popular for nightlife


Should I spend more time in Brussels or Amsterdam?

How long in Amsterdam or Brussels?

In either Amsterdam or Brussels, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Amsterdam than Brussels because of the overall number of sights and activities.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Amsterdam is 2-7 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Brussels is 1-5 days.


  • How many days in Amsterdam or Brussels? Ideal Length of Stay
    Amsterdam 2-7 
    Brussels 1-5

One day in Amsterdam or Brussels?

Amsterdam is a big city with plenty to do. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

You'll find shopping and museums around the city of Brussels. Visiting the old town is also a must. One day is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Brussels has to offer. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

A weekend in Amsterdam or Brussels?

Amsterdam is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this city makes for a great vacation. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Amsterdam, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered around the area.

You'll find museums and nightlife around the cosmopolitan big city of Brussels. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Five days in Amsterdam or Brussels?

Amsterdam is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Amsterdam, five days is sufficent for most. The entire area has lots to do.

You'll find nightlife and food around the multicultural city of Brussels. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this city makes for a great vacation. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. Most people head to the area for the shopping. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer.

A week in Amsterdam or Brussels?

Amsterdam is a great place to explore. It is common to spend one week here. One week is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Amsterdam has to offer. This city offers something for everyone.

Brussels is a popular choice for travelers. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Which city is cheaper, Brussels or Amsterdam?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Amsterdam is €138, while the average daily cost in Brussels is €109. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Amsterdam and Brussels in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Amsterdam 80
    Brussels 58
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Amsterdam 160
    Brussels 116

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Amsterdam 16
    Brussels 13
Typical Local Transportation prices in Amsterdam

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Amsterdam:


  • Ride on Tram
    3.20
  • Renting a Bike
    15
  • One Hour Canal Cruise
    10
  • Single Day Transit Pass
    2.60
  • Transit Pass to Amsterdam Airport
    3.40

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Amsterdam

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Amsterdam:

  • Amsterdam Airport Arrival Transfer in a Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Viano or S-Class: $84
  • Amsterdam Airport Departure Transfer: $58
  • Amsterdam Airport Departure Transfer (Amsterdam Hotels to Amsterdam Airport): $83
  • Amsterdam Airport Private Departure Transfer: $52
  • Amsterdam Airport Transfer (Airport to Hotel or address in Amsterdam) ROUND-TRIP: $167
  • Amsterdam Airport Transfers : Amsterdam to Schiphol Airport AMS in Luxury Car: $96
  • Amsterdam Airport Transfers : Amsterdam to Schiphol Airport AMS in Luxury Van: $85
  • Amsterdam City Center - Schiphol Airport Transfer: $143
  • Amsterdam City Center - Schiphol Airport Transfer (MiniVan): $160
  • Amsterdam City Departure Private Transfer to Amsterdam Port in Luxury Car: $79
  • Amsterdam City Departure Private Transfer to Amsterdam Port in Luxury Van: $60
  • Amsterdam City Departure Private Transfer to Amsterdam Train Station in Business Car: $52

Typical Local Transportation prices in Brussels

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Brussels are as follows:


  • Subway Pass
    4.50
  • Atomium train ticket (2)
    8.00

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Brussels

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Brussels:

  • Airport Transfer Charleroi To Bruges: $411
  • Airport Transfer Charleroi To Brussels: $179
  • Airport transfers from Brussels to Zaventem Brussels airport by luxury car: $85
  • Brussels Airport (BRU) To Amsterdam: VIP Transfer: $522
  • Brussels Airport Departure Transfer (Brussels Hotels to Brussels Airport): $81
  • Brussels Airport Transfers : Brussels City to Airport BRU in Business Car: $79
  • Brussels Airport Transfers : Brussels to Airport BRU in Luxury Van: $79
  • Brussels City all area to Brussels Airport BRU - Private Airport transfer 1-3pax: $60
  • Brussels City all area to Brussels Airport BRU - Private Airport transfer 1-7pax: $60
  • Brussels Departure Private Transfers from Brussels City to Brussels Airport BRU: $83
  • Brussels Departure Private Transfers from Brussels City to Brussels Airport BRU: $87
  • Brussels Private Transfer from Brussels city centre to Brussels Airport (BRU): $108

Is it cheaper to fly into Amsterdam or Brussels?

Prices for flights to both Brussels and Amsterdam change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Amsterdam 35
    Brussels 31
Typical Food prices in Amsterdam

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Amsterdam:


  • Afternoon Tea
    6.00

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Amsterdam

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Amsterdam.

  • Live online cooking class from Classic European 2-course meal: $23
  • Amsterdam Evening Pizza Cruise: $40
  • Three course lunch/dinner voucher: $42
  • Walking Food Tour: $43
  • 3 Course Dinner in the Dark: $48
  • Withlocals the 10 Tastings: Amsterdam's Favourite Private Food Tour with a Local: $50
  • Private Pizza Canal Cruise Amsterdam: $62
  • Dinner with an Amsterdam artist on the river: $62
  • Amsterdam Nightlife Ticket & VIP Dinner at Hard Rock CafĂ©: $63
  • Amsterdam Small Group Food Tour: $69
  • Food Tour in the Albert Cuyp Market Amsterdam: $73
  • Delicious Dutch Dinner in an Amsterdam Canalhouse: $75

Typical Food prices in Brussels

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Brussels:


  • Ice Cream & Macaroons
    4.60
  • Dessert (Turkish Delights)
    4.75
  • Cheese
    5.60
  • Olives and Snacks
    6.98
  • Waffle
    3.00

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Brussels

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Brussels.

  • Classic Belgian cooking class and lunch: $79
  • Your Private Tailored Belgian Food Tour with a Local: $93
  • Private Food Tour – 10 Tastings with Locals: $112
  • Cooking Lesson and Gourmet Belgian-Inspired Meal with a Local in Brussels: $115
  • Private Brussels Food Tour (walking lunch or dinner): $373

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Amsterdam 30
    Brussels 18
Typical Entertainment prices in Amsterdam

Here are a few typical costs in Amsterdam for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:


  • Two tickets to the Houseboat Museum
    6.00
  • Entry for two to the Anne Frank House
    17

Tours and Activities in Amsterdam

Here are a few actual costs in Amsterdam for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • A tasty stroll through Pijp: An audio tour of some of Amsterdam great food spots: $5.00
  • An Amsterdam introduction: Explore the origins of Amsterdam on an audio tour: $5.00
  • Amsterdam Red Light District Walking Audio Tour by VoiceMap: $5.41
  • Amsterdam West Specialty Coffee Spots Cycling Audio Tour by VoiceMap: $5.41
  • Vondelpark and Old West Neighbourhood Walking Audio Tour by VoiceMap: $5.48
  • Amsterdam Private Tour: Red Light District Exploration Game: $5.65
  • Self-Guided Tour with Over 100 Sights: $5.67
  • The Red Light District self-guided Virtual Experience: The Highlights: $7.45
  • Absolutely Tip-Based Walking Tour With Super Local Guide (2,5 Hours): $8.09
  • Red Light District 1-hour Smartphone Audio Tour: $9.06
  • Amsterdam Red Light District: A Walking Audio Tour on your Phone (1hour): $9.94
  • Silent Disco Club Experience: $9.95

Tours and Activities in Brussels

Here are a few actual costs in Brussels for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Brussels Autoworld Museum Entrance Ticket: $15
  • Pick Up from your Hotel in Brussels to Departure point Brussels City Tours: $22
  • Beer Tour: $27
  • Brussels 2.5-Hour Belgian Beer Tasting Experience: $29
  • Highlights and Hidden Gems Guided Bike Tour: $34
  • Private Tour with a Local: $40
  • Kanal and Molenbeek Runnning Tour: $44
  • Running Tour of the Historical Center: $44
  • The Best Of Brussels Walking Tour: $54
  • Belgian Chocolate Tasting Tour: $62
  • Private Tour w/ Locals – Highlights & Hidden Gems: $66
  • Artistic Bruges on a Private Tour with a local: $75

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Amsterdam 19
    Brussels 10

Sample the Local Flavors in Amsterdam

Also in Amsterdam, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Distillery Tour & Tasting: $22
  • Amsterdam Bar Crawl: $27
  • Amsterdam Shared Bar Crawl: $31
  • Private Amsterdam Red Light District and pub tour: $61
  • Guided Craft Beer Brewery Bus Tour with Tastings: $67
  • 4 hour Amsterdam Brewery Tour: $81
  • High Class Culinary Lunch in Amsterdam - Self-Guided Food & Wine Tour: $102
  • Drew's 3-Hour Amsterdam Brewery and Bar Tour to Top Rated Bars: $106
  • Discover 3 gastronomic restaurants in Amsterdam - self-guided food & wine tour: $129
  • Experience 4 Culinary Restaurants in Amsterdam Self-Guided Food & Wine Tour: $152
  • Amsterdam Bachelor Party Bar Crawl: $488

Typical Alcohol prices in Brussels

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Brussels are as follows:


  • Bottle of Wine
    10
  • Beer
    6.00

Sample the Local Flavors in Brussels

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Brussels:

  • Brussels Pub Crawl: $14


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Amsterdam and Brussels, we can see that Amsterdam is more expensive. And not only is Brussels much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Brussels would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Brussels and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Amsterdam would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Amsterdam than you might in Brussels.

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Amsterdam vs. Brussels Travel Comparison

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