A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Bern vs. Amsterdam for Nightlife, Backpackers, Attractions, and Old Town

Should you visit Bern or Amsterdam?

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

Should I visit Bern or Amsterdam? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Bern

Bern is a beautiful, cultural, and historic city. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. And you can't forget about the shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a scenic, historic, and canal-lined city. It's an amazing and huge city with tons of activities and things to do. You'll find world class beauty here as well. It's also known for nightlife, live music, and shopping.

Bern and Amsterdam: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less family-friendly


Is there more to do in Bern or Amsterdam?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Amsterdam than Bern. It is bigger and it has more sights, attractions, and activities for travelers. Amsterdam is very popular for its nightlife, music, big city activities, and impressive beauty, while Bern attracts visitors for its food. Amsterdam is more touristy than Bern and is known for its scenic canals, huge biking culture, and its wild nightlife scene. It is also well known for The Rijksmuseum. Bern is famous for its well-preserved old town and its reputation as the home of the Lindt chocolate factory.

How is Bern different from Amsterdam?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Amsterdam and Bern. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Bern or Amsterdam?

Bern
Amsterdam

Both Bern and Amsterdam have very good landmarks and museums for visitors.

Bern offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. The city is filled with architecture and charming character. While you're in town make sure you visit the Einstein Museum, the Clock Tower, and the Bern Cathedral.

Many visitors head to Amsterdam specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. The city has a number of sights and museums including the Anne Frank House, the Van Gogh Museum, and the Royal Palace. The world renowned Rijksmuseum is a must see for any art enthusiast. There are also many smaller, lesser known museums that are well worth a visit.


Is the Food Better in Bern or Amsterdam? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Bern
Amsterdam

Bern is a nice place to visit for its restaurant scene. However, Amsterdam is not particularly known for its local flavors and cuisine.

Visitors will find a budding food and restaurant scene in Bern. The city has cozy cafes, high end fine dining, traditional eateries, and modern venues.

Amsterdam may not make the list for most foodies, but you'll find what you need while you're in town. 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 Bern or Amsterdam Better for Nightlife?

Bern
Amsterdam

Amsterdam is renowned for nightlife. Also, Bern is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for nightlife and partying.

Amsterdam is a destination that you simply have to visit at least once for nightlife. 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.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in Bern. There are bars, Irish pubs, and clubs around town.

Is Bern or Amsterdam Better for Music?

Bern
Amsterdam

Amsterdam is renowned for live music. However, Bern is not a live music destination.

Amsterdam is a world class music destination. The city attracts its share of world renowned DJs and musicians. Popular music venues include Paradiso, De Melkweg, and Chicago Social Club.

Bern is not a live music destination.


Is Bern or Amsterdam Better for its Old Town?

Bern
Amsterdam

It's fun to wander around the very good old towns in both Bern and Amsterdam.

Many visitors explore the old town while visiting Bern. The charming old town is filled with quaint alleys and sandstone buildings. It's a compact area that flows down a hill to the River Aare.

There is a nice variety of sights in the old town of Amsterdam. The old city center is one of the best preserved in Europe. It's enclosed by canals and has many historic churches, plazas, and buildings.

Is the Shopping Better in Bern or Amsterdam?

Bern
Amsterdam

Both Bern and Amsterdam are very good shopping destinations.

Bern is an extremely popular place for shoppers. The old town is filled with boutique shops and unique markets. The main shopping streets are Spitalgasse and Marktgasse and popular items to buy include jewelry, art, and watches.

Amsterdam is well-known for its shopping. 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.

Is Bern or Amsterdam Better for Families?

Bern
Amsterdam

Bern is well known for its family-friendly activities. However, Amsterdam is not particularly known for its kid-friendly activities.

Bern is a very kid-friendly city. This charming town has riverside parks and pools, a zoo, a waterpark, and kid-friendly museums that the whole family can enjoy. You can also visit nearby Gurten, a mountain with tobogganing, concerts, and a mini ski resort.

For families, Amsterdam is not always the best place to visit. 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 Bern or Amsterdam Better for Couples?

Bern
Amsterdam

With fun activities for couples, both Bern and Amsterdam make for a very good place to visit.

Bern is a very popular place to visit for couples. With charming restaurants, a beautiful rose garden, and nice hotels and spas, this town makes a beautiful romantic getaway.

Amsterdam makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. 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.

Is Bern or Amsterdam Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Bern
Amsterdam

Amsterdam is renowned for backpackers. Also, Bern is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for backpackers and budget travelers.

Amsterdam is a mecca for backpackers and budget travelers. 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 Bern. Like most of Switzerland, prices are a bit high, but there are some hostels and free activities that backpackers and budget travelers can enjoy.

Is Bern or Amsterdam Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Bern
Amsterdam

Amsterdam is renowned for its public transit. Also, Bern is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for times when you don't have a car.

Amsterdam has a great 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.

The public transit in Bern can get you around easily. There are trams and buses that run around town.


Is Bern or Amsterdam a more walkable city?

Bern
Amsterdam

Amsterdam is renowned for its walkability. Also, Bern is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its high level of walkability.

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

Bern is a very walkable city. It's fun to explore the old town on foot. It is compact enough to that you can see all of the highlights in a few hours.

For even more information, also check out Is Bern Worth Visiting? and Is Amsterdam Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Amsterdam or Bern?

How long in Bern or Amsterdam?

Both Bern and Amsterdam have a number of activities to choose from. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Amsterdam than in Bern. Usually, 1-3 days is a good amount of time for Bern, and 2-7 days is enough time in Amsterdam.

Families should spend more time in Bern than Amsterdam. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Bern, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Amsterdam than Bern. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Amsterdam that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Amsterdam than Bern if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Amsterdam.


  • How many days in Bern or Amsterdam? Ideal Length of Stay
    Bern 1-3 
    Amsterdam 2-7

One day in Bern or Amsterdam?

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

Amsterdam is a big city destination where you can fill many days. Visiting the old town is also a must. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything.

A weekend in Bern or Amsterdam?

You'll find museums and nightlife around the beautiful destination of Bern. 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.

Amsterdam is a fun place to experience. If you have a weekend, this is a great place to go. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. A weekend is often enough time to do most activities. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.


Five days in Bern or Amsterdam?

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the beautiful city of Bern. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

Amsterdam is a laid-back big city where you can fill many days. This city offers something for everyone. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. Plenty of people spend five days in the area when traveling. Five days is often enough time to do most activities.

A week in Bern or Amsterdam?

Bern 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.

Amsterdam is a historic city where you can fill many days. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. Many people spend one week here. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. Because of this, one week is usually enough time for a trip here.


Which place is cheaper, Amsterdam or Bern?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Bern is $261, while the average daily cost in Amsterdam is $188. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Bern and Amsterdam in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Bern $168
    Amsterdam $110
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Bern $336
    Amsterdam $220
Compare Hotels in Bern and Amsterdam

Looking for a hotel in Bern or Amsterdam? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Bern


Hotels in Amsterdam


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Bern Hotel Prices and Amsterdam Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Bern $35
    Amsterdam $21

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Bern

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Bern:

  • Private Direct Transfer From Bern to Basel: $214
  • Private Transfer From Bern To Basel With a 2 Hour Stop in Olten: $270
  • Private Transfer From Bern to Zurich, English Speaking Driver: $229

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Amsterdam

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


  • Ride on Tram
    $3.45
  • Renting a Bike
    $16
  • One Hour Canal Cruise
    $11
  • Single Day Transit Pass
    $2.80
  • Transit Pass to Amsterdam Airport
    $3.66

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Amsterdam

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Amsterdam:

  • Train Transfer Schiphol Airport from/to Amsterdam: $6.39
  • Airport Express Bus Transfer to/from City Center: $7.03
  • 1-Way Train Transfer to/from Haarlem: $7.47
  • Train Transfer Amsterdam from/to Utrecht: $12
  • Train Transfer Amsterdam from/to Leiden: $14
  • Train Transfer Schiphol Airport from/to Rotterdam: $17
  • Travel Ticket for 1-3 Days With Airport Transfer: $19
  • Train Transfer Amsterdam from/to Rotterdam: $22
  • Train Transfer Schiphol Airport from/to Eindhoven: $26
  • Eindhoven: Train Transfer Eindhoven from/to Amsterdam: $27
  • From Keukenhof and Tulip Fields Transfer: $27
  • From Leiden Central: Keukenhof Ticket & Public Bus Transfer: $34

Is it cheaper to fly into Bern or Amsterdam?

Prices for flights to both Amsterdam and Bern 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
    Bern $63
    Amsterdam $47

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Bern

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

  • Bern Food Market: Brunch & Local Food Tour: $65

Typical Food Prices in Amsterdam

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


  • Afternoon Tea
    $6.47

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Amsterdam

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

  • 2 Hours Food Tour in Amsterdam (Tip Based): $5.52
  • Amsterdam Self-Guided Food Tour in De Pijp Neighbourhood : $8.27
  • 3-course Jamaican dinner party at Ashs Plek: $11
  • 2-course Jamaican dinner party at Ashs Plek: $11
  • Self-Guided Food Tour in De Jordaan Neighbourhood: $14
  • Self-Guided Food Tour in De Pijp Neighbourhood: $14
  • Self-Guided Food Tour of Amsterdam's De Jordaan District: $14
  • Dinner Cruise with Fries Bitterballen and Drink from Amsterdam: $30
  • Hard Rock Cafe Amsterdam with Set Lunch or Dinner: $31
  • Dinner Cruise with Fries, Bitterballen and Drink: $34
  • Food Tour Jordaan District: $35
  • Pizza Cruise with Drinks: $41

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Bern $35
    Amsterdam $40

Tours and Activities in Bern

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Bern are as follows:

  • First Discovery Walk and Reading Walking Tour: $3.25
  • Bern Scavenger Hunt and Best Landmarks Self-Guided Tour: $4.41
  • Bern Highlights Self-Guided Scavenger Hunt and Walking Tour: $7.03
  • Escape Game and Tour: $8.66
  • Bern Self-Guided Audio Tour: $9.00
  • Self-Guided Tour of Bern's Fountains, Clocktowers, and Legends: $9.99
  • Self-Guided Audio Tour: $11
  • City Sightseeing Self-Guided Walking Tour Game: $16
  • Fribourg Scavenger Hunt and Sights Self-Guided Tour: $16
  • Bern Scavenger Hunt and Sights Self-Guided Tour: $16
  • Thun Scavenger Hunt and Sights Self-Guided Tour: $16
  • Zytglogge - Tour through the Clock Tower: $23

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
    $6.47
  • Entry for two to the Anne Frank House
    $18

Tours and Activities in Amsterdam

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

  • Golden Age Canals Walking Tour: $1.08
  • Amsterdam Through The Eyes Of Rembrandt (Art Tour): $1.08
  • Photo Tour in Amsterdam 2 Hours: $2.64
  • Rude Bastards Tour of Amsterdam: $3.25
  • City Exploration Game and Walking Tour: $3.25
  • First Discovery Walk and Reading Walking Tour: $3.25
  • The Anne Frank Tour (Tip Based) Amsterdam : $3.30
  • Private Audio Guided Walking Tour in Amsterdam: $3.30
  • The Amsterdam Walking Tour 2 hours: $3.30
  • Rude Bastards Tour of Amsterdam (CYHIT): $3.31
  • Free Walking Tour of Haunted Amsterdam: $3.31
  • Free walking tour of haunted Amsterdam: $4.33

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Bern $28
    Amsterdam $25

Sample the Local Flavors in Amsterdam

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

  • Amsterdam Private Self-Guided Pub Crawl Pub Quiz: $22
  • Amsterdam Private Self Guided Pub Crawl: $22
  • Private Pub Crawl with Beer Maid: $25
  • Original Pub Crawl Party with VIP Entrance: $26
  • Cheese and Wine tasting in Amsterdam: $27
  • Central Pub Crawl and Nightlife Experience: $27
  • Red Light District Pub Crawl: $27
  • Central Pub Crawl and Nightlife Experience: $28
  • Leidseplein and Red Light Pub Crawl: 2 Night Pass: $31
  • Kings Night Ultimate Party Pub Crawl: $32
  • Original Amsterdam Pub Crawl: $33
  • Red Light District Tour | Pub Crawl Mystery: $38


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Bern and Amsterdam, we can see that Bern is more expensive. And not only is Amsterdam much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Amsterdam would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Amsterdam 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 Bern would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Bern than you might in Amsterdam.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Bern Expensive? and Is Amsterdam Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Bern or Amsterdam?

Amsterdam has a larger population, and is about 6 times larger than the population of Bern. When comparing the sizes of Bern and Amsterdam, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Bern or Amsterdam?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Bern or Amsterdam in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Bern and Amsterdam. Many travelers come to Bern for the family-friendly experiences. Also, many visitors come to Amsterdam in the summer for the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Bern is a little warmer than Amsterdam. Typically, the summer temperatures in Bern in July average around 21°C (70°F), and Amsterdam averages at about 17°C (62°F).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Amsterdam this time of the year. In Bern, it's very sunny this time of the year. Bern usually receives more sunshine than Amsterdam during summer. Bern gets 250 hours of sunny skies, while Amsterdam receives 204 hours of full sun in the summer.

In July, Bern usually receives less rain than Amsterdam. Bern gets 63 mm (2.5 in) of rain, while Amsterdam receives 75 mm (3 in) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Bern 21°C (70°F) 
    Amsterdam 17°C (62°F)

Should I visit Bern or Amsterdam in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Bern as well as Amsterdam. Many visitors come to Bern in the autumn for the shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area. Also, most visitors come to Amsterdam for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area during these months.

In October, Bern is generally a little warmer than Amsterdam. Daily temperatures in Bern average around 13°C (55°F), and Amsterdam fluctuates around 11°C (51°F).

In the autumn, Bern often gets more sunshine than Amsterdam. Bern gets 126 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Amsterdam receives 99 hours of full sun.

Bern usually gets less rain in October than Amsterdam. Bern gets 49 mm (1.9 in) of rain, while Amsterdam receives 72 mm (2.8 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Bern 13°C (55°F) 
    Amsterdam 11°C (51°F)

Should I visit Bern or Amsterdam in the Winter?

Both Amsterdam and Bern are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to Bern for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months. Also, the winter months attract visitors to Amsterdam because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

The weather in Amsterdam can be very cold. Bern can be very cold during winter. Bern is a little warmer than Amsterdam in the winter. The daily temperature in Bern averages around 3°C (37°F) in January, and Amsterdam fluctuates around 2°C (36°F).

Bern usually receives more sunshine than Amsterdam during winter. Bern gets 65 hours of sunny skies, while Amsterdam receives 46 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Bern usually receives less rain than Amsterdam. Bern gets 54 mm (2.1 in) of rain, while Amsterdam receives 66 mm (2.6 in) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Bern 3°C (37°F) 
    Amsterdam 2°C (36°F)

Should I visit Bern or Amsterdam in the Spring?

Both Amsterdam and Bern during the spring are popular places to visit. The spring months attract visitors to Bern because of the natural beauty. Furthermore, the activities around the city and the natural beauty are the main draw to Amsterdam this time of year.

In the spring, Bern is a little warmer than Amsterdam. Typically, the spring temperatures in Bern in April average around 11°C (52°F), and Amsterdam averages at about 8°C (46°F).

In the spring, Bern often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Amsterdam. Bern gets 164 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Amsterdam receives 166 hours of full sun.

Bern usually gets more rain in April than Amsterdam. Bern gets 59 mm (2.3 in) of rain, while Amsterdam receives 52 mm (2 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Bern 11°C (52°F) 
    Amsterdam 8°C (46°F)

Typical Weather for Amsterdam and Bern

Bern Amsterdam
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 3°C (37°F) 54 mm (2.1 in) 2°C (36°F) 66 mm (2.6 in)
Feb 4°C (40°F) 51 mm (2 in) 3°C (37°F) 49 mm (1.9 in)
Mar 8°C (46°F) 50 mm (2 in) 5°C (41°F) 63 mm (2.5 in)
Apr 11°C (52°F) 59 mm (2.3 in) 8°C (46°F) 52 mm (2 in)
May 15°C (60°F) 76 mm (3 in) 12°C (54°F) 61 mm (2.4 in)
Jun 19°C (65°F) 74 mm (2.9 in) 15°C (59°F) 68 mm (2.7 in)
Jul 21°C (70°F) 63 mm (2.5 in) 17°C (62°F) 75 mm (3 in)
Aug 20°C (69°F) 80 mm (3.1 in) 17°C (62°F) 71 mm (2.8 in)
Sep 18°C (64°F) 55 mm (2.2 in) 14°C (57°F) 67 mm (2.6 in)
Oct 13°C (55°F) 49 mm (1.9 in) 11°C (51°F) 72 mm (2.8 in)
Nov 7°C (45°F) 58 mm (2.3 in) 6°C (43°F) 81 mm (3.2 in)
Dec 4°C (38°F) 55 mm (2.2 in) 3°C (38°F) 80 mm (3.1 in)