Amsterdam came in at a quite affordable number 29 in the recent Mercer Worldwide Cost of Living survey 2009 – City ranking. The research investigates over 200 goods and services in 290 locations.

The ranking shows that overall Amsterdam is considerably cheaper than leader Tokyo or European capitals Milan, Paris and London. Food and drinks are another story, though. This is confirmed by the results of the yearly research on the average cost of drinks on popular terraces by Dutch gastronomy consultancy Van Spronsen & Partners.

Van Spronsen sampled the cost of two glasses of the legendary small Dutch beers, two glasses of regrettably trendy rosé wine and two soft drinks. Amsterdam is the most expensive city in the Netherlands with an average cost of € 16,= for the six drinks. Rotterdam and The Hague come next at € 15,20.

I ran a quick check of the prices against my list of best Amsterdam terraces. Not surprisingly, Cafe ‘t Sluisje in Amsterdam Noord is cheapest at € 12,60 – a significant saving. But even centrally located hot spots Cafe Walem and Cafe de Jaren charge less than the average – € 2,20 for a soft drink, € 2,30 for a small beer and € 3,00 for a glass of rosé. Even Gent aan de Schinkel, the most expensive on my list, is below average at € 15,80.

Pick your spot in the sun carefully as clearly some terraces in tourist locations are charging way too much for poor quality!

cafe de jaren amsterdam - terracegent aan de schinkel amsterdam - terrace