Amsterdam is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, and for a good reason. With its rich history, stunning architecture, and lively nightlife, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant city.
But choosing where to stay in Amsterdam can be a difficult decision for those unfamiliar with the city and its best neighborhoods. Here we explore the best areas and neighborhoods for tourists and visitors alike and what they have to offer.
Best Areas to Choose in Amsterdam, Netherlands
Our Amsterdam neighborhood guide is going to break down each neighborhood option and include our top accommodation picks for each area.
- Best Area for First-Timers/Tourists – Amsterdam-Centrum
- Best Area for Budget Travelers – Oud-Zuid
- Best Area for Luxury Travelers – Canal Belt
- Best Area for Safety – Amsterdam-Noord
- Best Area for Families – Plantage
1. Dam Square
In the historical center of Amsterdam, Dam Square is one the best places to stay in Amsterdam and can be found around the canals where it has been for hundreds of years. This area is home to some of the best Amsterdam hotels, and you’ll be within walking distance of nearly every single tourist attraction in the city center, as well as Amsterdam Central Station (Amsterdam Centraal Train Station).
However, this area can be very busy with tourist crowds, so plan accordingly and be prepared when you visit the Dutch capital. There are quite a few green areas where one can relax during their visit and major attractions that everyone should experience at least once. As a result, many visitors will find themselves staying around this area as there is plenty to do, such as visiting the Royal Palace of Amsterdam, the red-light district, and the Anne Frank House.
Best Places to Stay in Dam Square
2. De Wallen
Nearby, the city’s best hotels and accommodations are concentrated in De Wallen, which though notorious for being the site of Amsterdam’s famous red-light district, you’ll still find several significant historic buildings, including the Old Church and its neighboring vicinity, which was one of the world’s first stock exchanges.
De Wallen and the red-light district is a very popular place to stay in Amsterdam for nightlife and partying since there are a ton of coffee shops, bars, and nightclubs nearby, as well as in the heart of the red-light district. If you are looking to party the weekend away, you’ll want to stay in this area of Amsterdam.
Given that this area is better suited for first-time visitors and younger generations, there are plenty of mid-range hotels and hostels in De Wallen.
Best Places to Stay in De Wallen
See Related: Spots for the Best Views of Amsterdam
The Jordaan neighborhoods can be translated as ‘the island’ where one of the best places to stay in Amsterdam is located, where most of the cafes and restaurants are rather cozy. This area where many artists have lived and where a lot of tourists spend their time walking up and down the canals and popping into different shops is considered one of the best places for exploring culture where, in addition, you’ll find lots of interesting history as well.
Jordaan has a wide range of shops, including vintage stores (which are numerous). The area around Jordaan is known for several distinct types of businesses, such as restaurants and bars. For individuals looking for a pleasant place to stay while in Amsterdam, Jordaan is an excellent choice.
Best Places to Stay in Jordaan
4. Nine Streets (Nine Straatjes)
Nine Streets is a great place to stay in Amsterdam for a number of reasons. First, it’s centrally located within the city, meaning you can walk to a lot of different attractions. Second, it’s home to some of the best shopping streets in Amsterdam. You’ll find everything from high-end boutiques to small, independent shops selling unique items.
Finally, the Nine Streets is one of the most picturesque areas in Amsterdam. The narrow, cobbled streets are lined with quaint cafes and charming bars, making it the perfect place to spend an afternoon strolling around. If you’re looking for a lovely place to stay during your trip to Amsterdam, the Nine Streets should definitely be at the top of your list.
Best Places to Stay in Nine Streets
See Related: Amsterdam Day Trip to Zaanse Schans, Volendam and Marken
5. De Pijp
The De Pijp neighborhood of Amsterdam is a bustling and vibrant district that is popular with tourists and locals alike. The area is known for its lively nightlife and abundance of restaurants, cafes, and bars.
The Albert Cuyp Market is also located in the De Pijp neighborhood and is a must-visit for those looking to experience a truly Dutch market. For those looking for where to stay in Amsterdam, De Pijp is an excellent choice for a number of reasons.
Best Places to Stay in De Pijp
The Oud-Zuid neighborhood in Amsterdam is a favorite for tourists and visitors alike. The area is known for its well-preserved architecture and grandiose homes. It’s also one of the most expensive neighborhoods in Amsterdam, making it a popular choice for those looking to stay in a luxurious area.
The Oud-Zuid neighborhood is close to some of Amsterdam’s best museums in Museum Square (Museumplein), including the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum. It’s also a great option for families, as you are close to several parks, including Beatrixpark, Sarphatipark, and Vondelpark.
From here, you’ll want to grab a bike rental since you’ll be about a 10-15 minute bike ride to Amsterdam city center. If you want a charming neighborhood vibe that’s away from the hustle and bustle of the city center, this is a great option for a family-friendly stay in Amsterdam.
Best Places to Stay in Oud-Zuid
See Related: Best Coffeeshops in Amsterdam
As one of Amsterdam’s oldest neighborhoods, Oud-West is a favorite for visitors and locals alike. It offers a mix of old and new with narrow streets, cozy cafes, and trendy boutiques all next to modern apartment buildings and high-rise offices.
The area has an energetic vibe and is perfect for those who want to be in the heart of the action. There is no shortage of things to do in Oud-West, from exploring its many museums and art galleries to strolling through Vondelpark, Amsterdam’s largest park.
Oud-West is also home to some of the city’s best nightlife, with a wide variety of bars and clubs to suit all tastes. You’ll definitely want to check out the Foodhallen, which is an amazing indoor food market featuring cocktail bars, street foods, and fine dining. If you’re looking for a place to stay in Amsterdam that is central and lively, then Oud-West is a perfect choice.
Best Places to Stay in Oud-West
8. Old Jewish Quarter (Jodenbuurt)
The Jodenbuurt is Amsterdam’s Old Jewish Quarter, and it is one of the most interesting and special neighborhoods in the city. It’s an easy ride from Amsterdam Central Station via the underground metro. You can also walk here in a short 15 minutes.
It is home to a number of important synagogues, as well as the Jewish Historical Museum, which is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Amsterdam. The neighborhood is also known for its lively nightlife and its many bars and clubs.
The Old Jewish Quarter is a great location for a canal cruise since you’ll be right near the Amstel River, which will be the gateway to all the best canals and is close to several iconic canal houses. If you are traveling as a family, you can easily access the Artis Royal Zoo from here via bike.
Best Places to Stay in Old Jewish Quarter
See Related: Best Day Trips from Amsterdam, Netherlands
9. Museum Quarter (Museumkwartier)
The Museum Quarter is one of the most popular neighborhoods in Amsterdam, and for a good reason. It is home to some of the city’s most famous museums, including the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, and Stedelijk Museum. If you are looking for a spot close to all the best museums in Amsterdam,
Museum Quarter is also known for its beautiful parks, including the Vondelpark and Sarphatipark. If you’re looking for a central location with plenty of things to do, the Museum Quarter is a decent choice.
Best Places to Stay in Museum Quarter
Amsterdam-Noord is a district in the north of Amsterdam that is popular with artists and hipsters. It has a lot of character and is a great place to explore. Some of the highlights include the Amsterdam-Noord Cultural Center, the NDSM Wharf, and the A’DAM Tower.
This is a great location if you are looking for affordable accommodation. You’ll be outside of the canal ring and north of the Ij River, but it’s an area that features a number of modern hotels and vacation rentals.
If you are worried about location, stay near the metro station, which is Amsterdam’s fastest metro train line, directly into several key areas in the city center. Your best bet here is to find a vacation rental, if available.
Best Places to Stay in Amsterdam-Noord
See Related: Best Parks in Amsterdam to Visit
Westerpark is one of the best neighborhoods in Amsterdam for travelers on a tight budget. The hotel options in the area are affordable, and the neighborhood is centrally located, making it easy to explore all that Amsterdam has to offer.
Westerpark itself is a great place to spend a day, with its museums and lively nightlife. And if you’re an animal lover, you’ll appreciate being right next to Westerpark, one of the city’s most popular parks. So if you’re looking for a great place to stay in Amsterdam on a budget, Westerpark should be at the top of your list.
Best Places to Stay in Westerpark
12. Canal Belt (Grachtengordel)
The Canal Belt (Grachtengordel in Dutch) was constructed around 1730 and enclosed the city center in a series of concentric Canal Rings. The Canal Belt is special because of its lovely historic buildings, canal houses, charming cafes, and romantic bridges at every step.
The inner canal of Amsterdam is composed of four channels: Singel, Herengracht, Keizersgracht, and Prinsengracht. This picturesque area of canals is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you’re looking for the best places to stay for a couple’s getaway in Amsterdam, look no further than the Canal Belt.
With its charming Canal Houses and bridges, the Canal Belt is one of the most romantic places in Amsterdam. And because it’s located in the heart of the city, you’ll be close to all the best attractions.
Best Places to Stay in Grachtengordel
See Related: Tips for Riding a Bike in Amsterdam
Plantage is an easy-to-find residential neighborhood perfect for a family with children looking to spend time together. It is a relaxed, artsy district just opposite the Old Jewish Quarter (Jodenbuurt). There are also many green parts that will prove useful for children. In short, Plantage is an undervalued part of Amsterdam.
Plantage offers activities such as the Micropia Science Museum and Artis Royal Zoo, as well as more low-key cafes and restaurants. The Plantage neighborhood in Amsterdam is also a great place to take a walk or cycle with your family.
You can find plenty of parks here, like the Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam and the Wertheimpark. If you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-path area to explore during your time in Amsterdam, Plantage is the perfect place to start.
Best Places to Stay in Plantage
Things to Know About Amsterdam’s Neighborhoods and Accommodations
Amsterdam is my favorite European city for a variety of reasons. The main reasons are due to the culture, amazing architecture, and also the vast variety of dynamics within the city center.
It’s no secret that Amsterdam’s city center is one of its main draws. Amsterdam is a city of many neighborhoods, each with its own distinct character and vibe.
- The Jordaan neighborhood has a quiet, low-key vibe and is home to some of the best restaurants in Amsterdam (including De Jaren, which serves traditional Dutch cuisine).
- The Canal Ring is where most visitors stay and features beautiful architecture along its canals. You’ll find lots of shops and cafes here as well as the Anne Frank House museum.
- The Red Light District is known for its adult entertainment venues, but there are also plenty of great restaurants that serve traditional Dutch dishes like bitterballen—fried meatballs with mustard sauce—and oliebollen—fried dough balls filled with jam or apple slices.
- If you’re looking for a more modern neighborhood, the Eastern Docklands is home to many new hotels and restaurants.
Types of Accommodation in Amsterdam
There are a number of different types of accommodation in Amsterdam that travelers can choose from.
- Hotels: These are the most common type of accommodation, and they come in all shapes and sizes. They range from small boutique hotels to huge 5-star resorts on the outskirts of town.
- Hostels: Hostels are another popular budget option, especially for younger people who want to meet new friends while traveling around Europe. And don’t worry if you’re not staying at one yourself—Amsterdam has plenty of hostel bars where you’ll always find an interesting mix of guests to talk with!
- Apartments: If you’ve got a family or want some extra privacy during your stay, then an apartment may be right for you! There are many great options available throughout Amsterdam, including ones close enough that it’s possible for everyone in your group to join up every day for walks together. Just remember that apartments aren’t usually furnished, so plan accordingly before making any final decisions about which property feels best suited for your needs during this trip.
- Houseboats: One of the most unique accommodation options in Amsterdam is the houseboats. These are actual boats that have been converted into homes and can be found all throughout the city’s canals. While they may not be suitable for everyone, it’s definitely something to consider if you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind experience during your time here.
See Related: Best Family-Friendly Hotels in Amsterdam
Is Amsterdam Expensive?
Amsterdam is expensive, and there’s no doubt about it. But that doesn’t mean you can’t save a few euros when you visit. One of the best ways to do this is to avoid hotels in the main city center (especially during large events) and look for other accommodation options like Airbnb. You’ll also get a more authentic experience of Amsterdam. Another tip is to visit during the off-season when prices are lower.
The average cost of a hotel in Amsterdam is about $180 per night, but there are budget options available for those looking to save a little money. If you’re on a tight budget and want to find a low-cost place to stay, look for apartments or hostels away from the center of town. If you don’t mind being farther away from the city center, it’s possible to find a place that costs around $100 per night or less.
There are also ways you can save money on transportation while staying in Amsterdam: walk or bike! You’ll be able to see much more of this beautiful city if you don’t rely on public transportation or taxis (which are very expensive).
Which part of Amsterdam is the best to stay in?
Amsterdam Centrum is a great area to stay if this is your first time visiting Amsterdam since the city center is within close walking distance to all the major tourist attractions, restaurants, and cafés. You can split Amsterdam Centrum into smaller areas that differ in their atmospheres. If you are looking for a more local experience, we’d recommend staying in De Pijp, Oud-Zuid, or Westerpark.
Where can I stay in Amsterdam on a budget?
The best place to stay for an affordable price in Amsterdam is Oud-Zuid — often grouped within the city’s Museum District. You’ll be outside the canal ring, but you’ll have the charm of a local neighborhood, and you’ll still be in a somewhat central location. This area also features easy access to Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport.
Where can I stay in Amsterdam with my family?
Plantage or the Old Jewish Quarter of Jodenbuurt are the ideal locations in Amsterdam to unwind with friends and family. You’ll find beautiful parks and gardens, opera houses and concert halls, as well as museums dedicated to art or Jewish history. In addition, there’s one of Europe’s finest zoos, Artis, and the city’s oldest flea market, Waterlooplein Market.
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