Where to stay in Amsterdam – What you need to know

Amsterdam is located in the province of North Holland.

Amsterdam is the official and cultural capital of the Netherlands. This European city has about 800,000 inhabitants and is visited annually by an estimated 4 million international tourists.

Best areas to stay in Amsterdam - Top Quarters and Hotels

Best areas to stay in Amsterdam – Top Quarters and Hotels

Amsterdam is undoubtedly one of the best-known cities in the world.

Open minded and welcoming, Amsterdam is a friendly and manageable city. Its historic center is compact and easy to walk, its characteristic canals and seventeenth-century brick houses give it a peaceful and refined atmosphere.

Amsterdam hosts world-class tourist attractions, including the Van Gogh Museum, the Rijskmuseum, the canals, the elegant Dam square or the Anne Frank house.

The Dutch capital is also famous, or for many infamous, for its Red Light District and its coffeshops, cafeterias where it is possible to acquire cannabis for recreational use.

However, despite its “adult” entertainment, Amsterdam can also be a family and cultural destination.

Amsterdam has a continental climate, typical of northern Europe, with very cold and wet winters, rainy springs and autumns and mild summers. The best time to visit Amsterdam is spring when the balconies and markets display their flowers and give the city a fairy-tale atmosphere. Summer is also recommended as it is slightly drier and also because the months of July and August concentrate a good part of the festivals and activities that the city has to offer.

The center of Amsterdam is connected by an extensive system of trams that travel in all directions. Amsterdam’s metro system is convenient to move to the periphery of the city. Regional trains stop at the airport and connect it with the Central Station and Amsterdam Zuid.

As for the best areas to stay, Amsterdam’s city center has most of the attractions of the city, as well as being an excellent area for nightlife and gastronomy. See accommodation in central Amsterdam.

Accommodation options in Amsterdam

Hotels in Amsterdam

The best hotels to stay in the Dutch capital.

Hostels in Amsterdam

Hostels and cheap stays all around Amsterdam.


Apartments

Would you like some independence? Book an apartment in Amsterdam.

Amsterdam Guesthouses

Guesthouses, bed and breakfasts and pensions in Amsterdam.

Best areas to stay in Amsterdam

Recommended area: Grachtengordel (Canal Belt)

Grachtengordel borders the old center of Amsterdam to the south, east and west.

The “canal belt” is undoubtedly the most charming part of the city, its network of olive-green canals and small arched bridges from street to street, surrounded by beautiful 17th century houses that have remained practically intact, with very few modern additions.

There is no obvious route to walk around the Grachtengordel, and in fact the best thing you can do to enjoy it is to get lost in its small streets.

Its three main channels are Herengracht (knights’ canal), Keizersgracht (emperor’s canal) and Prinsengracht (prince’s canal).

Leidseplein is a busy square at the southern end of the central ring of the Amsterdam canals.

Leidseplein translates roughly as Leiden Square. Leidseplein serves as a transport hub in the city, with several tram lines crossing here, as well as one of the most important nightlife and shopping centers in Amsterdam.

Grachtengordel is undoubtedly the best neighborhood to stay in Amsterdam.

Best area to stay in Amsterdam - Grachtengordel

Best area to stay in Amsterdam – Grachtengordel

Amsterdam - Grachtengordel - Click to see all hotels on a map

Amsterdam – Grachtengordel – Click to see all hotels on a map

Why stay here:

  • Amsterdam city center
  • Charming streets
  • Amsterdam canals
  • Quality hotels
  • Best area for tourists
  • Connected by tram
  • Leidseplein

Hand-picked hotels in this area

  • Our Top Pick

    Mozart Hotel is 300 meters from the Leidseplein and 200 meters from the Prinsengracht tram stop. The property offers free Wi-Fi, a 24-hour reception, vending machines and a breakfast room overlooking the canal. – from €75.

  • Budget Option

    ITC Hotel is simple, offers free Wi-Fi and is located in the center of Amsterdam, a 5-minute walk from Rembrandt Square. It serves breakfast until noon and is a 15-minute walk from Leidseplein. – from €49.

  • Midrange Option

    Acostar Hotel is 300 meters from Leidseplein. This 2-star hotel offers non-smoking rooms and high-speed WiFi. – from €89 .

  • Luxury Option

    Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht, located in the center of the canal belt, it offers elegantly designed rooms with free Wi-Fi. The Jordaan area and the Negen Straatjes area are a 15-minute walk away. – from €259 .

 

 

 

Oude Centrum & Red-Light District

Amsterdam Centraal Station and Damrak and Rokin streets are the main axis of the Old City of Amsterdam. In medieval times, the Damrak didn’t exist, and in its place was the mouth of the Amstel River, which used to cut Amsterdam in half.

To the east of the Damrak-Rokin axis was the old side (Oudezijde), the oldest part, from the thirteenth century, while to the west was the new side (Nieuwezijde), which was built at the end of the Middle Ages.

The old side houses the Nieuwmarkt, the heart of the city’s Chinatown. Zeedijk offers some excellent Asian restaurants.

Nearby is the Red Light District and its infamous shop windows.

The most emblematic square on the new side is Dam Square, considered the heart of Amsterdam. In it is the Royal Palace (Koninklijk Paleis) and the New Church (Nieuwe Kerk). Around are the main commercial areas of the city.

Alongside the more “official” cultural sites, Amsterdam’s Old Town also offers some more “alternative” attractions. In Damrak you can find, for example, the Vodka Museum and the Sex Museum, and in the Red Light District there is the Hash and Marihuana Museum.

Oude Centrum is a recommended area to stay in Amsterdam, especially for young travelers interested in the wildest side of Amsterdam.

Oude Centrum - Where to stay in Amsterdam

Oude Centrum – Where to stay in Amsterdam

Where to stay in Amsterdam Red Light District

Where to stay in Amsterdam Red Light District

Amsterdam - Oude Centrum & Red Light District - Click to see all hotels on a map

Amsterdam – Oude Centrum & Red Light District – Click to see all hotels on a map

Why stay here:

  • Amsterdam Old Town
  • Train and tram connections
  • Dam Square
  • Red-Light District
  • Coffee-shops
  • Amsterdam Centraal Station
  • Chinatown
  • Great food
  • Nightlife

Hand-picked hotels in this area

  • Our Top Pick

    WestCord City Centre Hotel s within walking distance of the central station and the main sights of Amsterdam. The WestCord City Center Hotel Amsterdam offers very comfortable rooms. – from €80.

  • Budget Option

    Hotel Internationaal is located on a historic street, a 5-minute walk from Amsterdam Central Station and Dam Square. It offers free Wi-Fi and a nautical-themed bar. – from €49.

  • Midrange Option

    ibis Amsterdam Centre Stopera is about 10 or 15 minutes walk from Dam Square, Rembrandt Square and the station. It offers drinks and snacks service 24 hours a day. – from €84 .

  • Luxury Option

    NH Collection Amsterdam Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky, a f-star hotel, is located in the center of Amsterdam, near the famous Dam Square, opposite the Royal Palace. The NH Collection Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky has a large café and a winter garden. It offers free WiFi. – from €179 .

 

 

 

Museum Quarter & Vondelpark

Located south of Leidseplein, you will find the Amsterdam Museum Square (Museumplein).

Built in the 19th century, this square is the ultimate expression of sophistication and home to the three main museums in Amsterdam, the Rijksmuseum, the Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art and the Van Gogh Museum.

Without a doubt, any traveler interested in art will find in the Museum Quarter the best place to stay in Amsterdam.

The museum district is the cultural center of the city, and it offers a lot of activities and attractions. A walk through the exclusive streets P.C. Hooftstraat, Pieter Cornelisz or Van Baerlestraat will take you through the fanciest brands shops in the world. From diamonds to leather shoes or designer handbags, this is the luxury shopping area of the city.

Another attraction in this district is Vondelpark, the largest park in the center of Amsterdam.

Recommended area to stay in Amsterdam - Museum Quarter & Vondelpark

Recommended area to stay in Amsterdam – Museum Quarter & Vondelpark

Amsterdam - Museum Quarter & Vondelpark - Click to see all hotels on a map

Amsterdam – Museum Quarter & Vondelpark – Click to see all hotels on a map

Why stay here:

  • Central area to stay
  • Refined atmosphere
  • Luxury shopping
  • Boutique hotels
  • Amsterdam museums
  • Vondelpark

Hand-picked hotels in this area

  • Our Top Pick

    Heye Hotel is located in Amsterdam, a 5-minute walk from the Vondelpark. The property is an 8-minute walk from the Vondelpark open-air theater and 1.2 km from the Van Gogh Museum. The accommodation has a 24-hour reception and a shared lounge. – from €76.

  • Budget Option

    Hotel Abba is an establishment located 500 meters from the center of Amsterdam, close to museums and the main shopping streets and markets. In front of the hotel there is a tram stop that goes through the center of the city and the nearby Vondelpark. – from €50.

  • Midrange Option

    Park Plaza Vondelpark Amsterdam offers accommodation in a residential area located next to the famous Vondelpark. A tram stop with connections to Amsterdam’s main attractions, such as Dam Square, is 100 meters away. – from €89 .

  • Luxury Option

    Pillows Anna van den Vondel Amsterdam was reopened in January 2017. This distinctive or 19th century establishment is located on an elegant street just off Vondelpark and has a private garden. – from €149 .

 

 

 

Jordaan

Located west of the Old Town, Jordaan is one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in Amsterdam.

Its name comes from the adaptation of the French term Jardin (Garden). This characteristic neighborhood in the canals area of Amsterdam has many narrow streets that house trendy shops, modern restaurants and traditional cafes.

On the many bridges over the Jordaan canals, it is possible to see why Amsterdam is called the “Venice of the North”.

The Jordaan was built in the early seventeenth century to house the working class and immigrants. A large influx of refugees arrived in Amsterdam because of their tolerance of other political and religious beliefs.

Jordaan was originally a poor district, with small houses and many inhabitants. Currently it is one of the most sought after places to live in Amsterdam.

The reference point of the Jordaan is the Westertoren bell tower.

The Jordaan is home to the House of Anne Frank. This important memorial museum is located on the Prinsengracht.

Jordaan is one of the recommended areas to stay in Amsterdam.

Jordaan - Best quarters to stay in Amsterdam

Jordaan – Best quarters to stay in Amsterdam

Amsterdam - Jordaan - Click to see all hotels on a map

Amsterdam – Jordaan – Click to see all hotels on a map

Why stay here:

  • Zona céntrica para alojarse
  • Calles con encanto
  • Vistas de los canales
  • Casa de Anne Frank
  • Mercados de flores
  • Cafés y restaurantes

Hand-picked hotels in this area

  • Our Top Pick

    Mr. Jordaan offers accommodation in Amsterdam, close to the Anne Frank House and the Royal Palace of Amsterdam. The accommodation is about an 11-minute walk from Dam Square and close to Beurs van Berlage. The hotel is located in the central district of Amsterdam. – from €89.

 

 

 

De Pijp

Undoubtedly, the ‘Pijp’ is one of the liveliest parts of Amsterdam.

The heart of this district is the ‘Albert Cuyp’, where the largest open-air market in Europe is located. The Albert Cuyp market has everything from food and beverages to clothing and cosmetics.

In addition, the Pijp is known for the Heineken Experience, which takes place at the old Heineken factory.

The area also has the highest density of cafes and restaurants in the Netherlands, with lots of alternative bars, ethnic restaurants and entertainment options.

De Pijp is bustling, entertaining and the most hipster neighborhood in Amsterdam.

Thanks to its multicultural and artistic environment, the Pijp is known as the Quartier Latin of Amsterdam.

Best area to stay in Amsterdam - De Pijp

Best area to stay in Amsterdam – De Pijp

Amsterdam - De Pijp - Click to see all hotels on a map

Amsterdam – De Pijp – Click to see all hotels on a map

Why stay here:

  • Central area
  • Bars and restaurants
  • Best area for nightlife
  • Albert Cuyp Market
  • Heineken Experience
  • Hipster area

Hand-picked hotels in this area

  • Our Top Pick

    ibis Styles Amsterdam City, a 3- star property, is a short walk from the De Pijp district and the Amstel river. It has a 24-hour reception and rooms with a private bathroom and a flat-screen TV. – from €89.

 

 

 

Amsterdam Noord

As its name suggests, Amsterdam Noord is located in the north of the city.

Separated from “Amsterdam proper” by IJ Canal, for many years Noord has been a combination of industrial and residential suburbs.

Noord has a port charm mixed with modernity, with old areas of coastal houses on Nieuwendammerdijk and Buiksloterdijk streets, and new office buildings.

Noord is an emerging area of ​Amsterdam, its relative isolation gives it a quieter atmosphere than the center of the city.

If you plan to stay at Amsterdam Noord, the most important thing to keep in mind is that the area does not have tram or metro connections, but is connected by ferries that depart from Centraal every few minutes. These ferries are free and admit bicycles on board.

Noord is full of fun and interesting things to do. Relaxing in one of the cafes with spectacular views of Amsterdam next to the Bay of IJ is always an excellent option.

Best districts to stay in Amsterdam – Noord

Amsterdam - Noord - Click to see all hotels on a map

Amsterdam – Noord – Click to see all hotels on a map

Why stay here:

  • Alternative area
  • Port atmosphere
  • Views over Amsterdam

Hand-picked hotels in this area

  • Our Top Pick

    DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Amsterdam – NDSM Wharf is located in the district of Amsterdam-Noord, in front of the IJ channel. This 4-star boutique hotel offers modern accommodation with views of the water or the NDSM pier. Some rooms have interiors decorated with street art. – from €79.

  • Luxury Option

    DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Amsterdam – NDSM Wharf, located in an old port crane 50 meters high in the NDSM shipyard, has design suites overlooking the IJ. Free WiFi is available in all suites. Amsterdam Central Station is on the other side of the river, 10 minutes by ferry. – from €499.

 

 

 

Zuidas

Zuidas (meaning “South Axis”) is a large financial district located in the south of Amsterdam.

Zuidas is also known as the ‘Financial Mile’. It is situated between the Amstel and Schinkel rivers, next to the A10 ring road.

Zuidas has excellent train connections with Schipol Airport and the Central Station, and by metro with other business areas.

Large multinationals such as ING Group, ABN AMRO, and Akzo Nobel have their headquarters in this area. The World Trade Center Amsterdam is also located here.

Zuidas is the best place to stay in Amsterdam for business travelers thanks to its excellent connections, an abundance of business-style hotels and its proximity to the most important office buildings in the city.

Best neighbourhoods to stay in Amsterdam - Zuidas

Best neighbourhoods to stay in Amsterdam – Zuidas

Amsterdam - Zuidas - Click to see all hotels on a map

Amsterdam – Zuidas – Click to see all hotels on a map

Why stay here:

  • Modern area
  • Business-style hotels
  • Great connections

Hand-picked hotels in this area

  • Our Top Pick

    citizenM Amsterdam offers modern accommodation with mood lighting, free Wi-Fi and a flat-screen TV with free on-demand movies. The CitizenM Amsterdam includes several design rooms, and is 750 meters from the RAI conference center. – from €89.

 

 

 

Read this post in Spanish.

About the Author

My name is Luis Cicerone. When I was little, I would walk around the house with an atlas in my hand. My rainy Sundays were spent memorising maps and capitals. At fifteen I did my first solo trip and since then I travel whenever I can. I work in travel marketing. I love photography, movies and cat videos.

Leave a Reply