Where to stay in Amsterdam – What you need to know

Amsterdam is located in the province of North Holland and is the official and cultural capital of the Netherlands.

Best areas to stay in Amsterdam - Top Quarters and Hotels

Best areas to stay in Amsterdam – Top Quarters and Hotels

This city is, without a doubt, one of the most known cities in the world.

Its historical centre is compact and pedestrian-friendly, with its iconic canals and brick houses from the 17th century that give it a refined atmosphere.

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

The Dutch capital is famous or, for many, infamous for its Red Light District and its coffee shops 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 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 fairytale-like atmosphere. Summer is also recommended because it is less rainy and because the months of July and August concentrate a good part of the festivals and activities that the city has to offer.

The centre is connected by an extensive system of trams that run the city in all directions, while the Amsterdam metro system is efficient to move to the periphery of the city and regional trains have stops at the airport, the Central Station and Amsterdam Zuid.

As for the best areas to stay in Amsterdam, the centre stands out for bringing together 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

1. Recommended area: Grachtengordel (Canal Belt)

The Grachtengordel or Amsterdam canal belt borders the centre of the city to the south, east and west.

This is, without a doubt, the most charming area of ​​the city. Its network of canals, small arched bridges and beautiful houses of the seventeenth century make Grachtengordel one of the most photogenic places in Amsterdam.

There is no obvious route to walk through the Grachtengordel and, in fact, the best thing to do to enjoy it is to let yourself get lost among its narrow streets.

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

Another attraction in the area is Leidseplein, a busy square at the southern end of the central ring of the canals of Amsterdam.

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 centres in Amsterdam.

Grachtengordel is, undoubtedly, the best area 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 centre
  • Charming streets
  • Amsterdam canals
  • Best area for sightseeing
  • Connected by tram
  • Leidseplein

Hand-picked hotels in this area

  • Our Top Pick

    Mozart Hotel is 300 metres from the Leidseplein and 200 metres 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 centre 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 metres from Leidseplein. This 2-star hotel offers non-smoking rooms and high-speed WiFi. – from €89 .

  • Luxury Option

    Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht, located in the centre 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 .

 

 

 

2. Oude Centrum & Red-Light District

Amsterdam Centraal Station, Damrak and Rokin streets are the main axes of the Old City of Amsterdam. In medieval times, the Damrak did not exist and, in its place, was the mouth of the Amstel River, which crossed Amsterdam in half.

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

The old side houses the Nieuwmarkt, heart of the Chinese quarter of the city, with excellent Asian restaurants.

Nearby, you’ll find the Red Light District and its iconic windows.

The most emblematic square on the new side is Dam Square, considered the heart of Amsterdam. In it, you will find the Royal Palace (Koninklijk Paleis) and the New Church (Nieuwe Kerk), while, in its surroundings, you will find the main commercial areas of the city.

The old town of Amsterdam also offers some more “alternative” attractions. In Damrak, you can find 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 travellers interested in the wildest side of the city.

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:

  • Old Town
  • Train and tram connections
  • Dam Square
  • Red-Light District
  • Coffeeshops
  • Amsterdam Centraal Station
  • Chinatown

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 Centre 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 centre 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 .

 

 

 

3. Museum Quarter & Vondelpark

The Amsterdam Museum Square (Museumplein) is located south of Leidseplein.

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

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

The museum district is the cultural centre of the city and offers a lot of activities and attractions.

This is also one of the best areas to stay in Amsterdam for shopping, with streets such as P.C. Hooftstraat, Pieter Cornelisz or Van Baerlestraat that host the most important brands in the world. From diamonds to leather shoes or designer handbags, this is the luxury shopping area of the city.

Another attraction of the district is Vondelpark, the most important park in the centre 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 theatre 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 metres from the centre 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 centre 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 metres 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 .

 

 

 

4. Jordaan

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

This neighbourhood is in the canal area of Amsterdam and has narrow streets that house trendy shops, modern restaurants and traditional cafes.

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

The Jordaan was originally a poor district, with small houses and many inhabitants. However, currently, it is one of the most sought-after neighbourhoods to live in Amsterdam.

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

On the edge of the Jordaan, you’ll find the House of Anne Frank. This important memorial museum is located on the Prinsengracht.

Jordaan is one of the best 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:

  • Charming streets
  • Anne Frank house
  • Good restaurants

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.

 

 

 

5. De Pijp

The “Pijp” is one of the liveliest areas of Amsterdam.

The heart of this district is the Albert Cuyp, where you’ll find the largest open-air market in Europe, the Albert Cuyp market, with all kinds of products, from food and beverages to clothing and cosmetics.

In addition, the Pijp is known for the Heineken Experience, an exhibition in the former factory of the most international and well-known beer brand in the Netherlands.

The area also has the highest percentage of cafes and restaurants in the Netherlands, with a large number of alternative bars, ethnic restaurants and leisure options.

De Pijp is one of the best areas to stay in Amsterdam as it is the most hipster neighbourhood in Amsterdam, as well as a very entertaining place to stay.

Thanks to the multicultural and artistic atmosphere of the area, the Pijp is known as the Latin Quarter 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.

 

 

 

6. Amsterdam Noord

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

Separated from the centre of Amsterdam by the IJ bay, the Noord area combines industrial and residential suburbs, which gives it an atmosphere of tranquillity.

Noord has an interesting contrast of port charm and modernity, with old areas of coastal houses on the streets Nieuwendammerdijk and Buiksloterdijk, as well as office buildings.

Noord is an emerging area of ​​Amsterdam, its distance from the tourist areas makes it a good area to stay in Amsterdam if you travel with your family.

When staying in 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 departing from the central station every few minutes. These ferries are free and admit bicycles on board.

Noord is full of fun and interesting things to do. In addition, from here, you can get the best views of Amsterdam, ideal for walks and romantic getaways or for photography lovers.

Best districts to stay in Amsterdam - Noord

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:

  • Best views of Amsterdam
  • Connected by ferry
  • Charming area

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.

 

 

 

7. Zuidas

Zuidas is a large financial district and, as its name in Dutch indicates, is located in the south of Amsterdam.

Zuidas is also known as the “Financial Mile” and is situated between the Amstel and Schinkel rivers.

Zuidas has excellent train connections with Schiphol Airport and Central Station. In addition, from here, you can arrive by metro to other business areas, through the Circular Line.

In Zuidas, they are headquartered large multinationals such as ING Group, ABN AMRO, and Akzo Nobel, in addition to the World Trade Centre Amsterdam. Therefore, it is one of the best areas to stay in Amsterdam for business.

Zuidas is the best area to stay in Amsterdam for congresses, thanks to its excellent connections, an abundance of business type hotels and 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 centre. – from €89.

 

 

 

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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.

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