The capital of the Netherlands, Amsterdam is known for its elaborate canal system, narrow colourful houses and cobbled streets, all reminiscent of its origins as a small fishing village in the late 12th century.
Since then, Amsterdam has developed into one of the most important ports in the world and has continued to grow and evolve into many neighbourhoods and suburbs that make up the city that we know today.
Boasting a level of charm that other European cities can only hope to achieve, Amsterdam is famously gezellig, a Dutch quality that translates roughly as ‘cosy.’ While the city definitely gives off homely vibes, it by no means compromises on the qualities that make it such a great city.
There are plenty of things to do in Amsterdam like marvel at the post-industrial buildings, art galleries and breweries, treasure-filled museums and vintage-filled shops.
There is an abundance of areas in Amsterdam with culture and entertainment, and that’s not even mentioning the quirky clubs, street art, and vibrant drinking and dining scenes. Explore the numerous bike paths and narrow streets and you’ll find something new on every corner.
Choosing where to stay in Amsterdam as a first-time visitor can be overwhelming, mainly because the accommodation options are plentiful and among the most exciting in Europe! While having too many options isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it is worth doing your research beforehand to make the right decision for you.
|❤️ Best Area first timers||Vondelpark or Oud Zuid|
|💸 Best Luxury Hotel||W Amsterdam|
|👪 Best Hotel for For Families||Movenpick Hotel Amsterdam City Centre|
|🏨 Best Mid-Range Hotel||The Hoxton, Amsterdam|
|🛏️ Best Budget Hotel||easyHotel Amsterdam City Centre South|
|✨ Best Hostel||Flying Pig Downtown|
Wondering where is the best place to stay in Amsterdam? We will cover all types of Amsterdam accommodation options from hostels to luxury Amsterdam hotels as well as how to decide where to stay in Amsterdam 2024, the best Amsterdam hotels, the best places in Amsterdam to visit, the best places to stay Amsterdam, hotels near Amsterdam attractions, Amsterdam neighbourhood guide and many more.
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Whether you like hostels, campsites, houseboats, quirky boutique B&Bs, luxurious apartments, or want to stay in a converted old 17th-century canal house, Amsterdam offers it all catering for every type of traveller and budget. To help you make a start on your search, here are our recommendations for where to stay in the Dutch capital.
Below are 19 of the best neighborhoods in Amsterdam to stay, to help you make the right decision when trying to work out best area to stay in Amsterdam for first time visitors. We have tried to make the guide as easy to follow as possible. We have also included some things to do or places to visit within the areas in Amsterdam so you can use this as a go to guide.
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The Old Centre – Where to stay in Amsterdam close to everything
Amsterdam’s Old Centre is the historic heart of the city. It is close to all of the main attractions, great restaurants and bars, and popular nightlife areas.
If budget and time are tight, this is one of the best places to stay in Amsterdam city centre. Close to all the main sights, great restaurants and bars, local shopping and popular nightlife areas are just a short walk away.
Although close to the red light district, the area has great transport links to Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport, Amsterdam Centraal Station and to the rest of the city centre, and the streets are lined with cheap hotels.
Take a walk around the area and discover Dam Square, the hub of the Old Centre. Some people might consider the proximity to the red light district as one of the areas to avoid staying in Amsterdam but I personally love this area.
The red light district is only really a few streets wide and it is the best area to stay in Amsterdam for coffee shops, it;s also considered one of the safest area to stay in Amsterdam.
Wander the charming canals and explore Kalverstraat and Nieuwendijk, the Old Centre’s shopping streets.
Stumble upon sights such as the imposing Royal Palace, Oude Kerk (Old Church) and Rembrandt’s House in the busy Waterlooplein square where there is a daily flea market! Wondering where to stay in Amsterdam city centre, check out the below selections.
Why stay in the Old Centre:
If you have limited time in the city, the Old Centre is one of the best places to stay in Amsterdam. Although close to the Red Light district.
The area has great transport links to Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam Centraal Station and to the rest of the city.
Staying in the Old Centre is very convenient and will save you a fair bit of travel time.
Things to do in the Old Centre:
- The Royal Palace
The Royal Palace, also known as the Koninklijk Paleis Amsterdam, is a historic building located on the western side of Dam Square. The palace was originally built in the 17th century as a city hall, but it was later converted into a royal residence in the early 19th century.
It’s an incredible example of neoclassical architecture, featuring grand halls and rooms decorated with stunning works of art, including murals, sculptures and paintings.
- Rembrandt’s House
In the former residence of renowned Dutch painter Rembrandt van Rijn is an extensive museum featuring many of his works.
The home has also been restored to reflect what it would have looked like when Rembrandt was living here, including his studio.
Art lovers won’t want to miss this attraction, as you can also participate in various workshops and demonstrations, including printmaking and 17th-century painting techniques.
Best Places to Stay in Old Centre Amsterdam –
Museum Quarter – Where to stay in Amsterdam on a budget
For a more up-market stay, head Southwest of the city centre and you’ll find the Museum Quarter. An artist’s paradise, this district is home to world-class cultural gems such as the Van Gogh Museum (which is the biggest of its kind).
The Rijksmuseum (the largest art gallery in Holland boasting works by Rembrandt and Vermeer), and Stedelijk (a haven for modern art).
Here you will find boutique and top-end hotels, exclusive shopping options, a plethora of eateries and bars, and the popular Vondelpark in all its glory.
Although there are no canals here as the district is outside of the canal loop, there is plenty to do for every kind of traveller. Museum Quarter is one of the best neighbourhoods in Amsterdam to stay on a budget.
For a more up-market stay, head southwest of the city centre and you’ll find the Museum Quarter.
Why stay in the Museum Quarter:
You will want to stay in the Museum Quarter if you want to soak up the art and culture of the Netherlands.
An artist’s paradise, this district is home to world-class cultural gems, boutique and top-end hotels, exclusive shopping options and a plethora of eateries and bars.
Things to do in the Museum Quarter:
- Van Gogh Museum
The Van Gogh Museum is a must-visit destination for art lovers visiting Amsterdam. The museum is home to the largest collection of Vincent van Gogh’s works in the world, including over 200 paintings, 500 drawings, and 700 letters.
Visitors can explore the artist’s life and work, as well as learn about his artistic influences and legacy.
The museum also features works by other artists who were contemporaries of Van Gogh, giving visitors a broader context for his life and work.
- Stedelijk Museum
The Stedelijk Museum is a world-renowned institution of modern and contemporary art. It is home to an extensive collection of artworks from the 19th and 20th centuries, with a focus on avant-garde movements such as De Stijl and the Amsterdam School.
The museum also features temporary exhibitions, educational programs, and a design collection showcasing the best of Dutch design.
Best Places to Stay in Museum Quarter Amsterdam
Jordaan- Best neighborhood to stay in Amsterdam
If you’re looking for charm, culture and chilled vibes, Jordaan district is all three rolled into one. A former working-class neighbourhood, you can still see the original charm from its past lining the streets and sense a humble and welcoming atmosphere from the locals.
Perfect for quiet getaways, unwind away from the busy city centre and explore the sights close by such Stedelijk Museum or Anne Frank Museum House.
Take a walk and discover how the district has now become a hub full of eclectic restaurants and bars, cutting-edge art galleries, quirky shops and boutique hotels.
Renowned for its photogenic townhouses, impressive culinary scene, and relaxed pace, you can see why this bustling neighbourhood would be an appealing place to stay in Amsterdam.
If you’re looking for charm, culture and chill vibes, the Jordaan district is all three rolled into one. A former working-class neighbourhood, you can still see the original charm from its past lining the streets and sense a humble and welcoming atmosphere from the locals.
Why stay in Jordaan:
Perfect for quiet getaways, Jordaan allows you to unwind away from the busy city centre and explore the sights close by.
Take a walk and discover how the district has now become a hub full of eclectic restaurants and bars, cutting-edge art galleries, quirky shops and boutique hotels.
Renowned for its photogenic townhouses, impressive culinary scene and relaxed pace, you can see why this bustling neighbourhood would be an appealing place to stay in Amsterdam.
Things to do in Jordaan:
- Anne Frank Museum House
The Anne Frank House is a museum dedicated to preserving the hiding place where Anne Frank and her family lived during World War II.
The museum displays the original diary of Anne Frank, as well as photographs and other historical artefacts from the time.
Tours of the house are offered so you can learn more about the lives of the Frank family and those who lived with them in hiding.
- Explore the markets
Lindengracht and Noordermarkt are two popular street markets located in the northeastern corner of Jordaan. The markets offer a wide variety of goods, including fresh produce, cheeses, flowers, antiques and vintage clothing.
They are both open on Saturdays and are popular destinations for both locals and tourists looking for a unique shopping experience in Amsterdam.
Best Places to Stay in Jordaan Amsterdam –
Vondelpark – Best place to stay in Amsterdam for tourists
Experience a different side of Amsterdam by staying in the lungs of the city, Vondelpark. A large, leafy space perfect for relaxing with locals, cycling and sitting in the sun watching free concerts, this elegant neighbourhood gives you the best of both worlds.
As well as offering this big green space, Vondelpark is close enough to everything that you can get a great experience of Amsterdam without the busyness of the city.
Situated south of Jordaan and west of the Museum Quarter, Vondelpark is a short walk away from many cultural attractions, designer shopping streets, artisanal food courts, and three of Amsterdam’s most popular streets (Overtoom, Kinkerstraat and de Clercqstraat).
Along Overtoom, Kinkerstraat and de Clercqstraat, you will find more restaurants and bars than you’ll know what to do with. Lots of the hotels in this area have been remodelled from buildings like a former diamond factory and warehouses.
Here you will find more restaurants and bars than you’ll know what to do with. Lots of the hotels in this area have been remodelled from buildings including warehouses and a former diamond factory.
Why stay in Vondelpark:
Experience a different side of Amsterdam by staying in the lungs of the city, Vondelpark. As well as offering a luscious green space, Vondelpark is close enough to everything that you can have a great experience of Amsterdam without the busyness of constantly being in the city centre.
A large, leafy area perfect for relaxing with locals, cycling and sitting in the sun watching free concerts, this elegant neighbourhood is an amazing place for tourists.
Things to do in Vondelpark:
- Vondelpark Open Air Theatre
Vondelpark Open Air Theatre is a popular cultural venue located at the park. It offers a diverse range of performances during the summer months, including music concerts, theatre shows, dance performances and comedy shows.
The theatre is an iconic part of Amsterdam’s cultural scene, attracting both locals and tourists with its vibrant atmosphere and stunning natural surroundings.
- The Rose Garden
The Rose Garden is one of the most beautiful and tranquil areas of Vondelpark. It includes over 70 different varieties of roses, and is a popular destination for visitors looking to enjoy the park’s natural beauty.
The garden is open to the public during the summer, and is a wonderful place to relax and take in the colourful and fragrant blooms.
Best Places to Stay in Vondelpark Amsterdam
Amsterdam Noord – Cheap places to stay in Amsterdam
For a more modern area, opt to stay at Amsterdam-Noord. Just a free ferry away from the centre, you can get a completely unique experience of Amsterdam without compromising on convenience or location.
Why stay in Amsterdam-Noord:
Although you may feel like a world away from the capital’s old-worldly charm, Amsterdam-Noord is a great place to stay if you have been to the city before and want to experience it in a different way.
Accommodation also happens to be much more affordable here than in the more central areas, so it’s great if you want to save a little money and stick to a budget.
In this up-and-coming district, there are trendy and modern cafes, outdoor bars where you can eat inside old shipping containers, and Amsterdam’s monthly flea market.
Things to do in Amsterdam-Noord:
- Eye Film Museum
The Eye Film Museum is a stunning modern building located in Amsterdam-Noord, dedicated to the preservation and promotion of film culture.
It houses a vast collection of film-related objects, including posters, photographs and cameras, as well as a cinema with a variety of screenings and events throughout the year.
The museum’s striking architecture and location on the waterfront make it a popular attraction.
NDSM is a former shipyard located in Amsterdam-Noord that has been transformed into a vibrant cultural hub.
The area is known for its street art, industrial architecture and creative community, with many artists’ studios, bars and restaurants.
It is also home to several cultural events throughout the year, such as the Over het IJ Festival and the Amsterdam Light Festival, making it a popular spot for locals and tourists seeking out Amsterdam’s creative side.
Best Places to Stay in Amsterdam Noord
De Pijp- Best place to stay in Amsterdam for nightlife
Just a short tram ride south of Centraal station takes you into one of the most cosmopolitan and vibrant districts of Amsterdam, De Pijp.
Full of long narrow streets packed with brunch restaurants, Middle Eastern eateries, trendy bars and old-school pubs, this is one district where you won’t be short of food and drink options.
With a picturesque urban layout, you can explore the neighbourhood and find many things to do.
From the iconic Albert Cuyp Market and Heineken Experience to Sarphatipark, De Pijp, with its affordable lodging options, might just be one of the best places to stay in Amsterdam.
Why stay in De Pijp, Amsterdam:
If you love going out at night or consider yourself a bit of a foodie, De Pijp is an ideal place to stay while in Amsterdam.
With a picturesque urban layout, you can explore the neighbourhood and find many things to do.
Things to do in De Pijp, Amsterdam:
- Albert Cuyp Market
Located in the De Pijp neighbourhood, Albert Cuyp Market is one of Amsterdam’s most famous and vibrant outdoor markets.
The market offers a variety of goods, including fresh produce, clothing, flowers and souvenirs. It offers a lively atmosphere and a chance to experience Amsterdam’s street culture.
- Heineken Experience
The Heineken Experience is a popular tourist attraction located in the former Heineken brewery in Amsterdam.
The interactive museum offers visitors an immersive journey through the history and brewing process of the famous Dutch beer, including a tasting session.
The experience includes a guided tour, interactive exhibits, and a rooftop bar with stunning views of the city.
Best Places to Stay in De Pijp Amsterdam
Old Jewish Quarter – Where to stay in Amsterdam for relaxation
The Jewish Quarter of Amsterdam (Jodenbuurt) also called Plantage, has a long and troubled history. For over 350 years, this was the centre of Jewish life in Amsterdam, until World War II.
The buildings remaining after the Holocaust are now maintained by the Jewish Cultural Corner. The Portuguese Synagogue remains, along with the Jewish Historical Museum and the Holocaust Memorial.
The area now is filled with parks and tree-lined boulevards, as well as the Hortus Botanical Gardens and the Artis Royal Zoo.
This is one of the best areas to stay in Amsterdam for travellers seeking a respite from the tourist crowds, but still want easy access to the Amsterdam city centre.
Why stay in the Old Jewish Quarter:
This is one of the best areas to stay in Amsterdam for travellers seeking a respite from the tourist crowds, but still want easy access to the Amsterdam city centre.
If you’re seeking an authentic local experience in an area with a rich history and beautiful architecture, you should definitely consider the Old Jewish Quarter.
Things to do in the Old Jewish Quarter:
- Jewish Historical Museum
The Jewish Historical Museum is located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Old Jewish Quarter and is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Jewish culture and history in the Netherlands.
The museum houses a vast collection of Jewish art, artefacts and historical objects, including ceremonial objects and photographs.
It also offers a variety of exhibitions, lectures and events throughout the year, making it the go-to place for anyone interested in learning about Amsterdam’s Jewish heritage.
- Portuguese Synagogue
Built in the 17th century, the Portuguese Synagogue is one of the oldest and most well-preserved synagogues in Europe.
The synagogue features a stunning interior with ornate wood carvings and a large collection of religious artefacts. Guided tours are offered to learn about the history and traditions of Dutch Jewry.
- Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam
While technically located in the Plantage neighbourhood, this picturesque haven is just across the canal from the Old Jewish Quarter.
The Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam is one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world, dating back to the 17th century.
The garden houses over 4,000 plant species, including exotic tropical plants, medicinal herbs and ancient cycads. It also features several historic greenhouses, including a stunning Victorian greenhouse and a butterfly greenhouse.
Best places to stay in Old Jewish Quarter
Self contained apartment/rentals in Old Jewish Quarter
Westerpark – Where to stay in Amsterdam with family
Just outside the canal belt of Amsterdam lies the neighbourhood of Westerpark, a mixture of creative energy and green open spaces. The park of the same name is a meeting hub of the area with tons of things to do.
Why stay in Westerpark:
Families love the amenities and attractions of Westerpark, such as the petting zoo and the picnic grounds.
For this reason, Westerpark is considered one of the best neighbourhoods in Amsterdam for those travelling with kids.
So, for families deciding where to stay in Amsterdam for the first time, Westerpark is an ideal option. With fewer tourists and more green spaces, it’s really a lovely place to stay in Amsterdam.
Things to do in Westerpark:
Westergasfabriek is a former gasworks plant turned cultural and entertainment complex. It is constantly brimming with a range of events, from concerts and festivals to exhibitions and markets, and is also home to several great restaurants and cafes.
Of course, you’ll want to visit the park the area is named after. Westerpark features sprawling lawns, ponds and community gardens, as well as playgrounds and sports facilities for all ages.
This green oasis is a gorgeous place for a picnic, a walk or a bike ride, and you can even catch some music festivals here during the summer.
Best places to stay in Westerpark
Oud West – Where to stay in Amsterdam for foodies
If you want to experience a lively residential area that’s not far from the Amsterdam city centre, and far less touristy, then the best location to stay in Amsterdam is Oud-West.
For travellers who want a bit of green space, both Rembrandtpark and Vondelpark border this Amsterdam neighbourhood. Many young families call Oud West home, and it’s growing quite the culinary scene as well, with all sorts of diverse ethnic restaurants.
De Hallen Amsterdam is a must-see destination in Oud West; the former tram station has been transformed into a food hall with restaurants, a bike shop and even a boutique hotel. For travellers who want to see how the locals live, this is one of the best neighbourhoods in Amsterdam.
Amsterdam Oud-West aka “Old West” is a vibrant and diverse neighbourhood that is situated just to the west of the city centre. For travellers who want to see how the locals live, this is one of the best neighbourhoods in Amsterdam.
Why stay in Oud-West:
If you want to experience a lively residential area that’s not far from the Amsterdam city centre but is far less touristy, then the best location to stay in is Amsterdam Oud-West.
For travellers who want a bit of green space, both Rembrandtpark and Vondelpark border this Amsterdam neighbourhood.
Many young families call Oud-West home, and it’s becoming quite an up-and-coming culinary scene as well.
Things to do in Oud-West:
- De Hallen Amsterdam
De Hallen Amsterdam is a must-see destination in Oud-West. The complex is housed in a beautifully restored former tram depot and features a variety of spaces, including a cinema, a library, and a range of cultural events and exhibitions.
Also inside De Hallen is one of the best spots to eat in the city, Foodhallen. This popular indoor food market features a huge selection of food stalls, offering a range of international cuisines, craft beers and cocktails.
Not only is there food to suit all taste buds and diets, but there’s a great, vibrant atmosphere here too.
Best places to stay in Oud West
Oud Zuid – Where to stay in Amsterdam first time
Oud Zuid, or “Old South” is an upper-class neighbourhood of Amsterdam, which is just south of the canal ring. This is also known as the Museum Quarter and offers many cultural attractions to residents and visitors alike.
This is quite possibly the best area to stay in Amsterdam for first-time visitors, as there are so many things to do, and many accommodation options, including a small selection of cheap hotels in Amsterdam for budget travellers.
In addition to museums, this is a great spot for Amsterdam nightlife, with several music venues and performance theatres.
Why stay in Oud Zuid:
Oud-Zuid is quite possibly the best area to stay in Amsterdam for first-time visitors, as there are so many things to do and many accommodation options, including a small selection of cheap hotels in Amsterdam for budget travellers.
In addition to all of the museums, this is a great spot for Amsterdam nightlife, with several music venues and performance theatres.
Things to do in Oud Zuid:
The Rijksmuseum is a world-renowned museum located in the Oud-Zuid neighbourhood, dedicated to Dutch art and history.
The museum boasts an extensive collection of over 8,000 paintings and artefacts, including masterpieces by Dutch masters such as Rembrandt, Vermeer and Frans Hals.
Explore the museum’s galleries and exhibitions, attend guided tours, and enjoy the beautiful gardens and architecture of the museum building itself.
- P.C. Hooftstraat
One of Amsterdam’s most famous shopping streets is P.C. Hooftstraat. Located in Oud-Zuid, the street is a popular destination for fashion enthusiasts and luxury shoppers, as it has numerous international fashion houses like Gucci, Chanel and Louis Vuitton, as well as upscale restaurants and cafes.
- Royal Concertgebouw
Located in Oud-Zuid is the Royal Concertgebouw, a world-famous concert hall known for its impressive acoustics.
It hosts some of the world’s most renowned classical musicians and orchestras, and you can attend concerts and other cultural events in the stunning auditorium, which is considered one of the finest concert halls in the world.
Best places to stay in Oud Zuid
Zuidoost – Where to stay in Amsterdam for the music scene
The Southeast quarter of Amsterdam is largely comprised of the residential area Bijlmermeer, as well as the other districts of Venserpolder, Gaasperdam and Driemond.
Amsterdam Arena or the Johann Cruijff Arena is in this area, so this is a great place to stay in Amsterdam if you are visiting for a football match or a music concert. Zuidoost is a city all its own, with over 100,000 residents.
It was originally a futuristic planned community, which later drew many immigrants to the area. It remains a multicultural district of Amsterdam, which has lately benefited from urban renewal projects. This is one of the few places where it’s still possible to find cheap hotels in Amsterdam.
The southeast quarter of Amsterdam (Zuidoost) is made up of the residential area Bijlmermeer, as well as the districts of Venserpolder, Gaasperdam and Driemond.
It is a diverse and multicultural neighbourhood of over 100,000 residents, including many immigrants from all parts of the world.
Why stay in Zuidoost:
Zuidoost is one of the few places where it’s still possible to find cheap hotels in Amsterdam. However, this isn’t the only reason to stay here.
As mentioned, it is a very diverse area that gives you a glimpse into the many cultures that make up Amsterdam.
With multiple entertainment venues, it’s also a top spot for music, sports and other events. Lastly, Zuidoost is well connected to the rest of the city via public transport, so you can easily make your way to all the best attractions in Amsterdam.
Things to do in Zuidoost:
- Amsterdam Arena
The Amsterdam Arena is a large multi-purpose stadium and home to the famous Dutch soccer team, Ajax.
The stadium offers guided tours that give you a behind-the-scenes look at the facilities, including the locker rooms, players’ tunnel and press room.
The tour is available in several languages, and it is a great way to experience the excitement of the stadium even if you’re not able to attend a match or concert while you’re here.
- AFAS Live
AFAS Live is a modern music and event venue, formerly known as the Heineken Music Hall. With a capacity of up to 6,000 people, it hosts a wide range of concerts, performances and events throughout the year.
The venue is known for its excellent acoustics, state-of-the-art technology, and contemporary design.
- Attend the Kwaku Festival
If you’re visiting Amsterdam during the summer, you may be lucky enough to attend the Kwaku Festival. It celebrates the culture and traditions of the African diaspora in Amsterdam with music, food, dance, and other cultural activities.
It is known for its lively atmosphere, vibrant colours, and delicious cuisine. The festival is typically held from late July until early August.
Best places to stay in Zuidoost
Budget Hotels in Zuidoost
easyHotel Amsterdam Arena Boulevard
Amstelveen – Where to stay in Amsterdam for nature lovers
The district closest to Schipol airport is Amstelveen, a town just south of Amsterdam. This town on the Amstel River is called the second greenest city in the Netherlands.
Although it may be a suburb of Amsterdam, don’t be fooled into thinking there is nothing to do here. It’s a lively city all its own, with lovely markets, shopping and museums.
Outdoor recreation is also in abundance with canoes and kayaks, plus the Amsterdam Forest for hikers and cyclists.
If you have previously visited Amsterdam and seen the tourist sites and are looking for an alternative place to stay, consider this convenient suburb.
Why stay in Amstelveen:
If you’ve previously seen all of the tourist sites of Amsterdam and are looking for an alternative place to stay, consider this convenient suburb.
Amstelveen is a lively city all its own, with lovely markets, shopping and museums, as well as plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation.
Things to do in Amstelveen:
- Amsterdam Forest
The beautiful Amsterdam Forest (Amsterdamse Bos) is a large outdoor space that offers visitors a chance to enjoy nature and engage in a variety of outdoor activities, such as hiking, cycling and canoeing.
There are quiet spots to read a book or have a picnic, playgrounds for children, a goat farm, a beekeeping museum, and more.
The park also features several historic buildings and monuments that reflect the ideas of the Dutch modernist movement.
- Historic Village
The Amstelveen historic village is a charming area that features several well-preserved historic buildings, including the Saint Urbanus Church.
The village is a great place to take a leisurely stroll, admire the architecture, and pop into any of the lovely cafes and restaurants.
It is a particularly popular spot during the holiday season, as it hosts several festive events and markets.
Best places to stay in Amstelveen
Budget Hotels in Amstelveen
ibis budget Amsterdam City South
Self contained apartment/rentals in Amstelveen
Leidseplein – Where to stay in Amsterdam for nightlife
Technically part of Amsterdam city centre, Leidseplein Square is a buzz of activity and the centre of Amsterdam nightlife.
There are tons of bars, restaurants, cafes and hotels here, plus Amsterdam’s most famous coffee shop, The Bulldog. The streets are filled with tourists and buskers from all over the world.
Why stay in Leidseplein:
While it is not the most family-friendly area of Amsterdam, if you are a first-time visitor and want to experience what Amsterdam has become famous for, then this is the best location to stay. Leidseplein is perfect for night owls and those who like to socialise and meet new people.
Things to do in Leidseplein:
- Internationaal Theater Amsterdam
The International Theater Amsterdam (ITA) is a world-renowned theatre company that puts on many plays, dance performances and operas.
The theatre’s innovative and thought-provoking productions have earned it a reputation for excellence and have attracted audiences from around the world.
With its modern facilities and commitment to artistic experimentation, ITA is a must-visit for theatre lovers in Amsterdam.
- Casino Holland
If you enjoy a bit of responsible gambling from time to time, you’ll want to check out Casino Holland. The casino features table games, slot machines and more, as well as several restaurants and bars.
There is also regular entertainment and events, making it a fun and exciting place to visit on a night out.
Best places to stay in Leidseplein
Oost – Where to stay in Amsterdam couples
Looking for a romantic break in Amsterdam for you and your partner? You should stay in Oost (translating to ‘east’ in English) which is unsurprisingly just to the east of Amsterdam City Centre.
This district encompasses the Eastern Docklands and the trendy Zeeburg neighbourhood as well as Oosterpark. In fact, there are lots of cool parks in this district where you can have a picnic or enjoy the sunset views over the River Amstel.
The Brouwerij ‘t IJ, a working brewery with a windmill which offers tours, is on the edge of this district which is a perfect couples’ city break activity.
Brouwerij Poesiat & Kater is a great alternative. It also has some fascinating alternative museums such as Tropenmuseum, a mixed arts museum and cinemas like Studio K.
The key to any good European city break when you’re travelling as a couple is staying in comfortable, noteworthy accommodation with a little bit of luxury if it’s within your means so you can recommend it to all your friends. Luckily, there are lots of unique Amsterdam accommodation options in the Oost district.
Oost, which translates to East, is unsurprisingly just to the east of central Amsterdam. This district encompasses the Eastern Docklands and the trendy Zeeburg neighbourhood, as well as Oosterpark.
In fact, there are lots of cool parks in this district where you can have a picnic or enjoy the sunset views over the River Amstel.
Why stay in Amsterdam-Oost:
Looking for a romantic break in Amsterdam for you and your partner? If this is the case, you should stay in Amsterdam-Oost.
The key to any good European city break when you’re travelling as a couple is staying in comfortable, noteworthy accommodation with a little bit of luxury (if it’s within your means).
Luckily, there are lots of unique Amsterdam accommodation options in the Amsterdam-Oost district.
Things to do in Amsterdam-Oost:
- Brouwerij ‘t IJ
Brouwerij ‘t IJ is a craft brewery known for producing high-quality Belgian-style beers. The brewery is housed in a former bathhouse underneath a towering windmill, which has become an iconic landmark of the city’s beer scene.
You can enjoy a variety of beers in the cosy tasting room or outdoor terrace overlooking the canal and take a tour of the facilities.
Dedicated to ethnography and cultural anthropology, Tropenmuseum‘s collection features over 175,000 artefacts and objects from around the world.
There’s a particular focus on the cultures and societies of Asia, Africa and Latin America, with guided tours of the permanent and temporary exhibitions, workshops and lectures.
- Bar Botanique
One of the trendiest eateries in Amsterdam-Oost is Bar Botanique, known for its botanical-themed decor and lively atmosphere.
The restaurant and bar features a mix of indoor and outdoor seating, with a large greenhouse-style area filled with plants and greenery.
The menu includes a mix of international cuisine and inventive cocktails, making it a popular spot for both brunch and evening drinks.
Best places to stay in Oost
Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Oost
Budget Hotels in Oost
Canal Belt /Grachtengordel – Best area to stay in Amsterdam for history lovers
When the canals of Amsterdam were built (largely during the 17th century), they were vital to the city’s economy and infrastructure. Today, they are a UNESCO world heritage site and one of the most picturesque parts of Amsterdam.
So, if you’re asking yourself, “where is the best place to stay in Amsterdam if you absolutely love history?” then it has to be in the Grachtengordel district. This is the heart of the Canal Belt and where all the top historical buildings are!
Westerkerk is one of the top landmarks in Amsterdam and it’s in this neighbourhood. This church dates back to the Renaissance and it’s where the great Dutch artist Rembrandt is buried. Next door is the Anne Frank House and Singel 166, the smallest/narrowest canal house in Amsterdam, is also in Grachtengordel.
If you hear anyone mention Amsterdam’s ‘Nine Streets’ then that is in this district. These nine streets surround the three rows of canals here. Hop on a canal tour while you’re staying to learn as much about the architecture and its history as possible.
Why stay in the Canal Belt:
Maybe you’re asking yourself, “Where is the best place to stay in Amsterdam if you absolutely love history?”.
The answer has to be in the Grachtengordel district. This is the heart of the Canal Belt and where all of the top historical buildings are.
Things to do in the Canal Belt:
- Canal Tour
If you hear anyone mention Amsterdam’s ‘Nine Streets’, this is where you’ll find them. These nine streets surround the three rows of canals here.
Hop on a canal tour while you’re staying to learn as much about the architecture and its history as possible.
Westerkerk is one of the top landmarks in Amsterdam. This church dates back to the Renaissance period and is where the great Dutch artist Rembrandt is buried.
Plus, just next door is the Anne Frank House and Singel 166, the smallest and narrowest canal house in Amsterdam.
Best places to stay in the Canal Belt
Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in the Canal Belt
Hans Brinker Hostel Amsterdam
Self Contained Apartments in the Canal Belt
Zuidas – Where to stay Amsterdam for business travellers
Business travellers can often find it difficult in certain cities to look for hotels; Amsterdam is no different. In a city that attracts so many tourists, you don’t want to be kept up all night by staying in an area known for nightlife.
Even though families tend to be quieter, you don’t want to see kids running around the breakfast buffet in the morning when you’re trying to prepare for a meeting or have an early video call. So if you’re in Amsterdam on business, you should stay in the Zuidas neighbourhood.
This neighbourhood is in the Zuid district, so it’s a little outside of the city centre but it’s still easy to access via Amsterdam’s transport links. There are lots of great chain hotels here where frequent business travellers might have memberships or collect points and Zuidas is known as the ‘Financial Mile’ for a reason.
This is a rapidly developing business district, so if you are working for a global business, your meetings may well be in a building in this neighbourhood anyway.
The neighbourhood of Zuidas is in the Zuid district, so it’s a little outside of the city centre but still easy to access via Amsterdam’s transport links.
This is a rapidly developing business district, so if you are in Amsterdam meeting with a global business, your meetings may well be in a building in this neighbourhood. Zuidas is also the location of the RAI Convention Centre.
Why stay in Zuidas:
Business travellers can often find it difficult in certain cities to look for the right place to stay, and Amsterdam is no different. In a city that attracts so many tourists, you don’t want to be kept up all night by staying in an area known for nightlife.
Even though families tend to be quieter, you don’t want to see kids running around the breakfast buffet in the morning either, especially when you’re trying to prepare for a meeting or have an early video call.
So, if you’re in Amsterdam on business, the Zuidas neighbourhood will suit you perfectly. There are lots of great chain hotels here where frequent business travellers might have memberships.
Things to do in Zuidas:
- Botanische Tuin Zuidas
Unwind after a stressful meeting with a wander through Botanische Tuin Zuidas, the botanic garden of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
The garden offers a serene atmosphere and a chance to see a diverse range of plants from around the world, including a tropical greenhouse and a collection of cacti and succulents.
If you need or want to go shopping while in Amsterdam, head to Gelderlandplein. This shopping centre has plenty of high-end fashion boutiques, home decor stores and electronics shops, as well as a range of great international restaurants and cafes. The architecture itself is very sleek and modern, with a glass facade and open spaces.
Best places to stay in Zuidas
De Wallen – Where to stay in Amsterdam on your Bachelor/Bachelorette party
Stag do, hen do, bucks do, bachelor or bachelorette party… Whatever you call the last blowout with your friends before you get married, Amsterdam is a popular destination for it!
Lots of Europeans choose to host a pre-wedding weekend here but it’s becoming more and more popular for Americans and Canadians seeking an extravagant party weekend too. If that’s why you’re going to Amsterdam, best places to stay for you would be in the De Wallen neighbourhood.
De Wallen is a small neighbourhood in the very heart of Amsterdam. To the uninitiated, it looks like a beautiful old town with medieval buildings, old churches, canals, and the Netherlands’ National Monument. Some might say that the Red Light District is one of the coolest places to stay in Amsterdam.
But take a second glance and you’ll find coffee shops (places licensed to sell marijuana products – very different from coffee houses or cafes!), and the sex shops and shows that makeup Amsterdam’s Red Light District. There are also tons of nightclubs and bars geared towards tourists who just want to have fun.
Why stay in De Wallen:
Stag do, hens do, bucks do, bachelor or bachelorette party… Whatever you call the last blowout with your friends before you get married, Amsterdam is a popular destination for it.
Lots of Europeans choose to host a pre-wedding weekend here, but it’s becoming more and more popular for Americans and Canadians seeking an extravagant party weekend too.
If that’s why you’re going to Amsterdam, one of the best places to stay for you would be in the De Wallen neighbourhood.
Staying in this neighbourhood means you won’t have to order taxis or navigate Amsterdam’s public transport system when trying to get back to your hotel in the early hours.
Plus, if you’re a bit noisy after one too many gins, hotels in this neighbourhood are more likely to put up with it than family-friendly establishments in other parts of the city.
Things to do in De Wallen:
- Take part in the coffee shop culture
While you’re here, you can visit one of the many coffee shops in the area to experience Amsterdam’s famous cannabis culture. In these coffee shops, you can easily purchase and consume cannabis products, including joints and edibles.
Remember that while The Netherlands is known for its easy-going attitude towards marijuana, it’s still technically illegal to smoke in public places (making coffee shops the best place for it).
- Enjoy the nightlife
The Red Light District attracts many tourists from around the world who come to experience its unique culture and nightlife.
In addition to the many adult-oriented businesses here, the area is also home to a variety of regular bars and clubs for those who just want a fun night out.
- Museum of Prostitution
If you’re looking for something to do in the afternoon and want to check out somewhere unique, the Museum of Prostitution is an interesting option.
Also known as the Red Light Secrets Museum, it is housed inside a former brothel and provides an insight into the history and daily life of sex workers.
The museum aims to promote understanding and respect for sex workers and provides an informative and thought-provoking experience for visitors.
Best places to stay in De Wallen
Affordable Luxury Hotels in De Wallen
Anantara Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky Amsterdam
De Baarsjes – Where to stay in Amsterdam off the beaten path
Amsterdam is a well-touristed city. When you’re visiting for the first time, you want to stay in the heart of the city close to all the landmarks and top things to do in Amsterdam; places to stay where you won’t have to walk far.
But when it’s your third or fourth visit to the city, you probably want to head out of the touristed districts and explore somewhere totally new that not many people visit when they head to Amsterdam.
If that’s what you’re looking for, you should stay in de Baarsjes. This is a neighbourhood in the Amsterdam West district that centres around Jan Evertsenstraat. This is a wide, busy street with lots of restaurants, bars and shops.
It’s on the Amsterdam tram line so there are great transport links to the city centre but it’s a bit too obscure for most tourists to venture here.
There are some fantastic examples of great architecture here that differs from the classic canals such as the Het Sieraad club which dates back to the 1920s. It’s close to lots of little parks that most tourists don’t visit like Erasmuspark and Jan van Galenplantsoen.
Why stay in De Baarsjes:
Amsterdam is a very touristy city. When you’re visiting for the first time, you likely want to stay in the heart of the city close to all the landmarks and top things to do.
Yet, if it’s your third or fourth visit to the city, you probably want to avoid these districts and explore somewhere totally new that most tourists don’t visit when they head to Amsterdam. If that’s what you’re looking for, you should stay in De Baarsjes.
Things to do in De Baarsjes:
Erasmuspark is a beautifully-designed outdoor space named after the Dutch philosopher Erasmus. It features a large pond, playgrounds, plenty of interesting sculptures, walking/jogging tracks, and open fields for picnics and sports games. The park is dog-friendly, so you might get to meet some new furry friends while here.
- Enjoy the local cuisine
De Baarsjes is known for its diverse culinary scene, with a variety of international restaurants and cafes to choose from.
You can try Indonesian, Surinamese, Turkish, and other cuisines you might not have expected to find in Amsterdam.
Best places to stay in De Baarsjes
Budget Hotels in De Baarsjes
Hotel Not Hotel Amsterdam
Rembrandtplein – Where to stay in Amsterdam to live like a local
Are you staying in Amsterdam for a month or more? Perhaps you’re a digital nomad or have the opportunity to work abroad for a while or go on an exchange semester with your university.
If so, the best Amsterdam neighbourhood for you is one where you can easily explore all the top things to do but has a more local vibe. In that case, Rembrandtplein might just be the best place for you to stay in Amsterdam.
It’s technically part of the Grachtengordel neighbourhood but this is just a small section at the bottom that surrounds the Rembrandtplein square.
You’ll find lots of cool cinemas like Pathé Tuschinski and Pathé De Munt as well as the Bloemenmarkt flower market. Imagine spending your Sundays choosing tulips from a barge before catching a film and sipping a coffee in your local cafe.
Why stay in Rembrandtplein:
Are you staying in Amsterdam for a month or more? Perhaps you’re a digital nomad or have the opportunity to work abroad for a while.
If so, the best Amsterdam neighbourhood for you is one where you can easily explore all the top things to do but also has a more local vibe. In this case, Rembrandtplein might be the best place for you to stay.
Things to do in Rembrandtplein:
- Go to the flower market
Bloemenmarkt is a famous flower market in the area known for its colourful stalls selling an array of fresh flowers and other souvenirs.
Come by to enjoy the fragrant atmosphere and pick up a variety of vibrant tulip bulbs for your new home.
- See a comedy show
If you are interested in seeing a comedy or cabaret performance, De Kleine Komedie is a great historic venue to keep your eye on.
Built in 1786, it’s considered to be the oldest theatre in Amsterdam and has a rich history of famous performers coming through, including Edith Piaf.
Best places to stay in Rembrandtplein
Added Extra: Areas to Avoid in Amsterdam
Figuring out where not to stay in Amsterdam is easy because there aren’t many places you need to avoid. Most parts of Amsterdam are safe during the day and you only need to watch out for pickpockets and scams. It’s also a welcoming city for diverse ethnicities and people in the LGBTQ+ community.
However, the suburban neighbourhood of Zuidoost has a reputation for being the most ‘dangerous’ part of Amsterdam (though that’s a relative term when talking about a safe city). Luckily, it’s so far out of the city centre that you wouldn’t stumble across this neighbourhood by accident.
Another place you might want to avoid staying in is Haarlem, especially when your plan to visit Amsterdam. Some people talk about Haarlem like it’s just another neighbourhood in Amsterdam but it’s actually an entirely different city.
It’s a beautiful place and not far away from Amsterdam at all though it’s still a train ride away. If you plan on enjoying Amsterdam’s nightlife or don’t want to drag your children on a train twice a day, it’s not ideal!
FAQ for where to stay in Amsterdam
What is the best part of Amsterdam to stay in?
This guide highlights 19 different areas for different budgets, travel style or if you’re traveling alone or with your family. Where you want to stay in Amsterdam is highly depend on who you are and what you want to see and do in Amsterdam.
Where should a first time tourist stay in Amsterdam?
I’d highly recommend staying in Amsterdam city centre also known as Dam Square, the hub of the Old Centre. This area makes seeing and doing things within Amsterdam sure easy as it’s so centralised.
How many days in Amsterdam is enough?
In most cases, three to four days in Amsterdam are more than enough to see all of the city’s top sights and attractions. However, you might want to consider staying longer if you want to take your time and discover more of the city’s districts and cultural attractions.