The best areas to stay in Amsterdam, Netherlands for both first time and returning visitors are the neighborhood of Amsterdam’s Old Centrum, Westerpark, Amsterdam Noord, Museum District, Oud West, De Pijp, De Jordaan, Jewish Quarter, and Canal Belt. In this blog, we will be looking at where to stay in Amsterdam for first-timers, close to everything, for family, nightlife, couples, budget, one night, and at Christmas.
Located within the canal belt, The Amsterdam’s city centre, also known as Old Centrum, is especially the best place to stay in Amsterdam for first time tourists. It is the most popular part of Amsterdam with plenty of famous attractions and close to everything. Old Centrum is divided into many small neighborhoods such as Jordaan, Dam, the red-light district – De Wallen, Nieuwmarkt & IJ Waterfront, Leidseplein, Rembrandtplein, Canal Belt/Grachtengordel, Old Jewish Quarter and Plantage.
Amsterdam is a safe city as a whole. The safest places in Amsterdam include the upmarket neighborhoods of Museum Quarter, De Plantage, and Southern Canal Belts but there are neighborhoods that you should be aware such as Bijlmer, Osdorp, Reigersbos, Geuzenveld, and Slotervaart. As with any city, it is always helpful to take precautions pickpocketing, bike theft, and avoid walking alone at night in poorly lit areas.
Amsterdam offers many accommodation options for all budget travelers, from five-star boutique hotels for luxury travellers, to budget hostels for backpackers, guest houses, canal houses, and mi-range apartments.
It is definitely worth remembering that Amsterdam is a pretty small city. You don’t need to stress too much about where exactly you stay as most areas are within comfortable walking distance of each other. If you are not comfortable walking everywhere, you can rely on Amsterdam’s extensive public transport network to get you from place to place in ease and comfort. Between the trams, buses, and metro system, you will always be just minutes from where you want to go.
|💖 Best Area for First-Timers:||Old Centrum|
|💎 Best luxury hotel:||NH Collection Amsterdam Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky|
|🏨 Best mid-range hotel:||Swissôtel Amsterdam|
|💰 Best budget hotel:||Rho Hotel|
- Where to Stay in Amsterdam: 12 Best Areas
- Old Centrum & Red Light District, where to stay in Amsterdam for first visit
- Nieuwmarkt and IJ Waterfront, covenient location close to train station
- Canal Belt/Grachtengordel, where to stay in Amsterdam for nightlife
- De Pijp, a trendy neighborhood with vibrant nightlife
- Jordaan, where to stay in amsterdam couples, honeymoon
- Amsterdam Oud West, where to stay in Amsterdam for foodies
- Oud-Zuid and Museum Quarter, where to stay in Amsterdam for museums
- Plantage and Old Jewish Quarter, where to stay in Amsterdam for family
- Amsterdam-Noord, one of the coolest parts of Amsterdam
- Westerpark, convenience location close to city centre
- Amsterdam-Oost, diverse cultural hotspot
- Amsterdam-Zuidoost, vibrant multicultural neighborhood
Where to Stay in Amsterdam: 12 Best Areas
1. Old Centrum & Red Light District, where to stay in Amsterdam for first time
Old Centrum is home to famous attractions, the main shopping drag Kalverstraat, great nightlife, and many restaurants. The neighborhoods of the historic center are located within the Canal Belt and centered around De Wallen (Red Light District), Dam, and Nieuwmarkt.
The Dam is really the heart of the city. Dam Square is located between Rokin and Damrak. it is one of the busiest places in town, dominated by the neoclassical Royal Palace. Built in the 17th-century, the Royal Palace remains one of the residences of the Dutch royal family. Visitors are welcome to tour various rooms and exhibitions within the palace and grounds.
Other highlights attractions in Dam Square are the famous Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky, Madame Tussauds, the world-famous waxworks museum, the New Church (Nieuwe Kerk), Beurs van Berlage, and the National Memorial statue.
Dam square also offers great shopping opportunities. You will find the famous department store de Bijenkorf; the luxury department store, Magna Plaza shopping center, which is housed in the former Main Post Office; and many shopping streets nearby such as Kalverstraat street, Rokin Street, and Nieuwendijk.
Amsterdam’s red-light district, De Wallen, is probably the most famous red-light district in the world. With sex work legal in the Netherlands, the red-light industry can operate in the open, which makes for some interesting window displays. Whether you intend to utilize any of the services on offer or not, taking a walk through the red-light district is a unique experience. Even during the day, dancers fill the windows, beckoning passers-by into the various brothels and clubs.
Amsterdam’s red-light district leans into its reputation, with several museums around the area dedicated to its unique legacy. The Red-Light Secrets Museum of Prostitution hosts exhibits on the history and development of Amsterdam’s sex work industry. The nearby Erotic Museum offers more general displays of sexual paraphernalia and artwork.
If you are more interested in Amsterdam’s marijuana culture, then the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum in Amsterdam might be of interest to you. In addition to the artifacts and exhibits on the history surrounding cannabis in the Netherlands, there is even a small garden showcasing various species of marijuana.
Of course, there is more to De Wallen than just the red-light district. In addition to the many coffee shops around the area, there are also plenty of excellent restaurants and bars to enjoy. If you prefer your evening’s entertainment a bit more sedate, there is still plenty to choose from in De Wallen.
Staying in De Wallen will also have you right at the heart of the city center. Surrounded by popular tourist districts, within comfortable walking distance of all the major attractions, this is a super convenient area to stay. It is also important to remember that De Wallen is the oldest part of Amsterdam. If you want to be surrounded by historic buildings and tons of cultural heritage, then this is one of the best places to stay.
Just across the canals from the red-light district, you can find the oldest building in the city, the Oude Kerk (the Old Church). Dating back to the 13th-century, the impressive structure now hosts various cultural events.
De Wallen is also the best place to stay in Amsterdam if you want to keep close to Central Station. Central Station is located immediately to the north of De Wallen, so you will have just a short walk between the train and your hotel. Being such a central location and very popular with tourists, prices for accommodation in De Wallen can be quite steep, in spite of the somewhat seedy reputation.
There are a few more affordable options right in the red-light district itself. Meanwhile, the rest of De Wallen offers plenty of accommodation options in the higher end of mid-range and luxury price brackets.
And if you are planning to spend your Christmas and New year in Amsterdam, the Old Centrum is your best bet. There are many hotels still open and you can find cheaper accommodations with Christmas special deals.
Stay In Old Centrum if you’re looking for one of the best areas to stay in Amsterdam for first-time tourists; you want to stay right at the heart of Amsterdam close to everything, in the most historic part of Amsterdam, close to Amsterdam Central Station; You like browsing museums and galleries;
Best places to stay in Amsterdam in Oude Centrum:
- Luxury: NH Collection Amsterdam Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky Set in a 19th-century building, in the heart of Amsterdam, this 5-star hotel in very close to the famous Dam Square and opposite the Royal Palace. It has spacious room with stylishly furnished with parquet floors, high quality beds and modern facilities. You can enjoy a meal at the The White Room restaurant, a Michelin Star.
- mid-range: Swissôtel Amsterdam Located on the famous Dam Square, within walking distance from Centraal Station, this hotel offers spacious rooms with soundproofing and a bathroom with free Swiss bath products.
- budget: Rho Hotel This 3-star hotel is situated in the real heart of Amsterdam, within easy walking distance from famous attractions such as Kalverstraat shopping area, the Dam Square tram stop, Anne Frank House, and Rembrandt House Museum.
If you are wondering how long should you stay in Amsterdam, I suggest reading this blog post on How many days in Amsterdam is enough? I also mentioned Itinerary for 3 days and some of the best things to do and see in Amsterdam.
2. Nieuwmarkt and IJ Waterfront, covenient location close to train station
Nieuwmarkt (New Market) is the area immediately east of De Wallen. Super central and with plenty to do both day and night, this is one of the best places to stay for first-time visitors.
If you want to stay close to the red-light district without actually staying right in the red-light district, Nieuwmarkt is the best part of Amsterdam for you to consider. You will be staying just a few minute’s walks away. You can easily pop in for a look without having to spend the night.
Even without venturing into the red-light district, which can get even seedier after dark, there is plenty of great nightlife to enjoy in Nieuwmarkt. Particularly around Nieuwmarkt Square, there are tons of bars and restaurants to keep you entertained in the evening.
There are quite a few excellent museums in the Nieuwmarkt area. The NEMO Science Museum is a fantastic family-friendly attraction. The massive teal building is an unmissable part of the waterfront skyline. Inside you can enjoy tons of interactive exhibits and shows for the whole family.
The National Maritime Museum is just across a canal from the science museum. A waterlogged city like Amsterdam is sure to have a fascinating maritime history. With its floating replica of an 18th-century merchant vessel and virtual reality exhibits, the Maritime Museum is a great way to learn more about this intrinsic aspect of Amsterdam’s culture.
Along the IJ Waterfront, you can find plenty of cafes, restaurants, and bars overlooking the river. If you want to get an even closer view of the water, why not hop on a river cruise. The river cruise port is just a five-minute walk from the Maritime museum, so it is easy to fit them into a themed afternoon.
Nieuwmarkt is also where you will find Amsterdam’s Chinatown. Aside from being an excellent place to go if you get a hankering for east Asian cuisine, Chinatown is also home to the biggest Chinese-style Buddhist temple in Europe.
Amsterdam Centraal Station is just a short walk to the north, along the waterfront. This is the best area for lodging if you just have a one-night stay in Amsterdam and want close to the main train station and easy access to the airport
Stay In Nieuwmarkt and IJ Waterfront If you’re visiting Amsterdam for the first time, and you want to stay right in the city center close to the river, Central Station, and the red-light district.
Best places to stay in Nieuwmarkt and IJ Waterfront:
- luxury: NH Collection Amsterdam Barbizon Palace Located opposite Amsterdam Central Station, this 5-star hotel offers modern facilities and spacious guest rooms with air-conditioning. You can enjoy regional and international dishes, tapas and cocktails at the hotel’s bar and restaurant Bottles and Jars.
- mid-range: The Hendrick’s Hotel Located close to several noted attractions such as Beurs van Berlage and Dutch National Opera & Ballet, this 4-star hotel offers a full English/Irish buffet breakfast daily. there are free wifi, private bathroom with free toiletries, a coffee and tea facilities.
- budget: City Hotel Amsterdam offers free travel and tourist guides of Amsterdam to find your way around the city. The Red Light District, Dam Square and the main shopping street are at walking distance.
3. Canal Belt/Grachtengordel, where to stay in Amsterdam for nightlife
Grachtengordel, or the Canal Belt, is one of Amsterdam’s most romantic neighborhoods. This is where you will find most of the city’s iconic canals and waterways. The 17th-century canals are a beautiful, historic area that was awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 2010.
Aside from being beautiful and historic, the Canal Ring is right in the city center. You will be staying just a short walk from most of Amsterdam’s top tourist attractions and neighborhoods. Surrounded by popular tourist attractions and the iconic canals, this is one of the best places to stay for those visiting Amsterdam city for the first time.
The area itself lives up to its romantic atmosphere with an abundance of lovely restaurants and bars in which to enjoy a romantic dinner or drinks. You can spend days wandering the quaint streets lined with boutique shops and charming cafes.
The Nine Streets, or De Negen Straatjes, represent the very best of Grachtengordel’s picturesque shopping district. Spend your time taking in the quintessential atmosphere of Amsterdam’s narrow lanes, crossing the pretty bridges over the canals, and relaxing in chic cafes. Full of a mix of unique little shops and designer boutiques, Nine Streets is a must-visit for anyone who loves a spot of retail therapy.
The Canal Belt is also home to what many consider to be the best nightlife district in Amsterdam, Leidseplein. Whatever your preference for evening entertainment, Leidseplein has something for everyone. Leidseplein is a leafy public square, home to markets and cozy cafes during the day. At night, the many bars and nightclubs surrounding the square come alive. There is also a large casino as well as several theatres and music venues around here.
Alternatively, if you are looking for more LGBT-friendly nightlife then you will want to head to Rembrandtplein. A historic public square, surrounded by coffee shops, bars, and restaurants, Rembrandtplein is abuzz with gay bars and clubs come nightfall.
Being the area of Amsterdam with the most canals, this is, of course, the best place to stay if you are hoping to stay in one of the famous canal houses. The waterways are lined with these iconic residences, and many of them have been converted into hotels and B&Bs.
Staying in such a desirable area is not cheap. If you have a more generous budget, then you will have plenty of accommodation options to choose from, from luxury hotels to stylish townhouses.
Stay in Canal Belt if you want to stay at the center of Amsterdam’s nightlife scene and LGBT-friendly nightlife is important; you are visiting Amsterdam for the first time and want to stay in one of the most romantic areas of Amsterdam, surrounded by Amsterdam’s iconic canals;
Best places to stay in Canal Belt/Grachtengordel:🔍FIND BEST HOTELS IN CANAL BELT
4. De Pijp, a trendy neighborhood with vibrant nightlife
Hip De Pijp is the trendiest area of Amsterdam. If you want to stay in a super cool bohemian neighborhood close to the city center, Amsterdam De Pijp is the perfect choice for you. Despite being right in the heart of the city, De Pijp Amsterdam has a much more laid-back atmosphere.
Also known as Amsterdam’s Latin Quarter, De Pijp is abuzz with colorful bars and nightclubs. By day you can take advantage of the neighboring museum district and canal belt. By night you can party until the early hours in some of the funkiest bars in Amsterdam.
A thriving student neighborhood, Amsterdam De Pijp is the best area to stay if you want to be on the doorstep of the trendiest nightlife scene in the city. During the day, the student influence can be seen in the many cozy cafes and vintage shops, and bookstores around the area.
In addition to the eclectic stores dotted throughout the neighborhood, De Pijp Amsterdam is also home to the biggest daily market in the Netherlands, Albert Cuypmarkt. Running since 1905, the Albert Cuyp Market hosts a range of stalls offering local produce and street food, as well as craft goods and antiques.
Once you are done browsing the lively market, you can relax in nearby Sarphatipark. The leafy park, with its tranquil lake and various monuments, is a lovely place to enjoy a picnic. Perfect for if you have picked up some tasty local delicacies from the market.
Any beer lovers will definitely want to make a visit to the Heineken Experience. One of the most comprehensive brewery tour experiences around, you will have the opportunity to learn about the history of beer making and the development of Heineken itself. Beer tastings are of course included.
Aside from the trendy nightlife, a large part of why this area is so popular with students is its affordability. Despite being so close to the city center, this is one of the best places to look for low-cost accommodation.
If you are working with a smaller budget but don’t want to compromise on location or quality, then De Pijp Amsterdam is definitely a great place for you to consider.
Stay In De Pijp If You want to stay in one of the hippest neighborhoods in Amsterdam; A laid-back community at the heart of the city sounds perfect; Being at the heart of the city’s trendiest nightlife is ideal; You want affordable accommodation close to the city center.
Best places to stay in De Pijp:🔍FIND BEST HOTELS IN DE PIJP
5. Jordaan, where to stay in amsterdam couples, honeymoon
If you are looking for somewhere with a traditional village-like atmosphere at the heart of Amsterdam, then pretty Jordaan is the perfect place for you. Once a working class neighbourhood, Jordaan is now a cool hub of urban art galleries and trendy bars and restaurants.
Jordaan has the feel of a much more local area than many of the other city center neighborhoods. Despite being a popular tourist area, Jordaan really maintains the atmosphere of a residential area. It has a cozy, home away from home vibe.
Spend your days wandering the charming backstreets, relaxing in cozy pubs, and mingling with the locals. On Mondays, the popular Westerstraat flea market is held in the north of the neighborhood. From flowers and local food to antiques, this is a great place to shop for quirky and unique souvenirs.
Having been a primarily working-class neighborhood, Jordaan was largely un-renovated until fairly recently. Ironically, it is that lack of investment during past decades that makes this such a lovely place to visit today. Many of the old buildings are totally intact, lending a charming, historic vibe to the area.
From the quaint, narrow streets, to the cozy cafes and pubs, the whole area has a distinctly romantic atmosphere. Jordaan is perfect for couples planning a romantic city break or honeymoon. Right next to the canal belt, you will have plenty of opportunities for romantic waterside walks too.
Jordaan is home to an eclectic variety of museums. The Anne Frank House is the most notable. The house where Anne Frank and her family were hidden from the Nazis for years during the second world war has been converted into a poignant museum. The Anne Frank House is an absolute must visit for any first time trip to Amsterdam.
You will have plenty of accommodation options to choose from if you decide to stay in Jordaan. There are tons of sweet B&Bs and charming guesthouses on offer. Most of the options are in the mid-range bracket, but there are a few more affordable hotels and hostels too.
Stay In Jordaan If you want to stay in a neighborhood with a traditional village atmosphere whilst still being right in the city center; you are planning a romantic break or honeymoon; you want to stay somewhere with a real local community vibe
Best places to stay in Jordaan:🔍FIND BEST HOTELS IN JORDAAN
6. Amsterdam Oud West, where to stay in Amsterdam for foodies
Just on the fringes of the city center, Amsterdam Oud-West is a wonderful place to stay for people who want to stay close to the action, without having to be constantly surrounded by crowds of tourists. Being a little outside of the main tourist areas, Oud-West maintains a much more local vibe. You will find plenty of local shops and cozy coffee shops to relax in, as well as some quirkier venues.
One of Amsterdam’s more working-class areas, Oud-West is a trendy up and comer. There are lots of independent boutiques and small art galleries. One of the most unique spaces in the area is the former tram station turned food hall, the De Hallen Cultural center.
The main attraction of De Hallen is its exceptional food hall. Boasting a range of excellent street food vendors offering various cuisines and with many of Amsterdam’s top restaurants hosting stalls, this is a must-visit for any foodies visiting Amsterdam. There are also bar stalls to keep you refreshed.
Oud-West is a decently affordable area. With a good mix of price ranges catered to and some good budget options, you should stay in oud west if you are hoping to stick to a tight budget whilst staying close to the city center.
Stay In Amsterdam Oud-West If you’re foodies; you want to stay close to the city center without the constant crowds of tourists; you are working with a smaller budget but still want to stay in a central area; you want to stay in a trendy up and coming neighborhood.
Best places to stay in Amsterdam Oud-West:🔍FIND BEST HOTELS IN OUD-WEST
7. Oud-Zuid and Museum Quarter, where to stay in Amsterdam for museums
Oud Zuid, and particularly the Museum Quarter (Museumkwartier), is also one of the best areas to stay for first-time tourists. Super central and full of some of the top attractions in the city, this is the perfect area for anyone whose priority is seeing all the most important sights.
The Museum Quarter is right next to the canal belt too, so you will be easily able to explore Amsterdam’s iconic waterways. If you are staying in Amsterdam for a shorter trip, the Museum Quarter is the best area to stay to get the most out of your time in the city.
The Museum Quarter is centered around Museumplein. The pretty public park is surrounded by numerous museums, including the three biggest art museums in Amsterdam city, the Van Gogh Museum, the Rijksmuseum, and the Stedelijk.
Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum is the largest collection of Van Gogh’s works in the world. Along with his paintings, you can also take in exhibits on his life and view various artifacts including sketches and handwritten letters.
The Rijksmuseum is the largest art gallery in Holland. Housing thousands of classic works of art from across Europe, this is the perfect place to visit for anyone who loves traditional art.
Alternatively, the Stedelijk displays various pieces of modern art in contrast to the classical works of the Rijksmuseum. Housed within a unique building designed to look like a giant bathtub, the Stedelijk is perfect for those who prefer contemporary art and design.
Other interesting museums within the Museum Quarter include the Diamond Museum and the House of Bols Gin Museum.
Aside from its many fantastic museums, Oud Zuid is one of the best places to stay in Amsterdam for shopping. Oud Zuid is particularly well known for its high-end shopping streets. Pieter Cornelisz Hooftstraat is lined with designer boutiques as well as well-known brands like Chanel and Dior.
Meanwhile, Beethovenstraat to the south of Amsterdam Oud Zuid is one of the city’s most popular shopping streets. As well as shops, Oud Zuid is full of upscale dining and chic bars. This is really one of the best places to stay if you are planning an indulgent, luxury vacation.
Once you are tired of all the shopping and sightseeing, you can retreat to Vondelpark. The sprawling, leafy park features numerous ponds, winding streams, open-air theatres, and several cafes. There are plenty of open lawns to let your kids loose on too.
One of the many things the Netherlands are known for is their lovely windmills. If you want to do more than simply gaze at one from the outside then you will want to visit the Molen van Sloten Windmill.
The only windmill in south Amsterdam open to tourists, Molen van Sloten is a comfortable walk from the west end of Oud Zuid. It dates back to 1847 and still functions, with visitors able to take tours and observe demonstrations.
Despite being one of the most upmarket regions in the city, this is also a great place to look for affordable accommodation. If you want to stay in one of the most desirable areas in Amsterdam whilst keeping to a tighter budget, stay in Oud Zuid. Of course, there are plenty of more luxury hotels to choose from too. If you are planning an indulgent, upscale vacation, Oud Zuid is the perfect place to stay.
Stay in Oud Zuid and Museumkwartier (Museum Quarter) If you love museums; you want to do lots of sightseeing; you are hoping to keep costs for accommodation low; you are planning a luxury vacation.
Best places to stay in Oud-Zuid and Museum Quarter:🔍FIND BEST HOTELS IN OUD-ZUID
8. Plantage and Old Jewish Quarter, where to stay in Amsterdam for family
Plantage is the most family-friendly neighborhood in Amsterdam and the best place to stay for those traveling with children. Close to the city center and with plenty of family-friendly attractions, this is the top pick for parents.
A little away from the hustle and bustle of central Amsterdam, this is a quieter, more residential area. It is just around a twenty-minute walk into the city center though, so you will still be able to get around the sights and attractions with ease. It’s even faster if you hop on the metro.
Plantage is home to the 19th-century Artis Royal Zoo. The sprawling zoo dominates the eastern end of Plantage and boasts numerous exhibits and animal species. There are plenty of cafes and restaurants within the zoo, so it’s perfect for a full day out.
The zoo also contains a lovely aquarium, as well as a science museum and a planetarium. As far as educational, family-friendly attractions go, Artis Royal Zoo really has everything you could ask for.
The zoo is within walking distance of the NEMO Science Museum, which offers even more interactive exhibits to engage the whole family. It is all close enough together to make a full day of it, or spread the attractions out over your trip to be sure there is always something to keep the kids happy.
In the west of Plantage is Hortus Botanicus, the oldest botanical garden in the world. Dating back to the 1600s, you can explore the winding trails through numerous gardens and greenhouses.
The west of Plantage is also where you can find Amsterdam’s Old Jewish Quarter. In the Old Jewish Quarter you can appreciate grand synagogues dating back to the 17th-century, Jewish history museums, and various kosher delis and bakeries.
The Old Jewish Quarter is also home to the Waterloopleinmarkt. This popular flea market is open every day except Sunday and, with almost three hundred stalls, makes a perfect place to pick up unique souvenirs.
Just around the corner from Waterloopleinmarkt is the house where Rembrandt lived and worked for twenty years. Now converted into a museum, the house is open for visitors to explore the old residence of the renowned painter.
Stay In Plantage and Old Jewish Quarter If you are looking for the most family-friendly area to stay in; you want a quieter area, close to the city center and major attractions; you want an area with plenty of historical buildings to admire.
Best places to stay in Amsterdam in Plantage and Old Jewish Quarter,:🔍FIND BEST HOTELS NEAR PLANTAGE
9. Amsterdam-Noord, one of the coolest parts of Amsterdam
Amsterdam’s hippest area, Amsterdam Noord, also known as North Amsterdam, is one of the coolest parts of Amsterdam. A huge neighborhood north of the river IJ, the urban redevelopment of the waterfront is particularly fashionable.
Once a bustling port, many of the former industrial buildings have been converted into trendy shops and stylish restaurants. There are bars in shipping containers and old warehouses converted into food halls and events spaces. Amsterdam Noord is one of the edgiest places to stay in the city.
Amongst the modern developments is the A’DAM Toren tower, which opened in 1971 as home to Royal Dutch Shell.
With a twenty-story high bar, restaurant, and observation deck, this is the best place to go for a spectacular panoramic view across the entire city. It also boasts the tallest over the edge swing in Europe, for those daring enough to ride it.
Being such a modern district, Amsterdam Noord is very different to the quaint charm that Amsterdam is known for. As such, it is great for returning visitors who want to see a different side of the city.
It is not all hyper-modern industrial-chic though. There are also enough monthly flea markets and leafy public parks to maintain a community atmosphere. NDSM Werf is a hip skate park that used to be a shipyard.
The east of the neighborhood extends out into the Dutch countryside, offering lots of space to get fresh air and enjoy an escape from the city.
You can also watch a movie at the EYE Film Institute, which is home to four movie theatres, a big exhibition area, and a library dedicated to film.
Another highlight is the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ, a huge concert hall that opened in 2005 and is popular with locals and tourists.
If you love architecture and science, head to the 3D Print Canal House; grab a drink under Windmill D’Admiraal; and many more places that you can explore by riding a bicycle.
Being outside of the main tourist district, and across the river from the city center and main attractions, Amsterdam Noord is one of the more affordable places to stay in Amsterdam. If you are happy to be a bit further from the sights, you can snag some great bargains here.
In keeping with how old industrial spaces have been converted into various venues, there are some super interesting accommodation options to be found here.
Stay In Amsterdam-Noord If you want to stay in one of the coolest areas of Amsterdam; you do not mind being a little removed from the main attractions that Amsterdam is famous for; you want to see something different from the quaint charm that Amsterdam is famous for.
Best places to stay in Amsterdam-Noord:🔍FIND BEST HOTELS NEAR AMSTERDAM NOORD
10. Westerpark, convenience location close to city centre
Named after the sprawling park at its center, Westerpark is the ideal location for anyone who wants both the convenience of a city center location and the comfort of open space and a community atmosphere.
Westerpark is just north of Jordaan. Close enough to the city center that sightseeing is a breeze, yet removed enough from the tourist crowds that it has a much more laid-back vibe.
Close to both nightlife, hospitality, and the major sights and attractions, Westerpark is perfect for first-time visitors.
Even without its connections, the area is lovely in its own right. The streets are lined with indie shops and local bars and cafes. Be sure to check out the best shopping street Haarlemmerstraat and Haarlemmerdijk.
There is lots of pretty, historic architecture in the neighborhood to appreciate. Meanwhile, lots of small parks and playgrounds make it popular with families.
The actual park of Westerpark is a lovely, leafy canal-side park with a pond, fountains, and waterside trails. One of Westerpark’s primary attractions is also in the park, Westergasfabriek.
Formerly a gasworks plant in the 19th-century that is now a cultural center, Westergasfabriek hosts numerous venues and events spaces. The western part of the factory has also become a popular events venue, hosting various concerts and festivals.
Meanwhile, the eastern building houses a theatre, bars, cafés, and a microbrewery. Small shops, art galleries, and studios create an indie, artsy atmosphere to the complex. There are also several restaurants on the grounds, overlooking the canal.
There is a monthly arts and crafts market held here on the first Sunday of the month. If you are in the area when it’s on, then it is certainly worth making a visit. It is a lively event and a lovely opportunity to pick up souvenirs and trinkets.
Westerpark is just far enough out from the city center that prices for accommodation get more affordable. There is plenty of great mid-range and affordable hotels to choose from.
There are even some decently priced higher-end options along the waterfront. Perfect if you want luxury comfort without the luxury price tag.
Stay In Westerpark If It is your first time visiting Amsterdam; You want to stay close to the city centre but without the crush of the tourist crowds; You are planning a family vacation.
Best places to stay in Amsterdam in Westerpark:🔍FIND BEST HOTELS NEAR WESTERPARK
11. Amsterdam-Oost, diverse cultural hotspot
Amsterdam Oost, Amsterdam East, is a sprawling district in the east of the city. Previously a sleepy suburb, it is now one of Amsterdam’s up-and-coming trendy neighborhoods.
You can find lots of indie bars and restaurants, as well as fashionable shops, taking advantage of the lower rent costs outside of the city center.
This is a vibrant, multicultural neighborhood, the heart of Amsterdam’s immigrant population. This is reflected in the incredible array of cuisines available from the restaurants in the area.
From French-Mexican fusion to Surinamese, whatever you are craving, you are sure to find an excellent restaurant serving it in Amsterdam Oost.
The Tropenmuseum is another reflection of the area’s multicultural heritage. The museum houses various exhibitions of artifacts from across the eastern and middle eastern world.
Culture vultures will also love to visit the iconic Hermitage on the bank of the River Amstel, the National Maritime Museum in the Oostelijke Eilanden, and the NEMO Science Museum.
Within the Amsterdam Oost, you will find tons of leafy public parks. Oosterpark is one of the best, with a lake, play areas, and numerous sculptures and monuments to discover along the trails.
Meanwhile, Flevopark boasts a lake large enough to host water sports and overlooks the nearby canal.
There are also beautiful parks of Amstelpark and Frankendaelpark where you can find Merkelbach, De Kas, and Pure Markt.
If you are visiting in the summer, you might want to take a trip to Strand Blijburg. The sandy beach is a beautiful place to relax on a hot day. There is even a roped-off area for safe swimming for when you really need to cool off.
Other places of interest area a local market of Dappermarket on Dapperstraat; and Amsterdam’s famous windmill brewery, the Brouwerij IJ adjacent to the De Gooyer Windmill.
Being just outside of the city center, this is a good place to look for affordable accommodation. Whilst it can still get quite an expensive closer to Plantage and the city center, further east you will have plenty of lower-cost options to choose from.
Stay In Amsterdam-Oost If you are looking for a quiet neighborhood, reasonably close to the city center; you want to stay somewhere more residential than touristy; you want to stay in one of the most multicultural areas of Amsterdam.
Best places to stay in Amsterdam-Oost:🔍FIND BEST HOTELS IN AMSTERDAM OOST
12. Amsterdam-Zuidoost, vibrant multicultural neighborhood
Amsterdam Zuidoost, Amsterdam South East, is located well outside of the main city center. Much less of a tourist district, Amsterdam Zuidoost is primarily visited by those attending an event at one of the many stadiums and arenas in the area.
The Pathe Arena, Ziggo Dome, and AFAS Live concert hall are all located here in an area known as the Arena Boulevard. John Cruijiff Arena, the home of the Ajax Football Club, is also in the complex.
Even though it’s outside of the city, the area can get very busy during times when events are on. This is especially true when there are multiple events at various venues at the same time.
If you don’t like crowds, I recommend staying away from the Arena Boulevard area unless you want to be really close to a show you are attending.
Outside of the various events venues, Amsterdam Zuidoost is known for being one of the most multicultural areas of Amsterdam with around 100,000 residents from more than130 nationalities. There is a community of people of Surinamese descent of the Netherlands, South America, West Africa, and the Caribbean.
With a much more modern aesthetic than typical, city center Amsterdam, this area is home to contemporary shopping districts and the chic hospitality industry.
Being so far removed from the city center and the main tourist hubs do mean that the cost of accommodation is cheaper than elsewhere in the city. Hotels around Arena Boulevard can get more expensive around big events, but generally, hotels here are pretty affordable.
Of course, if your main goal in visiting Amsterdam is sightseeing, then you will need to weigh the money-saving benefits against the inconvenience of having to travel much further in and out of the city center. You should also check how the additional travel costs could impact your savings.
Stay In Amsterdam-Zuidoost If You like to stay in multicultural areas; Sticking to a tight budget is your main concern; It is not your first time visiting Amsterdam; You are attending a show at the Arena Boulevard.
Best places to stay in Amsterdam-Zuidoost:🔍FIND BEST HOTELS IN AMSTERDAM-SUIDOOST
🎬 Check out my virtual tour about the best places to stay in Amsterdam in this video:
You might want to read more: Where is Amsterdam?
Known throughout the world for its cobbled streets, winding canals, coffee shops, and the uniquely thriving sex industry, Amsterdam is a unique little city with plenty to see and do for everyone. As popular for honeymoons as for bachelor parties, you are sure to have a fantastic vacation here, no matter your preferences.
From windmills to weed, Amsterdam is a city of varied attractions. Depending on what it is you are looking for from your trip to Amsterdam, there are certain areas that will interest you, or that you will want to avoid completely.
For sightseeing, the Museum Quarter will have you at the heart of Amsterdam’s top attractions. Alternatively, Grachtengordel is the best place to stay to be surrounded by Amsterdam’s iconic canals. Whether you want to explore the famous red-light district or steer clear, the area’s actual name is De Wallen. This is, of course, a great place to go for nightlife if you prefer your evening’s entertainment on the saucier side.
If you looking for nightlife, you have plenty of choices. For more contemporary nightlife, by the way of clubs and bars, head to Leidseplein in the Canal Belt. Meanwhile, Rembrandtplein is the heart of Amsterdam’s LGBT nightlife. Alternatively, stay in De Pijp if you want to keep close to the trendier nightlife scene.
As for when to go, Amsterdam is lovely year-round. The summers are warm and the winters are cool but cozy, especially around Christmas. If you are hoping to see the Netherlands’ famous tulips bloom, then you will want to visit in spring, around March and April.
Having now read about all the best areas to stay in Amsterdam, I am sure you will have pinpointed at least one that suits what you are looking for. Whether you are staying for a weekend or a week, finding your ideal home away from home really makes all the difference. The final step to planning your ideal trip is finding the perfect hotel. We have plenty of suggestions for that too, so you can go ahead and start booking your dream vacation.