Amsterdam’s top neighborhoods
Since Amsterdam is such a large city, it can be hard to choose where you should stay. However, since this city is so renowned, it’s essential to choose a place in Amsterdam that’s close to some of the best areas in the city.
Amsterdam’s most favorite neighborhoods to visit are Oosterdokskwartier, De Pijp, and Ridderzaal.
This neighborhood is a great option for travelers who are looking for something different than other Amsterdam neighborhoods. This area is unique due to the different (and modern) architecture found in the homes.
Discounts are sometimes offered on the rent, making this such a great neighborhood for people who are trying to stay on a budget.
Don’t be surprised if you find lots of people living off the grid or in small apartments.
- Unique architecture
- Great for a small budget
If you like to visit the city’s nightlife, De Pijp is perfect for you. This is the most popular neighborhood for travelers who want to stay in the city’s center and enjoy many different things to do.
The Binnenstad is the central part of Amsterdam. It’s safe and has many shops and restaurants. Hotels are also plentiful. This part of town is also where the best views of the city can be seen. The center of the area is the Nieuwmarkt, which is the largest open square in Amsterdam.
In the Binnenstad, you’ll find the Royal Palace and several museums, including the Rijksmuseum. The square in front of the Rijksmuseum is often called the Vondelpark after the Dutch poet who lived there. There are also plenty of restaurants and shops.
The San Francisco Peace Pagoda is located a 10-minute walk from the Nieuwmarkt. It is a meditation pagoda where you can stay in the rooms and enter time of quiet meditation.
Best Places to Stay in the Binnenstad
Hotels for everyone in Amsterdam, from artists, to new moms, to wine lovers, to business types are plentiful, but the best locations are central and close to public transit.
Hotel Leschenaulti: Located in The Old Church, this hotel received a 2013 Travel + Leisure reader’s choice award for “Best European Hotel.” The hotel is conveniently located in the very center of the Old Church area.
Grand Hotel Des Arts: With its boutique hotel, award-winning restaurant, and cozy bar, this hotel emphasizes the art of the area. Named one of Travel + Leisure’s “Top 10 European Hotels,” the hotel is warmly decorated with many antique pieces, near the popular Rembrandt Square.
The Westin: Located between Central Station and Dam Square, this property features a rooftop pool and fitness center, as well as a 24-hour room service menu. In addition, the hotel is only a short walk to the Verzet Museum, the Anne Frank House, and Starbucks.
Canal Ring (Grachtengordel)
Best Places to Stay in the Canal Ring
The canal ring from Centrum to the Museum Quarter is known for its tranquil street life, abundant canals, and traditional blue-painted buildings. This is the area that gave Amsterdam it’s nickname “Venice of the North.”
The canal ring’s canals are primarily filled with houseboats, but it is also home to many hotels. You’ll find these short-term residences at the foot of the Prinsengracht, making this a prime location to stay to easily reach many parts of the city.
Amsterdam: Canal Ring 3 and 4 Star Hotels
Coffee & Kettle Bakery, Hotel Cafe Des Artistes, Saint George’s Hotel ….
Amsterdam: Canal Ring 4-5 Star Hotels
Coffee & Kettle Bakery, on the Canal, The Prince Amstel, Heerhugowaard Hotel ….
Amsterdam: Apartments & Homes
Amsterdam: Outside Central Amsterdam
Stephanus Church, Rembrandt’s House ….
The Hemnes Hotel
Amsterdam: Near Water
The Pijp District is a small area near the center of Amsterdam, and it’s getting more and more popular. This is a result of the rich history of this part of town and its central location. The Pijp is an easy area to get around with terrific shops and restaurants, and it’s also a beautiful area for a stroll. It’s perfect for entertaining guests when spending the day in Amsterdam.
The Pijp area has a lot of energy. You’ll find boutiques, clothing stores, bakeries, and cafes along the canals. There are also restaurants, coffee shops, and bars to hang out at.
There are several hotels in this area, so there’s something for everyone. If you really want to get a piece of the Pijp culture, you can rent a room in a bed & breakfast. This is an excellent idea for exploring this magical place while getting the feel of living in new places.
Best Places to Stay in De Pijp
De Pijp is one of the most popular neighborhoods in Amsterdam, and it’s worth staying here just for the food. You’ll find food markets here, restaurants, bars, cafes, and shops throughout the area. This is an excellent place to meet with other people while visiting the city.
This neighborhood is up and coming and is still full of young people. If you’re young and want to meet other young people, this is a good area to stay in. It’s also convenient to the museums and other attractions.
Hotels in de Pijp
There are many hotels that offer excellent accommodations in this area. For an independent traveler, a hostel is the best place to stay. For those who want to be social and don’t mind sharing a room with other people, a hotel with an on-site hostel is ideal.
The best hotel in the area to stay at is the I Amsterdam City Center Hotel. It’s centrally located and includes an Art Exhibition Restaurant. It also allows pets, which is ideal for those who may want to bring their dog along with them. The I Amsterdam City Center Hotel has a modern design and is comfortable to stay in. Rooms have flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi.
The best neighborhood to stay in when you are in Amsterdam is Jordaan. This is centrally located and is home to a lot of restaurants and shops. The street vendors are probably the most common thing you will see in Jordaan, which adds to the charm of the neighborhood.
There are many great restaurants in Jordaan and many good hotels as well. It’s commonly thought that the best accommodation in Jordaan is a guest house because they tend to be more inexpensive and more personal than a hotel.
The downside is that you will pay more to stay in a guest house than you would for a hotel. But there are a lot of fantastic guest houses that have wonderful staff and will provide you with a very memorable vacation.
One of the most popular guest houses in Jordaan is de Jordaan. This is a guest house across from the Jordaanmarkt square. Even though Paris is well-known for its bakery and cheese, the Netherlands also has a lot of really great bakeries.
One of the top bakeries in Amsterdam is Bakkerij de Belham Steam Bakery. It’s one of the most famous in the city and has been making great bread since 1889. If you visit the bakery, they will hand you a loaf of bread and allow you to see how it’s made.
Best Places to Stay in Jordaan
The Jordaan is a large and delightful area of the city that retains its original character, with much housing still being lived in by the residents. Many of the sights are within a few kilometers of the City Center, making it easy to walk to attractions and restaurants.
You’ll also find a large number of great accommodations in this neighborhood, making it a great neighborhood to base yourself out of during your stay.
- Mercure Amstelveenseweg 52
- Mercure Prinsengracht 665
- Hotel Tulpenweg 24
Plantage & East
Plantage is a tough neighborhood to navigate because there are many attractions to choose from, but a stop at the Westerkerk is a must. Plus, the nearby Oude Doelen is one of the most architecturally impressive buildings in Amsterdam. This is a great place to start exploring because you have a few sights to check out by foot.
Once you’re done taking in all of the sights, do yourself a favor and grab a bite to eat at the nearby Organic Shop, which has a fantastic coffee and unique sandwiches to go. From there, it’s a short walk to the Red Light District and Dam Square. If you have time to spare, I suggest strolling around Dam Square before heading to your hotel. This area also features several museums within just a few blocks.
Plantage is one of the most unique neighborhoods in Amsterdam because it’s a community of residents who have been given land by the city to build their own dwellings. What’s truly unique about this neighborhood is how each block is individually shaped and styled. Five blocks of apartments are again five blocks around the edge of a major square.
Best Places to Stay in Plantage & East
If you want to stay in the center of Amsterdam, you will have to stay in the center of the city. This means paying a little more than what you might otherwise be willing to spend in Amsterdam.
If you can’t find a hotel for less than 100,00 per night within the city center or the Red Light District, you might as well stay in the outskirts of the city.
Plantage and East Amsterdam are the most commonly known areas outside of the center of the city. The most sought after hotels in Plantage & East Amsterdam are the Marriott and the Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky.
But unlike the Red Light District, the Plantage and East neighborhoods are much more family-oriented.
You can find nice hotels in most areas of the city. The most family-friendly hotels include: Holiday Inn, DoubleTree by Hilton, Marriott, Quality Hotel, Intercontinental, and the Maison Bleu. hotels either have swimming pools or are hotels near a waterway, and some are even located near a park or zoo.
If you prefer staying in a hotel in an area that is away from the crowds, there are always the suburbs of the city, where you’ll find very affordable hotels, up until 100,000 euros a night or lower.
While things have changed somewhat, Amsterdam is still the one and only city where the sun sets over the horizon. Once that occurs, you’re out all night until four the next morning. When returning to your hotel in the wee hours of the morning, Oud West, “Old West” is a great place to stay.
Being the hub of the red light district and also approaching the Siegerpark, it's also very centrally located. You can just leave the hotel to hit your favorite neighborhood quickly or easily walk to the city’s famous canals for the Dutch. Oud West is true Dutch living at its best.
Best Places to Stay in Oud West
The Netherlands’ Chinatown ….
This district has even more of a mix than Chinatown. Traditional Chinese (or at least what we call traditional) houses are mixed in with hip bars, cafes, and a hostel.
Also worth noting: it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than the best hotels in Amsterdam, which is good if you’re on a budget and want to stay in a neighborhood as opposed to a hotel in the middle of the financial district.
An area that’s completely changed in the last 15 years. Once the royal court, this is where the Dutch royal family still lives and has many beautiful museums.
The museum area has become increasingly commercialized, but there are still a fair number of museums and monuments.
This area is also known for its brown bread, which is especially popular in Amsterdam. Some tourists make a beeline for Holland’s largest brown bread bakery, Pannekoekenhuis in Beurs, to buy a whole loaf of bread and sample a bit of everything.
Best Places to Stay in Oud Zuid
The Oud Zuid district is located in the relatively central area of Amsterdam. There are many items to do and places to go to during a visit to this part of the city, including a visit to the Rembrandt Museum. This district is also home to the neighborhoods of Nieuwmarkt and Nieuwendam, with plenty of shopping, art, and culture to enjoy.
A great hotel in Amsterdam for those looking to spend their time in Oud Zuid is the Van Campenhout Hotel Amsterdam. This welcoming hotel offers several restaurants right inside the door, along with a beautiful gardens area and courtyard in the back.
The hotel’s guestrooms are also a nice place to rest one’s head, with comfortable rooms and well-appointed bathrooms, as well as free Wi-Fi.
The staff at this hotel are all friendly and happy to help, as well as speak multiple languages, making it easy to enjoy your time in Amsterdam. Another great option is the Interhostel, which is within walking distance of many attractions.
A larger hotel you could book for yourself or a group of friends is the Hotel Inno. This hotel’s clean, modern interior is vibrant and fun, despite its location downtown.
The Eastern Docklands are the most vibrant neighborhood in Amsterdam. From historic canals, to art-filled canal houses, to cutting-edge nightlife and alternative shops, the Eastern Docklands have it all.
Everyone who goes to Amsterdam will still recommend that you stay at a canal hotel. These are just more convenient, and usually cheaper, than staying in an Airbnb or guesthouse.
The best neighborhood for hotels in the Eastern Docklands is Waterlooplein, a charming street that is surrounded by green and filled with a wealthy, middle-class, and alternative crowd.
The museums at Museumplein are within walking distance, and you are centrally located near all of Amsterdam’s best sites.
Other neighborhoods to consider are the Jordaan, De Pijp, and surroundings – commonly referred to as Bijlmermeer.
These are also all great places to stay, but they have much more of the traditional Dutch feel.
The Jordaan is the best neighborhood in Amsterdam with a vibe that is reminiscent of 18th century Amsterdam.
This area is extremely popular and can be hectic during the summer. De Pijp is an expensive neighborhood with a quieter, tree-lined atmosphere. Nearby is the beautiful Van Baerlestraat, where you can find many cozy cafes, restaurants, and bars.
Where to Stay in Eastern Docklands
This area is often called Docklands, and it’s where you’ll find some of the nicest hotel rooms in Amsterdam. A lot of European luxury brands are located here, which means you’ll be staying in style and probably snacking at some famous restaurants, as well.
The low-key area around The Waterlooplein is the perfect combination of cozy and chic, with a few upscale boutique hotels here, as well.
The area around Buiksloterham and the IJ waterfront is home to many of the city’s most famous landmarks and has dozens of hotels to choose from. Even the ones that don’t stand out in terms of visual style are very well-appointed from the inside.
The Hotel Des Indes and Hotel Okura offer the best value and beautiful suites for your money.
If you feel like splurging with something a little higher-end, The Nieuw Amsterdam is certainly worth the stay.
The area near the Rijksmuseum, Waterlooplein and The Leidseplein is the most general place to stay. This means that there are apartments and hotel rooms available throughout all price ranges within an easy walking distance.