Where to Stay in Amsterdam: 8 Best Areas & Hotels

If you’re planning a trip to the capital of the Netherlands, one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make is where to stay in Amsterdam. With so many areas and hotels to choose from, finding the perfect accommodation for your trip can be overwhelming.

But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! After visiting Amsterdam multiple times and exploring different neighborhoods, we’ve compiled a list of the best areas and hotels to help you make the most out of your stay in this beautiful city.

As a bonus, our guide also includes an interactive map to give you a better understanding of the city’s layout and help you make an informed decision. So let’s dive in!

*Disclosure: This post contains a few affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through my link.*

Overview of Where to Stay in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is made up of 8 districts, each with its own unique character and charm. These districts are divided into smaller neighborhoods, giving you a wide variety of options when it comes to choosing your accommodation.

If you want to stay close to the main tourist attractions, we recommend staying in the city center (Oude Centrum) or the Canal Belt. These areas are filled with historic buildings, picturesque canals, and plenty of cafes, restaurants, and shops to explore.

For a more local experience, head to the Jordaan neighborhood which is known for its vibrant art scene and trendy boutiques. If you’re looking for a quieter and more residential area, De Pijp or Oud Zuid might be the perfect fit for you.

If you prefer to be near nature, Amsterdam Noord or Westerpark offers a peaceful and green escape from the hustle and bustle of the city center.

Before diving into each area in more detail, here’s a quick overview of the best areas to stay in Amsterdam.

AreaRecommended Hotel
Oude Centrum (first-timers, sightseeing, central location)Anantara Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky Amsterdam
Canal Belt (first-timers, central location, sightseeing, shopping, food and drink)Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht
Jordaan (great atmosphere, nightlife, central location, food and drink)Hotel Mercier
Oud Zuid/Museum Quarter (museums, sightseeing)De Ware Jacob Boutique Hotel
Oud West (good location, authentic, coffee shops)Amsterdam Marriott Hotel
De Pijp (food and drink, museums, great atmosphere)Hotel Okura Amsterdam
Westerpark (budget-friendly, nightlife, green spaces)Morgan & Mees
Amsterdam Noord (nightlife, entertainment, day trips)DoubleTree by Hilton Amsterdam - NDSM Wharf

Map of the Best Areas to Stay in Amsterdam

Below you can find a customized map that includes all the best areas to stay in Amsterdam, including our recommended hotels for each area.

How to use this map: This map is fully interactive, so you can move around, zoom in/zoom out, and click on the icons. If you want to see a larger map, click on the bracket in the upper right corner. To see more details and the different layers, click on the tab in the upper left corner. If you want to save it for later, click on the star icon next to the name of the map. Then simply open Google Maps either on your desktop or phone, go to ‘Saved’/’Maps’, and open the map whenever you need it.

Best Areas to Stay in Amsterdam

1. Oude Centrum

Amsterdam Central Station

The old center is the oldest part of Amsterdam dating back to medieval times. It’s home to some of the top tourist sights in the city from the Royal Palace and Madame Tussauds to De Wallen (the Red Light District).

If this is your first time in the city, then Oude Centrum is definitely the best place to stay in Amsterdam as it has something to offer everyone.

It’s the perfect place to set off on a canal ride, see the city’s oldest buildings, enjoy some great shopping, and much more besides.

The Old Center is also where you’ll find Amsterdam’s Central Railway Station so it’s a piece of cake to get around.

It’s also just a short walk from the Canal Belt, Jordaan and the Jewish Quarter so makes a great base for exploring the city.

Pros and cons of staying in Oude Centrum


  • Central location
  • Close to the central train station
  • Lots of excellent attractions


  • As it’s so popular, the area is quite expensive
  • Can be crowded and noisy at night

Best places to stay in Oude Centrum

2. Canal Belt

Amsterdam Canals

The historic Canal Belt is one of my favorite places in Amsterdam and truly is one of the most unmissable parts of the city.

Here you’ll find a myriad of quaint streets and bridges crossing the many canals that wind their way through this picturesque suburb.

The streets and canals are lined with grand, 17th and 18th century merchant townhouses making it one of the most Instagrammable spots in the city.

The four most famous canals are the Singel, Herengracht, Keizergracht, and Prinsengracht.

This is still a super-central location with lots to see and do from visiting the Anne Frank House to the Canal Museum, the Bloemenmarkt flower market, and some excellent cafes and restaurants.

This is a wonderful place for a walk and really encapsulates the best of Amsterdam.

Pros and cons of staying in the Canal Belt


  • Central location
  • One of the most picturesque parts of the city
  • Many museums and attractions on the doorstep


  • Accommodation here can be pricey and booked up long in advance
  • Lots of tourists in high season

Best places to stay in the Canal Belt

3. Jordaan

Beautiful canal in Amsterdam in the Jordaan district

The buzzing Jordaan neighborhood is the best area to stay in Amsterdam if you want to experience the city’s top museums, galleries, eateries, bars, and nightlife.

I love Jordaan as no matter the time of day or night there’s always something interesting to see and do.

Jordaan is sandwiched between the Oude Centrum and Oud-West suburbs and is one of the most sought-after areas of the city.

This once working-class suburb is now one of the most expensive places in the city (a bit like parts of London’s old East End).

When strolling around Jordaan, you’ll find a series of streets housing a selection of boutique shops, galleries, vintage stores, and some of the best eateries in town (if you’re a foodie, this is the place for you)!

Pros and cons of staying in Jordaan


  • Lively atmosphere
  • Excellent shopping
  • Perfect for foodies


  • The busiest part of Amsterdam
  • Very touristic

Best places to stay in Jordaan

4. Oud Zuid/Museum Quarter

Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

Oud Zuid, also known as the Museum Quarter, is the best location to stay in Amsterdam if you want to explore the city’s museums and galleries.

Here you’ll find the top museums in the city including the MOCO Museum, the Van Gogh Museum, the Rijksmuseum, and the Stedelijk Museum.

Oud Zuid is also home to the gorgeous Vondelpark which is perfect for walking, biking, and summer picnics.

You’ll also find plenty of excellent, high-end shopping here with boutique shops, artisan food sellers, and cute gift shops.

Pros and cons of staying in Oud Zuid/Museum Quarter


  • Paradise for art lovers with a myriad of museums
  • Beautiful architecture
  • Home to the Vondelpark


  • The most expensive neighborhood in Amsterdam

Best places to stay in Oud Zuid/Museum Quarter

5. Oud-West

Oud-West is characterized by rows of 19th-century houses a short walk from Jordaan and the Canal Belt.

This is an excellent place to get a feel for the real Amsterdam as it’s largely populated by locals and not as touristy as other central areas.

This area is where you’ll find the hip De Hallen, a converted tram shed that now houses a large indoor market with food stalls, arts, crafts, clothing, and much more. It’s also home to a cinema, art galleries, and a library.

The Vondelpark also adjoins Oud-West so there’s plenty of green space to enjoy and outdoor restaurants and cafes for summer dining.

The area also houses many trendy coffee shops where you can enjoy your favorite caffeine fix in pleasant surroundings.

Pros and cons of staying in Oud-West


  • Get a feel for the real Amsterdam and see where the locals hang out
  • Budget-friendly
  • A short walk from Jordaan and the Canal Belt


  • Densely populated area

Best places to stay in Oud-West

6. De Pijp

The happening De Pijp, also known as the Latin Quarter, is another place I love in Amsterdam thanks to its Bohemian vibe. The area is popular with students and artsy types with lots of cool bars and the famous Albert Cuyp Market.

This is what Amsterdam is all about and no trip to the city is complete without exploring the streets and canals of De Pijp or discovering a new favorite bar, coffee shop, or eatery tucked away down a narrow side street.

De Pijp is located a short walk south of the Canal Belt, the Museum Quarter, and Leidseplein making it a fantastic destination for sightseeing as well as for those looking for good nightlife nearby.

Pros and cons of staying in De Pijp


  • Artsy vibe
  • Great for food and drink
  • Walking distance to most attractions


  • Can be a little pretentious

Best places to stay in De Pijp

7. Westerpark

Beautiful green park, Vondelpark Amsterdam

If you’re looking for where to stay in Amsterdam that’s not as hemmed in as the city center, then Westerpark is an excellent option thanks to an abundance of green spaces.

But just because it’s more spacious doesn’t mean you’ll be missing out on the fun as this exciting suburb is also famed for its cultural activities, exhibitions, markets, and festivals.

It’s still only twenty minutes on foot from the city center, so you’ll have access to all the museums and attractions, but there’s plenty to keep you occupied here, including lots of wonderful bars and cafes.

Be sure to check out the Westergas, one of the city’s most thriving cultural areas located inside an old gasworks. The venue plays host to many events throughout the year, from film showings to exhibitions and live music.

Pros and cons of staying in Westerpark


  • Quieter than the city center
  • Lots of cultural activities
  • Lots of green spaces


  • A smaller selection of accommodation compared to more central areas

Best places to stay in Westerpark

8. Amsterdam Noord

Swing at Adam Lookout Amsterdam

This Amsterdam borough lies to the north of the River Amstel, away from the central areas of the city but has plenty going for it.

Here you’ll find a wide array of things to do, from dining at waterfront restaurants to exploring galleries and art spaces on the old docks.

One of the top Noord attractions is the A’DAM Lookout, a 100-meter (328-foot) tower with an observation deck, restaurant, and even a daredevil swing high above the city and one of the top tourist attractions in the city.

Noord is also a great place to set off on a boat tour of the city and makes a great base for exploring a little further afield, such as the North Sea coastline and nearby towns and cities like Nieuwendam, Ransdorp, and Zunderdorp.

Pros and cons of staying in Amsterdam Noord


  • Vibrant waterside location
  • Fewer tourists than other locations in the city


  • You’ll need to use public transport to get around

Best places to stay in Amsterdam Noord

Planning a trip to Amsterdam?

Then you might want to take a look at all our other travel guides about Amsterdam. I promise, they are just as awesome as this article was!

Pin It for Later!

Leave a Comment