Amsterdam is one of Europe’s most popular destinations thanks to its vibrant art scene, world-class museums, cute cafes, and picturesque network of canals that wind their way through the city.
Whether you’re planning an extended trip or a short vacation, working out where to stay in Amsterdam can sometimes be a struggle. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of the best areas to stay in Amsterdam along with pros and cons and hotel recommendations for each area.
So let’s take a look at all the best districts of Amsterdam and what each one has to offer!
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Table of Contents
Overview of Where to Stay in Amsterdam
Amsterdam is made up of 8 main districts which are then subdivided into neighborhoods. These districts are Wespoort, Noord, Oost, Zuidoost, Zuid, Centrum, West, and Nieuw-West.
Some of the top neighborhoods include Jordaan, the Canal Belt, Museum Quarter, and De Pijp, which are definitely some of the best areas to stay in Amsterdam with so much to offer, but we’ll go through this in a lot more detail below.
The city is really easy to negotiate, and most places are reachable on foot (and of course by bicycle), and there is a metro system if you’d prefer to stay outside of the city center.
If you don’t have time to read the whole thing, here is a handy guide to the best locations to stay in Amsterdam:
|AREA||BEST FOR||RECOMMENDED HOTEL||MORE HOTELS|
|Oude Centrum||First-timers, sightseeing, central location||Anantara Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky Amsterdam||More hotels in Oude Centrum|
|Canal Belt||First-timers, central location, Sightseeing, shopping, food and drink||Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht - a concept by Hyatt||More hotels in Canal Belt|
|Jordaan||Atmosphere, nightlife, central location, shopping, food and drink||Hotel Mercier||More hotels in Jordaan|
|Oud Zuid/Museum Quarter||Museums, sightseeing||Conservatorium Hotel||More hotels in Oud Zuid/Museum Quarter|
|Leidseplein||Nightlife, food and drink, entertainment||Weber Hotel 397||More hotels in Leidseplein|
|Oud West||Good location, authentic Amsterdam, coffee shops||Hotel Alexander||More hotels in Oud West|
|De Pijp||Food and drink, museums, atmosphere||Hotel Okura Amsterdam||More hotels in De Pijp|
|Old Jewish Quarter and Plantage||Central location||Luxury Suites Amsterdam||More hotels in Old Jewish Quarter and Plantage|
|Westerpark||Budget-friendly, nightlife, green spaces||Conscious Hotel Westerpark||More hotels in Westerpark|
|Amsterdam Noord||Nightlife, entertainment, day trips||Sir Adam Hotel||More hotels in Amsterdam Noord|
Best Areas to Stay in Amsterdam
Whether you’re looking to be in the heart of the action, close to sights like the incredible Van Gogh Museum or Anne Frank House, the best restaurants, or somewhere a little more peaceful, we’ve got you covered.
In this detailed guide, you’ll discover where to stay in Amsterdam to get the very best out of your trip to this amazing city. I’ve included a selection of accommodation options to suit all tastes and budgets to save you from having to trawl through the web.
So, without further ado, let’s dive in and discover the best neighborhoods to stay in Amsterdam.
1. Oude Centrum
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
This 5-star hotel is located in the heart of Oude Centrum opposite the Royal Palace. The gorgeous 19th-century building benefits from an onsite cafe, a winter garden, and a Michelin-starred restaurant on site.
MID-RANGE – NH City Centre Amsterdam
If you’re looking for somewhere central, modern, and elegant, then this 4-star hotel overlooking the Singel Canal is an excellent choice. The en-suite rooms come with stunning city views, and the hotel offers bicycle hire, boat trips, and more.
BUDGET – Singel Hotel Amsterdam
If you’re on a budget but still want somewhere central, then this 3-star hotel in a renovated 17th-century building is perfect. It’s just 200 meters from the central station, next to the Singel Canal, and is within walking distance of the city’s top sights.
2. Canal Belt
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 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 Canal Belt
This upmarket 5-star hotel is located inside an old library and exudes charm and sophistication. The interior concept was put together by Dutch designer Marcel Wanders, and rooms come with stunning views over the canals.
MID-RANGE – NH Amsterdam Schiller
The 4-star NH Schiller features a classical and art deco design and is situated a minute’s walk from the Flower Market and Kalverstraat shopping street. The elegant rooms come with gorgeous city views, and there is an outside terrace for guests to enjoy.
BUDGET – Hotel Prinsenhof Amsterdam
The Princenhof is a rustic hotel in the center of the Canal Belt that offers reasonably priced rooms with wooden beams, large windows, and modern, en-suite bathrooms. The property is just 200 meters from the Amstel River and within walking distance from many of the city’s attractions.
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
- The area is mainly populated by tourists, and locals tend to avoid the area
Best places to stay in Jordaan
LUXURY – Hotel Mercier
The charming 4-star Mercer Hotel has an onsite restaurant, bar, and garden for you to enjoy and provides comfortable rooms with air-conditioning, free WiFi, and city views. The Anne Frank House, Royal Palace Amsterdam, and Leidseplein are all just a short walk from the hotel.
MID-RANGE – Linden Hotel
The 3-star Linden is situated within an 18th-century building in the heart of Jordaan and offers tastefully decorated rooms with seating areas, flatscreen TVs, and tea and coffee-making facilities. The excellent location and cozy rooms make this the perfect place for couples.
BUDGET – Bridge Inn
This stylish Bed and Breakfast comes with views of the canal and the picturesque Oranjebrug bridge (thus the name). The Bridge Inn is excellent value if you’re looking to combine comfort and price with a central location.
4. Oud Zuid/Museum Quarter
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.
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
LUXURY – Conservatorium Hotel
This 5-star hotel offers the ultimate comfort and relaxation with a modern twist (rooms come with state-of-the-art technology). You’ll have free access to the hotel’s holistic wellness center, which includes an indoor pool, spa, and sauna.
MID-RANGE – Hotel van de Vijsel
This stylish 4-star hotel is just a few minutes walk from the Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum, and Vondelpark. The rooms come with wooden fixtures giving them a homely feel, but with all the comforts you’d expect from a high-end, central hotel.
BUDGET – The Muse Amsterdam – Boutique Hotel
The Muse is a boutique, 3-star hotel a short walk from all the area’s museums. This is a great option for digital nomads thanks to the reasonable prices, workspace in each room, and free WiFi throughout.
Leidseplein is a large city square located just to the south of the Canal Belt and is one of the top places in the city for nightlife. There are lots of excellent bars on the square and you can watch street performers, enjoy street food and drink in the lively atmosphere of the place.
There are tons of excellent restaurants and streetside cafes offering up everything from European and Asian cuisine to craft beers, fast food, and of course Stroopwafels. This is definitely one of my favorite places to sit and watch the world go by on a summer’s evening.
If you’re a bit of a partygoer you won’t want to miss Leidseplein as this is where many of the city’s top nightclubs and live music venues are located (Melkweg is a must-visit and sees some huge international acts and DJs).
Pros and cons of staying in Leidseplein
- Lively atmosphere
- Fantastic nightlife
- Walking distance to many of the top attractions
- Can be rather noisy late at night in the summer
Best places to stay in Leidseplein
LUXURY – Hard Rock Hotel Amsterdam American
The 4-star Hard Rock Hotel is located just off the main square and within walking distance of the city’s museums, canals, and other attractions. The super-modern rooms come with satellite TV, free WiFi, and surround sound speakers.
MID-RANGE – Weber Hotel 397
Weber Studios is a boutique hotel just 200 meters from the main square and surrounded by bars, restaurants, and nightclubs, making it the perfect spot for nocturnal types who want to party until sundown. Rooms come with a kitchenette, en-suite bathroom, and a small living area.
BUDGET – Boutique Hotel View
This charming boutique hotel offers deluxe rooms with canal views, sumptuous bathrooms, and all the mod-cons you’d expect from a high-end hotel but without the expensive price tag. The hotel is located close to all the bars, restaurants, and venues of Leidseplein as well as within walking distance of the many canals and other sights.
6. 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
- A short walk from Jordaan and the Canal Belt
- Densely populated area
Best places to stay in Oud West
LUXURY – Amsterdam Marriott Hotel
The 5-star Marriott is a modern hotel with plenty of excellent amenities, from an onsite gym to a cocktail bar and a steakhouse (they also do an awesome brunch from 12:30 pm to 4 pm each weekend). If you choose the executive rooms, you have access to the lounge with complimentary drinks and hors d’oeuvres.
MID-RANGE – Hotel Alexander
The Hotel Alexander is a 3-star boutique hotel that comes with a pleasant garden and outside seating. The hotel is located on a quiet street but still a short walk from some of the city’s major attractions from the Vondelpark to the Van Gogh Museum.
BUDGET – Conscious Hotel Vondelpark
If you’re looking for where to stay in Amsterdam with green credentials, then look no further than the sustainable Conscious Hotel Vondelpark (energy-saving lamps, recycled furniture, etc). You can also take advantage of a healthy, organic breakfast and bicycle hire at the hotel.
7. 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
If it’s luxury you’re after, then the Hotel Okura has it in spades. With unprecedented views of the Amsterdam skyline, a swimming pool, spa, treatment rooms, and four (yes, four!) restaurants that share three Michelin stars between them, this is one of the most exclusive hotels in the city.
MID-RANGE – Sir Albert Hotel
At the 4-star Sir Albert, each room has been individually designed to reflect a historic art movement and come with gorgeous city views. There are several onsite restaurants, bicycle hire, and a study with an open fireplace.
BUDGET – ibis Styles Amsterdam City
The ibis Styles is a modern, 3-star hotel in the heart of the De Pijp neighborhood that offers comfortable rooms with city views and an excellent buffet breakfast. The hotel is a stone’s throw from the River Amstel and the canals.
8. Old Jewish Quarter & Plantage
Jodenbuurt is the old Jewish Quarter that’s located next to the Canal Belt and just south of the Old Center. The area was home to many Jews from the 16th century up to the time of the Nazi occupation of the city.
This small neighborhood is packed with interesting things to see and do from the fascinating Rembrandt House Museum to the National Opera and Ballet and the Portuguese Synagogue (once the largest in the world).
Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, and if you’re looking to buy (or just have a look), the Jewish Quarter is the place to go as you’ll find the Gassan Diamond Factory where you can take a tour and see how these precious stones are manufactured.
Pros and cons of staying in Old Jewish Quarter & Plantage
- Central location
- Lots to see and do
- Limited nightlife in this area
Best places to stay in Old Jewish Quarter & Plantage
LUXURY – Luxury Suites Amsterdam
This stylish 5-star hotel only offers luxury suites with king-size bedding and extra spacious rooms with easy access to the Jewish Quarter, Canal Belt, and Old Center. The hotel offers valet parking, a bar, free toiletries, high-speed WiFi, and much more.
You can’t go wrong with the Holiday Inn and this one located in Amsterdam’s Jewish Quarter offers comfortable 3-star accommodation with air-con, satellite TV, and an onsite bar. The National Opera and Ballet is just a few minute’s walk away.
BUDGET – Hotel Hortus
If you’re on a budget, then the Hotel Hortus is an excellent option which offers clean and modern rooms at very reasonable prices. Rooms come with a TV, a safe, and towels, but bathrooms are not en-suite.
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
LUXURY – Morgan and Mees
The small but stylish Morgan and Mees offers 4-star accommodation in Westerpark with a restaurant, bar, and terrace. The en-suite rooms come with complimentary toiletries, free WiFi, and a sofa and desk for those working on the road.
MID-RANGE – Conscious Hotel Westerpark
This fab eco-friendly hotel in the heart of buzzing Westerpark has an onsite restaurant, cafe, and bar with a terrace overlooking the park. The modern rooms come with a flatscreen TV, seating area, free WiFi, and en-suite bathroom with toiletries.
BUDGET – WestCord Art Hotel Amsterdam 3 stars
The charming 3-star WestCord has a terrace bar overlooking the park and houses a collection of artworks by Dutch painter Herman Brood. Rooms have either a bath or rain shower, a Nespresso coffee machine, and free WIFI.
10. Amsterdam Noord
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
LUXURY – Sir Adam Hotel
The 4-star Sir Adam Hotel is located within the A’DAM Tower with breathtaking views and giving you access to a multitude of entertainment and dining options. The hotel includes restaurants and a co-working space and offers bike hire and tickets to nearby attractions.
MID-RANGE – DoubleTree by Hilton Amsterdam – NDSM Wharf
Staying in a DoubleTree by Hilton anywhere in Europe means you’ll be in great hands thanks to their excellent service. The hotel is located just across from the Canal IJ and has rooms with air-con, a minibar, an en-suite bathroom, and a Nespresso coffee machine.
BUDGET – Bunk Hotel Amsterdam
The stylish yet simple Bunk Hotel has a restaurant and bar and offers guests vegan and vegetarian breakfast options. You’ll be sleeping in futuristic bunk pods, and I’m a big fan of these types of places that are both fun and budget-friendly
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!
- Where to Stay in Amsterdam: 10 Best Areas & Hotels
- 24 Best Amsterdam Hotels with Canal Views
- 25 Best Boutique Hotels in Amsterdam for Every Budget
- One Day in Amsterdam: How to See the Best of Amsterdam in a Day
- The Perfect 2 Days in Amsterdam Itinerary for First Timers
- 3 Days in Amsterdam: The Ultimate Amsterdam Itinerary
- 14 Best Breakfast Places in Amsterdam You Have to Try
3 Days in Amsterdam: The Ultimate Amsterdam Itinerary
14 Best Breakfast Places in Amsterdam You Have to Try
24 Best Amsterdam Hotels with Canal Views
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