Once you’ve ridden your bike rental down Amsterdam’s narrow alleys, whizzing past beautiful houses, green parks, and waterway canals, you’ll never want to leave this magical city.

Amsterdam offers amazing food, culture, and local life. From the Royal Palace at Dam Square to the famous ‘coffee shops’, there’s no city quite it.  That said, it can also be an expensive, crowded tourist trap.

Picking the right place in Amsterdam can be stressful, and if you’re not trying to mingle with the crazy drunk tourists and stag parties, there are certain neighborhoods to avoid.

We created this insider guide on where to stay in Amsterdam and broke down the best neighborhoods, hostels, hotels, and apartments for you to find the best spot in Amsterdam for your needs.

Whether you want to stay in one of the many boutique hotels, a local canal home, or a backpacker-friendly hostel, read on to find it here!

bikes on a bridge in amsterdam
Welcome to one of the best cities in the world!

Where to Stay in Amsterdam

Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our top picks for places to stay while visiting Amsterdam, organised by the coolest backpacker hostels, nicest hotels, and swankiest city apartments!

Best Airbnb in De Pijp: Bella B&B

Say hello to the very best Airbnb in Amsterdam! Located in the trendy De Pijp neighbourhood, you’ll be just a short walk or bike ride away from the very best of the city. Each room is decorated with a mix of bright solids and colorful accents–there’s even a balcony which is super rare for an apartment in such a tight city. The metro station is barely seconds away, and up to 4 guests can enjoy the space!

Best Hostel in Amsterdam: Cityhub Amsterdam

Located just south of Westerpark is the super modern and ‘techy’ Cityhub Amsterdam. Why so ‘techy’? Because instead of a traditional dorm room – you get your own private pod/cabin and it looks more like a spaceship than a bed!

Cityhub is a unique mix of the classic social vibes of old-school hostels, mixed with a new innovative experience – that’s probably why the ratings are so high!

Best Hotel in Amsterdam: Hotel Weber

Located near Leidse Square, this boutique style hotel is in a prime position close to many places of interest. Rooms are en-suite and you’ll find the fridge stocked with goodies for breakfast.

Fresh bread is brought to your room each morning too! Rooms also have a TV, Wi-Fi, a safe, a phone, and a coffee maker.

Amazing Houseboat in Amsterdam: First-Class Houseboat Studio

For a quirky place to stay in Amsterdam, what could be better than renting your very own private houseboat? This cool Airbnb is a houseboat on the outside and a studio apartment with modern trimmings on the inside. The huge sliding windows provide incredible views over the water while the shades still allow privacy.

Featuring a small kitchenette and bathroom, this is a dope pad (and a very unique Amsterdam accommodation) to spend a few
blissful days gently bobbing on the water.

First-Class Houseboat Studio is one of our favourites in Amsterdam but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.

For something different, you can also check out the best VRBOs in Amsterdam!

Amsterdam Neighborhood Guide

FIRST VISIT TO AMSTERDAM
Centrum
FIRST VISIT TO AMSTERDAM

Centrum

Amsterdam Centrum is the historical part of the city, and dates back to the 17th century! It’s our pick for the best area to stay for first-timers because it makes exciting your Amsterdam itinerary easy.

ON A BUDGET
Oud Zuid South Amsterdam
ON A BUDGET

Oud West

A major tourist area yet with lower accommodation prices than other parts of the city centre, Out Zuid is one of the best places to stay in Amsterdam on a budget.

NIGHTLIFE
De Pijp Amsterdam
NIGHTLIFE

De Pijp

Although Leidseplein in the city centre is Amsterdam’s major area for nightlife, De Pijp (in South Amsterdam) is a trendy part of the city whose nightlife can rival that of the centre.

COOLEST PLACE TO STAY
Jordaan Amsterdam
COOLEST PLACE TO STAY

Jordaan

Jordaan is close to the heart of Amsterdam but the traditional village-like vibe makes it feel a whole lot farther away.

FOR FAMILIES
Plantage in Amsterdam
FOR FAMILIES

Plantage

A predominantly residential area with a Jewish heritage, Plantage is the best Amsterdam neighbourhood for families.

The Dutch capital is split into a number of neighbourhoods; while many major attractions are in a fairly concentrated area that doesn’t mean that you should overlook other parts of the city. There are hidden gems everywhere!

On the fringe of the city centre is the best part of Amsterdam to stay for escaping the tourist crowds and mingling with locals. You’ll find cool cocktail bars, independent shops, bohemian clubs, cool architecture, laid-back cafes, and more. You can easily jump on the metro right to Amsterdam central station or rent a bike too.

Centrum is the pulsating heart and soul of Amsterdam and home to many major attractions and landmarks as well as a lively nightlife and an abundance of restaurants. It also attracts huge numbers of tourists. No trip to Amsterdam is complete without spending time here! It’s also where you’ll find Amsterdam Centraal station

Amsterdam city centre area is broken down further into smaller areas. The old centre is where you’ll find medieval streets and De Wallen, Amsterdam’s famous Red Light District and heaps of coffee shops. De Pijp is a cool spot for nightlife, terrific restaurants, an arty ambience, and a hipster vibe.

Jordaan has managed to retain a village-like feeling while being home to several famous sights and within easy reach of the heart of Amsterdam, and Plantage has many museums and a strong Jewish heritage. The Canal Ring is a posh area lined by canal houses and fantastic nightlife. Westerpark is another popular area close to the centre.

Oud-West is simultaneously relaxed and lively—you’ll find plenty to see and do but the vibe is cool, calm, and collected. Meanwhile, Oud Zuid (South) is a quieter part of Amsterdam, with more of an up-market atmosphere. It’s also where you’ll find the famous Museum District.

Oud Oost (East) has a down-to-earth and working-class feel about it and is great for people who like to fully immerse themselves in the local way of life in Amsterdam. There are large parks and it’s considered to be a bit more off the beaten track.

Noord (North) has seen many developments over recent years, transforming it from a major shipping area to a place that’s full of life, with cultural, leisure, and entertainment venues. Spaarndammerbuurt is an up-and-coming neighbourhood and the island of Marken is charming, with traditional homes and a feeling of nostalgia.

So with so many options, read on to find out exactly where is the best place in Amsterdam to stay.

5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Amsterdam

This entire city is filled with incredible accommodation, but we know you’re looking for the dirty details. So let’s dive right into this Amsterdam neighborhood guide to help you find the perfect place to stay on your trip!

1. Centrum – Best Area of Amsterdam for First Timers

Amsterdam Centrum is the historical part of the city, and dates back to the 17th century!

It’s our pick for the best area to stay for first-timers because it makes exciting your Amsterdam itinerary easy.

You’ll be within walking distance from Amsterdam Central Station, and there are PLENTY of hotels, Airbnbs, bars, restaurants and coffee shops to choose from.

Moreover, must-see attractions like Dam Square–where you’ll find the famous Royal Palace as well as other historic buildings–and the notorious Red Light District are just a short walk away.

Best Airbnb in Amsterdam Centrum: Luxury Houseboat

Get the REAL Amsterdam experience by staying in this incredible luxury houseboat! Priceless canal views and a deck that was made for sunsets are just two of the iconic features of this home, which is right in the thick of Amsterdam’s very best attractions. All your favorite amenities (including wifi!) are on board–you won’t believe you’re not in an actual house! Moreover, cheap bike rentals are around the corner, and the home has a kitchen for all your culinary needs.

Best Hostel in Amsterdam Centrum: The Bulldog

The Bulldog is a household name when it comes to Amsterdam’s hostels, and it’s somewhat of an institution of the city. Conveniently located in the city centre, you’ll be just a short walk away from the Red Light District and other top attractions.

The absolute best part about this hostel is that the lounge doubles as a coffee shop, making it the most 420-friendly place to stay on this list! There’s also an onsite bar, and the rooms are clean
and warm–even in winter!

Best Hotel in Amsterdam Centrum: Hotel Estheréa

Located right in the city centre, there’s no doubt that this is one of the best hotels in Amsterdam! It’s right on a canal, and each of the bright rooms has been tastefully designed with classic decor and wood paneling. The on site restaurant features a variety of food and drinks, though there are nearly unlimited outside options within walking distance thanks to the great location.

Top Things to Do in Amsterdam Centrum

Weserpark ttd Amsterdam
  • Chill out in Westerpark. Pack a picnic in the summer months, watch an array of cultural activities, and enjoy being outdoors. You can even swim in the pool on sunny days!
  • Go on an iconic canal cruise
  • Check out Amsterdam’s best walking tour
  • Take a tour of the Red Light District
  • Relax at Het Stenen Hoofd, an urban beach that’s popular with locals.
  • See Amsterdam by cycle
  • Watch a show at Amsterdam Theater.
  • Join a local pub crawl
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2. Oud West – Where to Stay in Amsterdam on a Budget

A major tourist area yet with lower accommodation prices than other parts of the city centre, this is the best area to stay in Amsterdam on a tight travel budget.

It’s actually a district made up of several neighbourhoods, Oud Zuid (South) is also home to the Van Gogh Museum and The Rijksmuseum in Museum Quarter (wonder why they called it that!)

Oud Zuid South Amsterdam
Affordable and close to the action, Oud Zuid is a great neighbourhood if you are on a budget

Best Airbnb in Oud West: Cosy Canal-View Studio Suite

 A fully-equipped studio apartment with a private entrance and a small balcony overlooking the canal. Recently renovated, there are a lot of charming touches that you won’t find at other Airbnb apartments in Amsterdam. It’s the perfect spot for going on a museum mission and overall it’s a wonderfully put-together home.

Best Hostel in Oud West: Hostel Van Gogh

There are mixed and ladies-only dorms plus private rooms in different sizes. The beds are comfy for a good night’s sleep and each room has its own bathroom.

Modern and secure and with keycard access, the hostel offers bike rentals, free maps, and free Wi-Fi. The Van Gogh museum is a short stroll away.

Best Hotel in Oud West: Hotel Verdi

A budget Amsterdam hotel in a central location, Hotel Verdi has rooms for two and four; some are en-suite and some share bathrooms. Rooms are cosy, breakfast is included in the price, and Wi-Fi is available in common areas. There’s a garden where you can relax and bikes are available to rent.

Hotel Verdi is one of our favourites in Amsterdam but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.

Top Things to do in Oud West

Oud Zuid ttd Amsterdam
  • Marvel at the artistic gems in the famous Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum.
  • Discover more about the diamond trade in the Netherlands at the Diamond Museum.
  • Visit a host of other interesting museums at Museumplein.
  • Taste Dutch beers at The Heineken Experience and House of Bols.
  • Take a bottle of wine to relax in the sunshine at Vondelpark or pick a spot on the grass at Amsterdamse Bos and admire the many flowers.
  • Follow the locals and head to the beach at Strand Zuid.
  • Peek inside the windmill of Molen van Sloten, the only windmill in South Amsterdam to be open to tourists.
  • Browse and buy along the bustling Beethovenstraat, one of the city’s most popular shopping streets.
  • Watch arty films at Rialto Cinema.
  • Enjoy a classical concert at Concertgebouw.
  • Sample a wide range of global cuisine in the area’s many restaurants.

3. De Pijp – Best Part of Amsterdam to Stay for Nightlife

Although Leidseplein in the city centre is Amsterdam’s major area for nightlife, De Pijp (in South Amsterdam) is a trendy part of the city whose nightlife can rival that of Amsterdam city centre. Here you’ll really get to know one of the best party cities in Europe.

It’s within easy reach for a few nights out in the heart of Amsterdam, but once you’re tired of tourist crowds and the Red Light District, De Pijp is the best area in Amsterdam to stay for a great night out.

Additionally, De Pijp is also known for its great food scene, ideal for starting your night or for beating a hangover. A cool area with a youthful and bohemian vibe yet still close to the city’s main madness, backpackers in Amsterdam will be glad they chose to stay in De Pijp over the centre.

De Pijp Amsterdam
De Pijp has some great nightlife
Photo: Sonny Abesamis (Flickr)

Best Airbnb in De Pijp: Bella B&B

This just might be the best Airbnb in Amsterdam! Located in the trendy De Pijp neighbourhood, you’ll be just a short walk or bike ride away from the very best of the city. Each room is decorated with a mix of bright solids and colorful accents–there’s even a balcony which is super rare for an apartment in such a tight city. The metro station is barely seconds away, and up to 4 guests can enjoy the space!

Stylish Hostel near De Pijp: Cocomama

Cocomama is just across the canal from the De Pijp neighbourhood. This location is close to the attractions of De Pijp and a reasonable walk from the city centre. The interior is homey, quiet and inviting. The space is conducive to relaxing, reading and making great conversation – the perfect foil to your crazy nights out.

Best Hotel in De Pijp: The Arcade Hotel Amsterdam

You don’t even need to go out to have fun as this hotel has its own lively bar! With single, double, twin, and quad rooms, it’s a top hotel in De Pijp for all.

Rooms have a private bathroom as well as a TV and Wi-Fi. Relax on the terrace or rent a bike to explore Amsterdam from this lovely boutique hotel.

Top Things to Do in De Pijp

De Pijp ttd Amsterdam
  • Experience the vibrant nightlife of the Latin Quarter.
  • Hunt for bargains and stock up on souvenirs at the biggest daily market in the Netherlands: Albert Cuyp Market. With more than 250 stalls.
  • Eat your way around the world at restaurants that sell Thai, Indian, Chinese, Turkish, Moroccan, Vietnamese, Spanish, and Pakistani cuisine, to name just a few.
  • Take a tour of the Heineken Experience and sample locally produced beer by the internationally known brand.
  • Admire the decorative and detailed architecture around P.L. Takstraat.
  • Dine al fresco with a picnic at Sarphatipark.
  • Take kids to Kinderboerderij de Pijp.
  • Chill at a café on Marie Heinekenplein.
  • Sip a cocktail and admire the views from the Twenty-Third Bar located, as the name suggests on the 23rd floor.
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4. Jordaan – The Coolest Place to Stay in Amsterdam

Jordaan is close to the heart of Amsterdam but the traditional village-like vibe makes it feel a whole lot farther away.

If you’re looking for where to stay in Amsterdam for couples, Jordaan is a good bet. It’s a quaint and authentic part of Amsterdam that has plenty to see and do. Traditionally a working-class part of town, today Jordaan is one of the coolest neighbourhoods in Amsterdam and a damn cool area to stay.

Art galleries, the local music scene, unusual restaurants, and vintage stores all add to the area’s appeal. As accommodation here is fairly limited, the area also has more of an exclusive feel. Many of Amsterdam’s top attractions are in this area as well.

Jordaan Amsterdam
A village-vibe with tons of art and culture, Jordaan is one of the coolest neighbourhoods in Amsterdam

Fantastic Canal Studio in Jordaan: Luxurious Canal House Studio

Combining the atmosphere of an historic canal house with modern furnishing of a 21st-century studio pad, this gorgeous Amsterdam Airbnb is an easy walking distance to many of the coolest attractions and neighbourhoods (plus the tram stop is right outside). Recently renovated – and with elevator access (a rarity in Amsterdam) – this bright and beautiful place to stay is perfect for experiencing a modern take on Amsterdam’s classic ‘grachtenpand’ (canal house).

Best Hotel in Jordaan: Mr. Jordaan

Right in the heart of Jordaan, this modern hotel is sure to meet all of your needs and then some. Trendy as can be, Mr. Jordaan is extremely comfortable and conveniently located close to all of Amsterdam’s top attractions. You also get to enjoy a daily breakfast buffet to fill up on before you start exploring.

Top Things to Do in Jordaan

Jordaan ttd Amsterdam
  • Wander the historic streets and soak up the enchanting vibe.
  • Visit the world-famous Anne Frank House.
  • Hit up the shops of Westerstraat, Rozengracht, and Elandsgracht, hunt for quirky finds on in the shops of Hazenstraat, and shop in colourful markets like Westerstraat and Noordermarkt.
  • Stroll alongside the small canals.
  • Get to grips with tasty traditional Dutch food.
  • Visit the Amsterdam Tulip Museum
  • See the church of Noorderkerk.
  • Go on a delicious walking tour.
  • Enjoy unique museums like the Pianola Museum and the Woonbootmuseum.
  • Discover the area’s many charming gardens, many of which are hidden from sight.
  • Take an iconic canal cruise.

5. Plantage – Where to Stay in Amsterdam for Families

A predominantly residential area with a Jewish heritage, Plantage is the best place to stay in Amsterdam for families.

As well as being calm and quiet, there are several family-friendly attractions close to hand as well as important and interesting historic attractions. It’s around a 20-minute walk from the heart of Amsterdam, but the metro makes travelling to and from the city centre a breeze. If it’s a family weekend trip to Amsterdam that gravitates more towards art and cheese than sex and drugs, then this is the place for you.

Plantage Amsterdam
Platage is quiet, calm, and close to some major tourist sites.
Photo: A. Bakker (WikiCommons)

Best Airbnb in Plantage: Massive Modern Loft

This might be the biggest studio in Amsterdam! With high ceilings and modern decor, you’ll love coming back to this loft after a day out in the city. Nestled in Plantage near Amsterdam Centrum, there’s a fully equipped kitchen, a comfy king-size bed, and even heated floors! The best part is you’re right on a canal in a great location, giving you all the Amsterdam vibes you could ever need from moment one.

Best Hotel in Plantage: Wittenberg

Fresh, airy, clean, modern and comfortable are just a few words to describe Wittenberg. There are various apartments and studios available to rent and the building has an elevator.

Reception is open 24 hours. You can benefit from free Wi-Fi, luggage storage, and bike hire facilities at this lovely boutique hotel.

Top Things to Do in Plantage

Plantage ttd Amsterdam
  • Marvel at Russian arts and treasures at the Hermitage Amsterdam.
  • Visit Hortus Botanicus, the world’s oldest botanic garden.
  • Pick up vintage items and unusual goods at the large and historic flea market of Waterloopleinmarkt.
  • Step back to the times of the Netherland during the period of Nazi occupation at Verzetsmuseum the Resistance Museum.
  • Relax in the scenic park of Wertheimpark.
  • Buy tickets for a performance at the Dutch National Opera and Ballet.
  • Try to conquer the different escape room experiences.

FAQ’s on Where to Stay in Amsterdam

Choosing where to stay in a new city you’ve never been to can be really confusing and frustrating. To help you make the right decision, we’ve answered the most commonly asked questions on Amsterdam and its neighbourhoods, so you can plan your trip without any issues.

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Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is often famed for its coffee shops and Red Light District, which is honestly a shame because this city has so much more to offer than legal marijuana and hookers! It is a year-round destination so it is always a good time to visit Amsterdam.

To recap, our favourite hostel is Cityhub Amsterdam. For more privacy, we recommend Hotel Weber! When in doubt, choose to stay in Amsterdam Centrum, which will put you right in the centre of all the action–truly ideally for a first time in the Dam!

If you stay outside the centre, you can experience a more local (and affordable) Amsterdam. The public transportation is great in Amsterdam anyway, so it’s easy to get around.

Otherwise, that’s it! Enjoy your trip to Amsterdam, you’ll quickly see why so many (including us) find it to be one of the greatest cities on Earth!

girl riding a bike in amsterdam
This is a city best explored by bike rental!

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