Once you ride a bike 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. 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 place in Amsterdam to stay based on your interests.

Whether you want to stay somewhere central and close to the best restaurants, near the local life, or you want to stay somewhere on a budget, read on to learn more about our picks for the best places to stay in Amsterdam!

Where to Stay in Amsterdam

Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our top picks for places to stay in Amsterdam, organized by the coolest backpacker hostels, nicest hotels, and swankiest city apartment!

Best Airbnb in Amsterdam: Studio with Garden near Westerpark

This modern and comfortable apartment has a double bed in the main living area with huge glass sliding doors opening to a private garden space. There’s also a kitchenette and separate bathroom and toilet.

Although perhaps a bit white-walled on the interior design, there are a lot of homey touches here that make it a perfect city apartment in Amsterdam right by Westerpark. By the park is the city-living dream!

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 the 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.

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 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.

Amsterdam Neighborhood Guide

FIRST VISIT TO AMSTERDAM
Westerpark in Netherland
FIRST VISIT TO AMSTERDAM

Westerpark

Westerpark is close enough to the city centre to make exploring a breeze, yet just far enough away to offer a more chilled out stay making it the best place to stay in Amsterdam for first-time visitors.

ON A BUDGET
Oud Zuid South Amsterdam
ON A BUDGET

Oud Zuid

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.

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!

The central area is broken down further into smaller areas. The old centre is where you’ll find medieval streets and De Wallen, Amsterdam’s infamous red light district. 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 Zuid (South) is a quieter part of Amsterdam, with more of an up-market atmosphere. Oud West is simultaneously relaxed and lively—you’ll find plenty to see and do but the vibe is cool, calm, and collected.

Oud Oost (East) has a down-to-earth and working-class feel about it and is great for people who like to fully immerse in the local way of life in a city. 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.

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5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Amsterdam

Although it might seem like Amsterdam has many neighbourhoods to choose between, the city centre is fairly compact and easy to navigate by public transport. This means that you’ll never be too far away from the action, even if you decide to stay in one of the city’s quieter areas.

Note that while the old centre has heaps to see and do, this isn’t generally the best Amsterdam neighbourhood to stay unless you particularly want to be close to the red light district.

1. Westerpark Neighborhood – Best Area of Amsterdam for a First Time Stay

Westerpark is close enough to the city centre to make exploring a breeze, yet just far enough away to offer a more chilled-out holiday in Amsterdam.

It’s our pick for the best area to stay when planning a first-time visit to Amsterdam because it is conveniently located for hitting the sightseeing hotspots, you’re close enough to the nightlife without being put off by the red light district, and there’s a good choice of accommodations, shops, restaurants, and attractions right at your fingertips.

Westerpark Netherland
Chill, beautiful, and close to everything, Westerpark Neighborhood is our favorite neighborhood in Amsterdam – source: Quaid Lagan (unsplash)

Best Studio Apartment in Westerpark: Studio with Garden near Westerpark

This modern and comfortable apartment has a double bed in the main living area with huge glass sliding doors opening to a private garden space. There’s also a kitchenette and separate bathroom and toilet.

Although perhaps a bit white-walled on the interior design, there are a lot of homey touches here that make it a perfect city apartment in Amsterdam right by the park. By the park is the city-living dream!

Bright Bed & Breakfast in Westerpark: Room with a View

This simple and bright bed and breakfast near Westerpark is perfect for a solo traveller. It’s digital nomad-friendly, with a workspace in the room and a beautiful view over the city so that you don’t feel cooped up if you’re inside working through the day. Take a stroll through the park or take out the host’s bikes for a cycle.

Best Hostel in Westerpark: Dutchies Hostel

Friendly and sociable with a youthful vibe and tons of cool wall art, Dutchies Hostel has mixed and female-only dorms. There are several common areas, suitable for socialising, chilling, and working, plus a shared kitchen and an outdoor smoking area. Bikes are available to rent and Wi-Fi is free.

Best Hotel in Westerpark: WestCord Art Hotel

Though not the grandest of hotels in Amsterdam, this three-star accommodation still sits right next to the green Westerpark while being just a 15-minute walk from the city centre. The modern and funky rooms are en-suite with a TV, coffee machine, wardrobe, and minibar. The swimming pool is a major draw, with sunbathing areas and a bar on the terrace. There’s an onsite restaurant too. The art display is sure to catch your eye.

Top Things to Do in Westerpark

Weserpark ttd Amsterdam
  • Chill out in the area’s namesake park: 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, and kids are sure to love the small petting zoo.
  • Visit the monthly craft and arts market at Westerpark, held on the first Sunday of each month.
  • Go window shopping along some of the best shopping streets in the country: the Haarlemmerstraat and Haarlemmerdijk.
  • Satisfy your appetite in the neighbourhoods many excellent restaurants and large food centres like Market Canteen.
  • Admire the artistic works at Museum Het Schip.
  • Relax at Het Stenen Hoofd, an urban beach that’s popular with locals.
  • Get your gaming head on and go retro at Ton Ton Club, a cool arcade with classic machines.
  • Sample local beers at De Prael brewery and Troost.
  • Watch a show at Amsterdam Theater.

2. Oud Zuid (South) – Where to Stay in Amsterdam on a Budget

A major tourist area yet with lower accommodation prices then 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) has world-class museums, markets, parks, and more.

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

Private Apartment in Oud Zuid (South): 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-mish and a wonderfully put together home-for-the-weekend.

Warm Studio Space in Oud Zuid (South): Sweet Studio

Super close to Amsterdam’s major museums and several attractions too, it’s also near to Vondelpark making it a supreme choice for the joggers! There’s a heavenly king-sized bed, a TV right across for late-night movie marathons, and the kitchen comes with everything you’ll need to cook up a storm. You can also hire a bike just around the corner!

Best Hostel in Oud Zuid (South): 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. Amsterdam’s famous museums are a short stroll away.

Best Hotel in Oud Zuid (South): Hotel Verdi

A budget Amsterdam hotel, 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.

Top Things to do in Oud Zuid

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 Museum Square.
  • 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 the centre.

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 – source: Sonny Abesamis (Flickr)

Beautiful Loft Space in De Pijp: Heavenly Hideaway in the Pijp

Presumably named after its glowing white ambience, this is a gorgeous space complete with its own rooftop terrace. Due to its location on the 4th floor, and its mezzanine-style bed, it’s not suited for the mobility-impaired. Everyone else though is going to soak up this gorgeous apartment with its chic vintage stylings – there’s even a hammock-chair inside!

Stylish Apartment in De Pijp: Apartment at the Heineken Square

Right in the centre of De Pijp neighbourhood – close to some of Amsterdam’s coolest bars and restaurants – this roomy apartment has a cosy yet low-key vibe. With a fantastic view right over Marie Heineken Square, cooking up a brekky in the kitchenette and enjoying it with the morning city views is always a treat. Bonus points for the bike rentals right next door!

Stylish Hostel near De Pijp: Cocomama

Cocomama is just across the canal from the De Pijp neighborhood. This location is close to the attractions of De Pijp and a reasonable walk from the city center. 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.

Top Things to Do in De Pijp

De Pijp ttd Amsterdam
Source: JJFarq (Shutterstock)
  • 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 Cuypmarkt. With more than 250 stalls, the laid-back market has everything from snacks and fresh produce to clothes, home wares, and trinkets.
  • 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 Amsterdamtht 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 neighborhoods in Amsterdam

Fantastic Canal Studio in Jordaan: Luxurious Canal House Studio

Combining the atmosphere of an 18th-century 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).

Large Apartment in Jordaan: Amsterdam Center Entire Apartment

A two-room flat with a very spacious feel and an espresso machine that just doesn’t quit! There’s a basic home theatre setup (TV and stereo soundbar) for chilling out after a day exploring Amsterdam’s sights. In a convenient spot with convenient amenities and just a touch more space, it’s a great choice for couples staying in Jordaan.

Best Hostel in Jordaan: Shelter Jordan

A friendly Christian hostel in Jordaan, this is a great place for people who want a restful and safe stay away from the drink and drugs scene.

The single-gender dorms are located on different floors and breakfast is included in the price. There’s an onsite restaurant and you can rent bikes and mingle and use free Wi-Fi in the common room.

Best Hotel in Jordaan: Hotel Il Fiore

The en suite rooms have free toiletries, a hairdryer, free Wi-Fi, TV, tea and coffee making facilities, and a separate seating area. There’s an onsite Italian restaurant and bicycles are available for rent. You can conveniently book trips onsite too.

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, once the home of the famous child wartime diarist.
  • 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.
  • Watch a performance at Theater Amsterdam.
  • See the church of Noorderkerk.
  • Drink in diverse rock, metal, and alternative bars as well as trendy watering holes.
  • Enjoy unique museums like the Pianola Museum and the Woonbootmuseum.
  • Discover the area’s many charming gardens, many of which are hidden from sight.
  • Admire the artworks in the modern Galerie Buuf.

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. source: A. Bakker (Wikicommons)

Awesome Family Unit in Plantage: Quiet Apartment Perfect for Families

Sleeping up to four people (a huge bonus amongst the compact apartments of Amsterdam), this is a quiet place to stay in a quiet neighbourhood and perfect for a family holiday! It’s got a view of Wertheimpark – Amsterdam’s oldest park – and the host’s cats even wander through the garden from time to time for a pat. Also, as a final extra cherry on top, the floors are heated!

Gorgeous Top-Floor Apartment in Plantage: Bright, Spacious, and Green Home

A downright gorgeous specimen with a high ceiling, exposed beams, and filled with the greeny of vibrant houseplants.  This 4th and top floor apartment fills with light due to its large angled windows, and there’s even a darling view of the canal. It’s just a damn beautiful place to stay in Amsterdam!

Best Hostel in Plantage: Generator Amsterdam

A welcoming, attractive, and friendly hostel, choose from one of the different-sized private rooms or a bed in a dormitory (ladies-only or mixed). There’s a café onsite as well as a separate bar/lounge for relaxing and another chilled-out common space.

A small store sells the essentials and other features include bike rentals, free Wi-Fi, a tour desk, laundry facilities, and round-the-clock security.

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.

Top Things to Do in Plantage

Plantage ttd Amsterdam
Source: Artur Bogacki (Shutterstock)
  • Observe a large selection of creatures in Artis Royal Zoo, stroll through the lush botanic gardens, and learn more about the stars and sky at the planetarium.
  • Marvel at Russian arts and treasures at the Hermitage Amsterdam.
  • Visit Hortus Botanicus, the world’s oldest botanic garden.
  • Snap a picture of De Gooyer Windmill.
  • Pick up vintage items and unusual goods at the large and historic flea market of Waterloopleinmarkt.
  • Learn more about Jewish history and heritage at the Jewish History Museum, the National Holocaust Museum, the Portuguese Synagogue, and Hollandsche Schowburg.
  • 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.

Final thoughts on which area 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!

I love Amsterdam and think its architecture and water canals make it one of the dreamiest cities in the world, but it can be expensive, crowded, and – frankly – dirty in some areas. We created this guide to help you navigate out of the tourist traps and find out where to stay in Amsterdam based on your style.

To recap, our favorite hostel is Amigo Hostel Amsterdam. For more privacy, we recommend Hotel Weber! When in doubt, choose to stay in Westerpark, which is close enough to the city centre to make exploring a breeze, yet just far enough away to offer a more chilled out visit to Amsterdam.

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!

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If you’re still worried about the safety of visiting tourists, then read our dedicated guide on staying safe in Amsterdam.

Otherwise, that’s it! Enjoy your trip to Amsterdam, and if we missed any of your favourite places to stay, let us know if we missed anything in the comments below!

Do you own an awesome hostel, hotel or apartment? Want to be featured in our list? Email [email protected] to find out how.

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