Last updated on January 02nd, 2023
No trip to Europe is complete without a visit to Amsterdam. The Dutch capital is host to some of the most historic palaces, monuments and museums on the continent, with world-famous attractions and authentic Dutch delicacies just some of the reasons why this Dutch city has remained one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Netherlands.
Amsterdam has always been popular with the budget-savvy traveller, and with rise of cheap online accommodation, finding a great rate on hotels, b&b’s and guest houses in prime location is easier than ever. If you’re looking to live like a genuine Amsterdammer while you’re in down, there’s plenty of choice when it comes to quirky accommodation and hotel alternatives.
Kick back and relax at a b&b with a canal side view, or take water itself with a stay on one of the city’s signature narrow boats. With so much to see, you’ll want to stay close to the centre of it all. Amsterdam is a relatively compact, but densely featured city, with miles of meandering streets and canals to explore.
Where to Stay? When visiting the city on a citytrip a want to see all the highlights, you can opt to stay in the city centre. Nearby is the Anna Frank House, Red Light District and main shopping streets. What’s the best area for nightlife, food and drink, sport events, or when on a budget? Read on below to find out more best neighbourhoods to stay in Amsterdam.
Quick Overview – Contents
- What is the Best Area to Stay in Amsterdam
- Best Area for First Time Visit
- Best for Shopping
- Best Stay in Amsterdam When on a Budget
- Best Neighbourhood for Nightlife
- Best Area for Food & Drink
- Where to Stay for Sporting Events
- Safest Areas in Amsterdam
- Unsafe Areas
- 7 Best Neighourhoods to Stay for Tourists
What is the Best Area to Stay in Amsterdam?
Best for First Time (Sightseeing): City Centre (Historical)
You can buy the famous Amsterdam tulips in the Bloemenmarkt along the Singel Canal and visit the canals themselves. Singel was once a moat, while the Herengracht, Keizersgracht and Prinsengracht canal were part of the Golden Age revamp that took place in the city. There are Smaller canals like Leliegracht and Spiegelgracht to explore. You’ll find the Amsterdam Museum in Sint Lucien Street. Anne Frank House is located on the Prinsengracht canal in central Amsterdam and The Rijksmuseum can be found in Museum Square in Amsterdam South. The city centre is the best neighbourhood to stay in while visiting the city for the first time. All major sights and attractions are within walking distance.
Where to Stay in Amsterdam City Centre?
- Best Luxury Hotels in Amsterdam
Hotel TwentySeven – Small Luxury Hotels of the World • Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam
- Best Great Value – Top Rated Hotels
Hotel Sebastians • Ambassade Hotel
- Best Cheap Hotels in Amsterdam
Hotel Clemens • Hotel La Bohème
- Best Bed & Breakfast in Amsterdam
A B&B Amsterdam • Jordaan Suite bed and bubbles
- Best Budget Hostels in Amsterdam
ClinkNOORD Hostel • Hostelle – female only hostel
Best Areas to Stay in Amsterdam Holland
What’s the best neighbourhood for shopping in Amsterdam? The Nine Streets
The Nine Streets area is one of the best shopping zones in Amsterdam. Located in the canal district of the city the area is home to shops, restaurants, jewellery stores, galleries, boutiques and vintage shops. You will find it between Jordaan and the Leidestraat. The P.C. Hoofstraat in the Museum District is also a great place to buy brand name items, including Chanel, DKNY, Ralph Lauren, and Tommy Hilfiger.
Best area to stay in Amsterdam when on a budget ? Amsterdam Hostels
There are cheap places to stay dotted all over the city. One of the cheapest options is staying in Amsterdam Hostels. For exaple The Flying Pig Uptown Hostel is located near the museum district and Vondelpark. The Downtown version is situated in the infamous Red Light District. The StayOkay Hostel is located in Vondelpark and there is another StayOkay Hostel in Zeeburg. The St Christophers at the Winston Hotel/Hostel can be found on the edge of the Red Light district. The Lucy Lake Hostel is located in the countryside, about 30 minutes outside the city centre. Plenty of budget friendly hostels can be found all over the city.
What’s the best neighborhood in Amsterdam for nightlife? Leidseplein Area and Rembrandtplein
There are busy entertainment hotspots all over Amsterdam, but the best area for vibrant nightlife, is on the outskirts of the city, Leidseplein Area and Rembrandtplein. Here you can find dance clubs, bars and casual night spots. Most live music and the Irish pubs can be encountered in The Leidsplein. Music concerts are held at the Ziggo Dome, Amsterdam Arena and Heineken Music Hall. Gay and lesbian clubs are found everywhere but many are located on Regulierssdwarstraat and Warmoestraat. During the week, bars in the centre of Amsterdam stay open until the early hours and you can party at dance clubs until 3 am. Amsterdam’s ‘nachtcafés’/night cafés are open until 4 or 5 am.
Best area to stay in Amsterdam for food & drink? Rembrandtplein – Jordaan – De Pijp
Amsterdam boasts excellent restaurants, where you can sample gourmet dishes with local and international flair. Top class restaurants are located around the city and you can find good establishments in almost any area in Amsterdam. There are many other restaurants in the area, from breakfast restaurants offering stroopwafel and coffee, to burger restaurants, Irish pubs that serve food and streetside vendors. Rembrandtplein is considered by some to be the best food hub in the city, alongside, Van Rijn and De Kroon streets on the square. Here you can find Indian food, Tapas, Italian and French-style restaurants. In Jordaan you will find Amsterdam’s music and cultural hub where many fine restaurants are situated. You will also find excellent food and wine options in De Pijp.
Where to stay in Amsterdam for sporting events? City Centre – Amsterdam Arena
Amsterdam is home to soccer legends Ajax and hosts running events like the marathon and the Dam tot Dam Loop. The city also hosts sevens rugby, the annual Colour Run and the Amsterdam City Swim. One option is to stay in the Amsterdam city centre, as from here you can reach the parks and stadiums by bus, tram, metro, bike or rental car. Staying in the center of town means you are central to event locations and can come and go to several locations during your stay. Another option is to stay in hotels close to the Amsterdam Arena, home of Ajax football club and many annual music concerts.
Safest Areas of Amsterdam
There are so many neighbourhoods in Amsterdam and as a visitor safety always comes first. If you are wondering about the safest areas in Amsterdam it is safe to tell you that all neighbourhoods are safe and secure, however, you should be careful especially when around the Red Light district.
Unsafe Areas of Amsterdam
As said before all neighbourhoods in Amsterdam are safe but the only area where you should be extremely cautious is the Red Light District. Not that there have ever been any major insecurity issues, only minor thefts such as pick pocketing happen here.
The 7 Best Neighbourhoods in Amsterdam for Tourists
Amsterdam is a diverse city despite its small size. Finding accommodation in a hostel, fancy hotel, local guesthouse or an apartment in Amsterdam is simple. However, one of the most difficult decisions to make is about the best area to look for accommodation in this city. Every neighbourhood in Amsterdam is different and unique. We will give you some interesting facts about the best areas and neighbourhoods to stay in Amsterdam.
If you choose to stay in the Old centre then you will be a few miles from the main city’s sights and the capital shopping and nightlife areas such as De Pijp.
There are so many cheap hotels and Old Centre is the first place you should start looking at in Amsterdam. This is a perfect neighbourhood especially if money is a little tight. You can find streets and De Wallen which is the red light District.
- Best Hotel (Great Value): The Hendrick’s Hotel
- Best Cheap Hotels: Budget Hotel Tourist Inn • Hotel Internationaal
2. Oud Zuid
Oud Zuid is a more quiet area of Amsterdam, and it is more of an upmarket atmosphere. If you are looking for a neighbourhood that is relaxed and lively then Oud Zuid is the perfect place for you to stay. This area is home to the best art museums and it is a well-heeled neighbourhood.
There are some impressive manors line streets and boutiques in this area. There are a number of hotels you can book for accommodation in Oud Zuid.
- Best Hotel (Great Value): Hotel TWENTY EIGHT
- Best Cheap Hotels: Hotel Verdi • ibis Styles Amsterdam City
3. Canal Belt
If you take a walk in Amsterdam’s centre then you might end up finding yourself in the canal belt. This area has 17th-centruy houses that line along the sides of the canal. There are so many charming cafes, and long bridges that you can spend the whole day walking around.
You also can’t miss the canal cruise since it offers a great perspective on the picturesque canals and the typical Amsterdam architecture. Canal belt is a perfect neighbourhood for families.
- Best Hotel: Keizershouse Amsterdam (B&B)
- Best Cheap/Mid-Range Hotels: Hotel Hegra Amsterdam Centre • Hotel Prinsenhof Amsterdam
Leidsplein is a very busy square at the southern side of Amsterdam central. It is almost facing Vondelpark. The name almost translates to Leiden Square and it is at the end of Leidsestraat which was the main road that led to Leiden.
Leidseplein is a major transport hub in the city and there are several tram limes that intersect there. It is also a perfect area for nightlife and shopping. There are a number of hotels available for accommodation in this neighbourhood.
5. De Jordaan
De Jordaam is very close to the centre of Amsterdam but it has a traditional village-like atmosphere that makes it feel farther from the city. For couples who are finding where to stay in Amsterdam, de Jordaan is a good place.
It is authentic, quaint, and it has a lot to see and do. Jordaan is a cool neighbourhood to stay in this city. There are unusual restaurants, a local music scene and many art galleries.
6. Museum Quarter – De Pijp
De Pijp is in South Amsterdam and it is a very trendy part Amsterdam. De Pijp offers a nightlife that can rival the nightlife of the city centre and other areas.
This area is within easy reach and it is the right place if you love nightlife. It is also known to be a good food source that is ideal for starting your nightlife. De Pijp will give you a youthful vibe.
- Best Hotel: Pillows Anna van den Vondel Amsterdam
- Best Cheap/Mid-Range Hotels: Hotel Aalders • Bicycle Hotel Amsterdam
This area has undergone so many changes and developments which have transformed it to a place that is full of life. The neighbourhood had a lot of cultural, entertainment and leisure places where you can relax. It is very charming with many traditional homes and it gives you a relaxing feeling.