How would you like to stay in a castle? What about in a nice neighbourhood in Paris lined with shops and cafes. Vacation home rentals in Europe are very popular. [...]
Where to Stay in Amsterdam
Are you searching for where to stay in Amsterdam? Here you will find the best AirBnBs, hotels, and hostels that won't break the bank.
Amsterdam is one of the top travel destinations in Europe. Known for its picturesque canals, beautiful old buildings, and near the best tulips fields in Holland, Amsterdam should be added to your bucket list of travel.
Looking for a place to stay in Amsterdam that is close to everything is not as hard as you think. It is a relatively small city compared to a city like Paris. 825,000 people call this popular European city home, and most of the things to do in Amsterdam are within five of the central neighbourhoods.
So let's get to know some of the best Amsterdam neighborhoods and what they have to offer. By the end of this article you will find the best place in Amsterdam to stay that suits your travel style.
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Difference between the Netherlands and Holland
Okay let's clear one thing up. What is the difference between the Netherlands and Holland? For years I thought they were one and the same. I bet you may have too. So here it is.
The Netherlands is the country comprised of 12 provinces. Two of the provinces are Noord Holland (North) and Zuid Holland (South), best known for their tulips fields and windmills. Combined they make Holland. Where is Amsterdam located? It's in North Holland.
Getting to Amsterdam
Schiphol Airport (AMS)
If you are arriving via plane, then you will land at Schiphol Airport (AMS) just outside the city. From here, taking the Amsterdam metro will get you to the city centre in about 10-15 minutes. The cost starts at about €9.90
For more information about all the ways to get to the city from the airport, go to Schiphol's website here.
Amsterdam Centraal Station
If you arrive by train, you'll come into the Amsterdam central train station which is right at the tip of the Centrum on the IJ River.
Map of Amsterdam
The city is made of up of eight boroughs. The Google Map below shows the eight boroughs of Amsterdam.
You can grab and drag around the map and zoom in. Click on the red pins and see popular things to do in Amsterdam. The blue pins are the airport and train station.
As you can see most of the best places to go are in Amsterdam Centrum. So if you're visiting Amsterdam for the first time, you may want to stay close to the city centre.
Getting Around Amsterdam
If you are you are staying around the city centre of Amsterdam, then exploring by foot will get you to a lot of the sites. If you are staying a little further out in the boroughs of Nieuw-West or Zuid, then you may want to find a place close to public transport. Most locals find their way around by bike. Renting a bike is a great way to experience Amsterdam.
Amsterdam Metro (GVB)
The Amsterdam Metro, also known as GVB, runs throughout the city. You can get hourly or daily tickets at these shops: Primera, AKO, Vivant, Techador, Cigo, Bruna.
Tickets are also available at the train stations: Centraal Station (Stationsplein), Station Bijlmer ArenA, Station Zuid, and Station Noord.
Biking in Amsterdam
People in here bike everywhere, all year round. Believe it or not, it is faster to get around the city by bike than with the public transport.
Renting a bike for a day or two might be a great way to experience the city. Here's the ultimate page on where to rent bikes in Amsterdam. See it here.
Better yet, I've included three places that are a relatively cheap stay in Amsterdam and include bikes as part of the vacation rental. How great is that?!
You can always do a bike tour in Amsterdam and learn about the city at the same time!
I Amsterdam City Card
If you get the I Amsterdam City Card it includes unlimited public transport for the days that your card is valid for.
The I Amsterdam City Card gives you free admissions for some attractions, discounts at restaurants and museums, unlimited public transport, a free canal cruise and much more! You can even check out things outside of the city.
Neighborhoods in Amsterdam
Before you decide what is the best neighborhood in Amsterdam to stay in, you have to learn what each Amsterdam area has to offer. The Amsterdam neighborhood map below shows 16 neighbourhoods.
Most of the things to do will be around the Centrum. The most popular neighborhoods close to everything in Amsterdam are: The Old Centre, Docklands, Plantage, Canal Belt, Jordaan, Oud-West, Museum Quarter & Vondelpark, and De Pijp.
No matter what kind of traveller you are, find the best area to stay in Amsterdam based on your travel style.
Best Places to Stay in Amsterdam
- 1The Old City Centre
- 3Indische Buurt
- 5Canal Belt
- 10Museum District & Vondelpark
- 11De Pijp
- 13Zuideramstal & Amstelveen
Best Hostels in Amsterdam
Old City Centre ● Noord
If you are looking for a cheap stay in Amsterdam and travelling by yourself, then you may want to opt for a hostel.
Staying in a hostel is a great way to meet fellow travellers. Each of these hostels have unique things that the others don't. One has bike rentals, one has a laundry room, two have kitchens, all have fun in-store!
The nice thing about these three hostels is that they as centrally located. Two of them are an easy walk from the central train station, the other is a quick five minute ferry ride away.
The Flying Pig Downtown
Location: 1. The Old City Centre ( see map )
The Flying Pig Downtown is probably one of the best known hostels. It is only a five-minute walk from the Central Train Station. It is in the heart of De Wallen is the famous Amsterdam Red Light District. There are lots of pubs and restaurants in the area and you are walking distance to a lot of the things to see and do in Amsterdam.
The hostel has a bar and cafe in it, great for socializing and meeting travellers from around the world. It has 24-hour security and reception with lockers available for your luggage.
Free Wifi and a shared kitchen will help you save a few dollars, so you can spend it on beer.
Durty Nelly's Inn
Location: 1. The Old Centre ( see map )
Durty Nelly's Inn is just around the corner from the Flying Pig Downtown. It is only a five-minute walk from the Central Train Station also. It is in the heart of De Wallen famous for the Red Light District and a two-minute walk to Dam Square.
It has a great Irish Pub (of the same name) attached, which you get 20% off food and drink if you stay there. Unfortunately no kitchen is available, but they do have a great buffet breakfast available every morning.
It has 24-hour security and reception with lockers available for your luggage. Free Wifi is included.
Bonus: Bike Rentals!
Location: 16. Noord ( see map )
ClinkNOORD as the name implies is in Amsterdam Noord. Even though it is across the IJ River, it is only 5-10 minutes away from the central train station. Just follow the signs to the free 24/7 ferries. They run every seven-minutes and only take five-minutes to cross. From there it's a 400 metre walk to the ClinkNOORD hostel.
There is an all you can eat buffet available for €8, or you can use the kitchen facilities.
It has 24-hour security and reception with lockers available for your luggage. Free Wifi is included.
Bonus: Coin operated laundry!
Affordable Hotels in Amsterdam
Plantage ● Jordaan ● Canal Belt
In Amsterdam, affordable hotels are a hard thing to find. Location is key. The closer you are to the city centre, the higher the price. The further out you are, it will get cheaper.
Don't worry, here are some of the best budget hotels in Amsterdam that still keep you close to the action. Now these are still cool Amsterdam hotels, in nice areas, but not $300 a night type of hotels. If you are travelling on a tight budget, consider a hostel or AirBnB.
You'll agree, these three hotels are unique, beautiful and located in some of the best neighborhoods in Amsterdam. You will be walking distance from many of the sites and will love coming home at night.
Motel One Amsterdam - Waterloopein
Location: 4. Plantage ( see map )
Motel One is a well known brand hotel in Europe. It is modern with a respect to the past by fusing the two looks in their chic hotels.
Motel One Amsterdam - Waterloopein is conveniently located in Plantage on of the best areas in Amsterdam. The hotel is 500m from the Rembrandt Museum, 1.8 km to Dam Square in the Centrum, and only 20 minutes from the airport by public transport.
They have free WiFi, a bar and very good coffee!
Prices start at $108 USD for one, and $132 USD for two. Check below for current prices.
No parking available.
Location: 6. Jordaan ( see map )
The name says it all, Mr. Jordaan. This is one of the best locations to stay in Amsterdam. If you don't stay here, you will surely end up visiting here.
This is definitely a unique hotel in Amsterdam. This beautiful boutique hotel is surrounded by cafes and restaurants, and walking distances to many things like the Anne Frank house (300m) and 1 km from Dam Square. You will love exploring one of the best neighborhoods in the city.
Prices really vary depending on which room you choose. Check the prices below. For it's location, you won't find a better priced hotel.
They have free WiFi, a good continental breakfast, and coffee maker in the room.
There is no parking available.
Hotel Prinsenhof Amsterdam
Location: 5. Canal Belt ( see map )
Imagine waking up each morning and seeing that view? Absolutely stunning.
Hotel Prinsenhof Amsterdam is located in one of the most famous neighborhoods, the Canal Belt. If you ever see a picture of Amsterdam, it was probably taken here.
This picturesque boutique hotel is located perfectly in the middle of everything. Within 1.5 kms you can visit the Anne Frank House, Dam Square, the Artis Zoo, Rembrandt Museum, Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum and much more.
You'll find lots of restaurants and cafes in the neighborhood.
A good breakfast is available, and WiFi is always free to help you plan your day.
Best AirBnBs in Amsterdam
Docklands ● Indische Burt ● Canal Belt ● Westerpark ● Oud-Zuid
Nieuw-West ● De Pijp ● Museum District & Vondelpark
Whenever I travel I look for vacation rentals first. I love living like a local and experiencing a neighborhood by enjoying the cafes, restaurants and checking out the local shops.
I also save a ton of money by always choosing a place with a kitchen and not having to eat every meal in a restaurant. Grocery stores are abundant, and experiencing and cooking some local specialities is a great part of my travels.
Some people say that AirBnBs are becoming as expensive as hotels. With 1000s of listings in European cities, you can always find something in your price range. Finding a hotel on the outskirts of town to make it cheap isn't my idea of fun either.
Besides, a lot of AirBnBs have a kitchen, and many other things that hotels don't for the price.
Most of these AirBnBs are run by Superhosts. Superhosts are experienced, highly rated hosts who are committed to providing great stays for guests.
Limited Availability so Don't Miss Out
Vacation homes do have limited availability, so if you find one you like, do your due diligence (read reviews, ask the owner questions) and booked it if it is available. I've missed out on some great places because I left it for another couple of days.
Cosy Studio, with outdoor swimming
Location: 2. Docklands ( see map ) Close to the Old City Centre but quiet at night
Wow! This place is a treat. It is right on the waterfront, and you can actually go swimming right there so pack your bathing suit!
It is close to supermarkets and trams that take you to the heart of the city in minutes. Great to come home to this quiet neighbourhood and relax on the outdoor terrace.
It is a small cosy place, great for two guests.
People rave about the hosts and how great they are. Which is always important when choosing a vacation rental.
Location: 16. Noord ( see map ) Great location for the city and countryside
This little cottage is in one most overlooked areas. Where do you stay in Amsterdam if you want to experience the countryside and city? This new trendy neighbourhood of Amsterdam is it.
The cottage is in the host's garden, so you have your own private entrance. It is a 5 minute ride with the metro to Amsterdam Centrum or a 15 minute bike ride, including the ferry.
10 minutes in the other direction and you are into the Dutch countryside. This cosy cottage has room for up to two guests. New cafes and restaurants dot this dynamic area. There is a small bakery and coffee shop around the corner for you to have a relaxing breakfast.
Central but Quiet Apartment
Location: 7. Westerpark ( see map ) Central at the edge of Jordaan
Here is another great place that is very central but a quiet retreat at the end of the night. It's in Westerpark, right close to northern part Jordaan.
It is walking distance from Amsterdam Centraal train station and many of the sites you'll want to see in Amsterdam.
This place is spacious and you have access to a beautiful garden. Even get some laundry done with the available washer. It is clean and well kept, with a friendly, helpful host. Accommodates up to two guests and even has a hot tub! This is a rare find. The pictures don't do it justice.
Houseboat with FOUR Bikes
Location: 12. Oud-Zuid ( see map ) Perfect family place and unique stay
If you are looking for a family friendly hotel in Amsterdam, why not consider something better. Great for travelling with older kids.
For less than most hotels, you get your own unique houseboat that comes with 4 bikes to explore the city with!
This place is run by Superhosts so you know you are getting the best.
There are nice touches like a rooftop terrace and free coffee and tea. Located near the Olympic Stadium, the Amsterdam Forest, and the Nieuwe Meer (Amsterdam Lake), there is lots to check out in the neighbourhood. With the bikes you are 10 minutes away from the centre!
Luxurious Family Home
Location: 14. Nieuw-West ( see map ) Great for young families with 2-3 children
Don't be fooled by this place being a little further out from the city centre. Trams are close by, making getting around town easy with all the kids in tow.
There are a lot of parks, shops and restaurants in the area that you can explore. A quick metro ride gets you into the heart of Amsterdam in no time.
Bonus: Free parking, rooftop terrace, children's books and toys, game console, high chair, and elevator.
The Superhosts are parents with kids, so they understand what families need. This place has lots to do for kids, they even have toys available. A washer and dryer is there for the laundry we all know young kids produce.
Great Apartment with Garden
Location: 4. Indische Buurt ( see map ) Away from tourist traps, yet easy to get to
This charming house is in one of Amsterdam's up and coming neighbourhoods. There is lots to do and experience out her front door here.
There is large variety of bars, cafes and restaurants in the neighbourhood for you to check out. The metro gives you great access to the city.
Enjoy the garden or explore the nice quiet neighbourhood, away from the hustle and bustle of central Amsterdam.
Authentic Amsterdam Hideout
Location: 5. Canal Belt ( see map ) Live like a local in the heart of Amsterdam
From here everything is walking distance. You are in the heart of the action amongst the canals of Amsterdam.
All guests rave about the location.
If nightlife is what you are after, you can find it out your front door. There are many restaurants right there, and even a Blues Bar across the street.
You are half a kilometre away from some of Amsterdam's most popular sites and walking distance from the Centraal Train Station. Another Superhost makes for a great stay.
Central Apartment with Two Bikes!
Location: 11. De Pijp ( see map ) Great location with great access to Amsterdam
Another Superhost property located in the great neighborhood of de Dijp!
The place comes with two bikes for you to explore with!
De Pijp is home to the famous Albert Cuyp Market, something you will want to check out.
The street is quiet and lies right by the Amstel River, great for an evening stroll. Explore the cafes and restaurants in this great area. You are 1 km away from a lot of Amsterdam's great sites.
Boutique Luxury - Central and Quiet
Location: 10. Museum District & Vondelpark ( see map ) Near Vondelpark close to the canal belt
Just look at the pictures of this place. Seriously, this is luxury with a great local vibe. This great Amsterdam lodging is in the high-end Oud-Zuid neighborhood.
If you have a choice between this and a hotel, pick this.
Across from Vondelpark and within walking distance of the PC Hooftstraat shopping street, there is plenty to explore. Not only that, you are just south of the Canal Belt and in the Museum district.
There are lots of bars and restaurants to check out in the vibrant Helmerbuurt area. Do worry, these Superhosts will guide you to the top spots with their awesome guide.
This place is often booked, so if it is available, jump on it.
Vondelpark Quiet Street with Two Bikes
Location: 10. Museum District & Vondelpark ( see map ) Near Vondelpark, local living
Just like the previous listing, this is in right by Vondelpark, just a little further south. What you lose in distance you gain with bikes getting you into the heart of the city within 10 minutes.
The host also provides you with tram passes, what a deal! People rave about this Superhost and his attentiveness and how much he cares about his guests.
With easy access to Amsterdam, and a quiet neighbourhood to retreat to at night, this is an excellent choice.