Where to stay in Amsterdam?26-01-2016
When planning your trip to Amsterdam, you will probably wonder where to stay or which one of Amsterdam’s neighbourhoods is the most suitable for your trip.
A common assumption on the best places to stay in Amsterdam is usually right in the centre. Therefore many people end up choosing to stay on the canals, close to Dam Square or in the Red Light district. These certainly have their attractions, but are certainly not the most charming and authentic places to stay. For those that are seeking to experience more of the real Amsterdam life (locals usually do not hang out in the Red Light District or around Dam Square), we created a map with a couple of neighbourhoods we really love and which can help you decide which is the best place for you to stay in Amsterdam.
Still very close to all sights you might want to visit, Oud-West is one of the older neighbourhoods which has become very trendy over the last few years. You will find beautiful houses typical of Amsterdam in addition to local bars, a great food market (Ten Kate market) and two parks in front of your doorstep (Vondelpark and Rembrandtpark). Cosy cafés, bars and restaurants can be found on almost every corner. Two of the cities most interesting alternative places for music, film, and art – OT301 and Lab111 – are around there as well. Check out the designer hotel “Hotel not Hotel” for a unique experience and the ex film museum, Vondelpark3, now renovated as a cafe and restaurant.
If you are looking for a more multicultural area of Amsterdam, you should stay in Amsterdam Oost. There you will find a mix of different cultures and young creatives that make this area of Amsterdam very unique. If the weather is nice, enjoy some hours relaxing in Oosterpark, go to Brewery’t IJ or Roest, a former warehouse area transformed into a chilled place to hang out. Dappermarket, one of Amsterdam’s local street markets, is open daily, and around Javabuurt more and more small shops and cafés have been popping up. If you are a food lover (as we are) you should try the “Kapsalon” at Sinbad’s place.
Our hotel recommendation for Amsterdam Oost: Hotel Arena
Amsterdam de Pijp
Often mentioned but still one of the most lively neighbourhoods in Amsterdam: Welcome to de Pijp! This area is mainly known for the Albert Cuypmarkt, where you can find anything from fresh fish to elegant second hand clothes. On almost every corner you will find hip cafés and shops, as well as restaurants and bars that are mostly open until 3 am. The area has become a little bit pricier in the last few years and has attracted many expats moving to Amsterdam. If you want to stay in this area, we recommend you try the College Hotel or an Airbnb apartment for the real, local experience.
In Jordaan, you will find many small and cute houses, as it used to be a typical workers and craftsmen area. At the end of the 20th century, this area become more popular and attracted a higher class of the society. The whole area of Jordaan is surrounded by beautiful canals and you can always find a quiet spot to sit on the waterside. Jordaan also has quite a lot of cosy bars and restaurants, and staying there means being within walking distance to almost anything in the centre of Amsterdam (e.g. Anne Frank house). In this area, you will find also small independent fashion boutiques. Choose a private apartment for your stay in Jordaan via perfecthousing, shortstay-Amsterdam, or airbnb.
Nevertheless, the centre still offers lots of things to do and discover. Once you leave the red light district behind, have a walk over the Waterlooplein fleemarket, head towards the Jewish museum and take a stroll around the neighbourhood. This area has a lot of student flair, as one of the main universities is located here; hence you will find some nice places to hang out such as e.g. Kriterion - a bar and movie theater. If you prefer to stay in the centre, close to the main train station or close to the port of the cruises, there are still some hidden gems that are affordable. One of our favourite places in Amsterdam Centre is the Ecomama hostel, just a 10 minute walk from the train station. Even though it is in the centre, the hostel offers a laid back and chilled atmosphere, where you can relax and make yourself at home.
The industrial North of Amsterdam has been transformed into a hip area over the last few years. If you really want to stay in a special place, book your room in the NSDM Faralda Kraanhotel (requires some extra pocket money in your planning for your trip).
Enjoy your stay in one of the most beautiful and vibrant cities in Europe!