When you’re choosing where to stay in Amsterdam, it’s important to keep in mind that anything within the inner canal belt will be within walking distance to the city’s main charms, sites, and attractions. The advantages of a compact city!
So, what accommodation you want depends entirely on the Amsterdam experience you’re after – there’s something for every traveller, on a budget or otherwise. Want to be close to the central hub of pubs, clubs and eateries, or would you prefer to reside on the quieter side, closer to the city’s parks and residential areas?
Here are a few of the best areas to stay in Amsterdam.
The Old Centre
Amsterdam’s Old Centre is the historical heart of the city, encompassing the Red Light District, Dam, Spui, and Nieuwmarkt. This medieval district is perhaps the most visited area in the capital, and you’ll find the Oude Kerk and the Royal Palace of Amsterdam in these parts. If you’re seeking peace and quiet, the Old Centre is probably not where you’ll find it, but it’s abuzz with nightlife and close to Amsterdam’s historical landmarks.
Grachtengordel (Grachtengordel West and Grachtengordel South)
Amsterdam’s Grachtengordel (Canal Ring) is the beautiful and World Heritage-listed district that forms a horseshoe around the city’s Old Centre. The area accommodates tourists and residents alike with several hotels, boutique shops, cafes and restaurants as well as businesses and homes dotting the area. You’ll find Leidseplein and Rembrandtplein here, perfect for exploring the city’s nightlife.
Located northwest of the city centre, the upscale Jordaan area is hip, arty, and mostly residential, which will likely give you a quieter and more authentic stay. You won’t find many hotels in this area, though, rather boutique bed and breakfasts or guesthouses, beautiful in their quintessential Dutch charm. The Jordaan hosts the popular Nine Streets shopping district, so you’ll be close to vintage shops, cute cafes and restaurants.
The Museum Quarter
The Museum Quarter (Museumplein), while home to Amsterdam’s famous museums and thus buzzing with visitors by day, is actually quite peaceful by night. You’ll find a wide range of hotels here, ranging from high to low end. Staying in Museumplein not only gives you a jumpstart on the queues to the world-renowned museums but also puts you in close proximity to the glamorous P.C. Hooftstraat shopping district.
De Pijp is a vibrant residential area of Amsterdam that’s located just south of the city centre. The area is overflowing with cafes, restaurants and bars, so an exquisite bite to eat is never far away. Ensure you spend a Saturday morning strolling the nearby Albert Cuyp Market, a massive outdoor market with more than 300 stalls.