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Best areas to stay in Amsterdam

Top areas to stay in Amsterdam

Almost fifty years since John Lennon and Yoko Ono promoted world peace from room 702 of the Hilton, Amsterdam’s hotels are more worthy of the spotlight than ever. Even for seasoned travellers, it’s fair to say that the city’s accommodation options are among the most exciting in Europe.

  1. Enjoy staying in the trendy Jordaan district
  2. Make the most of the Museum Quartier
  3. Keep it as central as possible in the Old Centre
  4. Discover the quieter old Jewish quarter and Plantage area
  5. Enjoy the Grachtengordel south area
  6. Head to the eastern docklands and Amsterdam Noord area
  7. Explore the outer districts in Amsterdam
  8. Stay in the Grachtengordel west

Take your pick from handsomely converted old canal houses, trendy hostels and luxurious short-stay apartments, while quirkier options include houseboats. Each neighbourhood has its own unique character too. Safe to say, you’ll never be stuck for where to stay in Amsterdam. Amsterdam’s compactness means that you’ll almost inevitably end up somewhere central, or at least within easy reach of the centre. Take a look at our Amsterdam holidays for your next getaway.

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1. Enjoy staying in the trendy Jordaan district

Staying in the Jordaan puts you among the locals, well away from the prime tourist areas. There’s no shortage of bars and restaurants here either, and some of the city’s prettiest canals thread through the district, but you’ll be at least a 15min walk from the bright lights. Be aware when looking for a place to stay that Marnixstraat and Rozengracht are busy main roads. For a trendy part of the city, the Jordaan really is the best neighbourhood to stay in Amsterdam.

Area: Amsterdam-Centrum

While you’re there: De Hallen has plenty of buzz surrounding it. It’s a conversion of a 1902 tram depot.

2. Make the most of the Museum Quartier

The city’s smartest quarter centres around the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum - although the buzzy nightlife around Leidseplein is also within easy striking distance. There are no canals, and two of the main drags, Overtoom and 1e Constantijn Huygensstraat, constantly rumble with traffic, but several good hotels are to be found here, plus the leafy Vondelpark. It’s one of the best areas to stay in Amsterdam for the city centre atmosphere.

Area: Amsterdam-Zuid

While you’re there: Right in the heart of the Museum Quarter, Conscious Hotel Museum Square is 100 percent sustainable.

3. Keep it as central as possible in the Old Centre

If you choose to stay here, you’ll be a short walk from the main sights, and the principal shopping and nightlife areas. Cheap hotels are plentiful and this is the first place to start looking if money is tight, although some may find the proximity of the Red Light District off-putting.

Area: Central

Our recommendation: De l’Europe Hotel is an elegant old-timer with plenty of fin-de-siècle charm and an attractive and central riverside location. It’s a top place to stay!

4. Discover the quieter old Jewish quarter and Plantage area

Not many tourists stay in this area as it’s largely residential, with very few bars or restaurants. Consequently, you’re pretty much guaranteed a quiet night’s sleep here, and you’re only a tram ride away from the leading sights.

Area: Jodenbuurt in Dutch

While you’re there: Dignita Hoftuin is a perfect place for brunch while you’re in the area.

5. Enjoy the Grachtengordel south area

Ideally positioned for the plethora of clubs, bars and restaurants on and around Leidseplein and Rembrandtplein, this area is on the rise: Waldorf Astoria decided to locate their new hotel here. There are plenty of options for those on a budget too, including a number of very appealing - and occasionally stylish - hotels along the surrounding canals.

Area: Central

While you’re there: Prinsengracht is home to five high-quality apartments which sleeps up to four and has a bathroom with underfloor heating.

6. Head to the eastern docklands and Amsterdam Noord area

These up-and-coming districts have some excellent, avant-garde accommodation options, and though their industrial architecture and open expanses might feel a world away from the Old Centre’s medieval lanes, they’re just a short hop away by ferry or tram.

Area: North and east of the city

While you’re there: ClinkNoord is a great hostel choice which is home to a bar and hosts live music.

7. Explore the outer districts in Amsterdam

Exciting accommodation options are cropping up in areas such as Amsterdam Oost, offering the opportunity of top-notch digs for less cash - and thanks to reliable and frequent trams, staying here doesn’t place you too far from the action.

Area: East

While you’re there: The Hilton Amsterdam has all the facilities you could hope for here.

8. Stay in the Grachtengordel west

The canal-laced streets to the west of the Old Centre have a number of quiet waterside hotels, though the least expensive ones are clustered along Raadhuisstraat, one of the city’s busiest streets.

Area: West

While you’re there: Ambassade occupies a series of cleverly renovated seventeenth-century canal houses and is a great place to stay.

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