Where to Stay in Amsterdam: Best Neighborhoods

While it’s easy to find a hostel, apartment, fancy hotel, or local guesthouse in Amsterdam isn’t hard, picking the best area to stay in Amsterdam can make or break your trip. Amsterdam is a very diverse city, despite its size. Each neighborhood of Amsterdam is different,

I’ve lived in Amsterdam, so this guide isn’t something that I created after a single short visit. Here are my recommendations for the best places to stay in Amsterdam.

Best Areas to Stay in Amsterdam

(updated for 2019)

Map of Amsterdam Neighborhoods

Amsterdam is relatively small with only 850,000 inhabitants sharing 219.3 square kilometers / 84 square miles. This is why I highly recommend visiting other parts of the Netherlands as well, as this country is full of charming towns and villages.

Amsterdam can be divided into The Ring area and areas outside of the ring, basically on the outer side of A10 Highway. Areas within are also divided into smaller areas. Most hotel booking websites classify Amsterdam City Centre as the area within The Ring.

Amsterdam is broken up into 8 districts or boroughs (stadsdelen), which are divided into neighborhoods. These neighborhoods might seem confusing to a first-time visitor to Amsterdam, but they’re very helpful when it comes to getting around.

Best Hotels to Stay in Amsterdam:

Best Luxury Hotels in Amsterdam
Hotel De L’Europe • Okura Hotel

Best Boutique Hotels in Amsterdam
Hotel TwentySeven • Canal House

Best Cheap Accommodation in Amsterdam
Stay Okay Vondelpark  The Flying Pig Hostel

When To Go to Amsterdam

The Netherlands tends to be rainy, but trust me – Amsterdam looks charming even when it’s raining. If you don’t like crowds and don’t want to pay triple for accommodation, avoid national holidays.

March-April -> Best time to see the tulips blooms.

27 April -> King’s Day. The entire country parties dressed in orange. It’s surely a nice thing to see, but might not be a typical vacation for you.

June-August -> Warm months, perfect for picnics in parks.

November-February -> Winter months with ice rinks, Christmas markets, outdoor concerts, and beautiful displays.

Also Check: Things to Do in Amsterdam

Public Transportation in Amsterdam

Transportation in Amsterdam (GVB) works well, but not always excellent. Some trams are known for always arriving late, and night buses are very infrequent. However, it’s understandable since over 60% of Amsterdammers ride their bikes everywhere.

If you’re arriving from Amsterdam Schiphol airport, simply take a train to a station the closest to the area you’ll be staying it. It only takes 10-15 minutes and trains run every 10-15 minutes during the day. It could be Amsterdam Centraal, Sloterdijk, Zuid. Taxis from the airport are very expensive, so I’d say: save your money.

Buying a Ticket for Trains, Trams, Buses in Amsterdam

To get on a train you could buy a single ticket (you have to either have coins or Dutch bank card to get it at the machine, otherwise only at the counter), but this won’t allow you to board any trams or buses. You can buy tickets onboard selected in Amsterdam will cost €2.90 since the only tickets you can get are unlimited rides for 1 hour.

You will be much better off purchasing either a 24-hour pass for €7.50 or getting an OV Chipkaart. You can purchase them online, or at the counter at selected stations upon arrival.

OV Chipkaart can be used on trains, buses, and trams. One thing to remember is to always have a minimum of 20 Euros on it to ride a train and 5 Euros for trams & buses. Otherwise, it won’t let you in. Don’t worry about it, you can cash out the unused money on your card at the counter at Schiphol when you leave.

Alternatively, if you’re planning on visiting many museums, consider getting an iAmsterdam Card. It gives you access to many museums for free and a ticket for transportation.

There’s also Amsterdam Holland Pass that includes free public transportation within Amsterdam, access to top attractions in Amsterdam and other major cities.

IMPORTANT: Always touch to check in and check out. This rule applies to both OV Chipkaarts and paper tickets. If you forget to check out your paper ticket will automatically become invalid, and if using a Chipkaart it’ll take 20 Euros for an unchecked train ride and 5 for a tram.

Should You Rent a Bike in Amsterdam?

Before I dive too deeply into descriptions of different neighborhoods of Amsterdam, let’s introduce you to the transport system. Don’t get intimidated by London tube map – it’s easier to navigate than it looks like and it’s perfectly safe. Here are a few things you should know:

  • Avoid walking in the cycle lanes under any circumstances. You’ll be yelled at immediately and someone will drive into you – and it will be your fault.
  • Never drive on the road. Bike paths are the only place to ride your bike in Amsterdam.
  • Always signal with your arm which way you’re going to turn.
  • You can’t take your bike on a tram or bus unless it’s foldable. If you’re planning on taking your bike on a train, unless it’s foldable, you need to purchase a separate bike ticket for it. You’ll be fined if you don’t.

Where to Stay in Amsterdam

To directly skip to selected neighborhoods, click on links below.

1. Old Centrum

  • Jordaan
  • Dam
  • De Wallen
  • Nieuwmarkt & IJ Waterfront
  • Leidseplein
  • Rembrandtplein
  • Canal Belt / Grachtengordel
  • Old Jewish Quarter & Plantage

2. Noord

3. West

  • Bos en Lomer
  • Oud West
  • Westerpark
  • De Baarsjes

4. Zuid

  • Museum Quarter
  • Oud-Zuid
  • De Pijp
  • Zuidas

5. Oost

6. Other Areas

  • Zuidoost
  • Amstelveen
  • Diemen
  • Bijlmar

7. Areas to Avoid in Amsterdam

Best for…

  • Best Neighborhood for Sightseeing in Amsterdam: anywhere in the Old Centrum
  • Best Neighborhood to Stay in Amsterdam for First Time Visitor: Jordaan
  • Best Neighbourhood for Layover in Amsterdam: anywhere near Zuid, Centraal or Sloterdijk stations, so you can enjoy your time without luggage
  • Best Neighbourhood in Amsterdam for Mature Travelers: Oud-Zuid
  • Best Neighbourhood in Amsterdam for Families: NOT near De Wallen! Oost is a very kids-friendly area.
  • Best Neighborhood in Amsterdam for Nightlife: near Leidseplein & Rembrandtplein
  • Most Romantic Neighborhood in Amsterdam: Canal Belt & Oud-Zuid
  • Best Local Neighborhood in Amsterdam: De Pijp
  • Best Neighborhood in Amsterdam for Budget Travelers: Noord & Bos de Lomer


  • Best Place to Stay for Visiting Keukenhof

Keukenhof isn’t located in Amsterdam, it’s actually quite far from Amsterdam. If seeing the tulips is your priority then you might want to stay in Leiden or Haarlem. Find out more on best ways to see tulip fields!

Old Centrum

Old Centrum, as the name indicated, is the oldest area of Amsterdam. This is where most tourists stay and never make it outside of the area. There are many spots to eat, shop and hop on a boat for a canal cruise. The are is divided into smaller neighborhoods, each with their own characteristics and history.


The Jordaan feels like its own village in the city. Once a neighborhood for the working class and emigrants, now it’s renovated and trendy for young professionals and tourists. The area has many restaurants, small shops, and stunning bridges.


The Dam was built around the 1270s in order to prevent floodings, but now it’s the central square between Rokin and Damrak. There you can find the National Monument, Royal Palace, Nieuwe Kerk, National Monument, and Madam Tussaud’s. During the spring there is a fair with a giant carousel there and in the winter a Christmas market.

De Wallen

De Wallen is known as the Red Light District. Walking around you’ll see prostitutes in red windows, sex shops, and many coffeeshops. Personally, not a place I’d recommend staying, but if it’s your first time in Amsterdam you can pass through.


Nieuwmarkt is a square just a short walk from Amsterdam Central Station, located in Chinatown and next to the Red Light District.

IJ Waterfront

If you’re staying in Amsterdam for a layover, you want to be as close to the Central Station as it gets. There are many beautiful hotels to stay in the area, often with rooftops offering impressive views.


If you’re looking for an epicenter of a nightlight, look no further than Leidseplein. There are many bars and cafes in the area, plus the most well-known nightclub in Amsterdam – Melkweg. Stay there only if you enjoy loud nights out.

Rembrandtplein is another great area with bars and restaurants. The area feels more local than Leidseplein and it’s always full of locals and expats. I have good memories from Rembrandtplein because I used to have office parties there. I highly recommend going to Tuschinski Theatre, a working cinema that was built in 1921. It’s gorgeous!


The canalbelt is the picturesque area you’ve seen in iconic photos, as it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Many houses are built on these semi-circular canals (“grachten”), dug around the old city center.

Old Jewish Quarter & Plantage
Plantage used to be the greenest area of Amsterdam. Waterlooplein Market in the area is one of the most local markets in Amsterdam. That’s the place where you’d buy a used bike, get some fresh vegetables and eat a kibbeling.


Spui is a good starting point from which to discover the rest of the city. Close to many shops, restaurants, and the Flower Market. You can easily walk to bars and clubs from here.

Recommended Lunch Spots in Old Centrum:

  • Bijbels Museum Cafe (Spui)
  • Greenwoods (Canalbelt)
  • Cocotte Creperie (De Wallen)
  • Back to Black (Canalbelt)

Recommended Restaurants in Old Centrum:

  • Moeders (Jordan) – Great stampot.
  • Café-Restaurant de Plantage (Plantage) – Located inside a 19th-century glass conservatory.

Family Friendliness: Close to most things, so recommendable, but remember that some area like De Wallen or Nieuwmarkt might not be appropriate. Might be noisier than elsewhere at nights, especially close to Nieuwmarkt.

Personal experience: I enjoy hanging out in the area, but there’s a reason why I never lived there. If you want to be conveniently located close to major attractions stay there, but you’ll see more tourists than locals enjoying themselves.

Recommended Accommodation in Amsterdam Centrum:
Hotel De L’EuropeBeautifully located on the canal where you can enjoy your breakfast. The decor is also very stylish.Check Prices On:Booking.comTripAdvisor
NH CarltonOverlooking the canal and the flower market, this hotel is exactly in the center of Amsterdam.Check Prices On:Booking.comTripAdvisor
Condo Hotel OneThe location is just right and with the sun coming up in the morning it just makes you happy.Check Prices On:


The Flying Pig

The most famous hostel in Amsterdam, known for parties and convenient location for backpackers. If you’re not into partying you might want to stay elsewhere though.

Check Prices On:



Noord has undergone considerable regeneration and now it’s no longer associated with an unwanted place to be. In September 2016 Noord welcomed the newest attraction – A’DAM Toren with the tallest over the edge swing in Europe, observation deck and great restaurants inside. Many industrial buildings have been converted into rustic restaurants and ateliers.

Family Friendliness: Definitely. It’s a safe local area, just a short and convenient free boat ride from Central Station.

Personal experience: Last time I visited the area I enjoyed it a lot. Even if you end up not staying there, pay a visit to A’DAM Toren for the view.

Recommended Lunch Spots in Amsterdam Noord:

  • Pannenkoekenboot
Recommended Accommodation in Amsterdam Noord:
Faralda CraneThe best views of Amsterdam are from this design hotel located on a crane.Check Prices On:Booking.comAgoda
BotelThis unique hotel has simply-furnished rooms aboard a boat in the center of Amsterdam.Check Prices On:Booking.comTripAdvisor
Hotel Cafe ModernQuirky hotel for those who love the hip decor.Check Prices & Reviews On:



Great hostel with a common room featuring a library, ping pong tables and bike rental. Common kitchen is available for guests to use.

Check Prices & Reviews On:



If you’re looking for photogenic townhouses and typical Dutch architecture, West is the answer. It’s a quite posh area, making it particularly attractive to residents and visitors alike. Some of the best places to eat in Amsterdam are located in the West.

Bos en LomerBos en Lomer an affordable and diverse neighborhood. It’s a place for a young and multicultural crowd, but also families. There are many ethnic shops in the area with cheap delicious food.
Oud  WestA posh area with small local markets and outdoor cafes.


Named after a large park in its center, Westerpark is located on the western corner of Amsterdam’s canal belt and trails into the city’s docklands.

De Baarsjes

Hip area with many terrace bar, much calmer than in the Old Centrum. Popular shopping streets where trendy concept stores, can be found standing opposite of Turkish shops, greengrocers and bakeries.

Recommended Restaurants in Amsterdam West:

  • De Foodhallen – Indoor food market you can choose from many different treats! From waffles to meatballs and burgers to oysters.
  •  De Pizzabakkers – Great pizza for a good prices
  • Abyssinia – Fantastic Eritrean food.

Family Friendliness: Kids might be less interested in restaurants and nice architecture, so there might not be the best choice.

Personal experience: I used to live in Bos en Lomer, so I know the area pretty well and enjoyed it. It’s affordable with plenty of spots to eat to discover every week. Hotels tend to be cheaper in this area, so if you’re on a budget this could be a great choice.

Recommended Accommodation in Amsterdam West:
Meininger SloterdijkI stayed there once during my layover for a night, since it was conveniently located just in front of the exit of Sloterdijk Train Station. Everything was perfect.Check Prices On:Booking.comTripAdvisor
The Student Hotel Bos en LomerI actually used to live in this place when I first moved to Amsterdam, since only half of it is for hotel guests and another half for long-term residents. In front of a metro station, shared kitchen available in each segment, clean and modern place I enjoyed living at.Check Prices On:Booking.comAgoda
CityHubBigger capsule hotel with loads of room. The toilets are really clean and even being shared they are really private.Check Prices On:


StayOkay VondelPark

StayOkay is the most popular chain of hostels in the Netherlands. I stayed in a few of them on various occasions and they were always great.

Check Prices On:



Amsterdam’s nicest residential areas with fashionable shopping streets, business centers and plenty of museums.

Museum Quarter

Museum Quarter is technically in Amsterdam Zuid, but just a bridge walk from the Old Centrum.


You can read my guide to Oud-Zuid here.

De Pijp

My personal favorite area, but I might be biased since I used to work there. De Pijp has a very local vibe with a picturesque urban layout, many cafes, park and local Albert Cuyp market.


Business district. Unless you work there, there’s not much to do and many cafes and restaurants close after business hours.

Recommended Lunch Spots in Amsterdam Zuid:

  • ’t Blauwe Theehuis (Vondelpark)
  • Yoghurt Barn (De Pijp)
  • Albert Cuyp Market (De Pijp) – Great street food from the market.

Recommended Restaurants for Dinner in Amsterdam Zuid:

  • Bazar (De Pijp) – Arabic restaurant is housed inside of an enormous renovated church.
  • Cannibale Royale – Great spot for burgers and other meats.

Family Friendliness: While there are many young people in the area, since there is a nice park around, markets and cafes, I don’t see the are would be bad for families.

Personal experience: I used to work in De Pijp and recently covered Oud-Zuid for Amsterdam Tourism Board, so I spent a lot of time in the area. I really love it as it’s very local with some expats. The atmosphere of this area was unbeatable.

Recommended Accommodation in Amsterdam Zuid:
Okura HotelDon’t forget to try the sushi at their rooftop restaurant.Check Prices On:Booking.comTripAdvisor
The MuseQuiet boutique hotel in Oud-Zuid, just half a mile from Rijksmuseum.Check Prices & Reviews On:Booking.comTripAdvisor
Paul’s BnBIf you’re coming with a family and want a whole apartment for yourself. Great location, easy to work with host.Check Prices On:


Bicycle Hotel

If you’re looking for a cheap hotel with original deco and next to a bicycle rental shop and tram stop, that’s the place.

Check Prices On:



Oost is probably the least explored part of Amsterdam, despite being closely located to the Old Centrum. It has many museums and is home to many ethic neighborhoods.

Recommended Lunch Spots in Amsterdam Oost:

  • KHL – Old spot with beautiful decor and friendly atmosphere.
  • Bar Bukowski
  • Girassol – Fantastic terrace.

Personal experience: Quite frankly I think I went to Amsterdam Oost twice in my life for a pole dancing class and once to take a bus from Amstel Station, so I can’t say much about the area.

Recommended Accommodation in Amsterdam Oost:
Mercure AmstelSuper close to main metro & train station Amstel. Only 9 min to the city center and 6 min to the airport by the local metro stop.Check Prices On:Booking.com
The Student Hotel CityPartner hotel of the one I used to live in. Conveniently located between Oost and Zuid, each segment has a shared kitchen.Check Prices On:Booking.com
Cityden Museum Square Hotel ApartmentsThe apartment was lovely, with various Vermeer accents, and has everything you need.Close to grocery store and museums.Check Prices On:


StayOkay Oost

Good and easy to find location of this hostel. I’ll always recommend StayOkay chain in the Netherlands.

Check Prices On:


Other Areas

If you’re visiting Amsterdam for a few days, I’d suggest avoiding places that might seem nearby, but in reality, they are neither pretty nor convenient. That said, do NOT stay in Diemen, Amstelveen, Bijlmar, or Zuid-Oost. Unless you want to bike the city center for at least 25 minutes.

You would be better off staying in Haarlem if you want to save some money, as it’s only 10 minutes by train to Amsterdam Central Station.

Areas to Avoid in Amsterdam

I’d personally advise against staying in the Red Light District, known as De Wallen, especially if you’re traveling with kids. Google Maps is actually slightly misleading in terms of the area, as it highlights the whole district – this is NOT true.

In reality, the area full of red windows and coffeeshops is much smaller: inside this district hugging Oudezijds Voorburgwal along the canal and in and around the De Oude Kerk church.

The majority of locals aren’t fond of prostitution and weed (which isn’t actually legal), so you’ll meet mostly young tourists. If you don’t want to stumble upon it, trust me, once you’re in Singel canal area you’ll feel that you’re getting closer to the Red Light District.

Arrange Your Travel Insurance

Don’t forget to arrange a health insurance before heading to Amsterdam. The easiest and the most reliable travel insurance is World Nomads Travel Insurance. Get it before your trip to avoid unnecessary troubles that might ruin your holidays!

Do you have any questions about Amsterdam neighborhoods? Let me know in the comments below!


  1. Oluwasayo Ossai
    Aug 10, 2018 / 3:46 pm

    Your breakdown is on point. Spending three days later in the month in Amsterdam and I had no clue where to book. Thanks for clearly laying the area out, really helpful. I will be visiting with my kids and mum so I guess Old Centrum it is.

  2. Barbara Douglas
    Oct 21, 2018 / 5:17 pm

    Where would you suggest a layover stay of 3 nights for a solo senior woman?

    • Anna
      Oct 21, 2018 / 7:31 pm

      It depends what do you want to do and see?

      • Barbara Douglas
        Oct 21, 2018 / 7:36 pm

        Mostly art and architecture.

        • Anna
          Oct 21, 2018 / 8:03 pm

          In this case, Oud-West or de Pijp. Or somewhere in Centrum.

  3. Nicole
    Oct 23, 2018 / 5:05 pm

    Hi I plan on coming with my dad for a father-daughter trip in 2020 where do you suggest we stay we want to be in the middle of everything easy access and bike riding the canals look nice do you have any suggestions

    • Anna
      Oct 23, 2018 / 9:28 pm

      If you want to stay in Centrum just avoid Nieuwmarkt & Leidseplein. Those areas are fun if you’re in your early twenties but I’m not sure if your dad would like that 😉

  4. Beth Sipe
    Nov 11, 2018 / 10:01 pm

    Hi there, thank you for all of this information. We are coming in to town April 15-18, can you suggest the best place to stay? We love local bars and are foodies. We don’t want to stay in a big hotel, we love something a bit different. Any suggestions are much appreciated. Thank you.

  5. Susan de Marrais
    Nov 17, 2018 / 10:16 pm

    Great information….we were wondering if transportation would allow for staying a bit outside the city
    and coming in for sightseeing? Also, we plan to travel to other locals in the country and wondered about car rentals.

    • Anna
      Nov 19, 2018 / 1:30 pm

      It does, but it depends where. Trains work great from other cities since many Dutchies commute (I myself commuted from Leiden to central Amsterdam for work for over a year). You could rent a car, but I think you can be fine without it as well. I’ve never rented a car or felt a need to do so in over 3 years.

  6. Antonio
    Nov 18, 2018 / 5:51 pm

    Hi Anna, thanks first of all for this wonderful site. It sounds like the chipkaart is a good choice to pay for public transportation around Amsterdam. However, I was wondering if renting a bicycle and moving around the city in bicycle would be a smart choice in order to save money. Your thoughts are very much appreciated. Thanks!

  7. Ariel
    Nov 21, 2018 / 8:01 am

    Hi i am a wheelchair guy and going solo .. is rembrant gd place for me to stay for 17 long days in dec and is there any grab service there ?

    • Anna
      Nov 21, 2018 / 10:09 am

      No Grab there. There are taxis and Uber.

  8. Aprille
    Nov 22, 2018 / 12:24 am

    Hello Anna,
    This information has been so helpful. I had no idea where to stay and this has been so informative. I am traveling to Amsterdam for three days next week and I am travelling with my 25 and 26 year old son and daughter, my 70’s age parents and my self. What area would you suggest that we stay in?

    We would like to get a good idea of how the Dutch live, the 20 year olds would like to do some fun stuff and party and my parents are excited to visit the country .

    Any suggestion would be helpful.

    Best Regards,

    • Anna
      Nov 22, 2018 / 9:52 am

      I think Oud Zuid could be a good compromise. It’s relatively quiet, fewer tourists and more residential, so your parents won’t be surrounded by parties, but close enough for your younger adults to go out whenever they want. You should also consider a day trips to smaller towns, windmills in Kinderdijk or Zaanse Schans.

  9. Jonathan Shalom
    Nov 22, 2018 / 12:51 pm

    Hi there,
    was wondering what area would be best for restaurants and smoking weed, I’m going for a few days with my girlfriend

    • Anna
      Nov 22, 2018 / 1:04 pm

      Frankly, it sounds like all areas would be good 😉 but probably de Pijp. The area has many restaurants and coffee shops that are slightly cheaper and less touristy than those in Old Centrum.

  10. Bilal Adil
    Dec 14, 2018 / 6:05 am


    How you are well. Thank you very much for such helpful information. I am a solo traveller, travelling today. I want to enjoy every thing in Amsterdam so I think I will stay somewhere nearby central station to get easy access to every part of Amsterdam. Do you think it’s a good choice??

    Thank you
    Bilal Adil

    • Anna
      Dec 14, 2018 / 10:43 am

      Remember that Amsterdam is small, comparing to other capitals so anywhere in the center isn’t too far 🙂 You can stay near Central Station, just not in De Wallen probably 🙂

  11. Ruth
    Dec 19, 2018 / 12:48 am

    Hi Anna, thank you so much for the travel info! My husband and I in our 40s, we are visiting Amsterdam for 2 nights in April on our way to Belgium and staying again the night before our evening flight home at the end of our trip. The following are the places I find most interesting Vleminckx, Van Gogh Museum, In ʼt Aepjen, Rijksmuseum, Micropia, Blauw Jan, Dappermarkt, Red Light District, Kattenkabinet, Poezenboot, Brouwerij ‘t IJ, Monks Coffee Roasters, Door 74, Begijnhof, Jordaan neighborhood, Nine streets, maybe the hop on off bus or a canel tour the first day to get some bearings on the city layout. We tend to marathon trips to see all we can. Could you give us a few options of areas you would recommend staying based on our interests?
    Thank you, Ruth

    • Anna
      Dec 19, 2018 / 10:14 am

      I think Zuid for the first 2 nights would be best for you. It’s quieter than centrum, but still easily walkable distance to all these attractions. For the night before your flight maybe Doubletree by Hilton right next to central station would be best.
      P.S. I’d say don’t do hop on hop off. It’s really pointless in Amsterdam and doesn’t go to many places. I think you’ll enjoy a canal cruise more 🙂

  12. Shweta Shetty
    Dec 28, 2018 / 4:08 pm

    Hi Anna…. we are 4 women on a layover for 24hours arriving around 9am on the 8th of March. As we have just one day …what is the bes5 area to stay Ann what is the maximum we can see and do in one Full day.. thanks much for your response in advance!

    • Shweta
      Dec 31, 2018 / 1:25 pm

      Hi Anna,
      Waiting to hear from you about the best location to stay in as we are there for only one full day on a layover in March… we are bunch of women in our late 40s& 50s…& this is our first time in Amsterdam. Also if you can tell us what are must see sights / things to do in one full day.
      Much Thanks

      • Anna
        Dec 31, 2018 / 2:27 pm

        I have a post on the best things to do coming up next week 🙂

        For a layover you can stay near Sloterdijk, Zuid, or Centraal Stations so you don’t maneuver much with your luggage and go explore.

        • shweta
          Jan 2, 2019 / 6:25 pm

          Thanks Anna…. would you know how the Volkshotel is as a hotel and its location?
          Thanks again

          • Anna
            Jan 2, 2019 / 6:35 pm

            Haven’t stayed there myself, but the location isn’t the greatest for a layover.

  13. Jane
    Dec 30, 2018 / 10:22 am

    HI Anna, thank you for the Amsterdam information and I hope you continue to enjoy your travel.
    My husband and I are looking to go to Amsterdam with another couple this April. Please could you recommend an area to stay. It will be our first visit here and we would like to visit the centre and canal boats, Ann Frank, tulip bulbs on bikes. We would like some night life and good food however not night clubs as our ages are late 40’s and early 50’s.
    Thank you in advance.

    • Anna
      Dec 30, 2018 / 10:53 am

      Best Neighborhood to Stay in Amsterdam for First Time Visitors: Jordaan 🙂

      You’ll have to take a train to Lisse and then bike to see the tulips.

  14. PJ
    Dec 31, 2018 / 7:19 am

    Hi Anna,

    me and my wife along with our 5 year old son, will be travelling to amsterdam by march 2019 for 4 days, it is our first time to travel in amsterdam, and i find it very difficult to decide where to stay.

    can you please advise us which area we can stay, we do prepare near to central station, preferably walkable distance only to the central so it will not be diffucult for us to carry the luggage & easy access to train going to belgium.

    Thanks in Advance,

    • Anna
      Dec 31, 2018 / 11:16 am

      I’d not pay much attention to the distance to Central Station as there are many trams and buses as well. In fact, I’d probably say stay slightly away from Central Station with a kid.
      Somewhere on the Canal Belt or Zuid are calmer.

  15. PJ
    Dec 31, 2018 / 2:35 pm

    Thank you Anna. Will sure follow your advise. 🙂

  16. Jigme Sherpa
    Dec 31, 2018 / 4:52 pm

    Hi Anna,

    Thank you for sharing your insight and knowledge about Amsterdam! My wife and I will be there in April 2019, cant wait. Do you have any recommendation on Airbnb, or do you recommend we stay in a hotel? What neighborhood is the safest to stay if we plan to go Airbnb?

    Thank you again,

    • Anna
      Jan 1, 2019 / 11:23 am

      AirBnBs can be lovely, but I don’t tend to put any specific recommendations in my articles usually since listings can disappear. All neighbourhoods are equally safe 🙂

  17. Jan 5, 2019 / 6:54 pm

    Hi Anna, we are coming to Amsterdam for 6 days at the end of February and trying to decide where to stay, budget between £100 and £150 per night. We are both in our 60’s and love walking everywhere. So somewhere within walking distance of the centre, but not in a busy, noisy area. We enjoy staying in quiet areas/hotels, and spend most of our day taking photographs throughout the city. Any suggestions would be much appreciated. CY

    • Anna
      Jan 7, 2019 / 1:24 pm

      Everything in Amsterdam is technically a walking distance, as it’s not a giant city. I’d probably suggest Oud Zuid for you 🙂

      • Connie Young
        Jan 7, 2019 / 4:44 pm

        Many thanks Anna, that has been most helpful. CY

  18. LeAnne Perry
    Jan 7, 2019 / 12:27 am

    Hi Anna!
    This article has been most helpful, thank you! My daughter and I (she’s 21) will be visiting Amsterdam for the first time for 2-4 nights after disembarking from a Viking River cruise there on July 2, 2019. I have a few questions and any help you can give would be very appreciated! How many days should we allow to comfortably explore Amsterdam? We are on a budget, but want to make the most of this once in a lifetime trip! What should we not miss seeing and doing? Are there any events/festivals, etc. at that time that we shouldn’t miss? Are there other nearby towns, countrysides, cities that we should definitely visit? Do you recommend anything beyond the typical tourist attractions—off the beaten path maybe? We aren’t into partying and I’m a photographer, if that info helps with your recommendations for us. We are hoping to find a safe, comfortable, not too expensive place to stay and are open to hotels, b&b’s or whatever else you may recommend.

    Thanks so much!

    • Anna
      Jan 7, 2019 / 1:23 pm

      I’m publishing a post on the best things to do in Amsterdam coming up over the next few weeks, so still before your trip 🙂
      I highly recommend visiting smaller towns, from photogenic ones I’d suggest Delft, Haarlem, Leiden or Utrecht, as well as Kinderdijk.

  19. RAGHU
    Jan 7, 2019 / 7:30 pm

    Hi Anna,

    Great site, very informative insights. My wife and I are planning a trip to Amsterdam in June 2019 with 2 kids (9 and 3). Appreciate your guidance please on where to stay and what we can visit in 4 days.

    Also, we are planning for day trips as well. Where can be go with the kids so they also can enjoy.

    Best Regards,Raghu

    • Anna
      Jan 8, 2019 / 6:05 pm

      I think kids would love Zaanse Schans or Madurodam in Den Haag 🙂

      Amsterdam Oost is very family friendly.

  20. Penny L Lamont
    Jan 8, 2019 / 8:23 am

    Hi Anna – Wow ~ have really enjoyed reading all your information. Quick questions for you – there are 4 of us (2 couples) mid 60’s – early 70’s coming for 4 days in July. We are hoping to do some walking tours (if there are any that you could recommend), a canal hop on hop off. Also what area would you suggest for us to stay in? We probably won’t be exploring much in the evenings, other than dinners/drinks out. We are wondering about VRBO or B&B’s – is that the route to go or should we just get hotel rooms? Thanks so much!

    • Anna
      Jan 8, 2019 / 6:07 pm

      It really depends what do you want. Some people prefer hotels, but others prefer apartments. There are some lovely spots to rent in Amsterdam, so check what’s still available. I don’t know of any particular walking tours, I frankly have never seen any group ones apart from student pub crawls, but I might be wrong.

  21. Tam
    Jan 8, 2019 / 4:17 pm


    Do you recommend staying in the Amstelvlietstraat 4 Amsterdam 1096 GG area? How close is it to the main attractions?
    Visiting Amsterdam for 3 days in July 2019

    Thanks 🙂

    • Anna
      Jan 8, 2019 / 5:56 pm

      I wouldn’t recommend this area for a first time visitor. It’s kinda off center.

  22. sly smith
    Jan 8, 2019 / 10:56 pm

    Hi Anna
    We are looking to visit in February with my with my wife son and his girlfriend we was thinking of staying in Zaandam suburb is the a good area to stay and travel to the centre thank you

    • Anna
      Jan 9, 2019 / 5:36 pm

      It’s a suburb and it does require for you to take a train to central Amsterdam, but it’s a nice local area.

  23. George phokas
    Jan 10, 2019 / 12:11 am

    Hi Anna great informations,thanks for that.I am moving to Amsterdam for a 3 month period on February.I have no idea where to stay and what kind of accommodation I should choose.It’s not a year it’s not a holiday week ,I don’t really want to stay in a tourist neighbour,but also I don’t want to be far from city life. What are you suggesting me ,which area I would prefer a studio or a not shared place. Thanks

    • Anna
      Jan 11, 2019 / 6:38 pm

      It’s very hard to rent an apartment in Amsterdam, but in your case AirBnB will probably be best. I’d suggest see what’s available first before debating on a neighborhood.

  24. Michelle
    Jan 12, 2019 / 11:29 pm

    Great tips on your site.
    What do you think of the area around Akbarstraat?

    • Anna
      Jan 13, 2019 / 7:02 am

      As I said in the article, I used to live nearby. Check Bos en Lomer.

  25. S Marie Rania
    Jan 13, 2019 / 2:07 am

    Hello Anna,
    My husband and I are travelling to Amsterdam for three days and we were going to stay near the Hague. After reading your blog I am wondering if I should try another location? We do not have much planned except we may take a day trip to Belgium, and otherwise want to take the public transportation around. Would you suggest a different location to stay to be better situated to get around? I know this may be a duplicate question, so forgive me in advance :).

    Thank you!

    • Anna
      Jan 13, 2019 / 7:05 am

      The Hague is only less than half an hour away. I commuted to work in Amsterdam from Leiden, 10 minutes by train from the Hague) every day, so it’s not bad. It will obviously take some time but will give you a chance to explore other towns – most tourists just see Amsterdam and nothing else.

  26. Ciara Sullivan
    Jan 16, 2019 / 8:26 pm

    Hi Anna

    I’m going with my friend both in our 30s but do like the social life too and will be doing a few tourist stuff gonna book all online

    I’ve booked Westcord Art Hotel 4 star in Spaarndammerdijk 304, Amsterdam, 1013 ZX
    Would that be close to the center and could I get a tram from the hotel in to the city???

    Would you recommend anywhere closer hotel names ?


    • Anna
      Jan 17, 2019 / 9:23 am

      What do you want to do exactly? Because for instance, the museums are all in Zuid not in Centrum. In this area of the hotel you booked there are only buses no trams, but there’s a bus that goes to central station and you can change there.

      Check my recommendations for hotels in the article, especially those at the top as they’re are all in the center 🙂

  27. Norma
    Jan 18, 2019 / 5:12 pm

    Hi Anna
    I am planning a visit to Amsterdam for 3 nights in early October with 8 girlfriends.
    We are all in our 40’s and are most interested in seeing the sights, canal cruise, bike tour and eating in nice restaurants. Can you please recommend best area for us to stay and any bike tour or restaurant recommendations.
    It is our first visit to Amsterdam.
    Thank you so much for your help

    • Anna
      Jan 18, 2019 / 6:44 pm

      I included restaurant recommendations in every neighborhood in the article 🙂

      Any of the top hotels I recommended would work for you guys. You can rent bikes anywhere in the city.

  28. Beena mathew
    Jan 20, 2019 / 7:32 am

    Me and my husband planning to visit Amsterdam by 2nd week of April. Our main area of visit which we are planning is Keukenhof, Madurodam village, Van gogh museum, Vondelpark, Canal cruise etc. Is it okay if we take a hotel near the airport for our stay. or can you recommend some other places to stay please

    • Anna
      Jan 20, 2019 / 7:53 am

      I would never recommend staying near the airport since it’s pretty inconvenient to even get to the airport and other places.

      Would you rather experience staying in Amsterdam or smaller town? You could just stay in Amsterdam since you want to see other things there and take a day trip to Keukenhof and Madurodam. Take a train to Lisse, then rent bikes to Keukenhof (best tulip fields are outside of Keukenhof and are free), alternatively take a train to Leiden and then bus to Keukenhof. In the afternoon hop on a train to The Hague to see Madurodam.

  29. aaron
    Jan 22, 2019 / 12:40 pm

    Great information, my partner and I will be travelling mid December and catching a cruise ship from there, where would the best place to stay for that be?? We will there 3 nights before the ship leaves.
    Kind regards,

    • Anna
      Jan 22, 2019 / 1:08 pm

      Each neighborhood is different and caters to different needs but they’re all close to each other 🙂

  30. Beena
    Jan 22, 2019 / 3:19 pm

    Hi Anna
    Seen your post after booking my hotel room. Planning to come to Amsterdam on 9th April till 13th. Book in Ramada near Schiphol airport. Wanted to visit Keukenhof, madurodam, van Gogh museum, vondepark and canal cruise. How can I travel? How can I prepare an itinery. Reaching by 9th April afternoon. Me and my husband in early 50’s are only there.
    Pls help

    • Anna
      Jan 24, 2019 / 9:59 pm

      Near the airport is technically not in Amsterdam, but so aren’t some places you want to see, but trains will work just fine 🙂

  31. Shermaine
    Feb 9, 2019 / 10:27 am

    Hi Anna,

    Me and husband are planning to visit Amsterdam for 3 to 4 nights in End Mar.
    Places that I’m keen to go is Keukenhof, Lisse, kinderdijk, zaanse. Its our 1st time there, wondering if areas that i want to cover will it be too far apart. Where should I stay? Thanks im advances for your advice.

    • Anna
      Feb 10, 2019 / 10:06 am

      All these places you listed aren’t in Amsterdam. You could stay in Leiden (nice student town) and from then you can take a direct bus to Keukenhof, rent bikes to go to tulip fields, train to Zaandam (from where you walk to Zaanse Schans), Kinderdijk is near Rotterdam so it’s also an easy train ride from there.
      Plus you can rent boats in Leiden, you can go to Rembrandt’s house and just see something that’s not super touristy as Amsterdam is.

  32. Kara
    Feb 10, 2019 / 11:23 pm

    Hi Anna,
    Great article. We are planning to come to Amsterdam, first time visitors at the end of May. We like walking and are looking at a place in the Jordaan area. Lauriergrcht 97. Is this a good area to stay? And a safe area? Thanks in advance for your help

    • Anna
      Feb 11, 2019 / 8:57 am

      Yes, it’s a good area 🙂

  33. Viet Hoang
    Feb 16, 2019 / 11:21 am

    Hi Anna, I plan to visit Amsterdam for 5 days vacation in April/May but I decide to stay in a neighborhood to Amsterdam to meet my tight budget. Which districts/area/city should I stay, provided it takes about 30 mins to Amsterdam’s central by public transportation? THanks for your advice

    • Anna
      Feb 16, 2019 / 9:05 pm

      Noord & Bos de Lomer are budget friendly areas 🙂

  34. Lisette
    Feb 16, 2019 / 6:43 pm

    Hi Anna,
    This is a really helpful blog post for us first-timers to Amsterdam. We are looking for a good Air BnB to rent – location and cost in mind. Is the Jordaan area a good place to find good AirBnBs?

    Thank you,

    • Anna
      Feb 16, 2019 / 9:01 pm

      Yes, as I said in the post it is 🙂

  35. stepahnie
    Feb 18, 2019 / 4:39 am

    hello! I am thinking about going to Amsterdam for the first time in June for a concert at Paradiso( in Weteringschans) what neighborhood would you suggest i should stay in that would be easy to get back to late at night?

    • Anna
      Feb 18, 2019 / 8:54 am

      De Pijp 🙂

  36. Dee Kendall
    Feb 20, 2019 / 2:53 am

    Hi there. I’m a 55 yr old female first timer traveling solo, May 5th-8th. I’d like to visit some coffee shops, restaurants, do some shopping for souvenirs and Keukenhof is my only must see. Do you think 2 1/2 days is sufficient? Not interested in nightlife but don’t want to stay too far out from everything either. Was considering Air bnb. What part do you suggest I stay in?

    • Anna
      Feb 20, 2019 / 12:39 pm

      I actually recommend anyone prioritizing regular free tulip fields over Keukenhof – will have an article coming out about it tomorrow, but either way this isn’t in Amsterdam. You need to take a train to the airport or Leiden and take a bus from there or bike.
      There are coffee shops, restaurants, and souvenirs everywhere really so you might want to consider staying in Leiden or Haarlem instead of Amsterdam.

  37. Daizy
    Feb 22, 2019 / 5:18 am

    Hi Anna
    This article is by far the best travel recommendation article I have ever read. Thank you for all the recommendations! I was considering staying at the Park Hotel as it doesn’t seem too far from the main attractions and fall within my budget. Is that hotel in an area you recommend? My fiancé and I are foodies and enjoy bars but not necessarily clubs. Any suggestions you can provide will be greatly appreciated!

    • Anna
      Feb 22, 2019 / 11:38 am

      Park Hotel would be a great choice!

  38. Mohamed
    Feb 22, 2019 / 6:06 pm

    Hello, Anna. Thank you for the comprehensive guide. I will be moving to Amsterdam with my family, including 2 children who would need international school. This limits my options for places to stay, as I want to live close to the school I enroll them in.
    The best match for my school requirements so far is in Bijlmer Centrum in Zuidoost. Is this a good area for kids? Is it safe? Does it have sports facilities?
    Thanks in advance.

    • Anna
      Feb 22, 2019 / 6:48 pm

      I’d say consider different areas. These aren’t the greatest areas to live, in fact many people who work in Bijlmer prefer to commute there. It’s cheap there, but it’s not nice at all. It’s not very safe either.

      Amstelveen is nearby and known for family living though. It’s quiet, safe and suburban.

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