Where to Stay in Amsterdam By a Local (2020)

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Traveling to the Netherlands and wondering where to stay in Amsterdam? Look no further. We got your back!

The Dutch capital is a charming city. The gingerbread houses and beautiful canals make sure of that.

But it can be overwhelming to find a good place to stay in Amsterdam because you don’t know the neighborhoods. Yet.

You probably want to stay close to most tourist attractions so that you can do everything on foot, but not too close you’ll hear the noisy tourists outside. We get that.

For those of you that don’t know, I Bruna lived in Amsterdam for several years. Today, I live with my husband in a city nearby. However, because we’re totally crazy about Amsterdam, we still go there very often to have a beer, stroll around, or to eat out.

Anyway, what we’re trying to say is that we know this city very well, and we feel confident in recommending the best hotels in Amsterdam to you.

In fact, we’ll also talk about hostels in Amsterdam as well as the best neighborhoods to stay in Amsterdam because we know the city can be pricey and noisy.

In other words, you’ll find all the information you need in this article to book your accommodation in the city.

Hotels in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is an incredible town and has a lot to offer—great food, culture, architecture, and fun. That’s why searching for a place to stay in Amsterdam can be overwhelming.

If you don’t want to end up in a neighborhood surrounded by drunk tourists or bachelor parties, you should definitely avoid certain areas in the city.

To help you with that, we decided to write this helpful and complete guide on where to stay in Amsterdam.

Mind you, hotels are our preferred type of accommodation because we like the privacy and facilities on-site.

But hotels in Amsterdam can be a bit pricey, and that’s why we advise you to book in advance and choose one of the neighborhoods we’ll mention below to score good deals.

Also, we’ll talk split the best places to stay in Amsterdam (hotels and hostels) based on the activities in the area so that you’ll know if it suits your interests.

We’ll only recommend top hotels in Amsterdam that are conveniently located, and most of them are pretty affordable too.

Without further ado, let’s talk about accommodation in Amsterdam.

Where to stay in Amsterdam, near the Amstel River
Your guide on where to stay in Amsterdam

Where to stay in Amsterdam, the Netherlands

We’ll highlight below the best hotels and hostels in each neighborhood so that you can have a general idea of the places we’ll cover in this article.

  • Best places to stay in Amsterdam to enjoy the nightlife -> De Pijp
  • Best location to stay in Amsterdam for sightseeing -> Jordaan
  • Best places to stay in Amsterdam for families -> Oud Zuid
  • Best places to stay in Amsterdam for first-timers -> Westerpark

Best places to stay in Amsterdam

In a hurry? These are our favorite hostel and hotel in Amsterdam. Further in the article, we’ll talk thoroughly about the neighborhoods they are in. 

Best hostel in Amsterdam: Cityhub Amsterdam

The Cityhub Amsterdam has a lovely location (near the Westerpark) and beautiful design—modern and super high tech.

Guests here sleep in cabin-like rooms. It has a futuristic look as if you were in a spaceship. Cool!

Besides the design, the atmosphere is also excellent, mostly because the self-service bar in the common area is pretty pleasant.

And because it’s such a nice place to stay in, it doesn’t come as a surprise that their ratings are really high.

Rooms have a king-size bed, iPod docking station, and free WiFi.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com | HostelWorld

Best hotel in Amsterdam: Hotel Atlas Vondelpark

This hotel is very close to the Van Gogh Museum (5 min) and to the Leidseplein (10 min), where you can find lots and lots of bars, cafes, coffee shops, and restaurants.

Ah, and one of the Vondelpark entrances is pretty close to it, which is ideal for a morning jog.

Rooms are comfortable and clean, making you feel at home. More importantly, it has a tv and free WiFi, besides the other basic amenities.

The continental breakfast is excellent with lots of hot and cold dishes. Perfect for giving you that boost of energy to stroll around the city during the day.

Besides, this hotel is based in a beautiful historic building with the typical architectural style of Amsterdam. It’s gorgeous!

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com | Hotels Combined

Where to stay in Amsterdam
Avoid hotels in Amsterdam City Center – it’s always crowded and pricey

Amsterdam neighborhood guide

Although the Dutch capital is divided into many areas, we’ll only talk about the best neighborhoods to stay in Amsterdam.

The city has a bunch of cool places to visit in the four corners of the town, from quirky shops to fancy rooftop bars. There’s a lot to see and do here.

For that reason, we’ll split this article into the best areas to stay in Amsterdam based on the proximity to these attractions. See the table below.

NeighborhoodPerfect forCheck accommodation
De PijpShopping, restaurants, beer cafesCheck top hotel
Check top hostel
JordaanSightseeing, restaurants, hidden gardensCheck top hotel
Check top hostel
Oud ZuidMuseums, family-friendly, shoppingCheck top hotel
Check top hostel
WesterparkFestivals, restaurants, parksCheck top hotel
Check top hostel

Amsterdam has a bustling city center perfect for those who want to have fun at the Red Light District, a coffee shop, or to take a look around.

In that area, you’ll find most of the tourist attractions as well as many night clubs and restaurants.

But if you walk a few minutes out of this area, you’ll find De Pijp, an excellent neighborhood of Amsterdam filled with good shops, restaurants, and cafes.

The nightlife in De Pijp feels more local because the tourist crowds are at the center of the city, not here.

The atmosphere is hip and modern, making this area very pleasant, especially for those people looking to enjoy the nightlife in Amsterdam.

On the other hand, the Jordaan neighborhood is a sweet place with a small-town atmosphere, but with lots of cozy cafes and independent shops.

Jordaan is also pretty close to the city center and boasts some major tourist attractions, such as the Anne Frank House, the hidden gardens, and Westerkerk Church.

Westerpark and Oud-West are great neighborhoods next to each other and close to the city center.

In the summer, many festivals happen at Westerpark. This region also has an artificial beach that is popular among locals.

Map of where to stay in Amsterdam
Map of Amsterdam neighborhoods -Map Data ©2020 Google

On the other hand, Oud Zuid is a calmer area of Amsterdam with playgrounds, museums, and high-end shops.

The Oud Zuid begins at the Vondelpark and stretches until De Pijp, including the Museumplein, where the Van Gogh and Rijksmuseum are.

Because this area is so tranquil and safe, it’s ideal for families.

In fact, if you have children, we would highly advise you to stay near the Vondelpark because that’s an excellent place for children to have fun.

The park has many playgrounds, is perfect for a picnic, and has an incredible atmosphere during summer.

It’s difficult to choose, isn’t it? Yeah, we know. Every inch of Amsterdam is irresistible.

But we’ll talk more about the best neighborhoods to stay in Amsterdam below.

Best areas in Amsterdam to stay

To help you choose which neighborhood to stay in Amsterdam, we’ll talk about each one of these regions.

These are our recommendations based on each area vibe and for which type of traveler they are ideal for.

And although it might seem as there are many neighborhoods in Amsterdam, it’s important to note that the city is relatively compact and public transportation works wonders here.

So in fact, you’re hardly ever far away from most tourist attractions even if you decide to stay in a place that seems far away from the center.

Also, there are lots and lots of things to do in Amsterdam in every corner. You won’t get bored here.

De Pijp – Best district to stay in Amsterdam to enjoy the nightlife

Where to stay in Amsterdam: Gingerbread houses
Gingerbread houses

If you want to enjoy the nightlife of Amsterdam, De Pijp is by far the best location to stay in the city.

Although Leidseplein is the tourist’s favorite, De Pijp feels more local, you know?

The area has heaps of excellent bars and restaurants, besides the different crowds from the city center (aka Red Light District).

De Pijp is a bohemian area where you’ll love to stay in, especially if this is your first time in Amsterdam. We love it.

Things to do in De Pijp:

  • Go for brunch in an area that boasts some of the best breakfast and brunch spots in Amsterdam, such as Bakers & Roasters or CT Coffee & Coconuts.
  • Shop for gifts and goodies in independent boutiques, such as All The Luck in The World and Things I Like, Things I Love.
  • Picnic in Sarphatipark and reconnect with nature in this tranquil park.
  • Buy freshly made stroopwafels at the Albert Cuyp Market, the largest street market in the Netherlands.
  • Discover how a small Amsterdam brewery went on to become one of the world’s most famous beer at the Heineken Experience.
  • Sip a cold beer at Cafe Gollem or go for organic wine at Glou Glou.
  • Sample craft beer at Brouwerij Troost.
  • Catch a movie at Rialto, a movie theater from the 1920s.
  • Admire panoramic views of the city with a cocktail in hand from the Twenty-Third Bar.

Best hostel in De Pijp: Cocomama

Cocomama is a cozy hostel in De Pijp, that is close to many museums and the city center. This is an excellent base to reach most places in the city.

With private rooms, a cute little garden, and a home atmosphere, Cocomama is not a typical hostel. That’s precisely why we recommend you stay here if you’re looking for a friendly and relaxed place to stay in Amsterdam.

Rooms have free WiFi, and guests can make full use of the shared kitchen.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com | HostelWorld

Best hotel in De Pijp: The Arcade Hotel

Don’t plan to stay in this hotel if you’re coming on a romantic trip to Amsterdam. We’re saying this because the Arcade Hotel is proud to say they’re the world’s first videogame hotel.

But if you’re a videogame fan, there’s no better lodging in Amsterdam for you because you can obviously play while staying in this thematic hotel.

With single, double, and quadruple rooms, The Arcade is one of the best places to stay in De Pijp, especially for young people.

Rooms have private bathrooms, tv, and free WiFi.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com | Hotels Combined

Jordaan – the Best location to stay in Amsterdam & great for couples

Best places to stay in Amsterdam, Jordaan
Jordaan Neighborhood in Amsterdam

Although Jordaan is close to the heart of the city, it has a small-town feeling. The narrow canals and streets of the trendy Jordaan are flanked by indie boutiques, cozy pubs, and hip eateries. It’s such a pleasant area!

Here you’ll find the best hotels in Amsterdam near the city center and the central station but without all the noisy tourists outside. Perfect, isn’t it?

And because this neighborhood is relatively calm, it’s a great place for traveling couples too.

The Jordaan also has loads of art galleries and vintage venues, to name a few places you can visit here.

This neighborhood was traditionally a working-class part of the town. Still, today is very hip, and we can safely say the Jordaan is one of the most relaxed areas to stay in.

Things to do in Jordaan:

  • Pay a visit to the Anne Frank House and learn the heartbreaking story of this little girl.
  • Try the best Dutch beer at Proeflokaal Arendsnest Bar.
  • Discover hidden gardens (Dutch: hofjes) in the area.
  • Browse the Noordermarkt Market or the cute shops at Hazenstraat St.
  • Try some delicious Dutch apple pie at Winkel 43.
  • Have a few bites of cheese at the Cheese Museum.
  • Stroll along the canal belt.
  • Learn how the people of Amsterdam can live in a boat in the Houseboat Museum.
  • Admire the world’s first monument for the LGBT community, the Homomonument.
  • Wander through the 9 straatjes, a cozy shopping area.
  • Have a mouthwatering lemon meringue pie at De Drie Graefjes. (Our favorite!)

Best hostel in Jordaan: Shelter Jordan Christian

Shelter Jordan is a Christian hostel perfect for those people who want a safe and friendly place to stay, preferably far away from all the noise from the city center.

Although they do have evening events, it’s not a party hostel.

The dorms are divided by gender and on different floors. With free WiFi and breakfast, the Shelter Jordan it’s great value for money!

Oh, and you can rent a bike at the property.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com | HostelWorld

Where to stay in Amsterdam for couples: Mr. Jordaan 

With an industrial decoration, Mr. Jordaan has beautiful rooms equipped with tv, tea kettle, free WiFi, and basic amenities.

Some rooms have canal views, which is much sought after in Amsterdam.

The final touch of this convenient hotel in Amsterdam is an Italian restaurant on-site and a bike rental shop.

Ah, and Mr. Jordaan is within a 5-minute walk from the Anne Frank House and a 10-minute walk from Dam Square. This is the best hotel location in Amsterdam!

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com | Hotels Combined

Oud Zuid – the Best place to stay in Amsterdam for families

Museum Square, one of the best neighborhoods to stay in Amsterdam
The Museum Square (Museumplein) in Amsterdam

If you’re traveling with your family, choose one of Amsterdam accommodations in Oud Zuid.

Oud Zuid is a neighborhood surrounded by excellent museums and lots of activities for children as well as for adults.

This area is really safe and is far from the parties and drugs from the city center, but yet close enough to walk to most tourist attractions in the city.

Things to do in Oud Zuid:

  • Indulge your inner art critic in one of the many beautiful museums in the area, such as Van Gogh or Rijksmuseum.
  • Catch a classical concert that sometimes is free at the Royal Concertgebouw, one of the world’s most beautiful concert halls.
  • Picnic at Vondelpark or head over to Amsterdamse Bos to take in the beautiful flowers in the park.
  • Try one of the many international cuisine restaurants in the region.
  • Sunbathe on an artificial beach with locals at Strand Zuid.
  • Spot the Houses of the 7 Countries at the Roemer Visscherstraat St.
  • Check out a cultural center in a bunker at Vondelbunker.
  • Go for a morning jog at the Vondelpark.
  • Attend a concert at Paradiso, a club in a former church.

Where to stay in Amsterdam on a budget: De Bedstee Boutique

This boutique hostel has an excellent location because it’s near the main attractions of the city. Namely, the Museumplein with the Van Gogh and Rijksmuseum.

Just like Cityhub mentioned before, the decoration of this hotel is unique. Rooms are spacious cabins with an interesting mix of check and floral fabrics, typically in Dutch colors.

There are also replicas of the most significant Dutch paintings they are proud of, and the overall atmosphere of the place feels like a quirky countryside house.

Although rooms are smaller than in a conventional hotel, they offer free portable WiFi, luggage storage, and a closet.

It’s perfect if you want to stay in a hostel, but don’t want to share a room!

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com | HostelWorld

Where to stay in Amsterdam with family: Hotel Atlas Vondelpark

This hotel is very close to the Van Gogh Museum (5 min) and to the Leidseplein (10 min), where you can find lots and lots of bars, cafes, coffee shops, and restaurants.

Ah, and one of the Vondelpark entrances is pretty close to it, which is ideal for a morning jog.

Rooms are comfortable and clean, making you feel at home. Moreover, there’s a tv and free WiFi in the room, besides the other basic amenities.

The continental breakfast is excellent with lots of hot and cold dishes. Perfect for giving you that boost of energy to stroll around the city during the day.

Besides, this hotel is based in a beautiful historic building with the typical architectural style of Amsterdam. It’s lovely!

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com | Hotels Combined

Westerpark/Oud-West – Where to stay in Amsterdam for first-timers

Where to stay in Amsterdam: Westergas fabriek
Cultural center Westergas

Westerpark, just like Oud Zuid, has great hotels near Amsterdam city center, but far from the noise.

That’s excellent because you’re sure to stay in one of the best areas in Amsterdam.

And especially if this is your first time in the city, you’ll want to stay outside the city center, so why not Westerpark?

The vibrant neighborhood of Westerpark is always buzzing with things to do. From unique culinary experiences to outdoor activities, there are loads of ways to spend an afternoon or evening discovering this historic Amsterdam neighborhood.

Things to do in Westerpark:

  • Stop by the cultural complex Westergas, where many festivals and markets take place.
  • Grab a beer in one (or both) of the two most loved breweries, Brouwerij Troost Westergas and De Prael.
  • Indulge in Dutch and international cuisine in the hip food court, Foodhallen.
  • Catch a performance at a theater by the water, the Theater Amsterdam.
  • Soak up the beachy vibes at Het Stenen Hoofd, an urban beach trendy among locals.
  • Go gaming at Ton Ton Club, a retro arcade bar and restaurant in Westerpark.
  • Take the free ferry to Amsterdam Noord and enjoy the industrial cafes at NDSM.
  • Picnic at the Westerpark and enjoy some local vibes.
  • Indulge in some Dutch food at Restaurant Moeders.
  • Have seafood inside the Westerpark, at Mossel & Gin.
  • Visit a museum in a landmark building, Het Schip.

Best hostel in Westerpark: Cityhub Amsterdam

The Cityhub Amsterdam has an excellent location (near the Westerpark) and beautiful design—modern and super high tech.

Guests here sleep in cabin-like rooms. It has a futuristic look as if you were in a spaceship. Cool!

Besides the design, the atmosphere is also excellent, mostly because the self-service bar in the common area is pretty pleasant.

And because it’s such a nice place to stay in, it doesn’t come as a surprise that their ratings are really high.

Rooms have a king-size bed, iPod docking station, and free WiFi.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com | HostelWorld

Best hotel in Westerpark: Conscious Hotel Westerpark

This pleasant 3-stars hotel is based on a monumental building inside the Westerpark. Yes. You wake up to the sound of birds singing and can go to your morning jog right away. Priceless, isn’t it?

Within a 15-minute walk from the city center, Conscious Hotel’s rooms have a modern decoration, safe, tv, and free WiFi.

Ah, and don’t worry about having restaurants and cafes in the area because you’ll find a few nice ones right at the entrance of the park and on-site. There’s even a movie theater nearby.

If you’re looking for a unique place to stay in Amsterdam, the Conscious Hotel is by far your best option.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com | Hotels Combined

Where to stay in Amsterdam: De Pijp, Jordaan, Westerpark, or Oud Zuid
The gingerbread houses of Amsterdam

Where to stay in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a charming city that, unfortunately, is pretty famous among tourists for its coffee shops and the Red Light District.

That’s really a shame because the city is so much more than that.

The Dutch capital has excellent cafes, restaurants, museums, historic sites, shops, and more.

From the very first time I Bruna set foot in Amsterdam, I was utterly in love with the city.

We both love its architecture and canals, which for us, is one of the prettiest cities in Europe, let alone in the world.

But being such a captivating place also has its downsides—the city is jam-packed with tourists.

Note that Amsterdam is a relatively small city, meaning it doesn’t need thousands of tourists to make it crowded. That’s why choosing the right place to stay in Amsterdam is so important.

To help you find the best hotels in Amsterdam city, we decided to write this practical, down-to-earth hotel guide with lots of local tips.

This way, you can avoid tourists traps and enjoy your trip to Amsterdam much more.

To recap, our favorite hostel is the Cityhub Amsterdam near the Foodhallen. But if you prefer to stay in a hotel, you can’t go wrong with Hotel Atlas Vondelpark.

If you for any reason would like to browse other options, be sure to choose one of the Amsterdam city hotels in Oud Zuid or Westerpark because these areas are fairly calmer than the city center, but are also close enough to many attractions.

Either way, public transportation in Amsterdam is excellent, so if you don’t feel like walking, you can always take a tram to your destination. There are plenty of options to do so!

Amsterdam travel resources

If you’re traveling to Amsterdam, you need travel insurance. No matter the type of traveler you are.

There are no public hospitals and healthcare bills build up pretty fast here.

Once you see trams, bikes, canals, and coffee shops everywhere, you’ll realize that travel insurance is a must in this city where many accidents can happen. (Coming from all directions.)

Click here to get a quote

But to avoid being pickpocketed (travel insurance doesn’t cover that!), you’ll want to have an anti-theft purse with you during the day.

Also, be sure to have a good travel backpack for Europe that will last for many vacations around the world. But if you’re #TeamRollingLuggage, check out our complete guide on backpacks with wheels.

While traveling to Amsterdam, consider going on a day trip too as the country has many cities worth the trip. Giethoorn and Maastricht are our favorite ones.

Oh, and if you’re traveling to the Netherlands during spring, you must visit the Keukenhof Gardens. It’s mesmerizing!

We also wrote a complete itinerary for one day in Amsterdam, but if you have more time in the city, you might want to check out these other itineraries for 2 days in Amsterdam and 3 days in Amsterdam.

We hope we helped you decide where to stay in Amsterdam. Happy travels!

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