Amsterdam Is Heaven On Earth

I first went to Amsterdam in 2006 as part of my big backpacking tour of Europe. It is a rich, exciting and multi-level place. I fell in love with her so much that I stayed a month. Since then, I have been back dozens of times, even conducting tours there for several years. I have explored the nooks and crannies of this compact and historic city.

Famous for its canals, parks, and marijuana, Amsterdam is one of my favorite cities in the world, not for its wild nightlife, but for its beautiful surroundings, multiculturalism (half of its 800,000 residents were not born in the Netherlands) and it vibrates key.

Although it is small, there are still several neighborhoods to choose from, depending on the type of environment you want.

In this post, I’ll break down the various neighborhoods so you can get an idea of ​​which area of ​​the city is best for your stay.

Main questions:

What is the best neighborhood for travelers on a budget?
City Center, Centraal, Centrum… whatever you want to call it, the area around the main train station is a hub of activity and is also loaded with cheap accommodation. Warmoesstraat, on the outer edge of De Wallen, has many hostels.

What is the best neighborhood for families?
Plantage is a lush oasis of calm and is home to a large zoo and science museum.

What’s the best neighborhood for first-time visitors?
De Wallen contains the infamous Red Light District, but also some of the oldest churches in the city, as well as a handful of cultural institutions.

What is the best neighborhood to party in?
Leidseplein and De Wallen have many bars, restaurants, and clubs.

What is the best neighborhood, in general?
Centraal is a lively but convenient option, although I think De Pijp is a great neighborhood too!

So with that, here’s an overview with suggested adaptations for various neighborhoods:

Best Neighborhood for First-Time Visitors: De Wallen
The famous Red Light District at night in Amsterdam, Netherlands

Everyone knows the Red Light District, which is part of De Wallen. But don’t let that overshadow all the wonderful things about this older part of the city. De Wallen is home to the oldest church in Amsterdam, a great craft brewery, and many great cafes and restaurants. You’ll also find the quirky Our Lord in the Attic Museum, a 17th-century canal house converted into a clandestine church.

Best places to stay in De Wallen

BUDGET: Durty Nelly’s Inn: This is your classic fun backpacker hostel. It is small, cozy, and inexpensive. The beds are decent and each comes with its own reading light and power outlet. The staff is very knowledgeable and there is also a hearty breakfast. Given its location, it is a party hostel.
MID RANGE: Hotel Swisshôtel Amsterdam – Housed in a beautiful 19th-century red brick building on Dam Square, this pleasant property features soundproof windows, pillow menu, Frette bedding, and Nespresso coffee machines.
LUXURY: Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky – The 451 rooms at this luxurious hotel across from the Royal Palace feature muted natural tones, hardwood floors, oversized plasma TVs, and in some cases stunning views. The hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant, The White Room, serves Dutch food with a global twist.

Best neighborhood for budget travelers: Centraal / Centrum
The bustling center of the Central district of Amsterdam, Netherlands

I like to define the Amsterdam Centrum as the area within the Singel Canal to the west and south and De Wallen to the east. A local might not define it that way, but for a traveler, that works. In the center, you will find Dam Square, the Centraal train station, a lot of museums and a lot of shops. It is the center of sightseeing tours and locals alike, so it can get quite crowded.

Best Places to Stay in Centraal / Centrum

BUDGET: The Flying Pig Downtown – Known for its fun and bustling atmosphere, Flying Pig is a three-minute walk from the main train station and has dormitories of various sizes (accommodating 4-32 budget-minded travelers). The bar hosts fun events, including DJ nights.
MID-RANGE: Park Plaza Victoria – Egyptian bedding, showers, in-room coffee and tea, great views – these are some of the nice perks that guests get at this hotel, housed in a 19th-century neoclassical building. Central Station.
LUXURY: Eric Vökel Suites – All suites have fully equipped kitchens, blackout blinds, and the great amenities you would expect from this luxury-level accommodation, just steps from the main train station. Some also have incredible views of the city.

Best neighborhood for art lovers: Museum Quarter
One of the many historical museums in the Museum Quarter of Amsterdam, Netherlands.

If you like art, this is a no-brainer. The most famous art museums are located here in the Museumplein, as the locals call it: the Van Gough Museum, the Stedelijk museum of contemporary art (which resembles a giant bathtub), and the legendary Rijksmuseum, which is home to “The Night Watch” by Rembrandt, Vermeer “The Milkmaid” and hundreds of other Dutch masterpieces. Be sure to spend some time strolling through Vandolpark, a large park perfect for picnics and lounging.

The Best Places To Stay In The Museum Quarter

BUDGET: Van Gogh Hostel – Conveniently located in the heart of the Museum Quarter, this Van Gogh-inspired hostel has art murals, spacious and uncluttered dorms, and mixed and female-only rooms.


MIDDLE RANGE: Max Brown Museum Square – Rooms here have many natural hues, as well as offering some great unique perks, like daily bread delivery from local bakeries. Max Brown puts it up a notch for a mid-range hotel.

LUXURY: Conservatorium Hotel – This former conservatory housed in a gigantic neo-Gothic building is the epitome of Dutch luxury. The 129 rooms have great views, some have loft beds, with rainfall showers, hardwood floors, and superlative perks. Other amenities include free bike rentals, a state-of-the-art indoor pool, and a yoga studio.

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