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What are the best neighborhoods in Amsterdam?

I'm going to Amsterdam for a week of business, but will have a lot of free time to take in city. I'd like to stay near the cool/hip restaurants, bars, clubs, etc. Can you please recommend some of the neighborhoods which will let me see and feel Amsterdam like a local? Any hotel recommendations in those areas would be great too!


8 Answers

top answer by
Sabine from Amsterdam

Sorry, but I have to disagree with most people here! You say you want to experience Amsterdam like a local, then skip most of the places the others mention.

The neighborhood behind Museumplein is Amsterdam Oud-Zuid. On Museumplein itself you will ONLY find tourists, but in Amsterdam Oud-Zuid is where most rich people if the city live. Go to streets like Willemsparkweg, Valeriusstraat, Koninginneweg etc. Still not my favorite neighborhood though. 

The East and West part of town are really upcoming. 

In the East part go to Beukenplein, there are great bars and restaurants where you will only find locals. Try Bar BukowskiHenry's Bar(best cocktails in town), Smokin' Barrels (lobster and burgers) and de Biertuin (best burgers and chicken in a beergarden kind of setting). But also walk a bit further east to Javastraat. This immigrant neighborhood is getting better and better everyday. New (coffee)bars and boutiques open every week! 

If you want to go out in this part of town go to Canvas op de 7e. It is in the Volkshotel on the 7th floor and you got some really nice views. It is also a restaurant, then turns to a (cocktail)bar and in weekends even later it becomes a club. 

A good hotel in East is Hotel Arena! Check it out here

In westpart of town you should definitely go to Foodhallen! Kind of a modern foodcourt with great food and (mostly) hip people. It is packed every night. There is an hotel there: Hotel De Hallenwhich I heard was also nice. This part of town has also some nice new bars and restaurants like Fier AmsterdamVan T SpitSpaghetteria Amsterdam Westand Bar Brouw(there is also one in the east part at Beukenplein). 

Aso Jordaan and De Pijp are nice neighborhoods, but are getting more and more touristy. 

Have fun!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Museumplein (attraction)
  2. Amsterdam Oud-Zuid (attraction)
  3. Willemsparkweg (attraction)
  4. Valeriusstraat (attraction)
  5. Koninginneweg (attraction)
  6. Beukenplein (attraction)
  7. Bar Bukowski (restaurant)
  8. Henry's Bar (restaurant)
  9. Smokin' Barrels (restaurant)
  10. de Biertuin (attraction)
  11. Javastraat (attraction)
  12. Canvas op de 7e (attraction)
  13. Volkshotel (hotel)
  14. Hotel Arena (attraction)
  15. Foodhallen (restaurant)
  16. Hotel De Hallen (hotel)
  17. Fier Amsterdam (attraction)
  18. Van T Spit (restaurant)
  19. Spaghetteria Amsterdam West (restaurant)
  20. Bar Brouw (restaurant)
  21. Jordaan (attraction)
  22. De Pijp (attraction)
10 thankscomments (6)

answered by
Spencer from Los Angeles

There are a lot of great hoods I love in Amsterdam, including Jordaan and Museumplein (if you do nothing else, go to House of Bols, the Cocktail & Genever Experience, one of my favorite cocktail/distillery experiences in the world), but I'm going with Eric for Nieuwmarkt, since it's really so vibrant and has a ton of great cafes, bars, hotels. One of the hotels I really remember being nice includes Mövenpick Hotel Amsterdam City Centre, one of my favorite European hotel brands, and art'otel amsterdam

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Jordaan (attraction)
  2. Museumplein (attraction)
  3. House of Bols, the Cocktail & Genever Experience (attraction)
  4. Nieuwmarkt (attraction)
  5. Mövenpick Hotel Amsterdam City Centre (restaurant)
  6. art'otel amsterdam (attraction)
6 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Virginia from Amsterdam

I'd recommend to explore the different places in the WesterparkDe Bakkerswinkel for breakfast/brunch (great scones!), Mossel & Gin for (guess!) great mussel dishes and gt's, Westergasterras Restaurant/cafe/terras for pre- or post-dinner snacks and drinks. Or take the ferry from Centraal Station, Amsterdam or Tasmanstraat to NDSM. Apart from a huge flea market at the IJ-Hallen the upcoming weekend, you can have lunch or dinner at Noorderlicht, very nice example of a converted industrial building. They have a lawn in front overlooking the IJ. Great for a sunny afternoon or drinks at sunset. Enjoy!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Westerpark (attraction)
  2. De Bakkerswinkel (restaurant)
  3. Mossel & Gin (restaurant)
  4. Westergasterras Restaurant/cafe/terras (restaurant)
  5. Centraal Station, Amsterdam (attraction)
  6. Tasmanstraat (attraction)
  7. NDSM (attraction)
  8. IJ-Hallen (attraction)
  9. Noorderlicht (attraction)
4 thankscomments (2)

answered by
jurriaan from Amsterdam

Check out my neighborhood De Pijp - which has the biggest street market (daily except Sundays at Albert Cuypstraat) where you can try local snacks like 'poffertjes' and 'stroopwafels'. Have a coffee at De Wasserette or Hutspot Amsterdam. The restaurant scene is huge here - my favorites are Oolong Restaurant & Cocktail Bar (asian) and L'Ozio (italian) and fa. pekelhaaring. Bar scene is a nice mix of hipster and preppy - the latter especially on weekends. Enjoy!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. De Pijp (attraction)
  2. Albert Cuypstraat (attraction)
  3. De Wasserette (restaurant)
  4. Hutspot Amsterdam (attraction)
  5. Oolong Restaurant & Cocktail Bar (restaurant)
  6. L'Ozio (restaurant)
  7. fa. pekelhaaring (restaurant)
3 thanks

answered by

Hey JR,

2 options: stay in an Amsterdam airbnb/hotel or with us in Utrecht ;-)!

Send a message, we still owe you a lunch...

1) de nieuwe kerk: is the old central area of Amsterdam, though quite touristy and loud. Though a lot of smaller restaurants and good bars on the square itself.

2) Jordaan: a whole lot of real Dutch people and places, an area where most pictures of Amsterdam originate from! This area has all the hip restaurants and bars and shopping you need.

Both areas are great to just walk around in and see.

3) Though perhaps you noticed NYTimes top 10 hippest places to be in the world, which would let you go to Amsterdam-Noord, the north part of Amsterdam which used to be the prisoners side of the Ij-river, later industry and workers homes. Now being more the berlin/new york style bars and restaurants.

4) Zuid-Oost, the more uptown area, bit further out, also a lot to eat and drink. More up markety prices as well.

you mostly want to stay around the canals area, but def not outside the highway ring A10. Though the middle of town around the Dam Square to train station you need to avoid at all costs. Way overpriced, dirty and smelling and way too many drunk b...s and r......s going shopping and for the prostitution!

Hotels you of course should use Brooklyn Hotel in north is pretty cool and well worth the money, though in north, so not such easy access to the busy a'dam streets and life.

We'll have to meet and take you to north to show and go to my favorite restaurant Hotel De Goudfazant (no hotel).

More hotels are the Radisson Blu Hotel Amsterdam, around the corner from Nieuwmarkt. If you want luxury, a friend always stays in the Hotel Okura Amsterdam, but he's in the business, so gets a deal, you too? And a couple of good hotels around the Vondelpark(Amsterdam's central park).

Everyone agree or have more ideas?


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Amsterdam (city)
  2. Utrecht (city)
  3. de nieuwe kerk (attraction)
  4. Jordaan (attraction)
  5. Amsterdam-Noord (neighborhood)
  6. Zuid-Oost (attraction)
  7. Dam Square (attraction)
  8. Brooklyn Hotel (hotel)
  9. Hotel De Goudfazant (restaurant)
  10. Radisson Blu Hotel Amsterdam (hotel)
  11. Nieuwmarkt (attraction)
  12. Hotel Okura Amsterdam (hotel)
  13. Vondelpark (attraction)
3 thankscomments (5)

answered first by
Eric from Netherlands

Nieuwmarkt, the true center of Amsterdam. No doubt about it! As former resident, I would even be willing to guide you during your stay!

Save Travels, Eric

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Nieuwmarkt (attraction)
3 thanks

answered by
Robert from Eindhoven

I agree with Juriaan about De Pijp. When I was living in Amsterdam from 2006 up to 2008, I always went to the bars in this area. Behind the Heineken Experience you find the Heineken square, around the Albert Cuypmarkt you'll find some nice bars too.

If you would like to go to a different market, go to visit the Dappermarkt in Amsterdam Oost. You can go there by taking tram line 9 and get off at Oosterpark. National Geographic has called it the number 3 market of Europe several years back.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. De Pijp (attraction)
  2. Heineken Experience (attraction)
  3. Albert Cuypmarkt (attraction)
  4. Dappermarkt (attraction)
  5. Oosterpark (attraction)
2 thanks

answered by
Sam from Atlanta

I really enjoyed Zeeburg and the Brouwerij 't IJ, a nearby brewery on the docklands. It's a nice, quiet part of the city that clean and is accessible to trams.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Brouwerij 't IJ (attraction)
1 thanks

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