Hotels in Amsterdam

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Visiting Amsterdam

Dominated by waterways, cafés and culture, Amsterdam is a contradictory city specialising in laid-back vibes and high art. Amsterdam takes art seriously, and with good reason given its native son Vincent Van Gogh produced some of the greatest works of the last century, many of which can be visited in the Museum in his honour. Getting around, either on two wheels or by canal, you’ll discover the relaxed pace which draws you into relaxation mode, and that’s long before you come to a famous brown café for a beer. Rich in classical music and 17th Century architecture, but somehow firmly modern, Amsterdam is a unique haven.

Hotels in Amsterdam

Amsterdam might be a laid-back place, but it isn’t lackadaisical when it comes to luxury accommodation. Five-star hotels in Amsterdam can be found throughout the city, with a number clustered around Dam Square which offer the pillow menus and hypo-allergenic bedding which you’d hope to find in the most elite locations. With free WiFi and flat-screen televisions, most of the top-end hotels will also offer coffee and tea making facilities. Many of the five-star hotels will have on-site spas and fitness centers, as well as offering business and conference facilities, whether they’re a well-known luxury chain or a one-off independent guest house.

Where to stay in Amsterdam – Popular areas

Amsterdam hotels come in a huge range of varieties. From luxury accommodation, quaint guesthouses, self-catered and houseboats, the choice is almost endless. And that’s where we can help. At Hotels.com we do our best to help you find where to stay in Amsterdam. Through an excellent search function that narrows down choices via location and budget, you will be provided with the perfect hotels in Amsterdam.

The Old Centre

The Old Centre is, as its name suggests, close to the centre and most attractions are easily walkable from here. In addition it is close to some of the liveliest bars and main shopping areas. Full of low budget hotels, many a deal can be snapped up here.

Grachtengordel West

To the west is Grachtengordel West, situated on some of the small canal ways. Many of these hotels have serene waterside views and a quiet atmosphere. For some cheap Amsterdam accommodation, head to one of the busiest streets, Raadhuisstraat. Grachtengordel South also offers plenty of budget options but is closer to a large number of clubs and bars being situated near Leidsplein.

The Jordaan

If you wish to remove yourself from the tourist scene then we highly recommend finding somewhere to stay in The Jordaan. This area is removed from the main tourist beat but nevertheless has plenty of options when it comes to eateries and places to drink. One of the prettiest canals meanders through this area and you are looking at an easy 15-minute walk from your hotel before you are back in the main buzz.

The Old Jewish Quarter

The last area is by far the least touristy – The Old Jewish Quarter. Not many tourists stay here which is evidenced by the lack of restaurants. For those that wish for a quiet night, this is the place for you and even better, it’s just a short tram right back into the main attractions.

Things to see and do in Amsterdam

Best traversed on foot to fully appreciate its charm, most attractions are easily accessible in this fashion. Of course there are the plethora of museums displaying a huge range of artists and their work. Notable among these are the Rijksmuseum, Stedelijk Museum and the Van Gogh Museum, all found in the aptly named Museum District.

For the shoppers out there, the small canals and streets surrounding them are filled with niche craftsmen and women who have a range of small shops and cafes selling their wares. Some of the recommended streets include Leliegracht, Egelantiersgracht and Brouwergracht. For some more upmarket shopping Hooftstraat has some of the top of the line brands such as Gucci and Armani for those of you with a bigger budget.

Where and what to eat in Amsterdam

Amsterdam’s restaurants are hugely diverse and offer a wide range of international cuisines. However, if you are like us, we prefer to try something of the local cuisine. There are a number of great restaurants dotted about the city that will serve roasts, mustard soup, wild boar, and even deer pate. For vegetarians, there are many veggie options as well. Dutch pancakes are very much a must try. These come with a variety of toppings such as ham and cheese, apple, cherry and more. There are some strange combinations on offer as well such as bacon and bananas or chicory and raspberry if you are feeling a little adventurous.

Hollandse Nieuwe or raw herring is a must try particularly if you like fish. Served with raw onions and gherkins, it may not be the best food to take for a first date but it definitely tastes delicious. Sometimes packed into a convenient sandwich, this can be found almost anywhere in Amsterdam but particularly at the street stalls.

The entertainingly named Stroopwafel is a treat for those with a sweet tooth. It’s basically two waffles with a layer of sweet syrup or ‘stroop’ slathered between them, and it was developed in the early 18th century. Poffertjes are fat baby pancakes served with butter and sugar. These can be found during the winter months at numerous outdoor stands on a little paper plate.

Snacks are in abundance, and the kroket – a deep fried ragout with breadcrumbs – is particularly delicious. Coming in a multitude of flavours from chicken satay to shrimp and goulash it usually comes with mustard and can even be served as part of a sandwich. The favourite snack of the Dutch, Bitterballen can be found in every café and bar as it pairs well with beer. Comprising of little meatballs in a crunch breadcrumb coat, they are served with mustard – like almost everything else is in Holland – even including the French fries.

Other foods to look out for are the various Dutch cheeses and the endless types of liquorice that is available.

Weather & seasonality - When to visit Amsterdam

With the high season in the summer, the best time to visit for most people is just before or after. April and May or September to November is some of the best times to go. The temperature may not be as hot as those middle summer months, but it is nice and mild and of course there are less tourists.

The spring months show Amsterdam at its best. The tulips are in full bloom at this time. As with many European countries, summer doesn’t necessarily guarantee the best weather, and Amsterdam is notorious for erratic and changeable weather conditions. For those of you that don’t mind a colder temperature, winter can be perfect. Often below zero, the streets are empty of tourists and Amsterdam accommodation is going to be significantly cheaper.

However, whichever month you choose to visit, Amsterdam is always busy, full of fun festivals throughout the year. With more than 300 festivals in a single year there is bound to be something on, but if there is something specific in mind it is well worth checking out the calendar and planning accordingly.

Travelling around Amsterdam

Most international visitors will come in via Schiphol Airport, which is a few miles to the south of Amsterdam. There are numerous methods to get from here to the centre of the city and these include an excellent bus service that, through the use of bus lanes, only takes half an hour. There is also a train service that links to the city as well as international rail networks for those planning a trip further afield later on. The latter is Centraal Station and is connected to cities such as Paris and many other European cities.

Once in Amsterdam itself though, there is an impressive range of options. From buses, trams, trains and metros to ferries and bicycles, there is an unlimited set of options. For visitors there is the option of an Iamsterdam City Card that offers unlimited use of the GVB public transport systems for 24, 48 or 72 hours and also offers free entrance to a number of top attractions. There are also convenient one-day cards or even one-hour passes that can be purchased in advance.

Amsterdam is also notoriously flat which makes cycling relatively easy. You can either rent a bike and traverse the city yourself, or join a guided cycle tour to take in the sights. We highly recommend taking a bike for at least a day as it is one of the best ways to see the city in all its beauty plus you look like a local while doing it. Make sure to read up on road safety rules and pay attention to which side of the road you should be on.

Amsterdam Travel Guides & Things To Do

Read about other things to do in Amsterdam