We only have 3 days in Amsterdam. What is the most centralized location to stay to see all the sights and museums? We will not have a car.
Anywhere along the canal belts or near the museumplein itself would be a good location. Trams are plentiful throughout Amsterdam so you can easily reach sites that are farther from where you stay. Amsterdam is very walkable with most places you would want to visit not more than a 45 minute walk.
We stayed here for a week and were able to walk everywhere except to the Keukenhof gardens. The apartment is on a canal with a windmill in view. The walk is about 10 minutes away from the Anne Frank House in a beautiful, flower filled area along the canals.
Good thing you don't have a car In Amsterdam . You saved yourself a major headache . Traffic is badly congested , plus many bicycles and pedestrians and no place to park . Public transport is the way to go !
You do not want a car in Amsterdam. But I highly recommend you rent a bike if you are able to ride. There are bike rentals everywhere (MacBike, Blackbikes) and on a bike you can get from one side of the city to the other in 15 minutes. You can keep the bikes for several days (they give you locks that are very easy to use) and lock them outside your residence. But even without a bike, you can walk around the city quite easily, and catch the tram for longer routes if needed (which I do from Central station to the outer rings, where I like to stay and rent a bike). I would stay anywhere in the outer rings. Near Vondelpark is nice, anywhere around the Jordaan area (the area surrounding the Anne Frank house) is beautiful but more expensive, and even further out than the Rijks wouldn't put you too far away (or north of the city for that matter). I wouldn't stay near the actual center (the "red light district"), mostly because its more trafficked and dirty. I like to ride a bike into the center for sites like the Old Church in the Attic (highly recommend) or the Oude Kerk. Really, it is so easy to get around. Its much smaller than Paris, or San Francisco, or Seattle. And remember, the order of right-of way is bikes, then pedestrians and last is cars. If you're walking, watch for bikes.
We airbnb'd in the De Pijp area - it was 5 min on the tram to Rijks/Van Gogh (tram was a one min walk)...and prob the same to the outer canal - they were doing road work at the time, but were almost finished when we left, and looks like the tram will hook up and run right to the canal, so prob another 5 min - it was about a 10-15 min walk. Tons of bakeries and restaurants!
Here is one good discussion of Amsterdam neighborhoods: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g188590-c156882/Amsterdam:The-Netherlands:Where.To.Stay.In.Amsterdam.html
and here is another: http://www.eurocheapo.com/amsterdam/hoods/
Depends on your budget-what is it? Also what time of year are you traveling? Amsterdam is relatively small and the transportation is very good so almost any part of the city is accessible and the center is very easy to walk around. As long as you stay near a metro or tram line or even in a part of Amsterdam Noord serviced by the free ferry it will be very easy for you to get around. The museum district is a good suggestion since it fits your criteria and is beautiful but it is one of the city's more expensive neighborhoods. And it's true that you did the smart thing by not having a car! Amsterdam is a bike city.