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First trip to Amsterdam...things to do, and any hotels for around $175 a night?

Hi, I am going to Amsterdam for the first time in early May. Are there any hotels you can recommend that are close to all the main attractions for around $175-$200 max? I've noticed hotels are pretty pricey, is it better to stay in the outskirts and come into town everyday, or is it not worth the extra travel time since I will only be there 3 nights?
Also, any suggestions of what I should do/see while I am there would be great!
Thank you!

Posted by
5 posts

The first time we visited we stayed at a hotel called Museumzicht, very close to the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum (both of which are must-sees if you're into art). The Museumzicht hotel was about $130 last time we checked a couple of years ago, and we've also stayed a couple of times on houseboats we found on homeaway.com--both of which were fun experiences. In addition to the art museums, the Anne Frank museum is a must. Amsterdam is one of those cities where the city itself is the attraction so take a boat ride and enjoy strolling wherever your feet take you, including an eye-opening walk through the red light district!

Posted by
8924 posts

Check the Avenue Hotel or the RHO Hotel. Both are three star hotels in your price range. Centrally located in the Dam Square Centraal Station area. Don't stay in the outskirts, the hotel are much cheaper but the are located in very sterile corporate park type areas.

Posted by
1804 posts

Definitely not worth the time or additional money spent on transit going back and forth when everything you want to see is contained within a fairly compact city. Last May at the beginning and end of a trip to the Netherlands, I stayed at Hotel D'Amsterdam Leidsesquare (airport bus stop about 3 blocks away, hotel is right near Leidseplein, Vondelpark and easily walkable to many of the large museums such as the Rijks and VanGogh) and I also stayed at The Times Hotel (located right on one of the main canals just on the edge of the Jordaan neighborhood and very close to The 9 Streets district and the Anne Frank House). Got decent deals on both hotels - one by using Booking.com and the other reserving direct through their website. You could also consider a private room in a hostel, like Cocomama (which also has 2 bed dorm rooms if you just want something in a good neighborhood that is convenient, cheap and clean).

Hard to suggest on what you should do if you don't specify what your specific interests are. If you are a museum person, there are a ton of them spanning just about anything you could think of (traditional Dutch masters, modern art, photography, Dutch Resistance/WW2, prostitution, purses & handbags, cats, fluorescent "art", historic canal homes, etc.). If you like to shop, there are areas like The Nine Streets with loads of small boutiques and there is also a number of outdoor markets scattered around the city. There are lots of brown cafes if you just want to pull up a chair and have a drink while you people watch. And if you want to see Amsterdam from the water or by bicycle, there are lots of options to do that. Depending on the weather (I would not buy tickets in advance - last May it rained nearly every day and was still pretty cold on a lot of days), there is also a visit to Keukenhof Gardens which is a day trip outside of Amsterdam. The Gardens will be open during your early May visit, but I would not bother with making the trip out there if the weather was not sunny.

Posted by
30 posts

Thank you all for the great hotel recommendations, unfortunately every single one of them is booked for the weekend I am going to be there (May 2-5). I hope others recommend more hotels if not I may have to go way outside my price range.

Posted by
2081 posts

Ana,

If nothing is opening up for you in town, check out the CitizenM hotel Amsterdam. There is one near the airport too.

The one in Amsterdam is near tram #2 and its the first stop from Schiphol. I think its Zuid Station and about 2 blocks from it.

happy trails.

Posted by
8924 posts

I just plugged your dates into a couple travel sites, and sadly there is literally nothing available in your price range left:(
If you want to stay in the center you'll have to increase your budget to $250 a night. If that's not an option you'll have to stay in the outskirts and commute :( In that scenario I would go with the Novotel near the RAI convention center.
Is there any way you can rearrange you itinerary and visit Amsterdam during the week. Hotel rates in Amsterdam are cheaper mid-week.

Posted by
266 posts

Try Marcel's Creative Exchange in the heart of Amsterdam. It is a wonderful B&B, under your price range and perfect for someone traveling alone. 3 of us stayed there last May and we loved the experience and Marcel!

Posted by
1804 posts

There are a couple festivals and big events going on around the dates you mention, so no doubt many hotels are booked or have raised their prices accordingly. Did you look at Airbnb? There are plenty of things at the $200 and under range - from private rooms to studios or 1 bedroom apartments. Focus your search in neighborhoods like De Pijp, Jordaan or Museumkwartier and you will easily be able to get around on foot or by tram to major sightseeing and enjoy plenty of good restaurants, shopping and nightlife. Booking.com is showing Hotel RobertRamon Leidsesquare in your price range for those dates. I know when I was looking for a hotel last year in May I had wanted to book a room there as a friend recommended it, it got pretty good reviews and it was near a lot of the major museums, unfortunately, one of my nights was not available so I booked Hotel d'Amsterdam instead. The street RobertRamon is located on is pretty swanky - lot of high end designer stores (like Chanel) around there and it is very close to the Rijksmuseum, VanGogh, etc. but also close enough to walk to more low-key budget friendly shopping and eating in places like the De Pijp neighborhood.

Posted by
30 posts

I figured something may be going on since everything is booked. Do you know what events or festivals there are? I may want to check them out while I'm there. Still haven't booked anything, I am looking at everyone's suggestions though, thank you so much.

Posted by
266 posts

Kings Day is April 26, National Remembrance Day May 4, and Liberation Day May 5th. We were there last year at that time and there was also a football final and concert on the Amstel River. So many people in town but just delightful! The museums were especially crowded as the Degas and Rijks had just reopened after renovations.

Posted by
657 posts

You can see if the Eelhouse has availability. The very nice B&B is located in the Jordaan, very near the Anne Frank house. A great breakfast is included, as is a small frig stocked with wine, beer, juice and water that is replenished every day free of charge. In November we paid 90 euro for a double ensuite. We really enjoyed our stay there. http://www.eelhouse.eu/

Posted by
2 posts

Ana,
You might want to try

Hotel Trianon, Jan Willem Brouwersstraat 3-7 ,1071 LH Amsterdam, Tel. +31 20 673 20 73, http://www.amsterdam.info/hotel-trianon/
which is just behind the Concertgebouw and very near the Museumplein and the #5 Tram Line. Ask about the specific room as it has some quirky rooms, like bunk beds in the doubles. . .

or

West Side Inn, Voorburgstraat 250, 1059 VD Amsterdam, Tel +31-204108001, res@westsideinn.nl, http://www.westsideinn.nl,
which is a bit further away, a bit West of Vondelpark near the #2 Tram Line.

I have not stayed in either of these hotels, but they both seem to be available for the dates you are in Amsterdam. Staying nearer the centre of town during these dates is tough at even a higher price as other people have indicated in this thread.

Best With Your Travels,
A Friend From Santa Fe

Posted by
91 posts

Hi Anna,
We will be in Amsterdam during May timeframe too this year.
You can try airbnb.com, homeaway.com or vrbo.com where you could potentially find apartments. It is defintely better to stay within the city given the 3 nights time frame.
For what to see and do will depend on your interests but here are some ideas:
1) Anne Frank if u've read the book.
2) Museums: Rijskmuseum, Van Gogh, Dutch Resistance
3) Canal boat ride
4) Eat Indonesian and Surinamese food.
5) Visit different neighborhoods-De Pijp, Ledeisplien, Jordaan, Red Light District etc
4) In The Hague(side trip): Maurituis Museum, Madurodam(Miniature Holland), M.C. Escher Museum
5) Haarlem: Ten Boom Museum

Posted by
2 posts

FYI the Maurits Huis (my favorite museum) is closed till June due to a two year restoration project. A lot of the masters are now housed, for the time being, in the Gemeente Museum in the Hague. After the museum you should go to Delft to view the scenes 'live' what you just saw in the paintings!
I will be in A'dam at the same time also :)

Posted by
17 posts

Have you considered AirBnB or Flipkey? Not hotels, but more likely to find something available. And you can have more space, if you do find something. (a home/boat vs. a hotel room). Good luck!

Jill

Posted by
711 posts

Hi Anna...The reason everything is packed is that it is tulip time. Hotels that we normally stay in Are booked a year or more ahead of time for April and May. Most hotels in the medium price range raise their rates much higher during this time frame. Try the Hotel Fita and the Wiechmann.Both will be higher than usual but you can try.The Wiechmann has a lot of steps.