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Hotels & location in Amsterdam

First trip outside of a few hours layover in Amsterdam this July. They'll be two of us there and we'd like a central location so we can reach museums, tourist areas, etc.; not pricey but not dirt cheap; clean & breakfast would be great too! We may take one day and go to the countryside and Haarlem too. Any suggestions on neighborhoods for hotels or names of places you enjoyed staying? Not thinking right by train station but more near museums, shops, restaurants and other sites. Thinking not over $150 range if possible?

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I like the Jordaan area, or the Leidseplein area; basically outside the center of town, which I find unappealing, and in the "outer rings", sort of between center and Vondelpark. Trams are very easy and efficient to get you up and down the 'spines' of the canal rings (like to and from the train station). I dont stay in hotels so I dont have a recommendation, but am just posting to suggest the outer rings for your search. AMS is very easy to navigate, even on foot, bc of its relatively small size and the trams. So access to Haarlem via Centraal station will not be a problem no matter where you are.