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Where to stay in Amsterdam - Central or Museum

My husband and I will be in Amsterdam for a few days mid October.
I'm overwhelmed trying to sift through books and websites for a place to stay.

We usually like to stay in walkable places - small hotels & B&Bs.

We plan to take in Dam square, markets, museums - lots of walking.

The Newmarkt area reads nicely - Can someone recommend a nice hotel/B&B ?
Or another central area where the bridges and canals are pretty?

Thanks VERY much.

Posted by
4370 posts

We really liked Hotel Brouwer. It's modest, but very clean and well priced with a nice breakfast. All rooms overlook a canal! It's very centrally located. The rooms are named after Dutch artists. We had the very large, corner Van Gogh room and were quite happy.

Posted by
745 posts

I've stayed at Hotel Brouwer, too. Great location.
It is currently under reconstruction....estimated reopen spring 2019.

Although I have yet to do this, "The Pros" often suggest staying in Harlem (10 minutes by train) rather than central Amsterdam - the "logic" being....fewer tourists, less crowded, lower hotel and restaurant costs.
Next time, I'll give that a spin.

Posted by
1199 posts

Im not a fan of the central area (too touristy and crowded for me). I prefer the outer rings or beyond. The Jordaan/9 streets area is a very nice area to walk: "bridges and canals are pretty" (south/southwest of Central station, in the rings). The museum area is nice too. The Leidseplein area (just north/northwest of the Rijks) can get crowded (there is a square with bars, lots of restaurants), but its a small area and within 3 blocks you are away from it. Amsterdam is relatively small and has trams running regularly up and down the spines, so you will be close enough to everything no matter which area you choose. All of Amsterdam is walkable - its just much more compact than say Paris or Rome. I cant remember how much the Tram is; 1 euro+. Take a look at a tram map to get a sense of where the numbers run (tram 24, or tram 17, for example). Have fun--

Posted by
166 posts

I really like the RHO Hotel adjacent to Dam Square. Perfect location, nice staff and included buffet breakfast. They also have an elevator should you need that. I have stayed there 3 different times, and always a good experience. Last time was August of 2017.
Also if you like Chinese food, Golden Chopsticks is a 10 minute walk. Very good food at a reasonable price.

Also love Rene's Croissants right down the street. Incredible pastries

Have a good time

Posted by
2328 posts

I loved staying in the Museum district last year at the Hotel Piet Hein, borders on one end of Vondelpark and thus quiet at night, lovely neighborhood feel and plenty of food and drink in the immediate area. I easily used the Airport bus, also close to trams so maybe 5-10 minutes to most sights.

Posted by
4370 posts

Thanks Blue. That's unfortunate, it will probably become more expensive.

Posted by
7980 posts

We prefer Central Canal Ring with it’s traditional look and Jordan as locations to stay. We love the museums but would not care to stay in that area.

Posted by
1236 posts

I am in Amsterdam right now and I would wholeheartedly recommend not staying anywhere near the central section. It is so crowded right now anytime you get close to Dam. I’m staying in the De Pijp neighborhood and I love it there, but I would also concur with the recommendations for Jordaan or Vondelpark.

As others have noted, Amsterdam is so small that you can get anywhere very quickly either by walking or using the tram. You do not need to stay in the central section to feel like you are a part of the city. Seriously, the closer I get to the center, the more claustrophobic I feel. And I am not claustrophobic, which tells you something about the crowds. 😊

Posted by
5 posts

Everyone -
Thanks very much for all of your prompt, generous responses - so appreciated!
I'll post what I end up with.
Best Regards!

Posted by
1353 posts

We've stayed in Haarlem with our then 11 y/o and we've also stayed at Hotel Brouwer. This year we will be there at the end of June so I opted for a place with A/C. We're booked at the INK Hotel which is about half way between central station and Dam Square, on a Main Street, but not the Main Street between those 2 locations. It gets pretty good reviews. I am happy to post a review here after our stay, but that may make it too late for you to make a decision:)

Posted by
380 posts

There is a new hotel in Haarlem centrally located with breakfast @ 118 euro/night for two people. Niu Dairy.
From your description, you might like Haarlem better for walking, bridges and canals.
We're foodies, so we chose Chasse Hotel in Amsterdam. It is within walking distance to the Food Hallen and close to the restaurants in the Jordaan District. Can easily take the tram to the museums. Superior room w/o breakfast for 5 nights was 825 euro total.
Book as soon as you can. Hotels go fast in Amsterdam.

You might like this link about walks in Amsterdam.

Posted by
3239 posts

We stayed at the Marriott near the museums and bought the days pass on the boat which docks at the Rijksmuseum.

Posted by
2927 posts

I've stayed in the Dam section of Amsterdam, on the harbor and in Haarlem on previous trips. I found Haarlem inconvenient. We visited Amsterdam again this past March and stayed at the Hotel Fita in the Museumplein. It is on a quiet side street, easily accessible to the trams and Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh, Moco and Stedilijk. Also, there is an airport bus that drops you less than two blocks from the hotel. They have the best breakfast included in the pancakes and eggs I think I have ever had! It is away from the crowds in a neighborhood setting, yet close to everything in the museum section by walking a block, and the rest of the city via tram (or walking). The owners are very upbeat and helpful. There is even a small elevator.

Posted by
5494 posts

Hotel Vondel in the museum district. 1 block from the bus stop for the airport express bus. 1 block from the tram.

Posted by
3713 posts

I'll be staying at the Herengracht 21 Bed and Breakfast before and after the RS Best of Scandinavia tour that begins 10 June. I'll be in the Canal Room. I learned about this B&B from a post on this forum.

This is far more central than the apartment near Vondelpark where my husband and I spent a week in 2013. I hope I won't encounter anything that will make me regret staying so close to the train station.

Based on our experience, the tram and bus system is great until the tram you planned to take doesn't show up and after waiting seemingly forever you finally realize that the line is being worked on.

I must complement the tram and bus drivers. One of the former let us ride down to the train station to get tickets when we learned that what we read about buying them on the tram was incorrect. And in the dilemma described above, one of the latter diverted from his route and took us as close to our apartment as he could get in his bus.

Posted by
3936 posts

We stayed at an airbnb in the De Pijp area - it was actually great because there were tons of restaurants, we were only a minute walk to the tram that was about 4-5 stops from Museumplein (abt 5 min), and there seemed to be a tram line going in (finishing construction when we were there - not sure if new or being repaired) that went right to the first of the canals and maybe beyond.