Find the best place to stay in Amsterdam

Finding the best place to stay in Amsterdam can be a challenge. This city of mine has so many wonderful options when it comes to accommodations that it can be a bit overwhelming. From super traditional to super funky, from hotels to apartments, and from rooms on land to rooms on the water, we’ve got it all.

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part of the iamsterdam sign at the airport

What to know about Amsterdam hotel prices

There are more and more questions coming in about hotels in Amsterdam so I’m creating this post to help you get a better idea of what to expect when it comes to accommodation.

I’m going to be straight with you, “budget”, especially when it comes to hotels, means sometimes a little different around here. Amsterdam is a very popular city with very limited space, so that means prices go up!


What to expect

To help you get an idea of prices, I’ll be giving examples of rates for the summer time in a comfortable double room for 2 people with a private bathroom. Obviously, these may go up during major events, or on the weekend, and definitely go down for the lower seasons. Please double-check prices for yourself before you book!

Hostels are the go-to for cheaper places to stay in Amsterdam and pretty much anywhere in the world. However, they aren’t as cheap here as they are everywhere else. This just isn’t the most budget-friendly city. Expect mixed-dorms to start around 40E and go up from there for private rooms.

My best general hotel-finding tips are to look outside of the center of Amsterdam but near public transportation. Google maps can help with this, but so can booking.com.

Keep in mind that the tourist tax for accommodations is 7% + €3 per day. So don’t be surprised if you see that on your bill!

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Major events that will impact hotel prices in Amsterdam

  • King’s Day (April 27) is a huge national holiday where everyone wears orange and parties by the canal. Read more about this crazy-fun event on out post about how to make it the best King’s Day ever. Oh, and here’s a video of the insanity!
  • Pride Week (July 25-August 2, 2020) is very popular in Amsterdam because it’s a week-long celebration with events all over the city. The most popular thing will be the canal parade because our parades are always on the water 😉 Check the Pride website for up-to-date info on dates.
  • ADE or Amsterdam Dance Event (October 21-25, 2020) is massive and takes over much of the city. Famous DJs and tons of people in the dance world come to Amsterdam for ADE to party, so it’s all a bit crazy and perfect if you love Dance music. But, book early!
Photo of apartment
Photo by Emily Wang on Unsplash

Free places to stay in Amsterdam

For real? Yes, you can stay in Amsterdam for free, but you have to do it just right for it to make sense. Would you do any of these? Have you done any of these? Let us know in the comments!


House-sit

I have friends that love doing this and if you have a little bit of flexibility and, ideally, love animals, it could be perfect for you, too! We haven’t done it due to me being allergic to pretty much all animals. Learn more on their website and use the code RAF103471 for a special discount!


Couchsurf

Yep, couchsurfing is still a thing, so check it out and see if it’s right for you. It’s basically where someone lets you sleep on their couch or in a spare bedroom for free. The people that I know that have hosted do it mostly for the cultural exchange, but it does seem polite when you bring a gift for the host from your home country.


House-swap

Are you up for swapping homes with someone? It could be a great opportunity to see somewhere new and save on costs while helping someone else get a new experience. Check out Love Home Swap and Home Exchange for sign up information.

Find the best place to stay in Amsterdam on a budget

We all know it’s not easy finding a cheap place in some of the world’s most popular places, so I tried to get a little creative. Are you a camper or a fan of the hostel life? Then this section might be for you!


Campgrounds

Yep, you can book a spot in a campground! With facilities ranging from pitching your own tent, to getting a cabin to yourself, there are plenty of options. Check out Vliegenbos in Amsterdam Noord, Camping Zeeburg on the islands in the east of Amsterdam, or Gaaspercamping in the west of the city.


Generator Hostel

Located next to Oosterpark in the neighborhood of Amsterdam west, Generator Hostel is one of the most popular hostels in Amsterdam. There’s always something going on but I wouldn’t call it a party hostel. It’s in a beautiful location with tons of greenery right behind it but there’s still easy access to the city center by foot or tram. View rates for your dates.


A&O Hostel

In the south east part of the city, you’ll find the a&o Amsterdam Zuidoost hotel. Away from the intensity of the center of Amsterdam, you can relax. It’s right by a metro stop, so with your iamsterdam card or GVB transit card, you can get back and forth to the city center in no time (and free with those cards!). Also, Amsterdamse Poort is very close by with lots of shopping and a few restaurants This is peak entertainment area with three concert/event venue and a massive movie theatre with IMAX. See if there is availability for your dates.


ClinkNOORD hostel

Very highly recommended from many blogger friends, ClinkNOORD lets you experience my neighborhood! Around the corner from the famous EYE film museum and A’DAM tower, it’s easily accessible from Amsterdam Centraal Station via the free ferry that runs 24 hours a day. They also do tons of activities that look like so much fun that I want to run down there and join in! View their listing on Booking.com for more information.

lloyd hotel
The Lloyd Hotel

Mid-range hotels to check out

Since I feel this is where most of use will be looking to stay, I’ll add quite a few hotels here. They will range from about €90 to €180. It’s a bit range, but it’s all about amenities, style, reputation, and location. These are grouped from lowest to highest in cost in general terms using the parameters I mentioned above. And their star-level is shown by asterisks.


The Student Hotel Amsterdam West ***

Away from the noise of the city center, The Student Hotel West is a great place to stay if it’s the style you’re looking for. It’s well-connected via a tram and metro station within a block of the hotel. View rates and availability here.


Corendon City Hotel Amsterdam ****

To me, this hotel is known as the one with part of a plane sticking out of it. You’ll also find this hotel outside the city center, hence the lower price. But it has tram 2 nearby to take you right to the center in no time. There’s also a restaurant and spa here, so it’s a good spot to relax. See if they have rooms available for your trip.


Hotel2Stay ***

I don’t think you can be more connected than at Hotel2Stay. It’s right next to Sloterdijk train and metro station, with there being a direct bus to center that stops there as well, and a tram to take you around the edge of the city center. Sloterdijk is where many of the budget bus lines also stop, so it’s perfect if you are taking a Flixbus. See if it’s the right fit for you.


Conscious Hotel Vondelpark ***

This eco-couscious hotel is pretty epic in my book. Sustainability is basically their middle name (if hotels had a middle name!). They serve an organic breakfast, only use renewable resources, have a green roof and more. Oh, by the way, in case it matters…there’s a free wine hour each day. 😉 You know you want to check it out!


Lloyd * to *****

The only 1 to 5 star hotel out there! Everything about this hotel is unique and interesting. I stayed in a room with a pull-out bathroom. Yep, you can watch the video here. Seriously, go through all the rooms and find the craziest one!


Pestana Amsterdam Riverside *****

This might just be the best deal on here. It’s a beautiful 5-star hotel along the Amstel river in a stunning building. Not sure what it doesn’t cost more, but take advantage! It’s on the edge of the popular de Pijp neighborhood but still very quiet. You’ll find a fantastic restaurant and spa here, as well. See their listing on Booking.com.


YAYS hotels ****

I believe the minimal for most of the YAYS hotels are 3 nights because they are so much more than places to crash. They are like a home away from home. We checked out their brand-new Entrepothaven hotel and absolutely loved it. The staff and the layouts are the best parts! Looking for something unique? They have a crane apartment as part of their collection.


INK hotel ****

I don’t know what it is, but this hotel has me hooked. I love the idea behind it. A big brand owns it but their philosophy is that each hotel is not only unique but flawlessly incorporates the culture of where they are. In this case, the building used to be owned and used by a popular Dutch newspaper, hence “INK hotel”. Also, the restaurant is called “Pressroom” and they have an awesome cocktail bar. Check it out here.

Discover Amsterdam neighborhoods

Once you’ve explored the center of Amsterdam, it’s time to think outside the box–get outside the canal ring. Discover the real-world Amsterdam that us locals know and love.

High-end hotels with beauty and class

Pulitzer *****

This is another favorite of mine due to the style and class. Located along the famous nine streets in Amsterdam, it’s in the center of it all! You can walk all around the center and don’t even need public transportation. You’ll find beautiful and unique rooms here that are positively swoon-worthy. Also, the bar and restaurant are both fantastic! View the rooms and check availability.


Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky *****

A classic hotel in Amsterdam just opposite the Royal Palace on Dam Square. You cannot get more centrally located than this. It’s just a short walk to Amsterdam Centraal Station and the Noord-Zuid metro line is right around the corner. You’ll find a few yummy restaurants here, including one with a Michelin star plus a wonderfully cozy bar. View prices and check out the rooms.

Luxury hotels that are an experience of their own in Amsterdam


De L’Europe Amsterdam *****

There are a few hotels known for hosting the most exclusive people on the planet, L’Europe is one of those hotels. They even have their own boat dock that leads directly into the hotel. It’s basically a place for luxury in Amsterdam including crystal chandeliers and extremely well-done reproductions of the famous Dutch masters. View their listing on Booking.com.


Conservatorium hotel *****

Definitely a little showy and completely stunning, the Conservatorium exudes class. Located next to Museumplein (Museum Square in English), you have some of the most famous museums in the world at your doorstep. It’s also well-connected with public transportation but if you want to take a stroll, that’s easy enough. Either head into the city center or PC Hoofstraat for a taste of luxury shopping. Check out this beauty!


Waldorf Astoria *****

Well, yeah, the Waldorf Astoria might just have the most expensive hotel rooms in the city but the location can’t be beat and the service, as it should be, is impeccable. The attention to detail is top-notch, the restaurant has a Michelin star, and the views are quintessential Amsterdam. Don’t forget about the well-groomed garden in the back! It really has it all if you are able to pay for it. See if it’s available for your dates.

YAYS Crane Apartment
YAYS Crane Apartment – Photo courtesy of YAYS

Apartments and unique places to stay

Let me just take a sec to educate you on apartments-stays in Amsterdam. Using Airbnb in most cities is a GREAT idea and a way to help locals make a little extra income. However, here in Amsterdam, it’s become a BIG issue because people are buying apartments solely to rent to visitors on a short term basis instead of living in it or letting locals rent it for their own home.

I link a few Airbnb listings below with the understanding that one is just outside of Amsterdam and isn’t a big issue and the others are hotels with licenses and utilizing interesting spaces to make memorable and unique experiences. Seriously, they are SUPER COOL!

This is what you get when you read a post from a local…responsible options that are good for the city and its people. As much as I would LOVE for you to visit, I just want it to happen in the most responsible way possible for you and us locals. *steps off soapbox now*


Houseboat

Just outside Amsterdam is a reasonably priced opportunity to stay on a houseboat. It’s really easy to get to because there’s a train stop right around the corner! This is a great (budget) way to have this experience without being too far from the city yet still sleeping on a quintessential canal. Ready to check your dates? Click here.


Bridge house

I fell in love with this idea the moment I heard it. What used to be a tiny house for bridge-keepers is now a unique accommodation for all visitors to Amsterdam. It’s super cozy and very close to Amsterdam Centraal Station. It’s one of the more unique places to stay in Amsterdam and they have a bunch more! Discover the Bridge House and check prices.


Apartment for a local experience

Stay in the lovely and residential neighborhood of Houthavens. Having your own studio apartment is key to having a truly local experience. Rent a bike or use your own two feet to explore. It’s part of my favorite area in the whole city. Best part is it’s part of the Boat&Co. aparthotel, so you get things like a sauna, gym and restaurant like you would a regular hotel. See if your dates are available and stay like a local.


Crane apartment

As part of the YAYS brand (which I’m in love with) stay in your own fully renovated apartment inside an actual piece of history. This crane apartment was build in 1957 and is one of the few harbor cranes left. I can’t be the only one who loves when old things become new and useful again, can I? Also, the philosophy of YAYS is to experience the city as it is your own. Yes, swoon! Check out the YAYS Crane Apartment.

Alright then, that went way longer than I expected but I wanted to give you the best options depending on your preferences and financial situation. I can’t wait for you to visit! When you do, please leave us a comment below or reach out on our social media (you’ll find links at the bottom and the top of the web page). We <3 to hear from you!

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January 23, 2020

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