9 Unique places to stay near Amsterdam

If you live in Amsterdam and are looking for a staycation, it’s as simple as finding a unique place to stay in or around Amsterdam. I’ve been looking for fun, funky, quirky, and memorable accommodations around the capital city myself, because I’m not ready for long train rides or plane rides.

We don’t own a car which is totally fine 99% of the time, but when you just want to get away, it would be nice to have. Since we don’t have one and want to stay away from enclosed spaces with a bunch of people, staying close to Amsterdam is key. I’ve decided that if it’s less than an hour by train, then it’s close to Amsterdam. So are you ready to see the coolest places to sleep near Amsterdam?

YAYS Crane Apartment

The YAYS Crane Apartment in Amsterdam
Photo courtesy of YAYS

This former harbor crane was built in 1957 and has seen Amsterdam change throughout the years. It holds a lot of history in its walls but don’t worry, it’s been fully refurbished into a luxury apartment with epic views over the IJ river. The ferry is a quick walk away and will take you to the undiscovered neighborhood of Amsterdam Noord, but the great thing about YAYS is they give you a comprehensive guide to the neighborhood you’re staying in, so you’ll learn all the best spots in Amsterdam East.

Houseboat in Amsterdam city center

houseboat in amsterdam
Photo is courtesy of the owner

Looking for the experience you’ve always wondered about but never got to do? Then stay in a houseboat! You know you want to.

This houseboat is built for guests. It’s got everything you need and it’s on the Amstel River! Even as an Amsterdammer, I’m drooling over this one. This host is a SuperHost (on airbnb), so you know it’ll be clean and you’ll be taken care of.

19th century windmill

Take a 20-minute train ride from Amsterdam Centraal Station, then a quick bike ride, and you’ll arrive at this stunning 3-bedroom windmill built in 1874. It’s right on the water and has a lovely outdoor space for a picnic or to lay out and take in all the sun can give. You’ll find this windmill fairly spacious and fully equipped with 2 toilet rooms, a bath, full kitchen, living room, and dining room. It’s a great unique escape from the city.

1912 Military fort-turned-spa resort

Just north of Amsterdam is this UNESCO monument. It has a varied past with its 100+ years of history, but now it’s a stunning (on the inside) building with delicious food, excellent spa offerings, and even a mini-Bali within the fort walls. It’s pretty spectacular. They focus on style and sustainability and use the word eco-chic to describe their innovations. Fort Resort Beemster is a destination in itself!

Lighthouse in Almere

Stay in your own private lighthouse in Almere! It’s a 30-minute train ride plus 15 minutes on a bus and you’re in Almere Haven — a great little city escape. You’ll find a bedroom and bathroom here, so it’s really a great one-night stay to experience something new. Just think of the 360° views of the harbor. How magical! And don’t worry, you’re very close to restaurants and such, so you aren’t quite in the middle of nowhere.

Smallest tower-house in Gouda

Gouda offers many reasons to visit, and cheese is only one of them. While you head out of town to Gouda, think about staying in this former water tower. It’s now the smallest residential tower in the Netherlands. It has a small bedroom, bathroom, and mini kitchen. I love when people take something that has no more use and turn it into something beautiful and useful!


Zoku room

ZOKU is a unique short-stay apartment building with so much quirk and personality that you can’t help but love it. There are different sized rooms/apartments and is a great place for a workcation or a staycation. You won’t be cramped for space, it’s a fun design, and they have an epic top floor with green roof space, great work space, and really good food. It may not be as weird and unique as the other spots on this list, but it’s comfortable and possibly a welcome escape from the apartment you may have been holed up in for a while.

Tiny hidden chapel in Amsterdam

Amsterdam chapel
Photo is courtesy of the owner

This one feels beyond unique. I had no idea this even existed, but there’s a hidden chapel-turned-apartment hidden near Rembrandtplein and the Amstel river. This has to be one of the quirkiest places to stay in Amsterdam! You have a kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom with more space than we have in our entire home. It’s a great spot to stay in Amsterdam because you’re right in the center of it all. You’re between 2 different metro lines and multiple tram lines. It couldn’t be more central or more unique.

Castle in Zeist

Jess at castle in Zeist

We stayed in a castle in Zeist, called Kasteel Kerckebosch and it’s just at the hour limit of being on public transportation. Watch our video here. There are a couple different ways to get there, so check both Google Maps and 9292.nl to see which works best for you. It’s a small castle with small grounds, but I really enjoyed the interior, the food, and the wooded trails to feel part of nature. Be sure to get a good room with a view because they have rooms with balconies looking over the garden and it’s beautiful.

Jessica Cutrufello wearing a green floral dress, glasses and pink lipstick

Hi! I’m Jessica, an American who made Amsterdam her home in 2014. I share European gems through food and memorable experiences. Want to know more? Head to my about page or check out my YouTube channel.

Travel with us - Tuscany October 2022