The Netherland’s capital city has a plethora of things to eat, discover and see. But how does the first, third or tenth time visitor decide where to stay and what to see in the wide range of Amsterdam neighbourhoods? From a visit to Anne Frank’s house to shopping in the Albert Cuyp Markt, brunch by the 17th-century UNESCO canals with a view of the picturesque canal houses or catching a tram to the Van Gogh Museum, here is our guide to the city’s neighbourhoods.
Amsterdam’s true city centre is found in the Centrum district, the name itself gives it away. When you visit Amsterdam, this area is bound to be on your list. Home to the Royal palace on Dam Square, the Stadsschouwburg theatre and the 13th century Oude Kerk, the nightlife here is fantastic with lively bars, excellent restaurants and clubs. This area is also a central hub for tourism.
Next on the list is the Noord district which is home to alternative vibes, urban-chic creativity, Amsterdam’s café culture and NDSM-Werd, a former shipyard which is now a favourite place to hang out for skateboarders and artists with a trendy, cool vibe. Check out the bargains at the flea markets here – they are the biggest in Europe, with plenty of opportunities to pick something unique for you and your home.
Head to the Nieuw-West area for peace and quiet with lakeside views at the Sloterplas lake. Home to the city’s music and sporting events, this area is peaceful, green and away from the touristic centre. In true Amsterdam fashion, it is also easy to reach by public transport.
Go East for wide streets, a multi-cultural landscape and monumental 19th-century buildings. Shopping, eating and drinking are fabulous in the eastern part of the city, with Turkish bakeries, African supermarkets and Middle Eastern restaurants to whet your taste buds. Check out the Oosterpark if you are looking for a local place relax.
From corner cafés to a rapidly gentrifying area, the western part of Amsterdam was home to 178 nationalities the last time a count was taken. There are four main areas in this district, with the Vondelpark nearby. There is a wide range of international cuisine on offer here, from Spanish, Moroccan and Turkish to French, Vietnamese and Japanese.
Zuid and Zuidoost
The southern district of Amsterdam is known as its artistic quarter with world class music venues, art museums and high-end shopping. The city’s most famous museums are found here and the Albert Cuyp market is perfect for picking up presents or groceries for your stay. The Heineken Experience is here, the perfect place to visit for fans of this Dutch nectar. In the south eastern district, you’ll find top music venues such as the AFAS Live and the Ziggo Dome as well as the home of the Ajax team at the Johan Cruyff Arena.
Stay in the heart of Amsterdam
Now, when it comes to choosing the best neighborhood to stay in Amsterdam, you can’t get any better than this beautiful neighborhood where you will find the Catalonia Vondel Amsterdam Hotel. Located 300 metres from Vondelpark and Leidseplein, this 4-star boutique hotel is near to the city’s best shopping and leisure areas, perfect for buying gifts, treating yourself and to try the best of Dutch cuisine as well as visiting the Museumplein, where the Stedelijk, Van Gogh, and Rijksmuseum are found. The hotel is constructed within seven 18th century traditional Amsterdam buildings, and is home to the JOOST restaurant.