The best neighborhoods in Amsterdam – Included Insider Tips

Get to know more about the best Amsterdam's neighborhoods.

First time in Amsterdam? Do you want to know which neighborhood is the best to stay in? What is the best neighborhood to explore the city by foot? Or the best neighborhood to enjoy the nightlife in Amsterdam? Here you will find the best neighborhoods in Amsterdam to plan your trip.

The Best Amsterdam Neighborhoods on the Map

Despite the long (and well-curated) list of best neighborhoods in Amsterdam, Amsterdam concentrates on the most famous neighborhoods in the city center. Therefore, you will probably get to know many city neighborhoods daily while walking through the beautiful streets and alleys. However, here you can learn about the particularities, history, activities, and highlights of Amsterdam’s main and world-famous neighborhoods. This overview of the most famous neighborhoods in the city will let you see how they are concentrated in the city center.

The most important districts in Amsterdam
The most beautiful neighborhoods in Amsterdam

This Is What Makes the Neighborhoods of Amsterdam

Each district in Amsterdam has its own character, so you should go exploring to experience the diverse city in its full glory. The nice thing about Amsterdam is that the city is not that big, so you can just walk from one part of the city to the next or take the streetcar for a few stops.

  • De Wallen: The historic heart of the city
  • Jordaan: Looks like a picture book
  • Oost: Multicultural area
  • De Pijp: Colorful trendy district
  • Centraal: Shopping and all tourist spots
  • Noord: Arts & culture
  • West: Amsterdam’s greenest district

The Coolest & Best Neighborhoods in Amsterdam

We have selected the best neighborhoods in Amsterdam to tell you the hippest, coolest, and most historic districts. Discover in our list of the best neighborhoods of Amsterdam the attractions and highlights of each area of the city.

  1. 01

    About Amsterdam’s City Center

    Neighborhood in Amsterdam
    Amsterdam Stadtteile
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    Amsterdam’s city center is one big area comprising many smaller neighborhoods (many of which make the list of the best neighborhoods in Amsterdam).

    If you explore the center of Amsterdam, you will probably also be visiting other famous parts of the city.

    Of course, as in every touristy city, Amsterdam’s city center is very crowded but full of things to do, cafes, museums, bars, coffee shops, and much more.

    Among the highlights in the center of Amsterdam, we can point out the following:

    Of course, all shopping queens will also find all the big fashion brands here, especially in Kalverstraat.

    A little less touristy, however, is one of the most beautiful shopping streets in the center of Amsterdam–Utrechtsestraat–and the lively Haarlemmerstraat.

    Keep walking down the nine streets from here, and you’ll be right in Jordaan. Be sure to take your time strolling here to admire all the beautiful hidden details of the old architecture, from elegant brick canal house facades to quirky statues, monuments, and narrow steegjes (passageways).

    Amsterdam’s Chinatown (Nieuwmarkt) is also well worth a visit, as you can tell directly from the colorful signs with Chinese characters and delicious Chinese restaurants, delicatessens with many exotic specialties, and cozy cafes that Asian culture is booming here.

    Oh yes, the city center is also the perfect starting point for an unforgettable cruise through Amsterdam’s world-famous canals! The NEMO Science Museum is also not far away. It is considered one of the best science museums–fun for the whole family, guaranteed.

    Do you feel like having a beer in a lively atmosphere in the evening? Then head to Leidseplein or Rembrandtplein, where one bar after the next is lined up–this is where the action is at the weekend!

    How Do You Get There?

    When you leave the Central Station, just walk straight ahead, and you’ll be right in the middle of the action.

  2. 02

    Red Light District

    Neighborhood in De Wallen
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    Among the best neighborhoods in Amsterdam, the Red Light District could not be left out.  The world-famous Red Light District in Amsterdam is known as the district of pleasure, prostitution, strip clubs, numerous bars, and famous coffee shops.

    Despite its worldwide fame, the Red Light District is small and formed by 17 alleys and streets that are part of the official Amsterdam neighborhood De Wallen.

    The prostitution offered by the famous windows and the various adult theaters are landmarks of Amsterdam’s Red Light District; however, you will find many types of bars, restaurants, gift stores, and even museums. Even if your interest is outside the adult entertainment part of the Red Light District, this small neighborhood is still worth a visit.

  3. 03

    Jordaan

    Neighborhood in Amsterdam Old City
    Jordaan Amsterdam
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    The Jordaan neighborhood is perhaps one of the most famous neighborhoods in Amsterdam. Here you will find the city’s most important tourist attractions, such as the Anne Frank House, and numerous hotels, restaurants, stores, cafes, and bars.

    The Jordaan neighborhood is located in Central and crisscrossed by canals. It is a truly idyllic place. The density of cozy cafes and excellent restaurants was particularly impressive. Wherever you look, on almost every corner, there is a store, a boutique, or a hip place, where you want to go in immediately. On a walk through this neighborhood, you realize why Jordaan is considered exceptionally hip, even by Amsterdam standards.

     

  4. 04

    Buiksloterham

    Neighborhood in Amsterdam Noord
    AMSTERDAM – AUGUST 15: Old submarine on NDSM-werf – city-sponsored art community called Kinetisch Noord, center for underground culture in Amsterdam on August 15, 2010 in Amsterdam, Netherlands
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    the most vibrant and hipster neighborhoods in Amsterdam. Located in the northern part of the city, you only need to cross the river by ferry from Central Station to get to the coolest area of Amsterdam.

    As you approach Buiksloterham by ferry, two large buildings are already impressive in architecture. The first is the EYE Film Institute, an impressive film archive and museum. The other large building that catches the eye is the A’DAM Toren. This imposing Amsterdam skyscraper offers a viewpoint, restaurant, and radical experience.

    However, the most exciting thing to see in Buiksloterham is the NDSM Wharf.

    The name NDSM is an abbreviation of the name of a ship repair and construction company that used to operate here. The Nederlandsche Dok en Scheepsbouw Maatschappij (NDSM) operated from 1946 until 1979. When it closed its doors, the company left behind a grandiose structure: A large ship hangar. Today, this space has become a cultural pavilion known as NDSM Wharf.

    Here, you will find works of street art, numerous cafes, restaurants, an urban beach, a vintage market, art exhibits, some nightclubs, and some good hotel options.

  5. 05

    Grachtengordel (Amsterdam Canal Belt Area)

    Neighborhood in Amsterdam Old City
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    Of course the neighborhood around the canals had to be on the list of the best neighborhoods in Amsterdam. The whole canal part of Amsterdam’s old town is absolutely magnificent and the Amsterdam Canal Belt Area were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2010.

    All the major canals of the city are automatically among the most beautiful sights of Amsterdam. Of all the canals in the Old Town, I liked the canal Herengracht the best. If you walk along it, you will pass countless beautiful photo opportunities. You have a new, great view of the city almost on each of the pretty small bridges.

    Here you will find many bars, restaurants, museums, and hotels. If you want to enjoy great accommodation in Amsterdam and visit most of the city’s attractions on foot, the hotels located in the Canal Belt are great options.

  6. 06

    9 Streets District

    Neighborhood in Amsterdam-Centrum
    Stadtteile Amsterdam
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    Stop by the historic 9 Streets district (De 9 Straatjes) to make the most of your one-day trip to Amsterdam. With nine Instagram-worthy shopping alleys filled with art galleries, gardens, bars, and restaurants, you’ll find plenty of great reasons to stop, chat, snack, and take photos.

    Plus, you can pick up a souvenir for yourself or your loved ones. There are chic stores with vintage clothing, shoes, bags, antiques, housewares, and much more. And with over 400 years of history reflected in the architecture alone, just walking through the neighborhood is the perfect way to discover Amsterdam.

  7. 07

    De Wallen

    Neighborhood in Amsterdam Old City
    De Wallen Amsterdam
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    Many visitors may confuse the De Wallen neighborhood with the Red light District. The Red Light District is actually located within De Wallen. However, this district is actually the oldest in Amsterdam and there is so much more to see here than just flashing lights: for over 600 years De Wallen has been an important cultural center and so many buildings here bear witness to this long history, such as De Oude Kerk (the old church); the oldest building in Amsterdam.

    Be sure to walk here during the day through the two main streets around the Oude Kerk (Oudezijds Voorburgwal and Oudezijds Achterburgwal) and the small alleys in between, and immerse yourself in the old harbor district, which for many visitors and locals is still a place of tolerance and freedom.

  8. 08

    Oostelijke Eilanden en Kadijken

    Neighborhood in Amsterdam Oost
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    The Oostelijke Eilanden en Kadijken district is located in the eastern part of Amsterdam but very close to the central region. Surrounded by water, the Oostelijke Eilanden en Kadijken neighborhood comprises a few docs. However, the Oostelijke Eilanden en Kadijken neighborhood offers some things to do in Amsterdam that can (and should) be part of your travel plan: The Nemo Science Museum, The National Maritime Museum, Museumhaven Amsterdam, and the Artis Zoo.

    The hotels and boat hotel options in this neighborhood offer a good distance from the more crowded areas of Amsterdam but still have great access to tourist attractions. My recommendation for a hotel in this neighborhood is the Mövenpick Hotel Amsterdam City Centre, which offers stunning views of the city and above-average comfort.

    The Oostelijke Eilanden en Kadijken neighborhood does not offer many restaurants and cafes. Still, some good options exist in this area, like Heart-Garden Waffles & Coffee for Heart-Garden Waffles & Coffee wonderful waffles and bacon-wrapped eggs. Markerhuisje offers tables right by the canal as well as indoor. The restaurant, Markerhuisje, offers various fish dishes ranging from salads and flammkuchen to ciabatta, making the perfect combination of fish fillets, sauces, and side dishes.

  9. 09

    De Pijp

    Neighborhood in Amsterdam-Zuid
    Stadtteile in Amsterdam
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    For a long time, De Pijp was considered a marginal city district where mainly the working class lived. Today, it is primarily students, artists, and many young people, and together they all make for an energetic atmosphere that you just have to love!

    Especially in the summer, I can hardly imagine anything better than walking through the streets, discovering the fancy stores, finally getting stuck in one of the many sidewalk cafes and watching people with a delicious drink.

    You see, De Pijp is the trendy neighborhood in Amsterdam par excellence. The whole neighborhood revolves around Amsterdam’s most famous market, the Albert Cuyp Market, which attracts hundreds of visitors every day (except Sundays), all looking to soak up the great atmosphere and enjoy the city’s best stroopwafels with a coffee. Just let yourself drift here and see where you end up!

    De Pijp is also considered a hotspot for the best brunch cafes in Amsterdam, for example, Little Collins, Bakers & Roasters, or Scandinavian Embassy. Afterward, Saphartipark is perfect for a digestive walk in the middle of the action before heading to the popular Heinecken Experience in the evening, where everything revolves around the local Heinecken beer.

    You’ll also find delicious authentic Moroccan, Indian, Syrian, or Lebanese restaurants around the main streets of Albert Cuypstraat or Ferdinand Bolstraat. The popular Museum Square, with the city’s best museums–the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, and the Moco Museum–and a large sunbathing lawn is also just a stone’s throw away.

    How Do You Get There?

    De Pijp has a metro station in the middle of the district, which you can easily reach with line 52 from Central Station. Otherwise, take Streetcar 24 to the Marie Heinekenplein station.

  10. 10

    Museumkwartier

    Neighborhood in Amsterdam Oud-Zuid
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    The cultural center of Amsterdam is actually in the Museumkwartier neighborhood. Here are concentrated great museums, galleries, beautiful historic buildings, and great restaurants.

    Perhaps the most remarkable tourist attraction of the Museumkwartier is the Museumplein, which brings together the three great museums of Amsterdam in one place: Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, and Stedelijk Museum.

    However, other highlights are parts of the Museumkwartier, such as the Moco Museum, Diamant Museum, House of Bols, the Cocktail & Genever Experience, Diamant Museum, and even the impressive Vondelpark.

    Those who want a little more than culture will find the world’s most famous boutiques and luxury brands on Pieter Cornelisz Hooftstraat.

    If, after seeing incredible museums and doing great shopping, hunger strikes, don’t worry. Around the small Cornelis Schuytplein square, there are several beautiful restaurants.

  11. 11

    Amsterdam West

    Neighborhood in Amsterdam
    Amsterdam West
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    In Amsterdam West, you can have a drink with friends or eat something on almost every street corner. You’ll find a cool mix of small stores, restaurant hotspots, and cute organic stores. The West of Amsterdam includes the neighborhoods of Westerpark, Oud-West, Nieuw West, Bos en Lommer, and De Baarsjes, all of which have their own charm.

    Start the day with breakfast at the lovely cafĂ©, Selmas or De Bakkerswinkel. After that, a trip to the park in the west is an absolute must, and you’ll be spoilt for choice in the west: Westerpark is beautifully wide and part of the larger Westergasfabriek complex with restaurants, stores and a vast nature area (outside the main plant).

    Erasmuspark is small but great. Vondelpark is by far Amsterdam’s most popular park and perfect for a long walk. Rembrandtpark is perfect for a bike ride and a picnic. The latter would be Sloterpark on Lake Sloterplas, which even has a small beach for warm summer days in the capital.

    Then, of course, you must visit the food halls in West., where everyone will find what they’re looking for at the 21 different food and drink stalls–from freaky hot dogs, classic bitterballen, Asian fusion, and refreshing gin and tonics.

    Be sure to also stroll along Overtoom, Kinkerstraat, and De Clercqstraat in Oud-West, which meander picturesquely along the canals and entice you with small cafés and stores. Finally, if the temperature is warm, I recommend a delicious Surinamese take-out meal from Pom Bar, which you can enjoy on a bench by the canals.

  12. 12

    Amsterdam Oost

    Neighborhood in Amsterdam
    Stadtteile in Amsterdam
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    Amsterdam Oost is one of the capital’s most diverse cultural hotspots, and less touristy than Jordaan or De Wallen, for example. Start your day with a caffeine boost at Coffee Bru or CafĂ© Rum Baba before visiting the Tropenmuseum, which displays valuable artifacts and art meant to celebrate cultural diversity.

    When the sun is shining, grab a blanket and snacks and head to Oosterpark to enjoy life in a lively atmosphere. The best place for snacks here is, of course, the popular Dappermarkt, which is open until 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and sells everything your heart desires.

    Around the Javastraat is the Indian Quarter (Indische Buurt), which was originally a working-class neighborhood for dockworkers. Today, a wide variety of cultures mix here and there is a lot to experience with all the senses, because already when I turn into the street, the delicious smell of fresh baked goods and Turkish delicacies from the many bakeries rises to my nose. Supposedly, up to 100 different languages are spoken in the multicultural heart of the city.

    Eat the best pizza at Eatmosfera East and enjoy breakfast and lunch in a cozy atmosphere at The Cottage. For drinks and snacks, head to >Bar Botanique or Bar Bukowski. If you’re in the mood for a movie, the independent cinema Studio K shows cool films, mostly in English.
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    Amsterdam Oost is one of the capital’s most diverse cultural hotspots and less touristy than Jordaan or De Wallen.

    Start your day with a caffeine boost at Coffee Bru or Café Rum Baba before visiting the Tropenmuseum, which displays valuable artifacts and art celebrating cultural diversity.

    When the sun is shining, grab a blanket and snacks and head to Oosterpark to enjoy life in a lively atmosphere. The best place for snacks here is the popular Dappermarkt, which is open until 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and sells everything your heart desires.

    Around the Javastraat is the Indian Quarter (Indische Buurt), originally a working-class neighborhood for dockworkers. Today, a wide variety of cultures mix here. There is a lot to experience with all the senses because when you turn onto the street, the delicious smell of fresh baked goods and Turkish delicacies from the many bakeries rises to your nose. Supposedly, up to 100 different languages are spoken in the area.

    Eat the best pizza at Eatmosfera East and enjoy breakfast and lunch in a cozy atmosphere at The Cottage. For drinks and snacks, head to or Bar Bukowski. If you’re in the mood for a movie, the independent cinema, Studio K, shows cool films, mostly in English.

The Boroughs of Amsterdam

Let’s understand that Amsterdam is divided into eight large districts. Actually, not all districts are interesting for a sightseeing trip in Amsterdam. Most visitors stay in and explore the boroughs: Centrum, Zuid, Noord, West & Oost.

The most visited and touristy boroughs of Amsterdam:

  • Centrum: Amsterdam’s most touristic and most visited borough
  • Zuid: Amsterdam’s most noble and cultural borough
  • Noord: Amsterdam’s most vibrant and youthful borough
  • West: Amsterdam’s most green and natural borough

Amsterdam’s most commercial, residential, and industrial boroughs

  • Oost: Amsterdam’s most multicultural borough
  • Nieuw-West: Residential and away from the tourist area of Amsterdam.
  • Zuidoost: The Johan Cruijff Arena soccer stadium borough
  • Westpoort: The harbor and industrial borough of Amsterdam

 

The Most Asked Questions About Amsterdam’s Neighborhoods

How many neighborhoods are there in Amsterdam?

Amsterdam is divided into eight districts and has more than 30 official neighborhoods, but the divisions of areas by theme amount to more than 45 informal neighborhoods, for example, the Red Light District, which is actually within the official De Wallen neighborhood

What is the hipster neighborhood of Amsterdam?

The hippest neighborhood in Amsterdam is De Pijp. Different boutiques, cool restaurants, and numerous exotic bars and cafes make this neighborhood a hipster’s paradise.

What are the best neighborhoods in Amsterdam?

  • Amsterdam City Center
  • Red Light District
  • Jordaan
  • Buiksloterham (NDSM)
  • Grachtengordel (Amsterdam Canal Belt Area)
  • De 9 Straatjes (The Nine Streets)
  • De Wallen
  • Oostelijke Eilanden en Kadijken
  • De Pijp
  • Museumkwartier
  • Amsterdam West
  • Amsterdam Oost

What are the best neighborhoods for shopping in Amsterdam?

The Museumkwartier district is known for being a chic neighborhood–particularly the street Pieter Cornelisz Hooftstraat is famous for lining up luxury boutiques and stores.

 

What are the most famous neighborhoods of Amsterdam?

  • De Wallen
  • Jordaan
  • De Pijp
  • Buiksloterham
  • Grachtengordel

What is the most walkable neighborhood in Amsterdam?

The city center of Amsterdam is perfect for walking. Here, the traffic is very congested with cars and bicycles. So, choose to walk and explore as much of the city’s beautiful scenery as possible.

What are the central neighborhoods of Amsterdam?

  • De Wallen
  • Nieuwmarkt en Lastage
  • Jordaan
  • Amsterdam Canal Belt
  • Jodenbuurt
  • Dam Square
  • Prinseneiland
  • Realeneiland
  • Leidseplein
  • Rembrandtplein
  • Spiegelkwartier
  • Spui

What is the poshest neighborhood in Amsterdam?

The Museumkwartier (Museum Quartier) is known to be a prime area of Amsterdam and is considered to be a very posh neighborhood in the city.

What is the most famous district in Amsterdam?

There are many famous neighborhoods in Amsterdam, but perhaps the most world-famous neighborhood of the city is the Red Light District.

What is the cool area of Amsterdam?

If you are looking for cool neighborhoods in Amsterdam, De Pijp is the trend of the moment. Surrounded by students, bars, and different restaurants, De Pijp attracts locals and tourists alike. Buiksloterhamm is also a cool Amsterdam neighborhood for offering an alternative and multicultural vibe.

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About the author

Larissa

Das Reisen ist meine große Leidenschaft. Ich liebe es, die Wanderwege in Rio de Janeiro zu erkunden, die besten StrĂ€nde in Miami zu entdecken, die Ă€ltesten Museen in Rom zu besuchen und noch die besten Gerichte in Paris zu verkosten.

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