If you’re looking for a place to stay in Amsterdam, then you basically have to choose between being in the middle of the madness or being slightly removed from it. Ever since Holland decriminalized the sale and use of marijuana, this place has become a pilgrimage spot for any young rebel worth his/her weight in booze and intoxicants. Visitors and locals alike tend to party real hard in the area between the Central Station and Dam Square where the Red Light District meets the Coffee-shop Strip.
You won’t be able to avoid this scene (who would want to) because many of the city’s best sights are also within the small area that is comprised of the Central Station, the Rembrandtplein and the Leidesplein.
So once you’ve made your choice (utter madness or slightly edgy), then you should take a look at your goals and price range. In a group? Going with family? Passing through? Just you and someone special?
Are you talking 3-star treatment (usually 100 Euros and up) or are you trying to skimp on the room and leave cash for coffee, beer and food? After all of this has been sorted out, then you can sit back and take a look at the options available:
For accommodations that are only slightly edgy and charge below 100 Euros for a night, you might want to check out the Hotel Continental. Its right on Damrak in between the Central Station and Dam Square – just a short walk from it all. The Continental has clean, basic rooms for around 55 Euro and it is situated right in the eye of the storm, so you can watch it all go down, but it probably will not affect your sleep.
The Travel Hotel is also near the center of things, but far enough removed to allow for quiet breakfasts. They also have nice doubles for 55 Euros.
The Hotel Vondel , a 4-star, is a farther away from the madness, near Leidesplein but still just a few blocks away from the center of all the action. It is actually one of the best locations you could ask for if you are in your thirties, travelling with your significant other, and want some peace but still want to engage in partying once in a while. It is a little bit more expensive, going up to 70-75 Euros for a room.
Hotel Ajax, near Rembrandtplein, is slightly mad but mostly relaxing. The rooms are clean and the walk in the nearby neighborhoods is a great counterpoint to the nightlife just a few blocks away.
Now, if you want to be in the pure center of nightlife and are looking to spend most of your cash on party favors, then you’re in luck as there are dozens upon dozens of options. Hostels come into play here, more so than hotels, so you should decide what kind of night owl you are; one that wants to return to the after-party and sleep after you die, or one that wants to slip into sleep while gigling about the madness while sharing a quiet room with your best friend.
Some of the more famous hostels are the Flying Pig, with three locations around town; and the Stayokay, with a couple locations as well. The Bulldog is another great hostel. It is, in fact, one of the most famous spots in the world, so you can imagine how the rooms are there: well-used but clean and comfy, and the staff are always smiling as they have they’ve seen it all before. And, the clientele might be old school players or just out of high school.
If you stroll through the Red Light District and around the Dam Square, you will find an abundance of hostels at which to stay. They can be as cheap as 10 Euros a bed (like the one I stayed at above Durty Nelly’s Irish Bar and Hostel), or as much as 30 to 50 to 70 Euros for rooms at places like Hotel Torenzicht — a really nice place near Nieuwmarkt with some good travellers and helpful staff.
For mid to high range spots around town, you might want to check out St Christopher’s at the Winston. It is a hostel with sense of style that stands apart from your average city-center spot in Amsterdam. Each room was designed by a different Dutch artist … so that might give you an idea of how seriously these folks take your experience.
The Amsterdam American Hotel on Leidesplein is always a great choice. A huge tower overlooking the devious deeds below, this hotel offers great rooms, and a great location starting at around 140 Euros per night. You might also check out the Bilderberg Hotel Jan Luyken, which is set in the middle of the city with rooms starting at 120 Euros. The Hilton is also well situated near the center of town and the rooms there are around 150 Euros and up.
For high class spots, you might want to check out the Grand Hotel Amrath, a five-star in the center of town; or perhaps the NH Schiller Hotel , a four-star with rooms starting at 120 Euros right on Rembrandtplein.
You can also rent a service apartment in Amsterdam, which is a great move if you are staying awhile or are travelling in a like-minded group of people. There really is no reason why you shouldn’t find exactly what you want in a hotel in Amsterdam. The city has seen so much traffic over the past 20 years — from the rebellious youth to the art loving monied class — that it is impossible not to find a hotel that suits your needs.
Written by Sascha Matuszak for EuropeUpClose.com
The links to hotels in this article are clickable and will link you to our hotel price comparison engine, allowing you to view maps, ratings, and find the very lowest prices available anywhere!