The Venice of the North or maybe the Vegas of Europe to others, Amsterdam is a “Eurotrip” must-see. At once, a city that is fun-loving and wild yet sophisticated and metropolitan.
If you’re looking for an Amsterdam hotel that is then at once, central enough to cover the sights by foot and full of character yet cheap enough to cash in on the city’s vices, you’ve come to the right place.
Because we at trivago love Amsterdam (it’s two hours by high-speed train from our HQ in Düsseldorf) and have no shortage of hotel pointers, here are tips from our city ambassadors.
Suzanne, Amsterdam (30)
City tip: For me, the best way to see Amsterdam is by boat. You can relax and see the whole city in about three to five hours. If you look up from your seat (which you should not do while on a bike or walking) you get to see the beautiful canal houses and all their little details on the top. The tour boats are great but see if you can rent your own little boat. If the sun is out, make sure to cross the IJ river and dock your boat for a cool drink across from the central station at Pllek or Hannekes Boom.
Crane Hotel Faralda Amsterdam
Your Hotel near Amsterdam Centraal Station, Noord & the EYE Film Institute
Hotel tip: Crane Hotel Faralda Amsterdam is a one-of-a-kind hotel located at Amsterdam’s NDSM Wharf. It’s situated atop a monumental harbour crane beside “het IJ”. Not only is it on the river but it offers a fantastic panoramic view of the city centre.
There are three luxury design suites, a panorama lounge, and, at the crane’s highest, the Faralda Spa. If you want to go for the super-VIP feeling, you can arrange a helicopter tour from Schiphol airport to the hotel. Rooms start at $818 »
City tip: Don’t be put off by the high-speed bike traffic pedalling by in dedicated bike lanes in the Binnenstad (City Centre). Rent your own set of wheels and work your way over the canals to the shops on Haarlemmerstraat in Jordaan, the Foodhallen in the West and the laid back activities of the Oost side.
The Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy
Your Hotel near NEMO, Amsterdam Roest & Zeeburg
Hotel tip: Towering over Amsterdam’s Eastern Docklands, the Lloyd Hotel really feels like it has found its place in the converted and gentrified area just east of Centraal Station. As much as a place to sleep at night as a place to socialize by day — the Lloyd puts a joie de vivre right in the centre of things with a sky-high atrium above the restaurant that rises to the multi-floor library, gallery and exhibition space.
Bottom right photo courtesy of the Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy
The rooms at this former hotel for migrants travelling from Eastern Europe to South America are split into five different star categories. I took a three-star double room which was easily a three-fold increase in square footage over a room in the city centre (completed by a bathroom that folded out in the middle of the room!) Rooms start at $62 »
Khalil, Venray (26)
City tip: AmDam’s parking situation is horrid – it’s expensive and takes ages to find a spot. Save your money and stress by getting in by train. If you’re holding onto a rental car then park in Diemen for free and take a tram into the city (10 mins). As for what to do in the city you’re in luck as my recommended hotel is in Leidseplein. Everything from clubs to coffee shops is within 10 minutes!
Dikker & Thijs Hotel
Your Hotel near Vondelpark, Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum & Nine Streets
Hotel tip: I was 17 and in Amsterdam to see one of my favourite bands, Wu-Tang Clan, at the concert venue Melkweg. I stayed at Dikker & Thijs as it’s 10 minutes from Melkweg and 15 minutes by public transportation from the central station.
As I picked the hotel for its location (you can get wasted and easily find your way back to the hotel) I was lucky that the staff were super nice, the breakfast was good, and the hotel was not only well-kept for an old hotel (unlike some of Amsterdam’s canal hotels) but a historic hotel that’s worth visiting in itself. A good price for Amsterdam standards and totally worth it for a night or two, especially if you’re splitting the cost with a friend. Rooms start at $169 »
Gabriel, Porto Alegre (34)
City tip: The “Venice side” of Amsterdam is a must, but steer clear of the popular boat tours offered in front of the central station unless you like boring audio guides and knocking elbows with strangers like on a crowded bus. Instead, head where all the cool boats are in the OZ Voorburgwal canal. A drinks-inclusive, small-boat operated by young locals is 15 euro/hour. Unlike on the impersonal touristy boats, chat with the captain while he maneuvers under bridges. There’s no separation between the crew and passengers. The real experience.
Your Hotel near Oosterpark & Dappermarkt
Hotel tip: The Q-Factory is Amsterdam’s “music HQ”. A modern, industrial building with recording studios, musical instrument stores, co-working spaces, the offices of independent labels, a concert hall and, since 2016, a hotel. On the 3rd floor, the hotel’s rooms are small, but great conceptually.
There are four types of room, inspired by music (obviously). In one of them, your bed appears to be a stage. While the decor is cool, the great thing about Q-Factor is its common areas – perfect for those wanting to connect with the local, creative scene. Located in the east of the city, the neighbourhood is just one station by the regional Sprinter from the city centre. Rooms start at $96 »
Miriam, Verona (27)
City tip: If you need a break from city life, like I do sometimes, then stop by the Sarphatipark which is right in the middle of the centrally located, trendy De Pijp District. The quiet green area invites you to go barefoot and is the perfect place to chill. It’s also great for a quick picnic under the sun.
Your Hotel near De Pijp, Albert Cuypmarket, Sarphatipark & the Heineken Experience
Hotel tip: “For single moms and stockbrokers” – that’s the Volkshotel‘s way of saying it’s doors are open to all. How cool is that? As the former headquarters of Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant, the Volkshotel is the newspaper equivalent of the Q-Factory. You don’t have to be a newsophile to love the aesthetic of the place. Inspired by the glory days of newspaper production and keeping as close to the original ’60s design as possible.
There are numerous reminders of the former printing factory. A must visit is the hotel’s restaurant/nightclub for its panoramic views over the city as well as for the cool fact it was the old journalist canteen. Rooms start at $92 »
Did you find your own taste of authentic Amsterdam on your last visit? Share your hotel and hangout recommendation below!
This article was originally published on trivago magazine Singapore.