Following on from my round-up of the best hotels in Amsterdam for all budgets, styles and tastes, I thought it may be useful to publish a post with the best central hotels in Amsterdam if you did indeed want to stay in the city centre, because some of you might like to do that, even though I have previously gone to great pains to advise you against staying in Amsterdam's city centre.
However, times change and with the sudden rise of the sharing economy and Airbnbs making all of Amsterdam's neighbourhoods feel very busy and full of visitors (and the subsequent crackdown driving the price of Airbnbs up and up), the situation isn't quite the same, and indeed if you want to see all the main sights in the Red Light District and within the three main ring canals, staying at one of the hotels in Amsterdam's city centre is arguably still the best way to do it.
So here I am summarising the best hotels in central Amsterdam based on my own experience, because I love me a staycation, and based on the reviews of others who have stayed in the accommodation featured in this list.
And if you're at the beginning of planning your trip to Amsterdam, but would rather stay in self-catering accommodation then maybe you should also bookmark these posts to help you make it the best trip ever!
FURTHER READING: Where to Stay in Amsterdam - Neighbourhood Guide // The Best Hotels in Amsterdam For All Budgets // The Best Luxury Hotels in Amsterdam // Tips for Staying in Self-Catering Accommodation in Amsterdam // The Ultimate Amsterdam Weekend Bucketlist // Guide to Visiting Amsterdam with Kids // Tips for Visiting Amsterdam on a Budget // 100+ Free Things to do in Amsterdam // The Best Photo Spots in Amsterdam and Tips for Cycling in Amsterdam
Now back to the best hotels and hostels in central Amsterdam...
The Best Hotels and Hostels in Amsterdam Central
There are lots of hotels in Amsterdam city centre to choose from. Lots. And lots. And then lots more. So knowing about the hotels and hostels in central Amsterdam that have been tried and tested and then recommended by other travellers is a good place to start to find the accommodation for you. For the purposes of this post, central Amsterdam means the area from Centraal Station through to within the outer main ring canal (Prinsengracht), and then I have extended it slightly to include the area around Vondelpark, the city's main public park, and Museumplein, which is home to Amsterdam's most popular museum Van Gogh Museum, as well as the Rijksmuseum and Stedelijk Museum, both of which are worth going to. If you are happy to stay outside of this area, and indeed would prefer to in order to most likely secure a better priced deal, and/or to avoid the bigger crowds of tourists, then head on over to this list of the best Amsterdam hotels, but if you're keen to stay central and see the oldest parts of the city, this is the post for you.
In the list below I start with some of the most luxury hotels in central Amsterdam that I've been lucky enough to enjoy and then we move on to some 4-star and also budget hotels, as well as a few hostels, so there should be enough Amsterdam city centre accommodation options for everyone to choose from.
We spent a night at the Conservatorium last year for my birthday which felt very frivolous as this 5-star hotel is close to Museumplein so less than a mile from our house, but that's kind of why I like it staying in one of Amsterdam's luxury hotels as it really does feel like a treat. And yes, staying in the Conservatorium - an elegant and vast building that used to house the old music conservatorium - is a very luxurious experience. There's an underground spa and swimming pool, a spacious lobby housing a bar, restaurant and seating area, and the room we stayed in, a suite, overlooked this so gave us ideal people-watching views. The hotel's location is really optimal for going to the museums on Museumplein (Van Gogh Museum, the Rijksmuseum, the Stedelijk Museum, and Moco Museum) and there's a tram stop immediately opposite with routes taking you into and across town from east to west (or vice-versa), and north and south. If your budget allows for it, you really can't find a better located central Amsterdam hotel, without being on the main ring canals.
Speaking of staying on the main ring canals (those being Herengracht, Keizersgracht or Prinsengracht), there are several hotels on these canal ways to choose from and nearly all will guarantee you great views and an authentic canal house experience. Some will be grand mansion houses (see Waldorf Astoria below) and others will be older, thinner canal houses with quirky corridors and cosy attic rooms. When we stayed at Hotel Ambassade (on Herengracht) we definitely experienced the latter! Housed in a collection of canal houses that have been knocked through to join together we had a room on the fifth floor in what was essentially the gables. While small, it wasn't pokey and the bed, facilities and furnishings were all very comfortable and luxurious. We also enjoyed a fantastic dinner with memorable canal views in the Brasserie Ambassade and because our stay coincided with the Amsterdam Light Festival, we were treated to the perfect view of one of the canal light installations (and I believe I'm right in saying the canal outside Hotel Ambassade is nearly always a location for the festival). Breakfast the following morning was held in a light airy dining room and I made time for a coffee in the lobby bar which is lined in bookshelves and the hotel is often frequented by authors as the many signed books revealed.
Sofitel Legend The Grand
One of our most recent staycations in Amsterdam was a night in the Sofitel Legend The Grand - which I think is possibly the longest name for a hotel in Amsterdam, by the way. Anyway, our one-night stay here was something of a mini babymoon as it was the last night my partner and I had just the two of us before my second son arrived on the scene. So, I was heavily pregnant, yes, and in need of some serious luxury. This was more than capably handled by The Grand which is set back from one of Amsterdam's oldest canals slap bang in the middle of Red Light District, no less. We enjoyed a swim in the surprisingly large pool, we had a lazy lunch in the courtyard restaurant and later that evening we sipped cocktails (or in my case, a mocktail) in the bar. The bed we slept in was huge enough for me to forget my partner was with me (a good thing, trust me!) and I was very happy that my request for a quiet room with close proximity to a lift was accommodated. We liked our stay at The Grand so much that when my family came over for Christmas a few months later we took them all their for our Christmas lunch.
In short, Sofitel Legend The Grand is a great luxury 5-star hotel if you want to stay in the Red Light District and walking distance from all the other central sights and landmarks like the Royal Palace, Dam Square and Beurs van Berlage.
Arguably the quirkiest hotel on this list, and possibly the one that is hardest to get a room at because, well, there is only one room in Hotel Droog. In fact, the name is somewhat misleading because it is more design studio and show room and cafe than it is a hotel, but there IS a room available for you to stay in and while I haven't stayed there myself, I love popping into the shop and cafe here so much I know it would be a treat to stay here. The location is also hard to beat. Tucked down one of the oldest streets in Amsterdam, and next door to one of my favourite Amsterdam photography spots, Groenburgwal, Hotel Droog is a great centrally-located hotel that is walking distance from Waterlooplein Flea Market, the Jewish Cultural Centre, Hermitage Museum, and the Red Light District, among many of Amsterdam's city centre sights. Find out more about how you can stay at Hotel Droog here, but if you aren't lucky to get availability you can always just pop into Hotel Droog for afternoon tea or for a look around their very cool design-focused shop!
Find out more and book your stay at Droog here.
Waldorf Astoria by Sherrie from Travel By A Sherrie Affair
From the moment you enter the Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam you are surrounded by elegance and sophistication not only in the décor but in the service bestowed on you. Be prepared to sit in a lovely lobby space with ornate furniture for the check-in process as you choose from a selection of scents that will then be taken to your room.
The rooms themselves are spacious and beautiful, with very large windows over-looking one of Amsterdam's most famous canals, Prinsengracht. Special candies, fruits, a vase with fresh tulips and a handwritten note are there to welcome you, and the style is clean and fresh making the Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam perfect accommodation.
Stepping outside to the rear of the hotel, you enter a beautiful garden, with fountains, statues, and flowers. On a sunny day, there is plenty of comfortable garden furniture to sit back and have a cocktail or two as you enjoy the peaceful surroundings. Look up to the roof to see the Waldorf's own beehives designed to look just like Amsterdam buildings along the canal.
Back inside make sure to stop in the Vault Bar, a fun bank-themed bar which uses wallets open as menus, small safes for your bar snack, and there are vault safety boxes displayed on the wall. There are two restaurants at the Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam, both of which are under they direction of the famous Chef Sidney Schutt. The Librije’s Zusje has its Michelin Star and is an extraordinary dining experiences that should not be missed; Chef Schutt combines art and science in his craft that will simply have you walking away wondering how did he do that!
(PS The Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam is one of the only hotels I've seen get full 5 stars out of over 1700 reviews on TripAdvisor!)
Follow more of Sherrie's travels on her Facebook page and book your stay at the Waldorf Astoria in Amsterdam here.
Soho House by Kelly from A Pair of Passports
The Hoxton by Stefan from Nomadic Boys
Doubletree Hilton by Jorge from Travel Drafts
For an upscale centrally-located Amsterdam hotel that is also good value for money, the Doubletree by Hilton is a great option. It’s perfectly located in the city centre (it's less than a minute's walk from Centraal Station and you can be in Dam Square in five minutes) meaning you can walk everywhere to see what you want to see in Amsterdam's city centre or you can easily catch the train and trams to visit the rest of Amsterdam or leave the city. Plus, the hotel also rents bicycles which is a cool and traditional way to explore Amsterdam.
One of the things we enjoyed most in this hotel was the views of both the city and the canals. The rooftop bar and disco is probably the best place to enjoy these views while drinking a cocktail after a long day visiting the city center. The Doubletree also has a well-equipped gym, a terrace and a restaurant within the hotel.
The room has everything you need and expect from this kind of Hotel, an elegant decoration, comfortable beds, AC, WI-FI and even an iMac computer. The rooms also come with cozy sleepers and a robe which makes the whole experience more satisfying.
In the morning you wake up to a glorious hotel buffet breakfast with plenty of fruit, cereals, nuts and the possibility of freshly made pancakes and eggs.
Marriott Amsterdam by Harsh from Wanderers Hub
You can never go wrong with a Marriott property, and especially when it is located in an enviable location in Amsterdam. Marriott Amsterdam is a 4-star rated property in the heart of Amsterdam, less than five minutes walk from Rijksmuseum and extremely close to Holland Casino. As the hotel is situated in the cultural city centre of Amsterdam, it means you are never away from good cafes, museums, shopping centres and theatres.
The five-star property boasts designer accommodation and fancy decor in neutral colors. Each room in this stylish Amsterdam hotel offers a cozy seating area, a flat screen TV as well as a work desk. One can also enjoy 24-hour room service facility. Expect nothing but first-class service from the warm staff members who are always happy to respond to the request of the travelers. The hotel’s Midtown Grill Restaurant and Sorel’s Midtown Bar are stylish hotspots to indulge in savory treats and unwind after a hectic day of exploration. Don’t forget to try freakshake at Sorel’s Bar as they make the best in Amsterdam. To summarise, Marriott Amsterdam is an excellent property with really impressive rooms and an even better location. It is convenient, welcoming, and a modern hotel to stay in Amsterdam.
Hotel Vondel by Emma from Emma Jane Explores
Hotel Vondel is a beautiful 4-star hotel located in the Museumplein area of Amsterdam, just a short walk from the lush greenery of Vondelpark and the major art museums of the city including the Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum.
I stayed at Hotel Vondel at the end of a brief European holiday and Amsterdam was my final stop of five European cities in six days! Luckily, Hotel Vondel was the perfect boutique hotel to rest my head, see a little of Amsterdam and relax after a really busy time travelling.
I lucked out when I arrived with super friendly reception staff who upgraded me to a room with a giant bathtub, so you can imagine that after a long day walking around town, coming home to relax in a hot tub with a glass of wine was perfect! The rooms were clean and well looked after and the area is perfectly safe to wander around at night, with plenty of restaurants, bars and traditional Amsterdam brown bars to sit in and enjoy the atmosphere nearby. Even though it is very close to the action of the city, the street Hotel Vondel sits on is quiet and serene, so a good night’s sleep is definitely in order. All in all, it’s a perfect spot to rest and recuperate for another exciting day in Amsterdam.
Misc Eatdrinksleep by Melissa from Suitcase and Heels
My best friend turned me on to Misc Eatdrinksleep when we were planning a girls trip to Amsterdam. She’d stayed there once before and liked it so much she wanted to stay again. It was my first time in Amsterdam and I was excited about booking a canal view room with character.
And Misc Eatdrinksleep has lots of character. It’s housed in a traditional tall and narrow 17th century canal house in central Amsterdam. The location, just a 10-minute walk from the train station, meant that we were able to walk to everything we wanted to see.
The hotel is truly boutique, with just 6 rooms - two on each floor. Each room is decorated in a unique theme which is part of what gives the place so much personality. And don’t worry about the steep, narrow staircase, staff will bring your bags up for you when you check-in. We also particularly loved the minibar that was refreshed with snacks each day, the robes, and the included breakfast in the morning.
If you want to feel immersed in Amsterdam, a canal house hotel is the way to go and Misc Eatdrinksleep would be my first choice every time.
Ecomama Hostel by Ellie of Soul Travel Blog
In our bid to experience responsible travel in Amsterdam we headed to Ecomama Hostel in a bid to support low-impact travel in Amsterdam. In a city of only 800,000 where tourists regularly outnumber residents, we figured every little helps when it comes to improving our footprint! We loved the stylish vibes and decor of the hostel as well as the eco-philosophy.
Located a two-minute stroll from the city’s Waterlooplein square, Ecomama is in a central part of Amsterdam that is often overlooked by tourists who flock to the western side of the city instead. This is one of our favourite neighbourhoods - in a matter of minutes you can be cycling past the hermitage museum, strolling through the Oosterpark or snapping Amsterdam’s pretty canals and bridges.
The hostel is pretty much a hotel and offers up-market digs at less-steep prices for the compromise of less space and less light. We stayed in “Shabby Cabin” - a private room that has a super comfy and cosy bed on a platform, but is small and has no windows and had a shared bathroom. We loved the vibes of the pink-curtain-nursery inspired all-female dorm, and if you want a private room and will be staying longer we recommend one of the Deluxe Doubles which is a larger double private room, with the luxury of your own daylight and your own bathroom. There’s a shared kitchen which is the perfect place to avoid over-priced eating out (or simply re-heat your waffles). There are twice weekly family-style dinners if communal dining is your thing!
Described as Green, Quirky, Conscious sleeping, Ecomama supports a philosophy of travel that gives back. For every stay at Ecomama they donate to NGO Ninos de Guatemala (which helps provide education for under-privileged children in Guatemala) as well as to Amsterdam's Artis Zoo. The hostel uses natural stone heating, an eco-friendly water system, and was furnished using mainly fair-trade materials.
We’d happily return here - just be sure to book early as Ecomama gets fully booked quickly!
Stayokay Hostel Vondelpark by Sander from Ars Currendi
And there we have the best hotels in Amsterdam city centre, from 5-star luxury to budget-friendly hostels. Below are some links to more posts that will help you plan your trip to Amsterdam.
And here are some images so you can save and share this post on Pinterest:
And if you'd like some other tips for planning your trip to Amsterdam, check out these posts:
Frances M. Thompson
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