Finding accommodation in Amsterdam can take on many forms, but most of the options are the familiar ones. Hotels and hostels in this city are mostly what you’d expect, but this being a city on canals there is a houseboat rental option as well.
Unlike many other international capitals, Amsterdam tends to be a city where you get what you pay for, and not much more or less. Some cities have loads of chain hotels where someone staying in the identical room next to yours might be paying twice as much (or half as much) as you are, but Amsterdam tends to be more straight forward, which can be good or bad. At least you know you are unlikely to be ripped off here, and that paying a little more for a room almost always translates into a better room or location.
Amsterdam is known for being a party destination, but most of the city shuts down at a reasonable hour. If you are staying in the Red Light District or right on Rembrandtplein then you’ll very likely be very near some loud and late clubs and bars, but anywhere else and you should be okay. If you are a light sleeper then take care to book a room in the back if you are staying in the party zone.
In all but the cheapest and most expensive places, breakfast will be included with your room. This is especially handy in Amsterdam since very few restaurants serve any kind of morning meals. Some hotels have shifted to a breakfast buffet, but mostly the traditional Amsterdam breakfast will always consist of a hard boiled egg, a couple slices of meat or cheese, a couple slices of bread with jam and butter, as well as coffee or tea. It’s a filling and traditional way to start your day.
Hotels in Amsterdam
Amsterdam hotels come in all the usual categories. There are 4 and 5-star luxury chains that are so posh that you have no idea which city you are in once you enter the front door. There are plenty of 3-star places where experienced travelers who want a bit of luxury can find a room with all the normal comforts but little of the pricey luxury. Then there are the 1 and 2-star hotels in Amsterdam where visitors can both save money and live in the typical local fashion.
Very few hotels in Amsterdam, even in the lower rankings, would be considered dirty or dumpy. There is no skid row or equivalent where you have to worry about being woken up by pieces of the ceiling falling down upon you. Generally lower priced hotels in Amsterdam tend to have less convenient locations, offer smaller rooms, and have nothing more than basic furniture. But they are almost never dirty or dangerous.
Here are a few of Amsterdam’s most popular hotels:
>> For more information on cheap hotels in Amsterdam, visit our friends at Eurocheapo.
Hostels in Amsterdam
Even if you aren’t a gap year budget traveler surviving on $20 per day you might consider staying at a hostel in Amsterdam. There are cheap dorm room beds in places all over town, but most of these places also have private rooms so you can get the best of both worlds. This is a party city after all, and if you want to get plugged into that pipeline there is no easier way than staying at one of this city’s notorious party hostels.
Many of the Amsterdam hostels have their own bars and lounges, so even when the city outside gets quiet there is still plenty to do back at home base. Many have restaurants as well so finding a decent snack couldn’t be easier. There is a whole social scene you have access to when staying at a hostel that is impossible to find at a normal hotel. Certainly, hostels aren’t for everyone, but they can be the key ingredient in a fun-oriented trip so don’t dismiss the idea too quickly.
Houseboats in Amsterdam
An accommodation option that you have in Amsterdam that you have in very few other places is renting a houseboat. Unfortunately, there aren’t many for rent so they aren’t cheap, but they can provide an unforgettable stay in Amsterdam if it works out for you. Just to be clear, these houseboats aren’t available at some dock allowing you to literally cruise all over town in your private boat (too bad because that would be cool). Houseboats in Amsterdam are anchored along the sides of most canals as a way to increase available housing in a city that will never have enough.
They are best suited to groups or three or more people, since they tend to be large and are usually outfitted with three or more beds, and often multiple bedrooms. They are actually just floating apartments so prices tend to compare to renting a short-term apartment in the city, but a normal apartment can’t possibly hold the novelty value of renting your own houseboat on an Amsterdam canal for a few days.
>> Learn more about staying in Amsterdam houseboats