Where to Stay in Amsterdam for a Local Experience

Amsterdams luxury Boat & Co aparthotel can be your unforgettable home from home
Amsterdam's luxury Boat & Co aparthotel can be your unforgettable home from home | Courtesy of Hotel BOAT & CO / Expedia
Sarah Gibbons

Avoid the usual tourist traps – the Red Light District and hazy coffee shops – by reading our guide to the best places to stay in Amsterdam.

Amsterdam is notoriously touristy, but there are still hidden gems and local secrets to be discovered in the historic Dutch capital. Sip coffee in the trendy Jordaan neighbourhood, browse a 400-year-old food market or rub shoulders with Amsterdammers at a rooftop bar. If you’re looking for an authentic experience, read our guide to the best areas of Amsterdam to stay in – and hotels to match.

1. Canal House, for old-world style

Boutique Hotel, Hotel

Double bed in room with two bedside tables, armchair, rug, wooden floor and exposed painted beams at Canal House
Courtesy of Canal House / Expedia

Located in the heart of the Jordaan, the cultural centre of Amsterdam, is Canal House. It is situated on the Keizersgracht (the Emperor’s Canal) and is comprised of three higgledy-piggledy 17th-century merchants’ houses. Now a “monumented” site, the building features all signs of wealth in years gone by, from its original features to its stately proportions, particularly in the Great Room where you can enjoy a quiet cocktail or a few rounds of Scrabble.

2. The Hoxton Amsterdam, for hip surroundings

Suite Hotel

Double bed, sofa, armchair, rug, parquet flooring and large windows in a wood-panelled room at the Hoxton Amsterdam
Courtesy of the Hoxton Amsterdam / Expedia

The Hoxton brand’s first edition outside of London in 2014, this hotel can be found on Herengracht in one of the best places to stay in Amsterdam, the Nine Streets neighbourhood. Here, you’ll find the capital’s top independent shops and gourmet restaurants. True to Hoxton style, the hotel has its own trendy bar and restaurant to enjoy too, Lotti’s. Enjoy a leisurely breakfast, catch up with friends over lunch, or sip on cocktails into the evening alongside locals.

4. The College Hotel, for a back-to-school feel

Boutique Hotel

Red-brick exterior of the College Hotel, with two flags raised from the wall above some clipped hedges in the garden
Courtesy of the College Hotel / Expedia

The place to be in Oud-Zuid for tourists and locals alike, the College Hotel is housed in a stylish 19th-century building that was opened as a school in 1895. Expect classical high ceilings, large fireplaces and spacious stairwells combined with award-winning contemporary design. Escape to the Mediterranean-style terrace for a glass of wine, or try something more hearty at the sumptuous Foodbar restaurant – and there’s live music every Saturday.

5. Boat & Co, for canal views

Luxury, Apartment

Small kitchen-dining area with green sofa, table, chairs, hob and counters in suite with bathroom at the Boat & Co aparthotel
Courtesy of Hotel Boat & Co / Expedia

An aparthotel on the waterfront in Houthaven neighbourhood, one of the city’s most up-and-coming areas, Boat & Co is one of the best places to stay in Amsterdam for those who like their own space, but enjoy access to luxury hotel services. Explore the area, known for its forward-thinking design and gourmet restaurants, or take a leisurely bike ride to trendy Jordaan, with its quirky independent shops and creative vibe.

6. Mr Jordaan, for an intimate stay

Independent Hotel

Loft room with double bed on wooden frame, a radiator and large windows at Mr Jordaan
Courtesy of Mr Jordaan / Expedia

Want to escape the touristy city centre for a more authentic, local experience? You’ll love Mr Jordaan, a quirky four-bedroom B&B located on Bloemgracht, an enchanting 17th-century canal in the heart of trendy Jordaan. It’s come a long way since its origins in the 1960s when its founder used to advertise his couch – long before couch surfing became a thing – but the homely vibes and welcoming spirit remains.

7. B&B Milkhouse Luxury Stay Amsterdam, for a prime location

Luxury, Bed and Breakfast

Double bed in ensuite room with minibar, TV, large mirror and white-painted walls at B&B Milkhouse Luxury Stay Amsterdam
Courtesy of B&B Milkhouse Luxury Stay Amsterdam / Expedia

Once the home of Dutch aristocracy and wealthy traders in the 17th century, B&B Milkhouse became a head office in the dairy industry, hence the name. This cosy place to stay offers two light and airy rooms, both of which have a private front door and direct street access onto Keizersgracht. Breakfast is served at Bagels and Beans, a Dutch favourite just down the road that dishes up ethical, organic food with particularly good vegetarian options.

8. The Hendrick's Hotel, for a quintessentially Dutch experience

Hotel

The Hendrick’s is built into a 17th-century canal house and faces the iconic IJ Waterway. Inside, 25 uniquely decorated rooms are available, from small twins, complete with a rain shower and Nespresso machine, to the superior double room with a grand free-standing bath at the foot of the bed. Choose between a 10-minute walk from Amsterdam Central, or take advantage of the hotel’s airport taxi limousine service for an additional fee.

9. HEGRA Hotel by Stanley Collection, for a wallet-friendly pad

Hotel

The number nine is important at the Hegra Hotel; not only does it offer nine simple yet stylish rooms, but it is situated in the quirky Nine Streets neighbourhood, known as one of the best places to stay in Amsterdam for authentic cuisine and alternative shops. Once a 17th-century merchant house, the Hegra offers historical accommodation at an affordable rate – leaving you more cash for Dutch cinnamon pancakes, available down the street at Lotti’s.

10. Hotel TwentySeven, for five-star luxury

Luxury

Gold-toned loft suite with circular bed, TV, armchair, wood cabinet and three cushioned chairs by table at Hotel TwentySeven
Courtesy of Hotel TwentySeven / Hotels.com

Amsterdam may be referred to as the City of Sin, but there’s nothing devilish about this luxury hotel – unless you count the indulgent two-person jacuzzi. Choose the junior suite for luxury decor and canal views or splash out on the imperial terrace suite, featuring your own whirlpool bath and sleeping up to six guests. Tuck into breakfast at Restaurant Bougainville – its Michelin star should be enough to convince you that the eggs benedict with caviar is up to scratch.

Sam Moakes contributed additional reporting to this article.

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