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Sir Adam Hotel; Hotel Arena; Alyssa Powell/Business Insider
- With its picturesque canals, Golden Age architecture, rich cultural offerings, and a freewheeling spirit, Amsterdam is a top destination for all types of travelers.
- Amsterdam is also quite expensive, with many four-star and up hotels starting at around $400 or $500 most times of the year.
- However, some hidden gem hotels are priced more affordably, with entry-level rooms starting as low as $76 per night, rising to $295 for ritzier stays. We selected the best affordable hotels based on our experience staying at centrally-located properties, as well as reviews and rankings from trusted traveler sites.
- Read all Business Insider hotel reviews here.
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With its latticework of canals, quaint cobblestone streets, and Golden Age gabled houses, Amsterdam ranks as one of the world’s most picturesque capitals. Its compact city center seems designed with Instagram in mind, and every turn reveals another arched bridge, scenic waterway, or atmospheric cobbled lane — and, of course, there’s all those tall, good-looking Dutch cyclists, too.
As such, Amsterdam has become a popular year-round destination, especially in late spring, summer, and early fall, when the weather is nicest. Consequently, those seasons see the highest hotel rates. If you’re looking for a bargain — and don’t mind the damp winter weather — consider visiting from November to March (though keep in mind the Dutch also celebrate the Christmas holiday in early December). Strategic timing will certainly help as Amsterdam’s hotels have some of the continent’s highest occupancy rates and highest prices, with an average nightly rate of 167 euro (about $185), and centrally-located four- and five-star properties commanding several hundred dollars per night.
While the historic central Canal District is the most coveted, many other neighborhoods offer their own distinct charms. Hip, happening De Pijp and Westerpark, the art-filled Museum Quarter, edgy, industrial Amsterdam Noord (North), and the multi-cultural Amsterdam Oost (East) are all worth a look — especially considering the city is well-connected by a network of trams and the Metro. In these areas, you’ll find a mix of mainly three- and four-star properties at much friendlier price points.
Expect rooms of all sizes and shapes, from raw concrete spaces to those rich with period details, and decor that ranges from sleekly minimalist to retro-hip to seriously sumptuous.
Traveling elsewhere? Read our list of the best affordable hotels in other popular cities, and other top picks in Europe:
- The best affordable hotels in New York City
- The best affordable hotels in Los Angeles
- The best hotels in Berlin
- The best hotels in Barcelona
- The best hotels in London
Being mindful of budget, our picks range from $76 to $295 per night in low season. All selections are rated three-star or higher, based on my own personal experience at every hotel, and also incorporate feedback from trusted traveler sites such as Trip Advisor and Booking.com.
Several hotels are found in prime locations, but given Amsterdam’s high nightly rates, some are situated in outlying neighborhoods that are nevertheless well-connected to the city center. I also looked for key amenities such as a unique design sensibility, interesting surroundings, a buzzy in-house restaurant or bar scene, and other perks guests love.
These are the best affordable hotels in Amsterdam to book in 2020, sorted by price from low to high:
A 1960s concrete high-rise, this former headquarters of the Dutch newspaper Volkskrant is now home to a hip three-star hotel that buzzes round-the-clock with youthful energy.
By day, the industrial-style lobby doubles as a cafe and coworking space, filled with cool creatives tapping away on their laptops at long communal tables. After work, the rooftop Canvas is a quiet lunchtime spot that comes alive with young Amsterdammers who flock to the bar and terrace for wallet-friendly cocktails and panoramic eighth-floor views of the city. On weekends, it turns into a pulsing nightclub, with DJs spinning until 3 a.m. For a more serene rooftop experience, there’s also an outdoor Finnish sauna and three open-air hot tubs available to hotel guests.
Rooms are a mish-mash of sizes and layouts, starting from snug 129-square-foot XS rooms with a Double bed and in-room sink, up to group-sized XL, with two Double beds, two bathrooms, and 485 square feet of space. They are minimalist in style with exposed concrete walls and pillars, newspaper silk screen wall art, and clever built-ins that maximize space.
There are also a handful of artist-designed “special rooms,” which include an all-white bike-themed space complete with two white bikes to pedal around the city. For slightly more room to stretch out and far better views, upgrade to an M room and ask for one situated on a corner.
Trip Advisor Ranking: 51 of 404 hotels in Amsterdam
Booking.com Rating: 8.7 out of 10
Pros: Upper-floor, city-facing corner rooms have fantastic, unobstructed views of Amsterdam. The lively rooftop restaurant/bar lets you mingle with locals without leaving the hotel. Just a block away is the Amstel River, lined with restaurants, bars, and cafes.
Cons: The hotel is situated on busy Wibautstraat, admittedly one of the most unattractive streets in the city. The East Amsterdam location is far from major attractions, but the Metro, located right out front, will get you to the center in about 10 minutes.
Conscious Hotel Westerpark
The eco-friendly Amsterdam mini-chain’s first hotel is still its coolest, set in the magnificent red-brick former offices of the city’s gasworks and surrounded by verdant Westerpark. A cheery pink lobby cafe welcomes you upon check-in, but the real draw is the adjoining organic bar and restaurant Kantoor, a popular local haunt with a park-fronting terrace that is one of the prettiest spots in town for a cocktail.
The hotel’s green cred goes beyond upcycled furniture to include water-saving showerheads, sustainable mattresses and bedding, and organic toiletries. Even its heating and cooling systems and wind-powered electric are environmentally friendly.
Rooms are fairly spartan for a four-star property, with gray flooring, white or wood-paneled walls, and contemporary metal furnishings. All have comfy Royal Dutch Auping beds, though larger rooms offer King-sized versions. Entry-level rooms measure a decent 193 square feet, but it’s worth upgrading to a Big Double for more space, additional windows, and better views.
Trip Advisor Ranking: 112 of 404 hotels in Amsterdam
Booking.com Rating: 8.8 out of 10
Pros: Westerpark, with its vast open lawns, trails, and hip dining and entertainment venues, is right at your doorstep. Pick up organic snacks from the lobby cafe and you’re all set for a nice picnic. There’s also free daily happy hour with wine at the Kantoor bar.
Cons: Rooms can be noisy in summer when the park plays host to numerous concerts. The charming Jordaan area is about a 15-minute walk but you’ll have to hop on the nearby tram to reach the city center.
A converted 19th-century orphanage houses this four-star hotel, set in the middle of leafy Oosterpark in the up-and-coming East Amsterdam neighborhood. Original stained-glass windows, murals, and a monumental cast-iron and marble staircase were beautifully preserved and thoroughly integrated into the chic, retro design scheme. The crown jewel is the aptly named Park restaurant, with glass walls and a large terrace that offers lovely views of Oosterpark’s pond and fountain.
Former dormitories are now a jumble of rooms in various sizes, layouts, and decor, and there’s a new wing that houses many of the hotel’s large, modern suites that boast great park views. Classic rooms are set in the historic building and feature high ceilings, tall windows, wood floors, and modern furnishings; some are split-level while others have views of the quiet courtyard. Many of the larger Supreme category rooms offer direct garden access.
Trip Advisor Ranking: 103 of 404 hotels in Amsterdam
Booking.com Rating: 8.2 out of 10
Pros: The bucolic park setting and period touches make for a unique stay. There are several trendy bars surrounding the park and the nearby Javastraat is lined with restaurants, bars, and independent boutiques.
Cons: It’s a 20-minute tram ride to the city center.
The Hoxton Amsterdam
Occupying five 17th-century canal houses right in the heart of the trendy Nine Streets area, this stylish four-star couldn’t have a better location. Like its sister properties in London and the US, the Hoxton Amsterdam exudes a cool vintage vibe that makes it a serious hit with the local hipster crowd. You’ll find them day and night hanging in the lobby lounge/bar, a cozy dual-level space outfitted with low-slung retro-style chairs, leather sofas, and a wood-burning fireplace. At the back is the buzzy Italian spot Lotti’s, a sleek, white-tiled room with a retractable roof that opens on warm summer days.
Rooms come in three sizes, Shoebox, Cozy, and Roomy, and a full half of them offer views over the famous Herengracht canal. They feature a variety of historical details depending on the room — original beamed or coffered ceilings and wood-paneled walls — but all have gorgeous herringbone floors, chandeliers, and groovy leather headboards. Cozy rooms with Double beds average around 183 square feet. There are also three top-tier concept rooms that differ in decor and may include a freestanding tub or marble fireplace.
Trip Advisor Ranking: 9 of 404 hotels in Amsterdam
Booking.com Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: The Canal Ring location is not only charming, but it also puts you within walking distance of all the major sites.
Cons: Rooms are on the smaller side and most lack wardrobes or closets.
Sir Adam Hotel
Getting to this music-themed boutique hotel is half the fun. Hop the free 24/7 public ferry from Central Station for a scenic three-minute ride across the harbor; it’s then just a few minutes’ walk to reach the hotel, occupying the first eight floors of a 1970s office building turned entertainment destination, A’DAM Toren.
The sprawling dual-level lobby, dubbed The Hub, shares space with hip local burger chain, The Butcher, and features brightly colored furniture, a pool table, video-game machines, and an eclectic soundtrack. Choose from the well-stocked vinyl library in the lobby and take your LPs upstairs to spin on your own personal Croser turntable. There’s also a Gibson guitar in every room to make your own music.
Individually-designed, industrial-chic rooms feature concrete walls decorated with rock-n-roll posters and photos of famous musicians. Views are spectacular, looking out over the IJ harbor and the city, however, you’ll have to upgrade from the entry-level Boutique rooms to at least the Deluxe category for city views. The hotel signature Sir-brand beds are remarkably comfortable and a pillow menu and Illy coffeemaker come standard.
Trip Advisor Ranking: 46 of 404 hotels in Amsterdam
Booking.com Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: There are many entertainment and dining options right in the building, including the 20th-floor eatery Madam and just below, the swanky revolving Moon restaurant, as well as a sky deck with Europe’s highest swing (hotel guests receive discount admission).
Cons: While the ferry commute is a fun novelty, it’s less so when the weather isn’t agreeable. The Amsterdam Noord district, once an abandoned industrial area, is exciting architecturally but definitely lacks the city center’s historic charm.
Sir Albert Hotel
Like its sister property Sir Adam (above), this four-star boutique occupies a historic building, in this case, a 19th-century diamond-cutting factory in the trendy De Pijp district.
The vibe here is decidedly cozier, with a book-lined lobby lounge outfitted with leather seating, cowhide poufs, and a gas fireplace. The adjacent Izakaya bar and restaurant serves excellent Japanese-inspired small plates and is often packed with stylish locals. Be sure to make a reservation.
Rooms have high ceilings, tall windows, elegant dark-wood floors, and attractive modern furnishings. Entry-level Boutique rooms are on the smaller side, averaging around 193 square feet. Opt for a Deluxe room, measuring 270 square feet, and ask for one facing the street or the canal for the best views. Both categories have open-plan bathrooms, so if you require more privacy, you’ll need to upgrade to a suite, which offers separate baths with freestanding Philippe Starck tubs.
Trip Advisor Ranking: 64 of 404 hotels in Amsterdam
Booking.com Rating: 8.7 out of 10
Pros: De Pijp’s cool bar and restaurant scene is at your doorstep and it’s a short walk to the bustling open-air Albert Cuyp Market. You’re also near the Museum Quarter, home to a trio of the city’s top art institutions, the Rijksmuseum, Stedelijk, and Van Gogh.
Cons: Rooms on the ground floor and above the bar can be noisy. One of Amsterdam’s smaller Red Light districts is just around the corner.
The College Hotel
With a gorgeous setting inside a neo-Renaissance former school dating from 1895, and a stellar location near Amsterdam’s Big Three museums (Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh and Stedelijk), this four-star hotel is one of my personal favorites.
Historical details include exposed arched red-brick walls, soaring ceilings, big fireplaces, and sweeping staircases, plus a beautifully landscaped front garden. The award-winning wine bar is a gorgeous space outfitted with herringbone floors and jewel-toned velvet seating, and serves a sophisticated lunch and dinner menu, as well as daily high tea and wine. The shady courtyard terrace (open seasonally) is a lovely spot for an alfresco drink.
Rooms are generously large, starting at around 270 square feet for a Superior Room, and feature an elegant mix of Art Deco and modern furnishings. Suites, some of which are housed in a converted chemistry laboratory, come with built-in window seats or boast spacious duplexes with oversized bathtubs and skylights.
Trip Advisor Ranking: 179 of 404 hotels in Amsterdam
Booking.com Rating: 8.3 out of 10
Pros: It’s a great base for touring Amsterdam’s top museums, and the trendy bars and restaurants of De Pijp are a short walk away.
Cons: The College Hotel also functions as a training facility for a hotel school, so service can often be hit or miss. Some rooms have small windows and limited views, so be sure to request one facing the garden. Many guests had issues with the darkness of the hotel and rooms.
Grand Hotel Amrâth Amsterdam
One of Amsterdam’s only five-star hotels offering (marginally) affordable starting rates, this landmark property is set in a massive turreted 1913 shipping house just a short walk from Central Station.
Grand Hotel Amrâth retains many breathtaking original Art Nouveau details such as sculpted wood paneling, marble floors, stained-glass windows, sinuous wrought-iron accents, and a central staircase with a soaring stained-glass ceiling. The common spaces are resolutely old-fashioned with lots of dark wood, red velvet, and black leather. So, don’t expect any hip design touches, or any hipsters, for that matter. The bar/lounge has lovely canal-fronting views, and the spa features a sauna, steam room, and a 30-foot jet-stream pool that is free for guests.
Entry-level Deluxe rooms are generously sized, starting at around 260 square feet, and the high-ceilinged rooms are classically decorated with striped red carpeting, fabric-covered walls (based on original designs), and dark wood furnishings. Enormous floor-to-ceiling windows let in plenty of light, and those facing the back or side of the building offer views of the canals and gabled houses. Some suites feature herringbone floors, whirlpool baths, and private terraces.
Trip Advisor Ranking: 171 of 404 hotels in Amsterdam
Booking.com Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: The unique historic building is in close proximity to several tourist attractions, including the Red Light District and the National Maritime Museum (Het Scheepvaartmuseum), and is a short walk from Central Station.
Cons: Some guests found the decor a bit dated. The restaurant stops serving at 8 p.m. and the menu is limited.
Kimpton de Witt Amsterdam
The hip Kimpton brand, part of the IHG group, overhauled this 1980s hotel, which incorporated three 17th-century houses, with marvelous results. The open-plan lobby is bright and welcoming, decked out with blue-and-white tile floors and sleek seating nooks where you can enjoy the free all-day tea bar or partake of complimentary wine and snacks at the 5 p.m. happy hour.
The hotel is also home to one of the best cocktail bars in the city, Super Lyan, done up in a colorful retro style. (Note: At press time, the restaurant was under renovation but is still serving breakfast.) The location is ideal, just a few minutes’ walk from Central Station and the bustling shopping thoroughfare of Nieuwendijk.
Done up in elegant blue and gray hues with pops of floral, rooms feature contemporary furnishings and plush touches like Frette robes and Marie-Stella-Maris toiletries. Entry-level Queen rooms measure between 182 and 226 square feet, though the larger King Standards are a bit more comfortable. Suites, situated in the historic canal houses, have lovely period details such as wood-beamed ceilings, terraces, and fantastic city views.
Trip Advisor Ranking: 20 of 404 hotels in Amsterdam
Booking.com Rating: 8.9 out of 10
Pros: We love all the signature Kimpton freebies, including complimentary bike rental, free daily happy hour (with a generous selection of cheese and warm Dutch snacks), and breakfast included in the rate. The friendly, efficient service also really sets this hotel apart.
Cons: Rooms are pricey for the size. Opt for one at the back of the building or on a higher floor to avoid the sound of the trams passing by.
Ten interlinked 17th-century gabled canal houses form this four-star hotel, which plays up its historical interiors with a lavish array of antiques and period-style furnishings found in 57 individually designed rooms.
The best entry-level standard rooms are situated at street level with high ceilings and views of the famed Herengracht canal through tall windows. Those at the back of the building feature beamed ceilings and courtyard views, and all are outfitted with chandeliers, gilt mirrors, and a riot of rich fabrics in bright jewel tones.
In contrast, the ground level is far more modern in style and features an upscale brasserie and lobby lounge hung with a fine collection of colorful, avant-garde CoBrA art dating from the mid-20th century. A great place to relax, especially for bibliophiles, is the library bar stocked with some 5,000 books, all of which have been signed by visiting authors.
Trip Advisor Ranking: 2 of 404 hotels in Amsterdam
Booking.com Rating: 9.3 out of 10
Pros: The Canal District location makes an ideal base for exploring the city, with the trendy Nine Streets shopping area just outside the door, and Dam Square and the Rijksmuseum within walking distance.
Cons: As the hotel is a collection of separate houses linked by corridors, negotiating the path to your room can be a bit confusing and some require ascending steep stairs.
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