Where to live in Amsterdam – local hints

So you are moving to Amsterdam? Congrats! Speaking from my heart, after almost 4 years living there, that’s one of the best cities to reside in. Apart from being unbelievably pretty, super lively, extremely multicultural, there’s always something going on. However, every district has its own charm and (dis)advantages. With the help of Nestpick, a search aggregator that helps you browse through thousands of apartment rental offers in Amsterdam, I give you some tips on where is best to live, according to a local.



Amsterdam Centrum – traditional & dynamic

That’s the oldest part and the buzzing hub of Amsterdam. Most of the touristic attractions are spread around – Dam Square, the Royal Palace, Central station, Bloemenmarkt (the flower market), Spui square and Leidseplein.

Under the borders of Amsterdam Centrum lie the famous Red light district as well. Lots of bars and nightclubs can be found in this area of Amsterdam. The picturesque Jordaan neighborhood offers a completely opposite atmosphere with its cute small boutiques and neat cozy cafes.

Pros: Living in the very heart of the city, you can walk everywhere. Great connection with the other areas in Amsterdam. Perfect if you like going out.
Cons: Quite expensive and considerably touristy. The hassle might be a bit too much sometimes.


Amsterdam Oost – funky and laid-back

The east part of Amsterdam strikes with an ethnic diversity, wide streets, neat buildings, and lush parks. Among the most well-known attractions in the area is the magnificent Tropenmuseum.

Since it’s technically out of the city center, it’s less crowded and more chill. There are lots of fine local cafes and restaurants as well as some charming little shops. In terms of shopping, Dappermarkt is a vibrant outdoor market offering heaps of goods including yummy street food.

Pros: Spacious, more local area, just 10 min from the city center. An abundance of green areas, tasty international food, and unconventional spots.
Cons: Not very traditional district.


Amsterdam Zuid – culture & chic

In the southern part are located the most desirable neighborhoods in Amsterdam to live in. Oud Zuid is an elegant and classy area with its beautiful houses, exquisite boutiques, and chic cafes. De Pijp boost with a vibrant ambiance, cosmopolite character, and excellent food & drink experience.

Museumplein, presenting top-notch museums such as the Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum, is a perfect spot if you want to stretch your legs. Furthermore, Amsterdam’s legendary Vondelpark is just at the corner.

The daily Albert Cuyp street market with the best stroopwafels in the city is just there showing the casual daily life in the neighborhood.

Pros: A residential area where not many tourists set foot in. Really lively area, close to the central part of the city.
Cons: Living in Amsterdam Zuid is pricy.


Amsterdam Oud-West & Nieuw-West – classic & modern

Still a hand distance from the city center, Oud-West is clearly one of the best places to live in Amsterdam.

Starring De Hallen – a cultural & food center featuring food market, library, cinema, hotel, and several fine artisan shops – the neighborhood blooms. And that’s not all by far.

Because of its location, living there feels like living in Amsterdam’s center with sights like Vondelpark and Jordaan bordering it. The more west you go the more residential it gets. The Nieuw-West area is more family-oriented spacious and green.

Amsterdam canal

Pros: Even though it’s not the ideal center, living in the western neighborhoods of Amsterdam would be a great experience at a more affordable price.
Cons: This is one of the biggest districts of Amsterdam. It might take some time to get to the city center.


Amsterdam-Noord – affordable & hip

You probably think that there’s nothing worth on the other bank of the IJ canal but for the last few years the area blasts. From the contemporary EYE Filmmuseum to the hip NDSM wharf, Amsterdam-Noord attracts young professionals and families offering affordable accommodation and relief from the hectic city life.

Pros: Ideal if you want to pay less without giving up any communal extras.
Cons: Living in Amsterdam-Noord without owning a car might be a little obstacle. The metro is coming soon tho and until then there are free ferries crossing the IJ canal.


Amsterdam-Zuidoost – green & multicultural

Completely separated from Amsterdam the Zuidoost hosts an ethnical diversity, futuristic charm and wide lush areas. Home of the Ajax football team, Bijlmer Arena – one of the biggest transport hubs in Amsterdam and Gaasperplas Park – a huge nature reserve with a lake. The scenery varies from modern buildings and shopping centers to traditional houses and spacious green spaces.

Pros: Lively area offering a fast and easy escape in nature.
Cons: A bit far from the city center. Very well connected, tho.


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