Guide to Amsterdam’s 7 best neighborhoods to live in

This neighborhood guide will walk you through the 7 districts and 26 neighborhoods of Amsterdam and help you narrow down the best areas by taking into account quality of life, public transport, internationality, and safety.


6 minute read
Updated on 29 Apr 2024

Before exploring homes for rent in Amsterdam, you need to consider a few things like what's your budget and where you want to live. With 7 unique districts, choosing the best neighborhood in Amsterdam is an adventure.

To help you narrow your choices, let’s look at some of the best areas in Amsterdam. Our selection is based on the neighborhood’s quality of life, livability, affordability, and safety. We’re sure that by the end of this article, you’ll find the perfect area for you. Let’s dive into Amsterdam’s neighborhoods!

1. Amsterdam neighborhood: Centrum

  • Neighborhood vibe: Urban, exciting, sought-after
  • Time to center: 0 minutes
  • Average rent (1-bedroom apartment): €2,451

Centrum is what you envision when you think of Amsterdam. Areas like Dam Square, the Canal Belt, and Jordaan are here. It’s the busiest part of the city, and it’s perfect if you want to live in a lively area with easy access to Amsterdam’s nightlife hotspots and cultural attractions.

Amsterdam Centrum is a beautiful area thanks to the picturesque cobbled streets, stunning grand architecture, and charming market squares packed with restaurants and bars. Living in the Centrum, you won’t need public transport to most places as everything is within walking or biking distance. But if you ever need it, Centrum has easy connections to the rest of the city via metro, train, tram, and bus.

Centrum is a sought-after area, making its rental prices higher than other neighborhoods in Amsterdam. The average monthly price for a 1-bedroom apartment is €1,510. If you choose to live in areas like Jordaan or the Canal Belt, the average monthly rent can be even higher.

What’s the nicest area of Amsterdam Centrum?: The vibrant Jordaan. The neighborhood is known for its lively streets, trendy vibe and weekly markets, like the one at Nooerdmarkt Square. Jordaan comes alive at night with its numerous bars, restaurants, and nightclubs.

2. Amsterdam neighborhood: Oost

  • Neighborhood vibe: Popular with students, diverse culinary scene, panoramic views
  • Time to center: 16 minutes
  • Average rent (1-bedroom apartment): €2,250

Oost (East) is a mix of everything, from the peaceful De Plantage to the more dynamic Indische Buurt. You can even have a beach in your backyard if you choose the residential IJburg as your new home.

Oost is popular with students of the University of Amsterdam, as there are 2 campuses in the area. The Indische Buurt and the Eastern Docklands are perfect for young professionals. Oost is a safe neighborhood, with occasional petty crimes like bike theft and pickpocketing.

Set just east of the center, you can easily bike or walk to many area attractions, university campuses, and local businesses. While the cost of living in Amsterdam can be quite high, Oost is one of the more affordable neighborhoods. On average, a 1-bedroom apartment costs €1,182 monthly. Keep in mind that Oost is a large neighborhood so prices can vary.

What’s the nicest area of Amsterdam Oost?: Indische Buurt. The multicultural Indische Buurt district is perfect for young expats. This area has a fantastic central location and offers gorgeous waterfront views.

3. Amsterdam neighborhood: West

  • Neighborhood vibe: Bohemian, plenty of greenery, vibrant social life
  • Time to center: 21 minutes
  • Average rent (1-bedroom apartment): €2,147

The West has a unique bohemian vibe that mixes well with the eclectic array of shops and local eateries. Тhis Amsterdam neighborhood is popular with young professionals and families looking for a central location without the hordes of tourists.

Nature lovers will delight as greenery surrounds this area in Amsterdam with the Erasmuspark, Westerpark, Vondelpark, and Rembrandtpark nearby. You can find the local hotspots and outdoor markets in Bos en Lommer (BoLo), cozy terraces in Westerpark, or more affluent lifestyle in Oud-West.

Living in a 1-bedroom apartment in Amsterdam-West will cost you around €2,147 on average monthly.

What’s the nicest area of Amsterdam West? Bos en Lommer (BoLo) is a beautiful area with streets lined with delis, trendy cafes, and weekly markets. The nearby Podium Mozaïe is a performing arts space that hosts eclectic concerts and plays.

4. Amsterdam neighborhood: Nieuw-West

  • Neighborhood vibe: Affordable, good public transport connections, welcoming
  • Time to center: 29 minutes
  • Average rent (1-bedroom apartment): €2,125

Nieuw-West is known for its green areas and lakes, such as the beautiful Sloterplas Lake and Rembrandt Park. Its peaceful green oasis also hosts some of the city’s leading sports events, vibrant nightlife, and music festivals. Nieuw-West is home to several cultural and recreational venues. The Meervaart Theater in Osdorp hosts plays, concerts, and dance performances.

Metro, tram, and bus routes connect Nieuw-West to the rest of Amsterdam. The nearby Lelylaan station has trains to Schiphol, Rotterdam, and The Hague.

Nieuw-West is primarily a residential area with neighborhoods like Osdorp, Slotervaart, and Geuzenveld-Slotermeer. You’ll find a lot more bang for your buck in Nieuw-West, with an average rental price of €2,125 monthly for a 1-bedroom apartment.

What’s the nicest area of Amsterdam Nieuw-West?: Slotervaart. Slotervart is a short distance from the beautiful Westerpark and the Sloterplas, where you’ll be able to experience a calmer pace and relax in one of the many green areas. You will also be close to the train and metro station Lelylaan.

5. Amsterdam neighborhood: Noord

  • Neighborhood vibe: A blend of urban and suburban lifestyle
  • Time to center: 15 minutes
  • Average rent (1-bedroom apartment): €2,362

Noord, divided from the rest of the city by the Ij River, is its own town within the bustling Amsterdam. It's the second-largest neighborhood in Amsterdam so you can find everything you need here! From the beautiful waterfront views of IJplein, to the more residential and green Buiksloot. On the western side you'll find the NDSM area with its flea markets, pop-up restaurants, and buzzing nightlife.

You can admire Amsterdam's skyline from the A'DAM Lookout, visit the Eye Filmuseum to catch a classic Dutch movie or shop at the weekly Van der Pek farmers' market. And when you need an escape in nature, you can stroll in the Noorderpark, Vliegenbos or Baankkerspark.

To get to and from the Noord, you can rely on the metro, bus, and ferry, which is even free! On average, you can find a 1-bedroom apartment for €2,362 monthly. While the Noord it's on the more expensive side, its high quality of life, convinient location, and entertainment options are worth it.

Top Neighborhood: Ijplein and Vogelwijk. Living here gives you easy access to the ferry to Central Station and the metro station Noorderpark. Constant new developments, loft conversions, and trendy restaurants show that this area is still up and coming.

6. Amsterdam neighborhood: Zuid

  • Neighborhood vibe: Charming, trendy, ever-changing
  • Time to center: 10 – 15 minutes
  • Average rent (1-bedroom apartment): €2,676

As Amsterdam's biggest neighborhood, Zuid spans between Vondelpark and Zuidas, the city's financial district. The air in this Amsterdam neighborhood buzzes with excitement because of its cultural and entertainment offerings. Zuid is where everything happens.

Its the home of home to Dutch landmarks like the Van Gogh Museum, and Vondelpark, Amsterdam's biggest park. Zuid offers a diverse culinary scene and is the neighborhood with the best nightlife in Amsterdam. You can go for the trendy bars on Leidseplein, the hip restaurants in De Pijp or the unique cocktail bars in Oud-Zuid.

The are is well served by tram, metro, train, and bus. You can reach Amsterdam Centraal in just 10 – 15 minutes by metro.

Living in Zuid is more expensive with the monthly price for a 1-bedroom apartment being €2,676. However, rental prices in Zuid depend on which area you want to live in. The more central you want to be, the higher your rent is going to be. So if you look for places around Vondelpark and Museumplein, you’ll have higher monthly rent than around the A10 ring road.

What’s the nicest area of Amsterdam Zuid?: Zuidas, also known as the "Financial Mile," is a major business district with modern skyscrapers housing multinational companies, law firms, and financial institutions. The area is booming with restaurants and upscale cocktail bars and is very popular among students and internationals.

7. Amsterdam District: Zuidoost (Bijlmer)

  • Neighborhood vibe: Culturally diverse, affordable, community-centric
  • Time to center: 18 minutes
  • Average rent (1-bedroom apartment): €2,055

Zuidoost, known as Bijlmer, is home to big entertainment venues like the Johan Cruijff Arena, AFAS Live, and the Ziggo Dome. Biljmer is one of the more affordable neighborhoods in Amsterdam, ideal for students or young adults taking their first steps into life.

Zuidoost is a vibrant neighborhood with scenic green areas and plenty of restaurants, shops, and places to unwind. You can stroll in community gardens, vast parks, and scenic canals. Bijlmer is known for its vibrant street art scene, with colorful murals and graffiti adorning the buildings.

Here you won’t find the traditional Dutch architecture as high-rise apartment buildings and centers characterize Biljmer. Prices in Zuidoost tend to be more affordable, with the average monthly price for a 1-bedroom apartment being €2,055.

Bijlmer is well-connected to the rest of Amsterdam and beyond via public transportation. The Bijlmer ArenA station serves as a major transportation hub, offering train, metro, and bus services.

What’s the nicest area of Amsterdam Zuid?: Bijlmermeer is a vibrant area in the centre of Zuidoost. You'll live close to multiple entertainment venues, the popular market in Anton de Komplein which happens every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and expansive green parks like Bijlmerweide and Nelson Mandelapark. You'll also be close by to the ArenA Station if you need to commute for work or university.

What is the nicest area in Amsterdam?

Choosing the nicest area in Amsterdam depends on what you’re looking for. If you want to be more centrally located the best neighborhood in Amsterdam is Centrum. Rental prices there are on the higher side, so if you’re on tighter budget look for accommodation in Oost or Amsterdam Noord. They’re quite central but with lower rents. Amsterdam Zuid is the largest district so it has the largest array of options to choose from, like the trendy De Pijp or the sleek Zuidas. Zuidoost and Neuwe-West are the cheapest areas in Amsterdam to live without compromising on the entertainment options and quality of life.

Now that you know where to live in the Dutch capital, you can start looking for homes for rent in Amsterdam!

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