Guide to Amsterdam’s 7 best neighbourhoods to live in


Updated on Aug 29 • 7 minute read

Before exploring homes for rent in Amsterdam, you need to consider a few things like roommates, costs and location. With 7 unique districts, choosing the best neighbourhood in Amsterdam is an adventure.

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

About Amsterdam’s 7 districts

The neighbourhoods of Amsterdam have a captivating tapestry of diversity and charm, each with its own distinct character and attractions. The table below shows the 7 main districts (stadsdelen) of Amsterdam, their average rental prices for 1-bedroom apartments, and the time it will take you to commute to the city centre.

DistrictCost for 1-bedroom apartmentTime to center
Centrum€1,5100 mins
Oost€1,18216 mins
West€1,49121 mins
Nieuw-West€1,08529 mins
Noord€1,38715 mins
Zuid€1,46124 mins
Zuidoost€1,05518 mins

As you can see, rental prices in Amsterdam are on the higher side. While this might drive up your cost of living in Amsterdam, the Dutch capital ranks 14th worldwide for quality of life and 6th in the world for safety. Let's breakdown why Amsterdam's districts are so highly ranked.

Amsterdam District: Centrum

Centrum is what you envision when you think of Amsterdam. Areas like the 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.

You'll find a lot of beauty here 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 via metro, train, tram and bus to the rest of the city.

Centrum is a sought-after area, making its rental prices higher than other neighbourhoods 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.

Top Neighborhood: The vibrant and trendy Jordaan. The neighbourhood is known for its eclectic outlets and weekly markets, like the one at Nooerdmarkt Square. Jordaan comes alive at night with its numerous bars, restaurants, and nightclubs.

Amsterdam District: Oost

Oost (East) is a historic district with a bit of everything mix of everything, from the peaceful De Plantage to the more dynamic Indische Buurt. Along the river IJ, you’ll find the repurposed warehouses of the Eastern Docklands (Oostelijke Havengebied), which have become cultural hotspots. 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 neighbourhood, with mostly petty crimes like bike theft and pickpocketing.

Set just east of the centre, you can easily bike or walk to many area attractions, university campuses, and local businesses. Oost is more affordable than Centrum, although prices vary significantly across this district. On average, a 1-bedroom apartment costs €1,182 monthly.

Top Neighborhood: Indische Buurt. The multicultural Indische Buurt district is perfect for young expats. This area has a fantastic location as you're at the centre of the action whilst enjoying the river and the village-like feel of the area.

Amsterdam District: West

The West is one of the hip and trendy areas of Amsterdam. It’s popular with young professionals and families looking for a central location without the hordes of tourists. West has a unique bohemian vibe that mixes well with the eclectic array of shops and local eateries, including the ever-popular food hall De Hallen.

Nature lovers will delight as greenery surrounds this Amsterdam neighbourhood with the Erasmuspark, Westerpark, Vondelpark and Rembrandtpark nearby. Some vibrant local hotspots and outdoor markets are in Bos en Lommer (BoLo), cosy terraces in Westerpark and more affluent architecture in Oud-West.

Living in a 1-bedroom apartment in Amsterdam-West will cost you around €1,491 on average monthly. It’s one of the more expensive areas of the city, but its quality of life and environment are worth the higher price tag. And you’re still connected via public transport and can easily bike or get to the Sloterdijk train station.

Top Neighborhood: Bos en Lommer (BoLo) is a diverse area with streets lined with delis and trendy cafes. The stalls at the bustling weekly market sell everything from spices to textiles. The nearby Podium Mozaïe is a performing arts space that hosts eclectic concerts and plays. Here, you’ll be inspired by artists and creatives alike who have decided to call BoLo their new home.

Amsterdam District: Nieuw-West

Nieuw-West is known for its green areas and lakes, such as the beautiful Sloterplats 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 diverse performances, including theatre, music, and dance. Metro, tram, and bus routes connect Nieuw-West to the rest of Amsterdam. Lelylaan station has trains to Schiphol, Rotterdam, and The Hague.

Nieuw-West is primarily a residential area featuring diverse neighbourhoods 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 €1,085 monthly for a 1-bedroom apartment.

Top Neighborhood: Slotervaart. Slootervart 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.

Amsterdam District: Noord

Noord, divided from the rest of Amsterdam by the Ij River, offers beautiful waterfront views of Amsterdam’s skyline. It’s a perfect place for those wanting to stay away from the hustle-bustle of the city centre. The Noord feels like a small town within Amsterdam with its quaint streets and traditional Dutch vibe.

Bordering the river, the NDSM area has become a creative haven where flea markets, pop-up restaurants, and buzzing nightlife venues pop up daily. Many festivals and events are held in this area, especially at the busy Volewijkspark, with its swimming pool and scenic walking paths. Paradiso is a favourite music venue amongst Amsterdam’s younger crowds

To get to and from the Noord, you can rely on the metro, bus, and ferry, which is even free! This is perfect, as the Noord offers relatively affordable accommodation, with an average 1-bedroom apartment price of €1,387.

Top Neighborhood: Ijplein en 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.

Amsterdam District: Zuid

Zuid (South) spans between Vondelpark and Oud Zuid, De Pijp, and Zuidas. There is an air of luxury here, thanks to the historic museums or boutique scene. Zuid offers a diverse culinary scene, with a wide range of restaurants, cafes, and eateries catering to different tastes and budgets.

The neighbourhood is home to Dutch landmarks like the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum. The district is well served by tram, metro, train, and bus. You can reach Amsterdam Centraal in 24 minutes by metro.

On average, the monthly price for a 1-bedroom apartment is €1,461. 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.

Top Neighborhood: 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.

Amsterdam District: Zuidoost (Bijlmer)

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 districts in Amsterdam, ideal for students or young adults taking their first steps into life.

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

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

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.

Top Neighborhood: Venserpolder is a beautiful neighbourhood popular with internationals and young professionals. You will live close to World of Food, an indoor food market housed in an old parking garage, and the other big entertainment venues.

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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