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First Time Visiting Amsterdam - What Area?

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Hi everyone:

I'll be traveling to Amsterdam for the first time in September. Instead of getting a hotel, I'll be getting a private apartment. Though I've seen a few places in the canal rings, there are quite a few nice places outside (specifically Spaarndammerbuurt which is just northwest of Central Station) -- which seem more attractive because they are in quieter neighborhoods.

Should I look for a place that's more central? Or are places just outside the canal rings still easily accessible?

Thanks!

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