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Location, location, location in Amsterdam?

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Dec 13th, 2012, 11:03 AM
  #1
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Location, location, location in Amsterdam?

Starting to look for a hotel in Amsterdam, and we're confused about which neighborhoods are best. Which part of Amsterdam is best to be located in for a first-time trip?

Thanks!
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Dec 13th, 2012, 11:11 AM
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Depends on:

whether or not you like taking public transport

the places In the city you are planning on visiting

the type of accommodation you prefer

the amount you want to spend

So, when all these people simply say this or that is the best neighborhood without knowing ANYTHING about your visit...well, you figure it out.
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Dec 13th, 2012, 11:16 AM
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Closer to the historic centger IME is not always the best when talking about Amsterdam - the centrum can be boisterous at night and attracts at times an unsavory crowd in certain streets (like anything east and north from the Centraal train station to the Dam Square - the so-called Red-Light District.

Anyways my favored district to stay in is around the Museum Plein - actually between it and Vondel Park - a very quiet part of town, especially the farther you go down the east side of Vondel Park - real quiet residential neighborhood with oodles of small stores, cafes and 'petit' (small but cozy) restaurants, etc.

And trams take you from here to anywhere in Amsterdam in a few minutes - it is also not so far out - a few-minute walk to the Leidesplein - I always walk to everywhere from my hotel in this area - central Amsterdam is surprisingly compact - a few square miles holds just about everything of interest.

And this area is about as safe as Amsterdam comes - no seedy types milling about - Vondel Park itself is a verdant oasis if you like to exercise by walking, jogging or renting bicycles there to explore its vast verdant expanses!
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Dec 13th, 2012, 11:33 AM
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Dam square isn't north of CS Pal, it's southwest.

Anyway, it depends on a lot of things, but the area Pal suggests is good, as is the Jordaan.
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Dec 13th, 2012, 12:10 PM
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We stayed just east of Nieuwmarkt Square in the city center last time and that was a really great location. The square has lots of bars and restaurants with outside terraces, which was nice - we could hang out late in our own neighborhood. Also, we were within easy walking distance of lots of stuff and then of course there are the trams.

I had heard some of the same things about staying in the city center that PalenQ mentions, but I was pleasantly surprised by this neighborhood and in fact how small the "bad" parts of Amsterdam are. We were literally just a few blocks from the red light district and it was totally fine - you never would even know that there was a red light district from there. I guess the Nieuwmarkt Square used to be known as a shady area, but they must have done some urban renewal or something, because it is great now.
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Dec 13th, 2012, 12:38 PM
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Well yes I got my south mixed up with my north, thanks hetismij for the correcto - and Amsterdam has in general - from a viewpoint of going there annually on business for decades and now for pleasure cleaned up its act a lot so there are fewer and fewer drug addicts on the streets, etc.

The Jordaan is a fine fine area as well that is closer in and has many lovely lovely canals - beware old hotels however with unfathomably narrow twisting stairs and old plumbing - it the hotel does not have a lift be wary... but yes the Jordaan is IMO the most gorgeous part of Amsterdam and also neat.

Heck any part of Amsterdam is decent it seems save for the red-light district itself - dotted with very cheap hotels and hostels that with a few exceptions can be real grungy and attract a grungy crowd.
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Dec 13th, 2012, 12:42 PM
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I vote for the canal ring / Jordaan area. Canal House, Toren and others. Great area for sitting by the canals and watching the show of A'damers on their bikes!
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Dec 13th, 2012, 12:55 PM
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We stayed at the Hotel Aalders, in the Museum Plein, close to the Van Gogh and Rijksmuseum. Convenient to tram lines. Liked the area, would stay there again.
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Dec 13th, 2012, 12:59 PM
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Your mode of transport may influence the location - Jordaan is close to the main train station - walkable for many. Museumplein is a few miles out - but infinitely better for motorists as parking is actually possible - seems non-existent and driving into it impossible.
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Dec 13th, 2012, 01:35 PM
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Thanks, everyone. To answer some of your questions: We would like to somewhere where it might be possible to walk to some sights. We want to stay somewhere very safe. We plan to stay in a 5-star hotel. We want to visit all the major museums and stroll around to see the canals. We plan to take one side trip to see the tulips at Keukenhof (sp?).
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Dec 13th, 2012, 01:44 PM
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For a 5-star hotel consider the Okura, on the banks of the Amstel River - a busy waterway in the heart of Amsterdam though on the southeastern edge of central Amsterdam - but still a great location and a short walk from many sites.

of the Hotel Dylan, on Keisergracht, one of the nice canals - hidden behind an ancient facade that is a facade only - like many old canal houses have only their facades left and everything else behind is modern.

anyway two ***** hotels in dreamy locations if you get a room facing the canals (Amstel River is like a broad canal) - both in nice areas.
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Dec 13th, 2012, 02:16 PM
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Grungy in Amsterdam would be safe in any big city in the US. I wouldn't reco staying IN the red light district, but IMHO the closer to the center the better.

Caveat: I'm a native New Yorker and don;t think cities should be quiet and serene. that's for he countryside. cities should bustle - but with decent tone.
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Dec 13th, 2012, 03:00 PM
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The Canal Ring and Jordan area (that is to say between the Singel canal and the Prinsengracht canal) is perfect for a first time visit. It is pretty quiet as it is mostly residential (except for a few squares & streets). It is drop dead gorgeous. It's charming with a phot op at every canal intersection and along all the canals. It's an easy walk to most tourist sights.

Here are a few luxury hotels in this prime zone:

http://www.carlton.nl/banksmansion/default-en.html

http://www.717hotel.nl/

http://www.ambassade-hotel.nl/en

http://www.canalhouse.nl/
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Dec 13th, 2012, 03:11 PM
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brook33003 on Dec 13, 12 at 4:35pm
Thanks, everyone. To answer some of your questions: We would like to somewhere where it might be possible to walk to some sights. We want to stay somewhere very safe. We plan to stay in a 5-star hotel. We want to visit all the major museums and stroll around to see the canals. We plan to take one side trip to see the tulips at Keukenhof (sp?)


You want the Hotel Ambassade. I stayed there years ago. Unique and beautifully located on the Herengracht near the Spui. Get a room overlooking the canal.

Tulips are in bloom in April and May only. See my photolog of Keukenhof at http://tinyurl.com/y8hltjl.
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Dec 13th, 2012, 04:29 PM
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We stayed in the Vondelparc area and were within walking distance to museums and easy transort ti-o other areas, Lots of d=good resyaurants and the canals were nearby.
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Dec 13th, 2012, 05:13 PM
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We usually try to stay in non American-type hotels when abroad, but quite frankly, I so loved the location and the rooms of the Marriott Amsterdam near the Museumplein I booked for a last-minute trip that I booked it again. It really suited our needs on all counts.

We hopped a tram whenever we didn't feel like walking, but we could also have walked everywhere from there and been fine.
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Dec 13th, 2012, 05:15 PM
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Gorgeous photos, Spaarne!
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Dec 16th, 2012, 01:35 PM
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The Jordaan is lovely, however, you don't have many public transport options, as the area north of Rozengracht isn't well served by trams. I used to live there, and the constant having to walk a pretty long distance to a tramstop was a hassle. Around Museumplein has much better trams imo and it's a better area too.
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