Drawn to the picturesque canals, famous art museums and lurid nightlife, visitors to Amsterdam significantly outnumber residents, creating a demand for overnight accommodation that is hard to meet.
But the capsule hotel concept has taken root, some cool new budget chains have come to town, and other affordable options are emerging. Travel low season, go small, or stay a bit further out, and you can still get stylish, low-cost accommodation within easy traveling distance of the main attractions.
- Best for chilling out: The Arcade Hotel, Booking.com
- Best for cool design: Jaz Amsterdam, Booking.com
- Best for design enthusiasts: Hotel Dwars, Booking.com
- Best for kitschy cosiness: De Bedstee Hotel, Booking.com
- Best for fuss-free accommodation: Motel One, Waterlooplein, Booking.com
- Best for solo travellers: CityHub, Amsterdam, Booking.com
- Best for all-night partying: Hotel CC, Booking.com
- Best for on-site entertainment: The Volkshotel, Booking.com
- Best for urban adventures: Moxy Amsterdam Houthavens, Booking.com
- Best for business – and voyeurism: Qbic Hotel, Amsterdam WTC, Booking.com
- Best for crowd-dodging tech lovers: Yotel Amsterdam, Booking.com
- Best for mixing business with pleasure: Hotel Casa Amsterdam, Booking.com
- Best for green views and green ethics: Conscious Hotel, Westerpark, Booking.com
Neighborhood: De Pijp
The target market of this three-star-superior hotel is thirtysomething video gamers and comic enthusiasts who refuse to grow up. With gaming consoles (one modern, one vintage) in every room, it’s late bedtimes all around. The 42-room hotel hosts gaming tours, workshops and tournaments and is popular with those looking for a “playcation” – like celebrity gamers from around the world. There’s a retro Coin-OP arcade room, with 20 retro games, and a 1,000 game library. When the neon lights and media walls of the hotel get too much, escape to the landscaped Sarphatipark opposite, where overgrown kids can go for a secret smoke. If you’re a gamer, you’ll get it. If not, it’s still a good value option in a lively but leafy district a short tram ride from the centre. Breakfast is €10 (£8) if booked in advance.
Price: Doubles from €111 (£93)
Not everyone would choose to sleep in a building wedged between Amsterdam’s biggest music venues, but if you’ve got tickets for the gig, it’s perfect. Catering to the cool crowd, this music-themed hotel features artistic, urban design and a lively agenda, making it a more happening and stylish choice than the nearby Easy Hotel though both have orange decor. The Rhythms Bar and Kitchen is the hotel’s social hub and is open for lunch and dinner, serving mainly salads, burgers and booze to a soundtrack of resident DJs and live music. Bijlmer itself is a bit of a concrete jungle but the historic center is just a 20-minute metro ride away.
Price: Doubles from €92 (£77)
Neighborhood: Eastern Canal District
This exceedingly narrow, nine-room hotel in a cute side street is a super find if you don’t mind climbing a few stairs. Sleeping two, three or four, the lovingly decorated rooms with exposed brick and beams and hanging plants are made up of a combination of repurposed materials, vintage finds and modern pieces styled by the design team at Things I like Things I love. The eclectic Utrechtsestraat high street around the corner has survived excessive touristification and is full of interesting independent shops, cool restaurants, trendy homeware stores and smart boutiques. The hotel does not offer breakfast but there are lots of good cafes nearby.
Price: Doubles from €177 (£148)
Neighborhood: Museum District
Fabulously kitsch and quirky, this friendly hotel sleeps its guests, not in rooms, but in neighboring sound-proofed “bedstees” – beds in a cupboard as Dutch countryfolk once slept. Luggage has to be stored separately and the bathrooms are shared, but you get affordable accommodation with bags of character in an upscale part of town just five minutes’ walk from the art museums and the Concertgebouw. Downstairs, there’s a cozy bar with stained-glass windows, an Art Deco fireplace and an explosion of colorful felt wallpaper and velvet furnishings.
Price: Doubles from €86 (£72)
Neighborhood: Nieuwmarkt in Lastage
This modern hotel has the rather uniform, “airport” feel typical of a large chain but is enlivened, in the lobby at least, by some funky upcycled decor by Dutch designer Piet Hein Eek. It is immaculate throughout and offers functional, no-frills accommodation within walking distance from cultural hotspots such as the Dutch National Opera and Ballet and the Rembrandt House; and family favorites NEMO, the science museum, and Artis, the zoo. Breakfast is €13.50 (£11). Superior rooms have a sofa bed and can sleep three. Avoid if you don’t like turquoise – it’s everywhere.
Price: Doubles from €143 (£120), room only
Neighborhood: Oud West
Getting into one of the compact, L-shaped sleeping pods at CityHub is like boarding a futuristic sleeper train – only quieter, due to the soundproofing. Yes, it’s so tiny that you can only stand at one end, luggage needs to go in an external locker, and the washrooms are shared; but the typical guest here spends most of their time exploring the city: the hip, rapidly gentrifying area on the doorstep with its food hall, cinema and market and the centre, a 15-minute walk east.
Price: Doubles from €96 (£80)
Neighborhood: Red Light District
If you can get past the crowds and through the front door, this three-star, 81-room hotel offers decent, well-kept accommodation in the heart of the action. The black, gray and white color scheme is unadventurous and the furniture mostly plastic, but it’s the convenient location most people are here for. A quarter of the rooms have a canal view at no extra cost – you just have to know to ask. Most of the others face the busy Warmoesstraat, lined with touristy shops and bars, and are – fortunately – double-glazed. For groups, there are two triple rooms and three quads. A cooked or continental breakfast is available at nearby restaurant Da Giorgio for €10.
Price: Doubles from €131 (£109)
Neighborhood: Amsterdam West
It would be easy to mistake this large, buzzing hotel for a student union as it clearly caters to a hip, young crowd and there’s pretty much everything you need on-site, from hairdressing, sauna and hot tub to yoga classes. The style is repurposed vintage, industrial piping, concrete walls. By day, the lobby is full of creative types with laptops; by night, the whole building comes alive, with everything from dining and clubbing to pop-up ping-pong and life drawing. The minimal design-rich bedrooms will appeal to artists but turn off traditionalists. When you eventually venture out, the metro stop outside will have you in the center in under 10 minutes. Breakfast is €14.5.
Price: Doubles from €110 (£92)
For those unfazed by industrial landscapes and a more isolated location, this brand new, millennial-focused Marriott spinoff in the harbor area west of the center is a canny find. Rooms have minimal storage but a smart, sleek decor, while communal areas have fun design features such as hanging chairs and corrugated steel walls – a nod to the district’s shipping history. Rent a bike from the hotel and the center is just 10 minutes away. When you’ve explored enough, head home and enjoy the hotel’s gym and pool – a surprisingly un-budget bonus. Breakfast is €12 (£10)
Price: Doubles from €97 (£81)
A pink and yellow color scheme does not normally scream corporate, but this cheerful hotel sits in the heart of Amsterdam’s World Trade Center and is, therefore, popular with business visitors who want to roll out of bed and into work. With excellent travel links to the airport and Amsterdam city centre, it’s also ideal for tourists in search of a bargain. The rather stark rooms are dominated by a futuristic, cuboid bedroom and bathroom complex in the middle. It’s fun and original, some rooms look into the atrium of one of the office complexes: a further opportunity for spying. A continental buffet breakfast costs €14.50.
Price: Doubles from €89 (£74)
Neighborhood: Amsterdam North
The folks from Yo! Company (who also own Yo! Sushi) offer light, bright accommodation at unusually affordable rates. The futuristic bedroom decor here takes its cue from first-class air travel but feels a lot less claustrophobic, especially given the floor-to-ceiling views across the IJ harbour. Adjustable SmartBeds, mood lighting and HD Smart TV create an ideal night in for technophiles, while the neighborhood’s trendy little pop-up restaurants and bars, and the iconic Eye Film Museum (which was temporarily closed during the pandemic – check before you visit), offer off-site entertainment away from the tourist throng. Breakfast is €8.50 (£7) if booked ahead.
Price: Doubles from €109 (£91)
Neighborhood: Amsterdam West
During term time, just one-third of this independent hotel is given over to guests. Students occupy the remaining 350 rooms in a separate wing but contribute to the hotel’s friendly, eclectic vibe. Known as the Knowledge Mile, partly due to the concentration of universities here, the hotel is located in prime networking territory. The huge variety of informal workspaces grouped around the hotel’s ground-floor coffee bar, rated the third-best in the Netherlands, make it the ideal space to combine meetings with an exploration of the city centre, just a five-minute metro ride away. Bedrooms are getting a makeover in 2020 but are still smart and spacious, with extra-long king-size beds and plenty of storage. Outside of pandemic restrictions, there’s a bar, rooftop terrace and an in-house restaurant. There’s also underground on-site parking. Breakfast is €14 (£16).
Price: Doubles from €95 (£80)
Neighborhood: Amsterdam West
The newest of Amsterdam’s four Conscious hotels, each pushing the sustainability challenge further, the Conscious Hotel Westerpark is the first to be 100 per cent wind-powered and, in an ironic twist, is housed in a monumental building that was once offices for a gas company. Its green credentials mean that furniture is either recycled, upcycled or made from certified wood, and even the complimentary snacks in the simple, minimalist-styled rooms come in biodegradable wrappers. Also green, is the view over the park surrounding the hotel, which you are encouraged to take in using the binoculars provided in each room. Downstairs is Bar Kantoor, an all-day bar and restaurant with an office-themed interior hinting at its past. The all-organic menu is popular with locals, who flock to the huge terrace in summer.
Price: Doubles from €136 (£113)
Read more on Amsterdam hotels
Best hotels in Amsterdam
Best boutique hotels in Amsterdam
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.