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Top areas in Amsterdam

Amsterdam

This famous Dutch city is the cultural capital of the Netherlands, with enough art, architecture and entertainment to keep travelers engaged for a lifetime. Amsterdam is a multi-faceted city, with a range of districts to satisfy all ages, tastes and budgets. Travelers usually arrive via Schiphol Airport, a popular stopover point for European flights, effortlessly connected to Amsterdam via express train.

For many, the mention of Amsterdam conjures up images of exciting nightlife and little else, but this bastion of old-world charm is more nuanced than that. It derives as much pride from its off-beat café culture as from its world-class museums. This is, after all, where masters like Van Gough found their inspiration. This city is as suitable for backpackers and gap-year students as it is for families and the very affluent. Hotels in Amsterdam cater to every brand of traveler, from quaint boutique hotels in converted townhouses to purpose-built luxury establishments.

Some of the best hotels are in Amsterdam-Centrum, the city's oldest neighborhood. The tantalizing Red Light District occupies a corner of the central district, but there is much more to see and do here. Shops and museums are laid out on a network of canals, and visitors can walk or ride a rented bicycle along the canal, over bridges and into any number of cozy sidewalk cafés or cool boutiques.

A trip to Amsterdam is incomplete without stopping by Amsterdam Oud Zuid, an upscale southern borough known for its street markets and attractive neighborhoods. Museum Square is the biggest draw here, home to many well-known museums. Booking accommodation near Rijksmuseum, a world-class art institute, lets visitors take their time exploring the galleries, knowing home base is close by.

One of the best ways to appreciate the beauty of Amsterdam is just to slow down and enjoy the scenery. Hiring a bike and cycling around the city is a must, and getting lost while exploring the canals is almost obligatory.

For more information on hotels and landmarks in the different areas of Amsterdam, click on the interactive Amsterdam map on the left-hand side of the page.