Where should I stay in Amsterdam? A perennial question for travelers depending on your current style of travel and what you’re looking for. Read on to get an overview of the ten neighborhoods of central Amsterdam and its layout.
Ten Neighborhoods of Central Amsterdam
Encircling the Old Center is a network of canals known as the (2) Grachtengordel. (“Gracht” means “canal.” “Gordel” means “belt.”) Directly west of the Old Center is (2a) Grachtengordel West (residential mansions along canals).
Outside the Grachtengordel to the west is (3) the Jordaan (residential; super gentrified former working class area). Continuing counter-clockwise around the Old Center is (2b) Grachtengordel South (“Golden Curve”; more commercial).
Around to the south/southeast are (4) Rembrandtplein, (5) the Jewish Quarter (“Jodenbuurt”), and (6) Plantage (all three are mostly residential). The location of the Jewish Quarter and Plantage means they really should be called Grachtengordel East, but they seem to have gotten tired of the “Grachtengordel” naming system after the first two. So much for orderly naming conventions.
Regardless of where you stay, the organization of the Amsterdam’s center into zones makes it easy to explore, as you can focus on one or two areas each day. (Trivia: Manhattan, a/k/a New Amsterdam, has a similar, grid-oriented layout, which was necessitated by the design of the canals during land reclamation.) For more details about what area you might want to stay in Amsterdam, check out Part II: Neighborhoods of Central Amsterdam.This entry was posted in Uncategorized