Famous for its picturesque Unesco-protected Canal Ring, world-class galleries, ultra-liberal nightlife and having more bicycles than people, Amsterdam is a city where you can have pretty much any kind of holiday you like. It even has beaches (yes, really).
Housing is in high demand in Amsterdam, so Airbnbs aren’t cheap, but you do get a lot of character for your cash. From former breweries to antique-filled canal houses and a houseboat, here are the best local digs in Amsterdam.
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Best for luxury: Three-bedroom loft in centre of Amsterdam
Neighbourhood: Weesperbuurt en Plantage
If your Airbnb wishlist includes a hot tub in the bedroom, then you’re in luck. There’s also a roof terrace, cappuccino maker and a Sonos music system in the three-bedroom loft space, located in a former 19th-century school on the southeastern edge of the city’s Canal Ring. The decor is stylish modern meets old wood furniture and floors, with exposed bricks, wooden beams and an original working fireplace.
Average price: £762 per night
Best for nightlife: Central canal view apartment
Neighbourhood: De Wallen (medieval centre)
A plush apartment that’s in prime position for nights out. Decor here is grown-up Scandi greyscale, with fluffy cushions, cosy textures and saucy black-and-white photography that’s not too incongruous with the property’s red light district location. The windows offer hangover soothing views of the canal boats passing by.
Average price: £291 per night
Best for a beer break: Stylish one-bed
Neighbourhood: De Pijp
De Pijp has two breweries you can visit (Brouwerij Troost, housed in an Art Deco-style former monastery, and the mammoth Heineken Experience), plus extensive craft beer selections at Cafe Gollem and Kingfisher Café. The Airbnb itself has simple yet classy monochrome decor, plus there’s an acoustic guitar on hand, a bath to soak in as well as a fully appointed kitchen for lazy post-session cooked breakfasts.
Average price: £186 per night
Best for arty weekends: Large studio in Westerpark
This bright, colourful studio apartment is a small but affordable choice for a budget stay in your own space. There’s a new kitchen complete with Nespresso machine, while art fans can take in the Girl with a Pearl Earring print and other Dutch art replicas dotted about the place. The locale is the low-key yet creative Westerpark, surrounded by local bakeries, cafes, indie shops and an arthouse cinema.
Average price: £102 per night
Best for big groups: Combo city centre apartments
This five-bedroom, three-bathroom Airbnb is split across two apartments over three floors, and will suit large families or groups of friends (sleeping up to 11). Housed at the top of a 17th-century red-shuttered building with a traditional stepped gable roof, on the historic Singel Canal, the flats are as Amsterdam as it gets. Original beams and historic features occur throughout, such as a behemoth wooden hoisting wheel – typical of old canal houses – and these are married with fresh white sheets, a modern kitchen with Nespresso machine, and bathrooms with heated towel rails.
Average price: £800 per night
Best for budget: Private room in the windmill area
This private room in an apartment near Oosterpark is set up for a typically Amsterdam experience, with a view of the canal and access to Dutch bikes for zipping around the city. The local area is home to the Brouwerij ’t IJ – a brewery set in an old bathhouse – and the Amsterdam zoo, and the Airbnb itself also has plenty of charm and character. Dating back to 1889, it’s had a recent facelift, adding patterned wallpaper and cosy window seats, but the owners have kept some of the stained glass and dark-wood features, too.
Average price: £88 per night
Best for sleeping on the water: Spacious houseboat
Neighbourhood: De Wallen
Amsterdam’s not short of houseboats, but this one stands out for being particularly spacious, bright and airy. The peaceful space, with fresh white walls, features a sofa, full kitchen and dining table along with two double bedrooms which sleep four. It’s won top marks from previous guests for its central location as it's moored on the river Amstel.
Average price: £179 per night
Best for nature lovers: Private room with breakfast hamper
Positioned close to the Amsterdam botanical garden and the Artis Amsterdam Royal Zoo, with its 900-plus animal species, butterfly garden and park area, this is great for exploring nature in the city. The leafy Plantage neighbourhood is also home to Waterloopleinmarkt, the city’s biggest flea market, and the Dutch National Opera and Ballet. As for the Airbnb, it’s a spacious private room in a well-located flat with an outdoor patio and extra touches like a breakfast hamper. Previous guests have praised its sparkling cleanliness.
Average price: £112 per night
Best for history: Unique loft near Anne Frank Haus
Close to Dam Square and the Anne Frank House, this is well positioned for a historic city break. The apartment itself has its own storied past: located on the Brouwersgracht, which was once lined with breweries, it is a former brewer’s loft. The three bedrooms sleep six, and there’s space for group dinners on the long dining table in the open-plan kitchen. Have a go on the piano, admire the paintings and life drawings on the walls or curl up in the hanging chair with a tome from one of the bookshelves.
Average price: £161 per night
Best for interior design: Design-led Singel Canal apartment
With oil paintings in sturdy gold frames, contemporary artworks and antique furniture mixed with modern, this is an interiors enthusiast’s dream. The Persian-style rugs and aged wood tables, bookshelves and deep living room chairs give it a cosy feel, while stark white chairs around a sturdy old wood table give it a bit of modern flair (make your own mind up about the taxidermy wall). It’s well located on Singel Canal, close to Central Station, and the four bedrooms make it a good-sized space for families (although the owner stipulates that children staying there must be over the age of eight).
Average price: £266 per night
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