Amsterdam neighbourhoods guide

Amsterdam neighbourhoods guide

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Undoubtedly, Amsterdam is an exciting city to live in; small and atmospheric with plenty of options for everyone: museums, great food, nightlife, outdoor and family activities.

The Netherlands' capital is divided into numerous districts and neighbourhoods, which, through a mix of historical facts and social policies, ensure diversity and different housing options.

Central Amsterdam | Canal Belt

The Central area of Amsterdam is - despite the high prizes - the place to live if you are looking for a (second) place in Amsterdam.

Canals, breathtaking architecture and lovely hidden gardens create an ideal environment but it is quite difficult to find a "complete" house or apartment, especially in the Canal Belt area (Grachtengordel).

As expected, apartment prices in this part of the city centre reflect the neighbourhood's desirability and high demand while parking options are quite limited and expensive.

In fact, residents may have to wait for years to acquire a parking permit and unfortunately, the only nearby (short walk and / or cycle distance) alternative option is to use one of the available (and expensive) parking garages.

Oud Zuid

Oud Zuid - also known as the posh neighbourhood of Amsterdam - is one of the most popular areas for expatriates with 20th century, well preserved, privately owned and spacious (for Dutch standards) houses!

The Vondelpark, excellent transportation (20 minutes by tram to the city center) and a myriad of restaurants, luxury shops and cafes offer the best of urban living with a suburban feel.

Moreover, Duivelseiland is another desirable option with numerous market shops, restaurants and apartments blocks.

Right next to the main canal rings is the charming Jordaan - the old, working-class neighbourhood of Amsterdam - which consists of small canals and streets (perpendicular to Prinsengracht) and hosts numerous cozy restaurants, cafes and well-known markets (Saturday and Monday).

Again, parking is limited and expensive!

De Pijp

De Pijp, the so-called Latin Quarter of Amsterdam, is a lively, multicultural district with long, narrow, parallel streets. Due to the fact that the district has been badly in need of renovations, the government’s city clean-up drive recently introduced the opportunity to buy flats. Thus, more and more private possibilities are available.


Westerpark is also part of the recently regenerated neighbourhoods list, with the enormous park, trendy cafes, old (industrial) buildings, rolling fields and constantly rotating events schedule adding to the overall living experience. Note that several new housing projects on former industrial sites fill in the gap for affordable three or four bedroom apartments.

Eastern Docklands

Eastern Docklands consists of several man-made islands interconnected by bridges! The historic location of Dutch shipping companies has become the biggest post-war building project in Amsterdam (IJ river), with approximately 8.500 new homes and now offers comfortable houses in an up-market neighbourhood close to the ring and city centre.


Last but not least, expats looking for a less urban environment may also consider relocating to Amstelveen, the famous Amsterdam suburb located close to the city’s largest park (Amsterdam Woods) and Schiphol airport. A green area with lots of restaurants, cafes, international companies - including the International School of Amsterdam - and a wide range of available housing options.

To conclude, moving to Amsterdam is an important decision for which lots of different factors have to be taken under consideration. Make sure you gather as much information as possible and do not hesitate to ask for professional help. Good luck!

Fred Tromp is an Expat Service Provider with 10 years of experience in the housing market in the Netherlands. For inquiries and / or remarks, feel free to comment below or visit Perfect Housing.

More guides to neighbourhoods in the Netherlands:

 Living in The Hague
› Living life in Rotterdam
› Dutch neighbourhoods for your family home

Fred Tromp


Fred Tromp

Co-founder of the Perfect Group (since 2002). The Perfect Group provides expat-orientated housing services. One of those companies is Perfect Housing, a Long stay housing provider.Check our website!

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