11 Great Amsterdam Neighbourhoods: A First Time Visitors Guide

Looking for other Amsterdam neighbourhoods to visit away from the busy crowds of Amsterdam Centrum? I have been to Amsterdam a few times visiting my best friends for private gatherings. As every visitor must do, I have seen the popular Amsterdam attractions and activities.

The central district of Amsterdam can be overwhelming and crazy busy.  If you don’t mind the swarms of tourists around you then that’s ok. There is no doubt that Amsterdam is one of the most visited cities in the Netherlands and in Europe.

The city is famous for the crazy parties, delicious cheese, tulips, clogs, stroopwafel, coffee shops (this is different to a café in Amsterdam), and the red light district.

Since I’ve seen and done the tourist spots in the city, my mission of this trip was to explore the surrounding Amsterdam neighbourhoods away from the busy city centre with the help of IAmsterdam City Card! The city didn’t fail to surprise me.

Read More: IAmsterdam Review: Is The City Tourist Card Worth It?

I asked my Dutch friends to help me explore the most beautiful neighbourhoods in Amsterdam. I used the IAmsterdam Card (72 hours) as my pass to see various Amsterdam attractions and other activities plus access to the tram, metro and bus while I was in the city.

Here are the Amsterdam neighbourhoods to visit

Amsterdam Noord – Amsterdam North

Not far from Central, is one of the best Amsterdam neighbourhoods that easily can go unnoticed by the tourists who visit the city.  From the ferry terminal at the back of the Amsterdam Central station, you can catch the free GVB ferry that will take you to Amsterdam Noord.

Alternatively, you can now use the metro to go to Amsterdam Noord station.  If you are using your IAmsterdam card, you can have an unlimited metro ride based on the duration of your card.

Amsterdam Noord
Amsterdam Neighbourhoods: Amsterdam Noord – A’dam Tower

It is impossible to miss the A’dam tower from the Amsterdam Noord skyline. It is the highest viewing point in the city. You can see the beautiful 360º Amsterdam skyline from here.  You can book your A’dam Tower Lookout tickets here. If you are feeling a bit more adventurous and fancy an adrenaline rush, you can also ride the “Over the Edge” swing – The highest swing in Europe!

Next door to the A’dam tower is the This is Holland and the Eye Film Museum.
The “This is Holland” is a must-visit for an interactive way to see the different landscapes of the Netherlands with its 5D flight experience. The Eye Film museum is an exhibition for everyone who loves film.

The old shipyard and the IJ waterfront was turned into a new hip and stylish place to dine and visit the boost visitors to the Noord. During our visit to the IJ waterfront, we went to dine in Stork – The largest seafood restaurant in the city. A great spot to watch the riverboats and ship passing by.

Stork Amsterdam Seafood Restaurant
Amsterdam Neighbourhoods: Amsterdam Noord – Stork restaurant

Close to the Noord metro station is the Winkelcentrum Bovent’y – the biggest shopping centre in Amsterdam Noord and the Landmarkt “covered market” that offers fresh produce from the local farmers and as well as premium brands.

Boventy Shopping Centre Amsterdam Noord
Amsterdam Neighbourhoods: Amsterdam Noord – Boventy

If you love nature, the Noord also has ample parks and camping sites where you can bond with nature such as the Noorderpark.

NDSM – Nederlandsche Dok en Scheepsbouw Maatschappij

NDSM – Nederlandsche Dok en Scheepsbouw Maatschappij is an old shipyard of Amsterdam turned into a colourful and hip place to visit.  Only a ferry ride away from Amsterdam central, you can explore the trendy neighbourhood of NDSM. There are lots of shipping containers turned into café and restaurants which makes it a unique and cool place to hang out and party in the city.

NDSM Amsterdam Neighbourhood
Amsterdam Neighbourhoods: NDSM

The IJ-Hallen is the largest flea market in Europe that offers everything from vintage bric-a-brac to a different genre of vinyl.

Noorderlicht TerraceKoen Smilde PhotographyRechtenvrij
Amsterdam Neighbourhoods: NDSM – Noorderlight

The colourful containers turned into student flats and the artsy murals are great for creative photoshoots and Instagram grid.

NDSM Colourful Containers in Amsterdam
Amsterdam Neighbourhoods: NDSM
NDSM Marina
Amsterdam Neighbourhoods: NDSM

Oostelijke Eilanden – Eastern Docklands

The Eastern Docklands is a neighbourhood in Amsterdam surrounded by water.

Visit the National Maritime Museum and enjoy learning the Dutch maritime history and visit the famous replica of the East Indiaman ship the Amsterdam.

National Maritime Museum in Amsterdam
Amsterdam Neighbourhoods: Oostelijke Eilanden – Eastern Docklands – National Maritime Museum

The Bimhuis is also located in the Eastern Docklands. The Bimhuis Amsterdam is the largest jazz stage in the Netherlands. It caters to the best budding musicians in the country.

Bimhuis Amsterdam Eastern Docklands
Amsterdam Neighbourhoods: Oostelijke Eilanden – Bimhuis

When it comes to the shopping and food scene, the Eastern Docklands also has the Czaar Peterstraat that is considered as one of the best shopping districts in east Amsterdam.

De Plantage – The Plantation

The lush garden neighbourhood of De Plantage offers a mixture of great Amsterdam attractions for families.

Artis Zoo in Amsterdam
IAMsterdam card

Artis is Amsterdam’s zoo located in De Plantage. It is one of the oldest zoos in mainland Europe.  Next door to Artis is the Micropia. A museum that exhibits the world of micro-organisms.

Hermitage Museum in Amsterdam
Amsterdam Neighbourhoods: De Plantage – The Plantation – Hermitage Museum Amsterdam

Different museums are also located in this neighbourhood of Amsterdam. The Museum het Rembrandhuis is the painter’s former house turned into his museum. You can also find the Resistance Museum Amsterdam, the Dutch branch of the Russian Hermitage Museum and the Jewish Museum and synagogue.

If you love the theatre, Amsterdam’s Royal Theatre Carré is also located in this neighbourhood.

De Pijp – The Pipe

De Pijp is one of the best neighbourhoods to explore in Amsterdam for food lovers!

This area of Amsterdam offers a wide array of traditional Dutch brown pubs, street food stalls, cafés and restaurants with a trendy vibe.

The famous Dutch brewery – Heineken Experience is located here. Don’t forget to get a pint and experience how the world famous beer is made.

Albert Cuypmarkt in De Pijp Amsterdam
Amsterdam Neighbourhoods: De Pijp – The Pipe – Albert Cuypmarkt

The Dutch love a good bargain! Take a stroll and bag a great bargain in Albert Cuypmarkt. Comprised of hundreds of market stalls that offer various trinkets up to the freshly made Stroopwafels!

Flower Vendor in Albert Cuypmarket in De Pijp Amsterdam
Freshly Baked Stroopwafel in Amsterdam
Cheese vendor in De Pijp Amsterdam
Dutch Herring Vendor in De Pijp

Oud Zuid  – Old South

The Oud Zuid is one of the most affluent and loveliest areas in Amsterdam.

Oud Zuid of Amsterdam
Amsterdam Neighbourhoods: Oud Zuid  – Old South

The Museumplein – main art hub of Amsterdam is located in this neighbourhood. Home of  world-class museums like the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh museum, Moco museum, and the Stedelijk Museum. If you are using your IAmsterdam card, you can gain access to these museums. However, make sure to pre-book your time slot prior to your visit.

Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam
Amsterdam Neighbourhoods: Oud Zuid – Rijksmuseum

The inviting and relaxing Vondelpark offers a sanctuary away from the bustling noise of the city.

If you love high-end shopping, Oud Zuid’s P.C Hoofstraat is the right place to get your posh branded items such as LV, Dior, Prada and a lot more! Just a fair warning, there are no bargains on this side of town.

The Oost (Amsterdam East) and Zuid Oost (Amsterdam Southeast)

When it comes to the gems of the Dutch multi-cultural diversity, the Oost and Zuid Oost are the great melting pot of world cuisines, museums and cafes.

Summer in Oosterpark Oost Amsterdam
Amsterdam Neighbourhoods: Amsterdam Oost – Oosterpark

The Amsterdam Oost has a few inviting parks like Oosterpark, Flevopark, Amstelpark and the Frankendaelpark.

Zuidoost Street Art in Amsterdam
Amsterdam Neighbourhoods: Zuid Oost – Biljmer

The Zuid Oost is known for the multi-cultural district of Biljmer, home to the famous Dutch football team Ajax and the Ziggo Dome.

The Oud-West (Old West) and Nieuw West (New West)

On the western side of the city, you can find the Oud-West and Nieuw West neighbourhoods.

The Oud-West is made popular by the century-old tram depot – De Hallen, transformed into a great Amsterdam attraction. The great food hall and cafes made the neighbourhood a great place to spend the day away from the crowds of the centrum.

Nieuw West Watersportcentrum Sloterplas Canoe
Amsterdam Neighbourhoods: Oud- West

The Nieuw West is hailed as Amsterdam’s Camden area with great cultural hubs for the younger generations.


Just a stone throw away from the Centrum is the Westerpark neighbourhood.

Wester Wijnfabriek Westergas Amsterdam
Amsterdam Neighbourhoods: Westerpark

Known for the Westerpark where the name of the area comes from. Serves as an oasis for the locals and tourists alike. The Westergas is a 19th-century building that used to be an industrial building and was turned into a creative hub for budding artists and creatives.

These Amsterdam neighbourhoods have a character of their own waiting to be explored and discovered. There is definitely more to Amsterdam than the wildly popular city centre.

These different neighbourhoods in Amsterdam are surely worth visiting when you are in the city.
Visit the Netherlands destination page for more travel inspirations.

Have you been to any of these Amsterdam neighbourhoods?
Share your favourite part of town in the comment box below!

Guide to Amsterdam Neighbourhoods

Special thanks to Amsterdam & Partners  – I Amsterdam Tourism Board for a warm welcome in Amsterdam and for providing the IAmsterdam City Card.  
All opinions and words are my own.

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