Amsterdam neighborhoods

De Pijp

De Pijp, named for the pipe-like ("pijp" means pipe in Dutch) streets that make up the neighborhood, is home to Sarphatipark and a host of cafes, restaurants and budget hostels and hotels. The area is just south of Amsterdam's main canal ring, but offers easy access to main city sights.

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Historical Center

The most touristy section of town, the Old Center is home to the Dam Square, the Royal Palace, and the Niewmarkt. In addition to the photo-op attractions, marijuana-peddling "coffee shops" and endless crowds give the neighborhood an energetic, chaotic vibe.

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Outer Amsterdam

Hostels in this hood are located on the outskirts of town and may or may not be accessible by public transportation.

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A quiet, leafy neighborhood, the Plantagebuurt has a difficult history. The area became a Jewish ghetto during World War II, though the only reminders of this are the Jewish museum and the synagogue. Plantagebuurt is home to the Rembrandt House Museum and the Amsterdam zoo.

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Red Light District

Situated within Amsterdam's Old Center, the Red Light District is perhaps the city's most infamous neighborhood. Yes, you will find sex shows, shops selling marijuana, and plenty of red lights, but there are some more traditional attractions on offer here as well: the Oude Kerk ("Old Church") and trendy shops balance out the racy vibe. Plus, a significant police presence keeps things safe.

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Rijksmuseum & Vondelpark

The Museumplein is a residential area crowded with 19th-century buildings and lots of museums, including the famous Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, and the Stedelijk Museum. The hood's other big attraction is the Vondelpark, famous for its status as a wild, drug-friendly hangout in the 70s. Today, the area is decidedly more upscale, with lots of expensive stores lining the streets.

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Southern Canal Ring

Home to two of Amsterdam's major squares, the Rembrandtplein (a former butter market) and the Leidseplein (a nightlife hotspot), the Southern Canal Ring boasts sophisticated houses and hopping clubs and bars. There's no shortage of entertainment options here, but watch out for tourist traps.

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The Jordaan

The Jordaan is rich with history. Located west of the canal ring, the neighborhood was once an immigrant community outside Amsterdam's city limits. Today, the Jordaan is a colorful, working-class neighborhood, though the hood's history is still visible in its distinctive architecture. The area is known for its arty scene and relatively low rents.

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Western Canal Ring

Located just minutes from the Dam and the Old Center, the Western Canal Ring is home to lovely, historic canal houses. Anne Frank's House is found here, as is the Westerkerk (the church where Rembrandt is buried). The hood also hosts the Westermarkt, Amsterdam's weekly outdoor market.

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