Staying near to the city’s best coffee shops
Amnesia in Jordaan is probably the most famous coffee shop in Amsterdam – be it for its handsome leather armchairs or its extensive cannabis catalogue. On the same block you’ll also find a smaller but equally well-respected coffee shop, the Grey Area. If these two shops are high on your agenda, drop your backpack at Sebastians (from €75), one of the best-value hotels in the area, or rent one of the Jordaan Canal View Apartments (from €156), a good solution if you’re a group of friends that plan on lounging around. Those eager to visit the Bulldog (the busiest coffee shop in town), the Abraxas (a tourist hotspot) or the Basjoe (which offers tasty food, smoothies and jazz music) will want to stay in Leidesplein. Good accommodation in the area includes the 4-star Radisson Blu (from €135) and the My Cup of Tea B&B (from €140), a charming self-catering apartment that sleeps two to three guests.
The arty Siberie coffee shop is another hip Amsterdam hangout. Nearby are the 3-star Rho Hotel (classic mid-range accommodation from €100), and the Starry Night Apartment (a bright, spacious apartment, from €180). If sampling the wide choice of herbal hybrids on offer at the Bluebird is part of your plan, good hotels nearby include the Hilton (from €113) and the A-Train (from €56).
In the depths of the Red Light District
A hotspot for all forms of revelry and debauchery, the Red Light District is a spectacular bazaar of racy window displays, bars, pubs, clubs and head shops. This one-of-a-kind place can be a destabilising experience for the uninitiated, but those who are curious will not be disappointed. The Greenhouse Effect (trendy and accessible, from €50), the Hotel Luxer (comfortable and modern, from €59), and the Hotel CC (great value for money, from €54) all place visitors at the heart of the action, but as Red Light District really never sleeps, guests at these hotels should be prepared to put up with a certain level of background noise emanating from the streets below. Finally, the Swissotel (from €99) is a good option for those who want to put just enough distance between themselves and the raucous crowd to get some decent shut-eye.