Unique Places to Stay In and Around Amsterdam:
A Boat, Windmill, Hexagon, or Crane
The first time I went to Amsterdam in 2009, I stayed at the Flying Pig Hostel which was the go-to place for young-ins. It was the first time I slept in a hostel that had king bunk beds where you not only slept in a dorm room with a ton of people, but also shared a bed with someone. Luckily, this someone was a girl in my program so it wasn’t too awkward, but we had 20 people plus numerous stray cats in our room, so it was a pretty full house. While in my little study abroad world, I never imagined there would be so many unique places to stay near Amsterdam.
So needless to say, while pitching Amsterdam for the next Europe trip, I immediately started looking at accommodation options. I was so pleased to find beautiful private rooms and entire homes on airbnb overlooking the canals at affordable prices. BUT…that would be too easy. Looking at photos of the canals got me thinking about how it would be even better to stay in a houseboat. And then, I got really carried away watching a travel vlog about the Kinderdijk windmills and started researching how to stay in windmills. Clearly, this all spiraled out of control a little bit, but in the best way possible because all this research inspired this post! So, if it’s your first time traveling to the Netherlands and want to do it right, or if you have been before and want to make your trip exciting and new, here are some of the most unique places to stay near Amsterdam:
The Netherlands is famous for its beautiful canals; it’s one of the main reasons to go there. So while I still recommend taking an hour-long canal ride during your trip, why not elevate the experience by staying in one of the multitude of houseboats available? There are many houseboat options listed on airbnb; but, if you would rather stay in a hotel because you like amenities, then you can book a room in a larger boat. Many of these options are listed under specialty lodging on TripAdvisor and Bookings.com. (These links don’t just filter to the home page, but are already filtered to showcase all boat options in Amsterdam.)
What could possibly be more cute and quaint than staying the night in a windmill on the outskirts of Amsterdam? It may not be the most comfortable place you have ever stayed, but for a night or two, I can only imagine how memorable of an experience this would be. Airbnb has 2 windmills that you can book; One is a private room in a windmill and costs around $145 dollars a night, while you can book the other for around $330 a night and have an entire windmill to yourself. Both of these windmills are rated very highly with the reviews all stating in one way or another that the windmill stay was the highlight of the trip.
3. Cube House
The famed cube houses are located in Rotterdam, a city about an hour or so away by train from Amsterdam and you can rent one on airbnb for a reasonable price! These houses were built in the 1970s by architect Pier Blom; his challenge was to build houses atop a pedestrian bridge and having built cube houses in another town prior, Pier (I’m kidding myself, we are not on a first name basis) thought they would be a perfect fit for this setting too. The 38 cube houses in Rotterdam optimize space and maintain 3 levels. The first floor has a living room and open kitchen, the bedrooms and bathroom are on the second floor, and the third level is sometimes used for a garden, another bedroom, and to showcase the incredible views. Also, totally off topic, but there is a hot tub boat that you can rent for a canal ride in Rotterdam, so if you are iffy on taking a 1 hour train to Rotterdam, don’t be. Just make plans to jacuzzi down the canal too.
4. Crane Hotel
Ever dreamed of staying in a crane? Yea, me neither. But, now that you know this place exists, isn’t it kind of hard to pass up on this opportunity…or at least the idea of it? If you have some money to spend and want to feel that adrenaline pumping, the Crane Hotel Faralda in Amsterdam might just be an experience for you. There are a total of 3 suites in the hotel located atop the crane that you get to by elevator. The highlight for many is the jacuzzi at the very top of the crane; however, it is an additional price of 90 euros! Kinda cray. While you could probably stay at a much nicer hotel for a lesser price (your stay at the Crane Hotel Farada ends up costing around 500 euros a night), you come to the Crane Hotel Faralda for the unparalleled 360 degree views and for the novelty of spending the night in a crane. Because where else are you going to do that?!
While all of these unique places to stay are undoubtedly awesome, these accommodations are highly sought after properties and need to be booked far in advance. So for all of my spontaneous travelers out there, I hate to get your hopes up! You never know though…some of these places have a lenient cancellation policy and you may be able to swoop in at the last minute!
Do you know of any other unique places to stay in Amsterdam? Check out my transportation guide to see the best way to navigate around Amsterdam!