The 16 BEST Airbnbs in Amsterdam: Centre Canal Houses & Houseboats
September 2, 2020
The Absolute Best Airbnbs in Amsterdam
Amsterdam is one of the most popular cities in Europe — and for good reason. Canals weave throughout the city, world-class art and history museums abound, and the Dutch pancakes are life changing. But, all of this good comes at a cost. Amsterdam is an expensive city — we aren’t talking Nordic countries or Switzerland expensive — but for countries on the euro, the Netherlands and Amsterdam, more specifically, has accommodation prices on the higher end of the spectrum. There is such a wide range of Airbnbs in Amsterdam for all budgets, so staying in an Amsterdam Airbnb is a fantastic option. But, the benefits to a stay in an Airbnb in Amsterdam goes beyond just budget. Amsterdam, in particular, has a really unique set of options to choose from when it comes to places to stay.
There truly are so many opportunities to stay in a unique type of accommodation in Amsterdam. Luckily, Airbnb affords you this access to traditional 18th century canal houses, renovated houseboats, working windmills, or one-of-a-kind architectural masterpieces. That’s not to say that you absolutely need to stay in one of these particular styles of accommodation to “do the trip right,” but these types of living arrangements are parts of Dutch culture and as such should at least be considered when booking your next visit to Amsterdam.
Consequently, choosing an Airbnb in Amsterdam can be a little more involved than other cities where you mainly look to location, price, and rating when deciding on a place to stay. Of course, all of those aspects are extremely important when choosing your Amsterdam accommodation; but, the specific type of accommodation is also a major contributing factor when choosing Airbnbs in Amsterdam.
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It’s important to note that apartments in Amsterdam were built with incredibly steep stairs. In almost every review for every property in Amsterdam, you will read comment after comment from people who struggled to carry up their luggage due to steep stairs. Since steep stairs are so prevalent in Amsterdam, I will simply note *steep stairs for those property so as not to sound too repetitive in the write-ups. Many hosts will help carry your luggage up the stairs, but that isn’t guaranteed of course, unless perhaps you discuss in advance.
While Airbnbs in Amsterdam can be a fantastic option — having a kitchen and washing machine in your accommodation while traveling is life changing — please keep in mind that there is a service fee, cleaning fee, and occupancy tax added to the cost of the property. You want to make sure that the Airbnb is still a good value with all these additional charges; while the occupancy tax and service fee will generally the same price no matter the property you choose, the cleaning fee can vary drastically from Airbnb to Airbnb.
Most of the Airbnbs listed here are entire homes, but if they are private rooms or have a funky layout, I alert you in the description of each property. All of the Airbnbs listed here are smack dab in the city centre of Amsterdam, except for the windmills and cube houses which are in the countryside a few miles out from Amsterdam and Rotterdam, respectively.
Airbnb Jordaan Amsterdam
Read any material online about visiting Amsterdam and you won’t find an article that doesn’t mention Jordaan as the best neighborhood to stay. That is exactly why I wanted to give you as many Amsterdam Airbnb options in Jordaan as possible. But in this case, quantity does not substitute for quality because all of these options are winners.
4 guests, 2 bed/2 bath
A quintessential Amsterdam Row House, the front windows overlook the canal and the Anne Frank house. Needless to say, this property is in a perfect location. The apartment itself is very modern and clean and even has a communal rooftop terrace with a stunning view. The layout here is a bit funky; the rental is on the top two floors of the property (floors three and four) and the 4th floor kitchen, laundry, and deck is shared with the hosts so you don’t quite get the full privacy of having an entire home to yourself as the listing suggests.
2 guests, 1bed + sleeper sofa/1bath
This ground floor apartment is just off the Prinsengracht canal and in walking distance to many major attractions. There are also an abundance of coffee shops and restaurants and a grocery store across the street. This property doesn’t have the traditional Amsterdam charm, but it is modern, contemporary, and is incredibly well appointed with amenities like a heated floor, electronic smart lock for entering and exiting, Nest thermostat, and a smart tv. It’s cozy — a cross between a one-bedroom and a studio because it is largely open plan — but super quiet and private which can be hard to find in a place situated in such a perfect location.
2 guests, 0 bed/1 bath
Take an ELEVATOR up to this small, studio apartment on the 3rd floor of the building. The studio has tons of natural light and amenities needed for a comfortable stay. It is centrally located in the Jordan neighborhood, but also quiet as it’s off a side street. The tram is just two minutes away which takes you directly to the central train station and from there, the airport.
3 guests, 1 bed/1 bath
The property is located in an 18th century house in the heart of the Jordaan. Expect a fabulous location and the apartment to be sparkling clean. The layout is a bit different than. traditional “entire home”; it is essentially one large floor with a sitting area, bed, and dining area and its own bathroom. There is no kitchen, but there is a refrigerator and word on the street is that the host, Marlot, even stocks the fridge with some goodies. There are some complaints about the small size of the bathroom sink, but some people went up a level to the floor with the washer and dryer and used that sink if they felt it was a problem.
Airbnb Amsterdam Canal View
4 guests, 1 bed + 2 sofa beds/ 1 bath
Located on the 3rd floor of a traditional canal house, this Airbnb might just be my favorite of all because it boasts the most stunning view of the widest canal, Oude Waal, in Amsterdam from the four front windows. The only dangerous part about the amazing view is that you might find yourself spending more time indoors people watching instead of venturing out because the view is that fantastic! In my opinion, the design of the property is perfection — the perfect blend of modern furnishings in a traditional home. The location is great, there is a ton of natural light, and you have a fully equipped kitchen and washing machine.
2 guests, 1 bed + sleeper sofa/ 1.5 baths
From the large windows at this beautiful Airbnb studio, you have a perfect view of the canals and the traditional canal houses lining them. The Airbnb is located in a fantastic location — right next to the hustle and bustle of Amsterdam but not directly in it — and is walking distance to most of the major attractions and just a few minutes from the tram. There’s a large shower which is a rarity in Europe and a compact kitchen but it has everything you need, and the living space is actually decently sized for a studio. I think this Airbnb is perfect for a couple, mom + daughter duo, or two girlfriends looking for a cozy, but comfortable place to stay with a gorgeous canal view.
4 guests, 1 bed + sleeper sofa/1 bath
I wanted to include this particular Airbnb because the property has a fantastic rating given the large amount of reviews .While it is located on the canal, it doesn’t have the amazing view because it is on the lowest floor (basement-style) of a 17th century canal house. On the plus side, you don’t have to worry about climbing super steep stairs, but of course, you won’t have the same natural light as you would if you were staying in a 3rd floor apartment. That being said, the place is a really good value, the host is said to be phenomenal, and the property itself is beloved by many. There is a kitchenette, private bathroom, and a washer and drying rack for you to do your laundry. Please note: the bedroom is separated by a curtain and not a door but that seems to be the case with many Airbnb Amsterdam apartments. The location is great and I love how transparent the host is in the description and photos of the property.
Airbnb Amsterdam Houseboat
Amsterdam’s floating homes are due in large part to Amsterdam’s seafaring and trading legacy. These houseboats are permanently anchored to a specific address and permits are in high demand. Many houseboats are over 100 years old and have been completely renovated with modern amenities. Because these houseboats are such unique residences, tourists have also taken to them and are eager to stay and experience life on the water.
2 guests, 1 bed/1 bath
The houseboat has a rustic farmhouse vibe on what some say is the most beautiful canal in Amsterdam, Bloemgracht. While it’s located in the perfect spot just 30 meters away from the Anne Frank house, the area is actually quite tranquil at night barring the bells from the church. The hosts do kindly provide earplugs if you are a light sleeper like myself. There is also a full bathtub at your disposal so you can soak your feet after a long day of walking all over the city; the shower situation is a little iffy but that’s what you get with unique accommodations. The houseboat is large enough for tall guests, even 6’5″ guests have said they were able to stand up straight. A personal must-have for me when booking a houseboat is a deck or outdoor patio and this boat delivers. Watch the swans go by as you drink your morning coffee. Perfection!
4 guests, 2 beds/ 1 bath
If you are looking for the full package, this houseboat has it all. Seriously, it’s huge! It’s a little pricier than some of the other options, but it truly is a one-of-a-kind opportunity and has two bedrooms so you can easily split amongst 3 or 4 people. Definitely take a look at the images on the Airbnb description because the host not only shares all of the houseboat’s many features, but also infuses a little of the boat’s history into the captions. The houseboat is open-plan with a large sitting area, dining table, and kitchen filled with any and all sorts of amenities that you could ever want. There’s a second bedroom area and a real shower which is a super pleasant surprise in a houseboat. Once again, you will be situated in an ideal location for sightseeing. There are benches on the top of the boat for you to sit and watch the other boats drift by as you drink a glass or two of wine for happy hour. Just an FYI, you will need to climb up and down stairs to get on the boat but they aren’t the traditional steep stairs you find in the Amsterdam apartments.
2 guests, 1 bed/1 bath
If you are looking to detach yourself from the internet and social media for a few days and stay in a beautiful, well cared for creative abode, this houseboat might just be the perfect place for you. The host uses the houseboat as a painter’s studio, but allows guests to stay on holidays and weekends. There is no wifi on the boat as the artist does not want to be disturbed while working in her studio, but most cafes do have wifi if you don’t have an international data plan. The boat is filled with examples of the owner’s work and that of other artists. The location is amazing once again, and there is a wonderful deck for you to sit on and watch the boats sail by on the canal. The houseboat is cozy; there is a small bathroom, kitchen, double bed, and well-sized living space. Also to note, there is no washing machine or TV.
4 guests, 1 bed +sleeper sofa/1 bath
The large windows in this houseboat make this particular Airbnb incredibly special, and it also has two terraces — one the entire length of the boat and the other at the rear of the boat that is covered. I imagine you will spend plenty of time here watching the ducks swim by while drinking your morning coffee, but you are also lucky enough to have gorgeous views all throughout the inside of the boat as well. There’s a kitchen, separate bedroom with double bed, bathroom, and washing machine. And, as with every property before this, the location is perfect.
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Windmill Airbnb Amsterdam
While not directly in Amsterdam city centre, there is a unique opportunity to stay in a traditional windmill just outside of Amsterdam. You will need to rent a car or take an Uber to get you to these windmill Airbnbs, but a couple days off-the-grid living the country life is a one-of-a-kind experience that I highly recommend.
6 guests, 3 bed/1 full bath + 1 additional toilet
Just a few miles from Amsterdam, this beautiful windmill Airbnb The inside is quite charming with wood beams and floors and includes many amenities like 3 double beds, living space, kitchen, wifi, and a bathtub with rain shower. Not only is this a running windmill, but the host might just give you a detailed demonstration of how it works and share the history of the windmill with you as well. You can rent bikes and admire the goats and sheep on the nearby farms or ride to the nearby town of Abcoude which has a coffee shop, markets, and a handful of restaurants and is just 5 minutes away from the windmill.
2 guests, 1 bed/ 1 shared bath
PLEASE NOTE: This is a private bedroom in a windmill with shared bathroom.
Catch a glimpse of life in the countryside in Amsterdam and stay in a room at this beautiful 400 year old windmill. The host, who is an actual miller by trade, may even show you the inner workings of how the mill operates and functions today. He also provides breakfast for his guests! It is great to get away from the city, but you can actually reach central Amsterdam in about 45 minutes by taking public transport should you wish to go back.
* steep stairs
Don’t forget to purchase Rick Steve’s guidebook to Amsterdam & the Netherlands before your trip! He has written this one and a pocket guidebook on Amsterdam.
If you’re looking to purchase a guidebook for multiple European destinations, please read:
Airbnb Cube Houses in Rotterdam
I didn’t want to end this post without including the option to stay at an Airbnb in the cube houses of Rotterdam. The city of Rotterdam is about 45 minutes by high-speed train and 65 minutes by normal express train. If you are an architecture buff, it might be worth the trip to stay in these iconic and innovative houses designed by Piet Blom and based on the concept of “living as an urban roof.” Below are three of the 39/40 cube houses built in 1977 that are also rented out on Airbnb.
6 guests, 3 bed/ 2 bath
Private room: 2 guests, 1 bed/ 1 shared bath
4 guests, 2 bed/ 1.5 bath
I’m also including a link to the various Airbnb Experiences you can partake in while in Amsterdam. I absolutely adored the Airbnb experiences I have done in Europe, so I highly recommend a perusal of the listings before or during your trip to Amsterdam.
Is an Airbnb in Amsterdam Right For You?
As I said before, staying in an Airbnb in Amsterdam allows you the unique opportunity to not only stay in a one-of-a-kind traditional Dutch-style property, but it allows you to get a sense of the local life through the eyes of your Airbnb host. Most are more than eager to share their personal favorite restaurant and attraction recommendations with you.
There is also such a wide range of accommodation options on Airbnb that you can typically find a place for you within the budget that you need. Once again, you need to watch out for the additional fees like the cleaning fee, service fee, and occupancy tax and make sure to read the description to ensure their are no additional hidden fees like, for example, an additional person or late check-in.
Also, the kitchen and washing machine come in clutch when you’re traveling through Europe. Shopping at a supermarket saves a ton of money as opposed to having eat out every meal and a washing machine can be a life saver in that summer heat. There is a sort of luxuriousness about staying at a hotel that can’t quite be captured in an Airbnb — you don’t have a concierge service or front desk available to you on the other end of the line — so really think about what your needs are for your trip to Amsterdam before deciding if an Airbnb in Amsterdam is right for you.
If you have any sort of issue with your Airbnb, the company does have a 24/7 emergency line and they will answer and assist you.
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