Amsterdam Neighborhoods

Amsterdam Neighborhood Guide

Amsterdam neighborhoods are diverse and change in feel from block to block. There are eight official districts called stadsdeel, and dozens of neighborhoods. The official districts recognized by the city are the Center, Westport, New West , West, Southeast, South and North. Each district has its own distinct neighborhoods, including commercial and residential centers. Read more about the different Amsterdam districts and neighborhoods:

Old Center

This most visited Amsterdam neighborhood is usually divided into the New Side, with traditional architecture, canal tours, Dam Square and shopping, and the Old Side with Nieuwmarkt, Chinatown and the Red Light District. The Old Jewish Quarter with Waterloo Square are also part of the center.

Canal Belt

In Dutch (Grachtengortel), the wealthiest Amsterdam neighborhoods, is a band of concentric canals around the old center, hence name. The Canal Belt also includes Rembrandtplein and Leidseplein, the city’s main nightlife areas.


Traditionally a working class area, now it’s an expensive and hip district with plenty of art galleries, boutiques and restaurants. Also includes the Haarlemmer Neighborhood at the north side.


Supposed to be an extension of the Canal Belt, lack of demand made this into a leafy area with lots of greenery, botanical gardens and Artis Zoo.

Amsterdam South

A trip to Amsterdam is not complete without a visit to the Museum Quarter. This district also covers the Vondelpark, De Pijp (with it’s street market) and the South Axis, a rapidly developing business district similar to La Defense in Paris.

Amsterdam West

A vast suburban area which can be divided in Old West, built in the 19th century, and New West, a multicultural off-the-beaten track area built after World War II. Also includes the Western Islands.

Amsterdam North

Directly north of the center lies North, a newly-built suburb. Also includes the area north east of Amsterdam, the Rural North, a protected wilderness area.

Amsterdam East

Starting from the Oosterpark, this area includes all of the Eastern Islands, Eastern Docklands, Zeeburg and the rest of the Eastern suburbs.


An exclave of Amsterdam, separated from the rest of the city by Diemen and Duivendrecht, the Bijlmer was foreseen as a town of the future for upper-middle class families. It turned into a lower-class residential district home to people of over 150 nationalities, often associated with crime and robberies. It has improved remarkably the last years, but it still is an area only for adventurous travelers (and football fans).