Looking for the most quirky hotels in Amsterdam? The Dutch capital is home to the most stylish, odd, unique and unusual hotels in the world. We visited many special hotels in Amsterdam in the past few years and still have many more on our wish list. With that in mind, we would love to inspire you to book an unusual hotel stay in Amsterdam as well. How about spending the night in a bookcase? Or in a bridge house on the famous Amsterdam canals? Or in an old tram depot? Continue reading to learn more about the quirky hotels of Amsterdam!
- Best unique hotel for a first time in Amsterdam: Sweets Hotel with bridge houses on the Amsterdam canals
- Best quirky hotel for a layover: Hotel The Exchange at the Central Station
- Best unusual hotel on a budget: Hotel Not Hotel with hostel-like ‘rooms’ for each budget
- Best special hotel for nightlife: Volkshotel with its own club Doka in the basement
- Best quirky hotel for families: Sir Adam with family rooms and a ‘disco elevator’
- Best romantic hotel for couples: Breitner House with its palace-like interior
Where to stay in Amsterdam
Because Amsterdam is quite a big city, it is good to know where you would like to stay first. As we visited the capital of our home country dozens of times and Sebastiaan even lived there for a year, we know exactly where to go and where to stay in Amsterdam.
The main areas of interest in Amsterdam:
- Centrum or City Center with areas like the Amsterdam canals, the Red Light District and Jordaan, and also famous tourist attractions like the Royal Palace and Anne Frank House
- Amsterdam-Noord, north of the IJ-river
- Amsterdam-Oost, east of the city center
- Amsterdam-Zuid with areas like De Pijp and the famous museum district with tourist attractions like the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museums
- Amsterdam-West, mostly known for the Baarsjes district
All districts of Amsterdam are well-connected to Schiphol Airport. There is a train station at Schiphol with direct trains to the Amsterdam Central Station and most other stations as well. So we definitely recommend you to use the train to arrive in Amsterdam and not waste your money on taxis or Ubers. The easiest way to get around in Amsterdam is the metro or tram. When visiting Amsterdam the tram should be your first choice, as you get a sightseeing tour as a bonus along the way.
All our quirky hotel options in this blog post are in or near the old city center and its tourist attractions, so they all make a great place to stay in Amsterdam for first-time visitors. If you feel like staying in a less touristy neighbourhood, we recommend one of the hotel options just outside Centrum or the museum district of Amsterdam-Zuid. Districts like Noord, the Baarsjes in West or Amsterdam-Oost are far less touristy. They lack the famous Amsterdam canals, but these neighbourhoods have even more charming streets lined with red-brick houses, hipster coffee shops, fancy restaurants and beautiful accommodation options than in the touristy areas.
The 10 most quirky hotels in Amsterdam
#1 Hotel Not Hotel in Amsterdam
“We’re not a hotel, we’re not a museum, and at the same time we’re both.” That is how Hotel Not Hotel describes itself and you’ll immediately understand the museum reference when stepping into this uniquely designed hotel. This concept hotel is located in the hipster Baarsjes district in Amsterdam-West. It offers unique room options for every budget and every hotel dream. The hotel is a large living room, the Kevin Bacon Bar serves great food and cocktails, and the lobby is like a museum of modern art.
The rooms vary in size from 5 to 23 m². You can sleep in a Volkswagen van, behind a secret bookcase, in an antique tram car or in a wooden church. Each room has its own unique concept. Bathrooms are shared – where would you put a shower in an old Volkswagen van – but if that is not a problem, Hotel Not Hotel should be your first choice as the most quirky hotel in Amsterdam.
#2 Sweets Hotel in Amsterdam
Amsterdam is famous for its beautiful canals, so what could be more fun than spending the night right there? Sweets Hotel will make your Amsterdam canal dream come true with its bridge keeper’s houses throughout the city. These tiny houses spread all over Amsterdam make Sweets Hotel both the smallest and the largest hotel in the city.
When the bridges of Amsterdam were automated, the characteristic bridge keeper’s houses needed a new purpose. The initiators of Sweets Hotel decided to transform these charming, historic buildings one by one into one-of-a-kind hotel rooms. Each bridge house suite is unique with a tailor-made interior. The bridge houses have beautiful views of the Amsterdam canals and rivers, showing you the different neighbourhood of Amsterdam. Sweets Hotel offers a unique combination of a tiny house and design hotel.
#3 Amsterdam The Crane
If you’re looking for a very unusual place to stay, the Amsterdam The Crane should be on your list. This hotel is located in one of the most unique areas in Amsterdam to stay: the IJ Island in the river IJ, just east of the Central Station.
The Crane was originally built in 1957 as a port crane on the island in the river IJ. As the Amsterdam port evolved, the port cranes on the island were no longer needed. This unique crane was transformed into a boutique hotel apartment with all amenities you’d normally expect from a luxury hotel. The blue crane reopened as a hotel in 2017. The two-bedroom apartment is equipped with a large kitchen, a living and a well-designed bathroom with a comfortable bathtub. But the best part is the stunning view you have, especially from the master bedroom on the highest floor.
Insider tip: if the Amsterdam The Crane is already booked, you can check here if the Faralda Crane Hotel is still available which is actually located nearby The Crane.
#4 Breitner House
If you’re looking for a romantic and unusual place to stay in Amsterdam, Breitner House should be your choice. It is set in an authentic and monumental building at the Oosterpark in Amsterdam-Oost. It is the most romantic hotel in the city with a palace-like interior. The hotel features authentic ornaments from 1800, grand chandeliers and antique furnishings.
The small-scale bed and breakfast only has two suites. Breakfast is a unique experience with a beautifully set table and an extensive breakfast including champagne. The historic interior with its chandeliers and paintings reflects Amsterdam’s long history. A stay at one of Breitner House’s suits perfectly fits a romantic getaway in Amsterdam.
#5 Hotel The Exchange
Hotel The Exchange is one of the most creative hotels in Amsterdam, centrally located on the street from the Central Station to Dam Square. This unique hotel is almost hidden: the entrance is the narrow door next to Stock Café. You wouldn’t expect a large hotel with 61 spread over three buildings there, but that’s exactly what to expect from The Exchange. The concept hotel offers an unusual experience with rooms and suits decorated by students of the Amsterdam Fashion Institute (AMFI).
Each room is unique, but there are different room types classified with stars, depending on size and luxury. For example, a 3-star room has about 15 m² and a huge king-size bed. But besides those numbers, you won’t know what to expect when you book a room. Each room is unique and has a very different design. We stayed in a room with a subtle design with white shades and playful paper shapes on the wall, but we’ve seen photos of color explosions and extravagant shapes as well.
#6 Hotel De Hallen
The coolest hotel in Amsterdam-West is Hotel De Hallen. The hotel building also houses restaurant Remise47, one of the most popular hotspots in the district for breakfast, lunch or drinks. The restaurant doesn’t only welcome hotel guests but is open to all visitors.
What makes De Hallen this popular and why would we list it as one of the most quirky hotels in Amsterdam? De Hallen is a creative hub, located in a historical building that used to be a tram depot. The beautiful national monument has been transformed into a hotel and restaurant, preserving many authentic and industrial details. The combination with a modern and attractive design make your stay at De Hallen a unique experience. We also love that this hotel hosts art exhibitions in the central interior space on a regular basis.
The old building of the Volkskrant newspaper in Amsterdam-Oost has been converted into this beautiful design hotel. The design is colorful, creative and very unique. The hotel has several rooms and suites to suit every budget. The minibar is included, giving you a luxury hotel experience on a budget.
The Volkshotel building doesn’t only house hotel rooms. It is like a village inside Amsterdam and you don’t even have to leave the hotel to enjoy yourself during your visit. The large roof terrace has a sauna and hot tubs, while the ground floor offers workstations, a terrace, a large sitting area, table football and a cafe. There is even a club in the basement of the Volkshotel and a restaurant on the seventh floor. Both hotel guests and Amsterdam locals are welcome to enjoy these facilities.
#8 nHow Amsterdam
If you like uniquely designed hotels, you’ll probably fall in love with nHow Amsterdam. It is one of the most colorful hotels in Amsterdam. The hotel is housed in an iconic building of stacked glass cubes and has about 650 beautifully designed rooms. This quirky hotel might not be located in a very popular area for tourists, but it has a metro and train station just around the corner.
All rooms and suites feature colorful and creative details like zebra print chairs, old-school telephones and designer lamps. The public areas are an even bigger color explosion with different prints, bright colours, unique furnishings and creative murals on almost every surface. This hotel should definitely be on the wish list of any interior design lover.
#9 Sir Adam Hotel
Take the free ferry at Amsterdam Central Station to cross the river IJ and you’ll arrive at the Sir Adam Hotel. The boutique hotel combines a central location close to all tourist sights with the upcoming Amsterdam-Noord district. Sir Adam is a local celebrity for its large building with an observation deck overlooking Amsterdam. The hotel building houses a co-working space, concept store, restaurant, cocktail bar and hotel.
If that doesn’t already sound like a cool and popular hotspot, you should take a look at the trendy and creative interior. Sir Adam is very well designed from its public space via the disco or karaoke elevators all the way to the rooms and suites. Music is one of the leading themes in the hotel design, as you might have guessed from the funky elevators. The rooms are decorated with a guitar and recorded sleeves and all of them have a record player. Many of the rooms have a phenomenal view of the city.
#10 Hotel Arena
With a location in the Oosterpark, Hotel Arena is located in the heart of Amsterdam-Oost. Some of the rooms offer beautiful views of the green park, making Hotel Arena feel like an oasis of tranquility in bustling Amsterdam.
Hotel Arena is set in a historic and monumental building with high ceilings, wooden beams and large windows. Many of those original details have been preserved and especially the high ceilings give the rooms a spacious feeling. The property once served as an orphanage, nursing home and later youth hostel, but has been thoroughly renovated into a boutique hotel. One of the most beautiful features of Hotel Arena is the historic chapel, which is now mainly used for events.