Destination guide

Rent a houseboat for a unique and memorable stay in Amsterdam

With more than 165 canals and 1,500 bridges, it isn't hard to see why Amsterdam is dubbed the Venice of the North. But instead of gondolas, you'll see houseboats – many of which are available as vacation rentals. They're the perfect jumping-off point for exploring the Dutch capital's myriad attractions, from centuries-old churches to museums brimming with priceless art to iconic windmills. Whether you're a solo traveller backpacking your way through Europe, a couple looking for a romantic holiday, or a family or larger group, you'll be spoilt for choice when it comes to things to see and do in Amsterdam.


If your Dutch vacation rental is a houseboat, chances are you're in the Canal Belt, whose waterways were developed in the 17th century to boost commerce. Head to the 13th-century Dam Square in the historical city centre, where you'll find the Royal Palace of Amsterdam. Built in the 17th century as a city hall, it's a grandiose example of neoclassical architecture from the Dutch Golden Age. Close by are the Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) – consecrated in 1409 – and the Oude Kerk (Old Church), which dates from 1306. The 17th-century Rembrandt House Museum and the canalside Anne Frank House are some other must-sees for history buffs visiting Amsterdam.


Activities and attractions in Amsterdam North

Are you searching for attractions to visit in the area? You'll be sure to enjoy Amsterdam North for its boating and biking. Venture out of your cozy vacation rental and experience everything that makes Amsterdam North a one-of-a-kind vacation spot. Here are some of the major attractions to put on your list, all within 30 miles (48.2 km) of the city center:

  • Artis (2.7 mi / 4.3 km)
  • NDSM Werf (1.9 mi / 3 km)
  • Amsterdam Chinatown (2.6 mi / 4.1 km)
  • Amsterdam Dungeon (3 mi / 4.8 km)
  • Playcenter Silverstone (8.7 mi / 14 km)
  • Vinkeveense Plassen (11.7 mi / 18.9 km)
Natural features

Exploring the natural landscape of Amsterdam North

Whether you're an outdoor enthusiast or just want to spend some time taking in the scenery, Amsterdam North is a great place to get out in nature. These are a few of the area's most eye-catching features, all within 30 miles (48.2 km) of the city center:

  • Artis (2.7 mi / 4.3 km)
  • Hortus Botanicus (2.7 mi / 4.4 km)
  • Herengracht Canal (2.8 mi / 4.4 km)
  • Westergasfabriek Culture Park (3 mi / 4.8 km)
  • Oosterpark (3 mi / 4.8 km)
  • Sarphatipark (3.7 mi / 5.9 km)
How to get there

How to get to and around Amsterdam North

The nearest airport is in Amsterdam (AMS-Schiphol), located 9.9 mi (15.9 km) from the city center.

How to get around

Getting around in Amsterdam from your vacation rental

Amsterdam is compact with flat terrain, making it an eminently walkable city. You can also get around as the locals do, by bicycle. It's a major mode of transportation here; in fact, there are more bikes in Amsterdam than there are residents. Public transit is likewise plentiful in the city in the form of buses, trams, metros, and trains, and there are free ferries you can ride to Amsterdam Noord. Parking is expensive in Amsterdam, so if you do decide to come by car, you can ditch your automobile at park & ride facilities on the outskirts and take free public transit to the city centre.

Food & drink 

Sample Dutch treats in Amsterdam's foodie scene

No visit would be complete without sampling at least a few traditional Dutch delicacies. Haring – or raw herring – is a local favourite that's eaten by holding the fish aloft by its tail before taking a bite. You can also enjoy slices of raw herring on a sandwich called broodje haring. Another good way to sample the local eats and drinks is to take part in culinary events like the annual Taste of Amsterdam food festival and the Amsterdam Craft Beer Festival. If you feel like cooking in your Amsterdam vacation rental, you can stock up on fresh produce and meat at the city's farmers' markets.

Essential info

Essential info for your Amsterdam vacation rental stay

Amsterdam sits in the province of North Holland in the Western Netherlands, with more than 851,000 people living on 166 sq km of land. The official language is Dutch, although the majority of residents are fluent not only in English, but also in a couple of other languages. The currency is the euro (€), and tipping between 5–10% of the total bill in bars, restaurants, and when paying for taxis is customary. You need to be at least 18 years old to buy and consume alcoholic beverages in Amsterdam. The same goes for cannabis, which is only legal in coffeeshops. For emergencies, dial 112.

How many vacation rentals are available around Amsterdam?

Our 2020 vacation rental listings offer a large selection of 1,699 house rentals around Amsterdam. From 97 Boats to 748 Condos/Apartments, find unique vacation rental for you to enjoy a memorable holiday or a weekend with your family and friends. The best place to stay around Amsterdam is on HomeAway.

What are the most popular destinations to visit in Amsterdam?

There are many lovely places to stay for a holiday trip or just for a weekend in Amsterdam. From HomeAway travelers, the most popular destinations to visit are:

  • Amsterdam-Centrum: 588 vacation rentals
  • Jordaan: 428 vacation rentals
  • Waterland: 30 vacation rentals
  • Amsterdam-Zuid: 803 vacation rentals
  • Watergraafsmeer: 615 vacation rentals

And HomeAway offers you the chance to discover many other popular destinations in Amsterdam! Please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available in other popular destinations.

What are the main cities to discover in Amsterdam?

Whether you're travelling with family or friends, here are the cities with the largest selection of vacation rentals for a holiday trip or just for a weekend in Amsterdam:

  • De Pijp: 276 rentals
  • Utrecht: 1,892 rentals
  • Bergen: 923 rentals
  • Zaandam: 1,394 rentals
  • Noordwijkerhout: 682 rentals

For other cities, please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available.

Can I find easy-access vacation rentals when travelling by plane to Amsterdam?

Yes of course. Our owners offer a large selection of vacation rentals near airports. The airports with a large selection of lodging choices in Amsterdam are:

  • Amsterdam Centraal Airport (ZYA): 1,926 home rentals
  • Schiphol Airport (AMS): 2,374 home rentals
  • Utrecht (UTC-Soesterberg Air Base): 802 home rentals

For other airports, please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available.

Near which points of interest can I spend my holiday in Amsterdam?

HomeAway offers a large selection of lodging choices near lovely places in Amsterdam. From HomeAway travelers, the most popular points of interest to stay for a holiday trip or just for a weekend are:

  • Amsterdam Museum: 2,063 vacation homes
  • Leidseplein: 2,078 vacation homes
  • Amstelpark: 1,964 vacation homes
  • Amsterdam Sloterdijk Station: 2,320 vacation homes
  • Amsterdam Amstel Station: 1,876 vacation homes

But there are many other points of interest around Amsterdam listed on HomeAway where you can find your place to stay. Just write your wanted destination in our search bar and have a look at our selection.

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