The best travel tip that I ever received about exploring Amsterdam was to get the hell out of the center and to explore Amsterdam’s awesome neighborhoods. This came to me from a rep from “I Amsterdam” team when I was visiting this city back in July.

Don’t get me wrong – the center is spectacular but after a while the crowds will get to you (like they got to me). I was sick of seeing stoned and drunk tourists on their beer bikes celebrating their Bachelor or Bachelotte parties and painting the city red. (Yes, Amsterdam is the perfect place for trips like these).

Out of our three visits to Amsterdam, our most enjoyable one was when we did NOT stay in the center, but in Amsterdam-Noord instead. So hey, before you read further, I know you have a few questions in your mind about this awesome neighborhood, so here you go –

Where is Amsterdam-Noord?
Amsterdam Noord means Amsterdam North and it is just beyond the IJ, which by the way is the river beyond Amsterdam Centraal Station along with Amstel.
How to reach Amsterdam-Noord?
Super simple – there is a free government ferry that runs from Amsterdam Centraal to Noord. If you’re traveling to Amsterdam by bicycle (like we did), you can also take them on this ferry.
Why should you visit Amsterdam Noord?
Well, because Amsterdam’s center is too mainstream! (hehe) Kidding – personally for me – Amsterdam-Noord won my heart because it’s stress-free if I compare it to the main city. (Btw, if you’re planning a Euro trip and are looking for places that aren’t usually crowded, check out these hidden gems in Europe.)

It’s fun, vibrant and just 15 minutes away from the center by the ferry. Moreover, it’s cheaper to stay here and you will most likely have a bigger room / hostel as compared to the center.

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