Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) is fast approaching in under a month!
Soon, an electrifying energy will run through the city and you’ll be able to hear dance music in every corner, as 350,000 people from all over the world descend upon Amsterdam. Literally a dance music lover’s paradise. If you haven’t fixed your accommodations yet, it’s best to hurry up and book a hotel.
A big misconception of Amsterdam Dance Event first-timers is that ADE is a single event or festival.
In fact, ADE consists of hundreds of industry events, parties, and afterparties all spread out around the city. It’s impossible to go to every single event, so it’s best to do a bit of planning beforehand on which parties you would like to attend (and buy tickets for them). Whereas for other single-venue festivals, booking hotels is quite straight-forward, knowing where to stay for Amsterdam Dance Event can be confusing.
Picking the right place to stay is not only good for the wallet, it’ll also save you loads of transit time. Less transit = more partying!
So if you’re not sure where to book your ADE hotel, this guide can help you decide on which area to stay in and which hotel to pick, based on your budget, preferred transportation methods, and party selection.
If you don’t care for the “location analysis” bit of this article and prefer to go straight to the pro’s and con’s of each neighborhood with hotel suggestions, just skip ahead.
There are 3 main things to consider when booking a hotel for Amsterdam Dance Event:
1) Your budget
- High: If you want to conveniently access all the events and take advantage of tourism in the city, the Center is for you
- Medium: If you’re budget-conscious, or prefer to be out of the tourist area, you’ll want to stay outside of the Center and move around by bike, bus, metro, or tram. Generally, all the locations within the “Ring” (a circle around Amsterdam delineated by the A10 highway) should be relatively painless to get to or from, no matter if it’s West, South, East, or even North of Amsterdam (across the IJ river). Make a decision based on where the parties you’re going to are located.
- Low: If you’re really budget-strapped, neighborhoods outside the ring (Bijmer, Amstelveen) would be cheaper but also a pain to get to or from late at night. In which case you may also consider doing the following…
- Alternative for Low: If you want a nice place without paying an arm and a leg, have you considered the nearby cities Utrecht or Haarlem (20-30 minutes by train)? The downside of staying out there is that you either have to take the night trains or stay out till the morning, but that shouldn’t be a problem, right?
2) Your transportation
- Bicycle: It’s highly recommended to rent a bike to get around. If you’re comfortable cycling after clubbing that is. To cycle, definitely stay within the “ring”. Anything outside of it is too far to bike, especially after a long night out!
- Public Transportation: If you want to use public transportation, you can, but just note that between 12am-7am, you have to rely on night buses. Staying close to the Center will be more convenient as night buses travel to and from Central Station. Otherwise you may be looking at many hours of changing buses and waiting for buses. You could also stay in Utrecht or Haarlem as there are night trains (Haarlem only has night trains on Friday and Saturday nights).
- Cab or Uber: If you’re ok with cabbing or Ubering everywhere, then you could stay anywhere within Amsterdam city. Note that Ubers are about half the price of cabs without surge pricing. However, during ADE, there will for sure be an influx of people hailing cabs, so this option will likely not be cheap nor easy. It’s totally possible that after a big party like Amsterdam Music Festival or Awakenings, no cabs will be available.
3) What parties and events you’re attending
While ADE events are happening all over the city, there are some definite trends in the areas where parties are happening, even by genres.
I’ll plot the largest events on a map for you, color-coded for your convenience.
Click the top left corner of the map to be able to see the labels, genres, and toggle and and off irrelevant layers.
Knowing where you’ll commuting back and forth from, you can choose a district appropriately.
For techno heads (blue labels)
As you can see, your events and venues are concentrated in the West part of the city (Awakenings, Dockyard, De School, Loveland, and more) as well as the North (Straf_Werk, Shelter, elrow) of Amsterdam.
Areas I’d recommend staying in are:
- Westerpark (more expensive) – Upscale neighborhood in West that easily reaches the venues in Westerpark (like Gashouder) and easy to get to Central station for the venues in the North.
- Sloterdijk (less expensive) – This neighborhood in the West of Amsterdam is not as nice nor interesting, but it easily reaches surrounding parties and fast connection to the city center by train.
- Haarlem (least expensive) – about 25 minutes by train to Sloterdijk
Note: Staying in Noord (North) is an option too. But unless you get a hotel by Buiksloterweg, which has a ferry that goes to central station all night, I would not recommend staying in the North.
For mainstream house ravers (green labels)
One of the flagship ADE events is Amsterdam Music Festival (AMF). Besides that, many well-known house DJs also host huge concerts in Amsterdam. Because of the size of the crowd they attract, the venue size has to match. And the 3 largest venues in Amsterdam are the arenas Ziggo Dome for Martin Garrix and Amsterdam ArenA for AMF, located at the Bijmer ArenA metro station – as well as conference center RAI at the metrostation RAI. These venues are located in the South/Southeast of the city.
The location of the arenas is not the best area in Amsterdam. I would suggest staying closer to the city center or on the East side close to the metro line, and taking the metro down there.
Areas I’d recommend staying in are:
- City Center (Centrum / most expensive) – stay anywhere in the center and it’s an easy commute down to the venues by metro, while allowing quick access by foot to the attractions and restaurants in the center as well as the nightlife.
- Amsterdam East (Amsterdam-Oost / medium price) – easy to commute down to the venues by metro, more residential and less touristy than the center, but with excellent dining choices as well. Clubs are less accessible from here by foot, but easily accessible by bike, tram, or taxi.
- Bijmer (Zuid-Oost / cheaper) – right next to the event venues. However, this is a business area can be somewhat dodgy with limited entertainment options. Be sure to stay next to a metro stop, preferably Bijmer stop. The metro or train that takes you to the city center in about 15 minutes.
- Utrecht (cheaper) – it is a different city, but you arrive directly with the train to Bijmer in 17 minutes. Utrecht is one of the most beautiful cities in the Netherlands, and it’s a great alternative to staying in Amsterdam, especially if it’s not your first time in the Netherlands.
For Clubbers That Just Want to Party (yellow labels)
If you just want to check out all the best clubs in Amsterdam, the fantastic programming during ADE, and hit up as many parties as physically possible, the thing to do would be to stay close to the center. Amsterdam’s clubs are concentrated in the Center, West, and North parts of the city.
Neighborhood and Hotel Summary for ADE
Here’s a summary of the pros and cons of each neighborhood in Amsterdam, as well as Utrecht and Haarlem. Along with it are hotel suggestions for each budget level, assessed on quality, area, and ease of access to transportation.
Rough price for 3 nights (Thu-Sun) with a two-person room is indicated for your convenience, but this is of course subject to change at anytime.
All locations listed here except for the Southeast are “inside the ring”, so you can easily cycle to and from parties.
Center (Amsterdam Centrum)
Pros: walking distance to big clubs like Melkweg, Paradiso, and Sugar Factory; easy transportation to events around the city; tourism and dining opportunities abound; and of course, beautiful canals!
Cons: expensive and likely small
High-end hotel: W Amsterdam (€1,500)
Mid-range hotel: NH City Centre Amsterdam (€890)
Budget hotel: Budget Hotel the Orange Tulip (€650)
Pros: proximity to big clubs like De School & De Marktkantine; proximity to large techno events like Awakenings and Loveland; easy transport to the center; nice neighborhoods by Westerpark with good dining locales
Cons: Sloterdijk area is a bit boring and industrial (but areas surrounding Westerpark are nice), may be hard to get to other areas of the city in the middle of the night
High-end hotel: WestCord Art Hotel Amsterdam 4 Stars (€830)
Mid-range hotel: Holiday Day Inn Express Amsterdam – Sloterdijk Station (€540)
Budget hotel: Train Lodge Hotel Amsterdam (€320)
Pros: Technically not in the center, but right next to it; it’s the new hip area in town with great dining and is less touristy than the center
Cons: No parties here
High-end hotel: Hotel Okura (€1,200)
Mid-range hotel: Floris Hotel (€630)
Pros: Very nice, safe neighborhoods; less touristy than the center; easy metro access; great dining
Cons: Not many clubs or events are going on in the East
High-end hotel: Hotel V Fizeaustraat (€870)
Mid-range hotel: Hotel Casa (€670)
Budget hotel: Hotel Allure (€590)
Pros: Close to venues like Amsterdam ArenA and Ziggo Dome; close to the metro
Cons: Boring area; can be dodgy at night; outside the “Ring”
High-end hotel: Jaz Amsterdam (€940)
Mid-range hotel: EasyHotel Amsterdam ArenA Boulevard (€490)
Budget hotel: Hostelle (female only Hostel) (€290)
Pros: Cheaper than Amsterdam; beautiful historic town that is calmer than Amsterdam; 20-30 minutes by train to Amsterdam; really cool canals
Cons: Not in Amsterdam; night trains run once every hour from Amsterdam’s central station
High-end hotel: Mother Goose Hotel – 4-star hotel for the price of a budget hotel in Amsterdam! (€560)
Mid-range hotel: Apollo Hotel Utrecht City Centre (€360)
Budget hotel: The StudentHostel B&B Utrecht City Center (€160)
Pros: Cheaper than Amsterdam, small town feel but with plenty of tourism and dining locales; 20-30 minutes by train to Amsterdam
Cons: Not in Amsterdam, night trains only run on Friday and Saturday (once every hour to and from Central station)
High-end hotel: Hotel Lion D’or – 4-star hotel for less than the price of a budget hotel in Amsterdam! (€490)
Mid-range hotel: Bed & Breakfast Hotel Malts (€420)
Budget hotel: Hotel Carillon (€280)
See you at ADE! I’m hitting up the Dave Clarke with Boys Noize party at Melkweg, OWSLA label party at Paradiso Noord, and elrow. Where else should I go?