While Amsterdam has nowhere like the supply of accommodation of bigger cities such as Paris or New York, it still offers a host of places to stay bursting with character, to suit every possible budget.
Many of the most enticing hotels and B&Bs occupy classic, gabled canal-side houses on the Grachtengordel - the stately ring of canals that form a semi-circle around the city centre. But there are also appealing options away from the Canal Ring. You usually get more space and comfort for your money in hotels located on the quiet, 19th-century streets down near the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum, and by the city's main park, the Vondelpark.
Also, some of the most memorable hotels to have opened recently - the Lloyd and citizenM Amsterdam City spring to mind - are well outside the centre. But as the city is so small, and public transport is so ubiquitous (see How to get around Amsterdam), wherever you stay you are unlikely to be more than a 10-minute tram ride from the main sights and eating, drinking and shopping areas.
Things to consider before booking
* Affordable, good quality, canal-side hotels and B&Bs are limited in number and much in demand. So if you've set your heart on staying in this kind of property, book well ahead any time of year.
* At many hotels, rates can be as much as a third cheaper in the low-season winter months (November to March, excluding Christmas/New Year), and throughout the year better deals are often available for Sunday to Thursday night stays (especially Sundays). See more about seasonal changes to the city on my When to go to Amsterdam page.
* Cheaper canal-facing hotels often do not have a lift, and the stairs in the old buildings are normally very steep.
* In most hotels, breakfast is a buffet spread of fruit, cereals, pastries, cheeses and hams. Sometimes you'll also be offered hot dishes, such as eggs and bacon or omelettes. In mid-range and expensive hotels, as a general rule, breakfast is charged separately, as an addition to the room rate. This inflates the price of a stay considerably - for a couple on a weekend stay, by as much as 100 euros. In cheaper hotels and B&Bs, breakfast is normally included.
* Hotel rates quoted often exclude the five per cent city tax.