Top 10 Worst Neighborhoods In Amsterdam (2024)

As expected, the worst neighborhoods in Amsterdam are the poorest neighborhoods with cheap accommodation. This particular consideration is important because Amsterdam is a tourism center, and there are so many people coming into the city to see the sights.

Of course, locals know where to step foot, and where to avoid; there is even the perception that tourists are usually the main targets of petty criminals and pick pockets. One thing that makes this city different is that it is beautiful; even the rougher parts of Amsterdam are scenic and dreamy.

In order to keep everything well organized; the Red Light Districts are clearly marked; you don’t want to go there unless you want to buy what they are selling. But even the Red Light Districts are reported to be safe and lovely during the day; only assuming their second identity during the night.

Top 10 Worst Neighborhoods In Amsterdam 2023

1. Kolenkit District

Kolenkit District is a neighbourhood in Amsterdam, Netherlands. It is characterized by small, ugly apartments which are not built to the current standard, although there are ongoing improvements being made presently to give the neighborhood a facelift. Aside from the physical problem of the buildings; there is also the problem of the kind of people attracted to this neighborhood.

Eberhard van der Laan, the former Minister of Housing, once referred to the neighborhood as the worst in his “40 problem neighbourhoods.”

Aside from the beautification projects, many efforts have been made to reach out to the people of this neighborhood, so as to help it get back on track, and make the young people more productive.

2. Bijlmemeer

The Bijlmermeer or locally Bijlmer, is a neighborhood in the Netherlands. It is one of the neighbourhoods that form the Amsterdam-Zuidoost borough of Amsterdam, Netherlands. Bijlmermeer is quite well designed; it was built as a single large housing project, and has plenty of open spaces that serve recreational purposes.

The problem is that these open spaces have plenty of idle young people, many of whom engage in all kinds of vices. The neighborhood is mostly inhabited by poor or low income people; of course, there are also many young professionals who choose to live in this city so that they can save money to invest in other things.

Bijlmermeer has a population of about 150,000 people, and the neighborhood is very diverse culturally.

3. Amstel III

Amstel III is a part of the Bijlmer district. It is a redeveloped area that is heavily invested in commercial architecture. The ArenAPoort Entertainment Complex, the AFAS Live and Ziggo Dome concert venues, as well as the Johan Cruijff Arena are some of the arenas found in this area.

Amstel III is not a poor neighborhood; however, there are literally millions of people coming into this area because of these aforementioned arenas. While the vast majority of these mostly young people are very honorable, it must be noted that some of them are petty criminals and hooligans.

The area around Amstel III may be safer during the day, before the football and music crowds troop in.

4. Prinsengracht

The Prinsengracht is a canal in the centre of Amsterdam, which is named for the Prince of Orange. The canal stretches on for about 3.2-kilometers. Prinsengracht is very beautiful and romantic; visitors love to go on boat rides there and enjoy the company of their loved ones.

They better do that during the early hours though because there are several blocks of low cost houses in the area surrounding the canal, and low cost housing is usually associated with crime. Of course, the occurrences of these kinds of things are quite low; so especially in the day time the area is quite safe.

5. Oude Zijde

The district of Oude Zijde is the easternmost district in Amsterdam. It means Old Side in Dutch, and it truly is old. This is a historic district which started out as a tiny town but soon grew in numbers as many Jewish immigrants came in as refugees from Portugal.

The district has many Museums, churches, synagogues, and many historical buildings.  Some of the popular sights include: Waag, Zuiderkerk, Montelbaastoren.

Oude Zijde does not have any of the new, modern housing developments which the wealthy working class people like to occupy. It is best to go there in the day time, there is not much sight seeing to be done in the dark anyway.

6. Zeedgik Street

Zeedgik is a street in the old centre of Amsterdam. The street was built as a dike to keep the water from the Ij at bay. This area then became very popular among sailors, leading it to be called Nautisch Kwartier, which means Nautical Quarter.

This was a place known for crime, drug addiction, and all sorts of vices. However, the place has seen a facelift; and is now the centre of the Chinatown in Amsterdam. Locals as well as visitors come in to eat at Vietnamese, Thai and Chinese restaurants.

However, it is the northern and eastern boundary of De Wallen red-light district so there is some caution to be had when visiting this neighborhood.

There is a place called Café ‘t Mandje on Zeedijk 63 which was opened in 1927. This is one of the places where prostitutes, pimps and sailors, gays and lesbians mixed freely as far back when such things were not done openly.

7. De Wallen

De Wallen is located in the northern side of Amsterdam. The total area is approximately 6,500 square metres; and it meets the Niezel in the north, the sea dike/Nieuwmarkt in the east, and the Sint Jansstraat in the south. De Wallen is one of the most famous parts of Amsterdam because it is the oldest, largest and best known part of the Red Light District of Amsterdam.

De Wallen is basically a network of small streets with approximately 300 one-room cabins rented by prostitutes. There are also larger hotels, brothels, and show houses where all sorts of red light activities are done; these places also have cannabis and alcohol on the free-flow.

The city of Amsterdam has not been able to effectively limit the number of tourists coming into this district; while it remains very popular it is without doubt that De Wallen is one of the worst neighborhoods in Amsterdam because it is full of people who are inebriated with cannabis and alcohol.

8. Osdorp

Osdorp is a neighborhood of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. It was recently merged into the newly formed borough of Amsterdam Nieuw-West. It is located in the South West of Amsterdam, and has around 45,627 residents.

Osdorp is largely a residential area, with plenty of parks and green areas, where people can enjoy themselves in the breeze. There is also the popular Osdorpplein square and its 150-store shopping center.

9. Slotermeer

Geuzenveld-Slotermeer is a neighborhood and former borough in Amsterdam. It is located in the south west of the city; and has now been merged with the boroughs Osdorp and Slotervaart to form the new borough Amsterdam Nieuw-West.

Geuzenveld-Slotermeer is very similar to Osdorp with the housing estates that are built to take as many as possible. Many of the residents are young people; and some of them are inclined to crime, which is why the area is often listed as unsafe.

10. Rivieren

Rivierenbuurt is a neighbourhood of Amsterdam, Netherlands. The neighbourhood is located in Amsterdam-Zuid, which is in the center of the city.

The neighbourhood has plenty of houses; apartment buildings, and the architecture is also very good. Any crime in this neighborhood should not be too difficult for the authorities to deal with.



The worst neighborhoods in Amsterdam are still beautiful, with some very lovely sights to see. Regardless of the tone of this article, The Netherlands has a much lower crime rate than America, and many of the criminal activities in the city of Amsterdam is petty; attributable to juvenile delinquents.