As a backpacker and city-breaker favourite, the Netherlands’ capital attracts more than its fair share of budget-conscious travellers. But it isn’t always cheap – in fact, accommodation can be the priciest detail to organise. Luckily there are hostels all over the city, and they aren’t just for backpackers. They can be great options for anyone who’s watching the pennies. Here we take a look at some of the best located, friendliest and cheapest hostels available.
Travelling on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t sleep in style, as Hostelle proves with its artist-designed rooms
This mini-chain has three branches spread across Amsterdam, allowing you to base yourself uptown, downtown or by the beach – none of which put you too far from the main attractions. Whether you’re staying with friends or travelling alone, you’ll find the friendly staff create an atmosphere where you can unwind, meet new people and party (though there are free earplugs for those who’d prefer not to). It contains a lively bar, a smoking area and arranged activities to save you the hassle of making plans.
The Flying Pig in Noordwijk aan Zee allows you to get a beach holiday while only being a stone’s throw away from Amsterdam’s main attractions
It might not quite compare to the canals, the Red Light District and the lush Vondelpark, but this hostel is almost an attraction in its own right. Based on the banks of the River Ij – and just 10 minutes from Centraal Station – it occupies a converted 1920s laboratory building, and features a huge stained glass window and walls covered in art pieces. The rates are competitive, and you’ll feel like you’re staying in one of the area’s cultural hotspots.
Room in ClinkNOORD
With its bicycle lanes and pedestrianised areas, Amsterdam already feels a world away from the traffic-clogged centres of many other cities. But if you want a truly ecological experience, check out WOW. This hostel-cum-creative space has its own urban garden, and plays an active role in the local arts scene, with affordable studios on-site, regular workshops and even plans to make its own non-toxic ink. WOW brings the hosteling, the arts and environmentalism together in an exciting new way.
If you want a truly ecological experience, check out WOW
If you’re acutely conscious of your carbon footprint when you travel, it’s well worth considering a stay at Ecomama. This hostel believes that your visit should be both comfortable and environmentally sustainable, with a commitment to recycling, a green roof and a water saving system. Ecomama features dorms, private cabins and even teepees, offering a range of experiences in the heart of the city.
Planning to visit the Vondelpark? You can’t do much better than this hostel, which is located right in the heart of it. After taking in the park’s beautiful green spaces, you can head to the Van Gogh Museum, which is less than ten minutes away. When the sun goes down, a five-minute walk will bring you to the buzzing nightlife scene around Leidse Square. The hostel even offers a bike hire service so you can enjoy Amsterdam like a local.
Stayokay is a very stylish hostel, right in the heart of the city
With independent cinemas, theatre spaces and concert venues, Amsterdam East is a fast becoming a key point on the city’s cultural map. Generator is a great base from which to discover it. The hostel occupies a smart, spacious former university building, and its killer feature is a lecture hall that has been refashioned into a bar, complete with original features such as wooden desks, green-shaded lamps and a blackboard.
Amsterdam East is home to some of Amsterdam’s cultural highlights and Generator does its neighbourhood justice with its gorgeous decor
Looking for nightlife on tap? Hans Brinker Hostel has you covered. Its basement club often stays jumping until 3 or 4am, so you can enjoy a big night out just a few floors away from your bed. If you’d rather go a little further afield, the Leidse Square location means there’s plenty going on in the local area too.
Hans Brinker is a place where you can enjoy both a big night out and a good night’s sleep
If an on-site nightclub is your idea of hell – or if you just feel you need a break from Amsterdam’s hedonistic excess – then Shelter City could be your refuge for a night or two. Operating since 1972, the Christian hostel features a drug and alcohol-free environment with friendly, welcoming staff. Even better, it’s conveniently located right in Centrum, near some of the city’s top sights.
The clue’s in the name here – Hostelle is exclusively for female travellers, offering a relaxed single-sex environment in quiet Amsterdam-Zuidoost. It’s a great option if you’re visiting Amsterdam solo, or just want a more sedate hostel experience. The clean, tidy rooms are decorated by local artists, and the nearby metro stop will get you to Centrum in 20-30 minutes.
Hostelle is exclusively for female travellers, offering a relaxed single-sex environment in quiet Amsterdam-Zuidoost
No, the “Train” part isn’t just a name. This novel hostel is genuinely housed in a series of old carriages from the Zurich-Rome night train service. Less than 15 minutes from Schiphol Airport, Train Lodge Amsterdam hosts 132 beds across 44 compartments, and offers both single beds and group hire (so it’s a great option for stag and hen parties).
Stay in a converted night train at Train Lodge Amsterdam