Amsterdam has an impressive choice of excellent hostels, and a good few are surprisingly stylish, central and characterful.
Travelling solo or on a budget? Book into one of Amsterdam’s sociable and sleek hostels. Apart from being very affordable, many have ample communal areas conducive to making new friends and swapping stories with fellow travellers after a day of exploring.
Generator Amsterdam offers both dorms and private rooms | Courtesy of Generator Amsterdam / Hostelworld.com
Generator Amsterdam, which is just a couple of tram stops from Centraal Station, lies inside a building dating from 1916 that used to be part of the University of Amsterdam’s zoological department. A mixture of modern and repurposed original fixtures creates a very memorable accommodation choice. The 564-bed hostel in Oosterpark – in the up-and-coming eastern side of the city near De Pijp – has quads, doubles, twins and suites, all with en-suite bathrooms. Communal areas include a library and games room, TV lounge, café, basement bar and a striking bar formed from a former lecture theatre.
Calling itself a “boutique hostel”, this former brothel near Albert Cuyp Market and the nightlife of Leidseplein aims to offer the luxury and comfort of a hotel with the atmosphere and budget of a hostel. With impressive features such as lofty ceilings, a regal round staircase, marble entrance and original chandeliers, Cocomama has everything from private doubles and three-bed family rooms to dorms with two, four or six beds. Note that some dorm bathrooms are shared. There’s a cinema, kitchen, garden and living room. The hostel also organises social events, including a board games night, bar crawls and weekly family-style dinners, to encourage guests to socialise.
This colourful hostel has dorms with four, six, eight or 12 beds as well as doubles and six-bed rooms for families or friends. With an artistic slant, WOW Amsterdam gives a great insight into the local arts community, with artists in residence, contemporary art spaces and cultural activities galore. Communal areas including a patio, restaurant and urban farm in the inner courtyard to inspire visitors to mingle.
ClinkNOORD is a large hostel, with more than 750 beds. Originally a laboratory built in the 1920s, the hostel has kept many features. It’s well-appointed, sitting on the banks of the River IJ in the up-and-coming Noord area that’s a good deal quieter than the centre. ClinkNOORD offers dorms ranging in size from four to 14 beds as well as private en-suite single, twin, triple and quad rooms. Communal areas include a self-catering kitchen, café, bar, library and lounges. Artistic features include stained-glass windows, and bright colours liven up the space. Guests can reach the hostel via the free 24/7 five-minute ferry from Centraal Station.
This delightful and stylish eco-conscious hostel, sister to Cocomama, is in the pleasant neighbourhood of De Plantage. Situated within the heart of Amsterdam, by the Waterlooplein Flea Market, Ecomama boasts a café and lounge areas with stacks of books and a vinyl collection. There are seven types of rooms, including the double private deluxe, the “hipster” five-bed dorm and the “el-cheapo” 12-bed dorm. It also has a self-catering kitchen and a tipi showing films nightly.
Situated in the Oud-West neighbourhood, CityHub isn’t your typical hostel at all. It has several aspects representative of a hostel, such as a communal feel, shared bathrooms and luggage stored in lockers. However, there’s privacy at this futuristic enterprise, as everyone sleeps in compact, windowless, sound-proofed hubs, or pods, each with a queen-size bed and app-controlled speakers and mood lighting. Features are modern but minimalist, such as a vending machine and self-service bar.
It may be one of the largest hostels in Europe (more than 75,000 people stay over the course of a year), but the bright and spotlessly clean Stayokay Amsterdam Vondelpark is very central and is close to Leidseplein and some museums. Uniquely located within Vondelpark – Amsterdam’s most popular open space – the hostel appeals to the young, old, families and solo travellers. Stayokay has a variety of shared and private rooms, all with en-suite facilities. Communal areas are large, including lounge spaces, work zones and a bar and restaurant. For families, there are film showings, games and even an Easter-egg hunt.