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Reviewed on 25 Mar 2020
Reviewed on 12 Mar 2020
Reviewed on 8 Jun 2020
Hostels in Amsterdam are a high-energy, fun-packed way to experience the city of canals. Offering plenty of bang for your buck, they should never break the bank. That's even the case for the ones that are tucked into the bucket-list parts of town, from the Flemish mansions of the 16th-century Canal Ring to the rollicking Red Light District. Dormitory rooms are the normal way to sleep, but there are also private room options perfect for couples. There are loads of hostels with on-site bars that have elongated happy hours and pub grub on the menu, while others run their own bar crawls through buzzy Leidseplein and beyond. You can get room deals that include breakfast buffets, along with a whole host of extra frills, from bike rental – a must in The Dam – to walking tours.
Just as you might expect from a city of swinging jazz bars and smoky "coffee shops", there's plenty of panache to be found in hostels in Amsterdam. Fusions of colourful street art and Van Gogh-inspired murals adorn interior lounges in some of the quirkiest stays. There are oversized sculptures by the on-site beer terraces in others. In the dorms, you might find pod-style sleeping quarters that crank up the level of privacy, along with curious little artistic infusions – a carved totem pole here, a bloom of Dutch tulips there. The upshot is that hostels in Amsterdam aren't just a budget-friendly accommodation choice with basic features. They are somewhere with bold character that can cater to everyone from solo travellers to youthful backpackers with their mix of nuanced dorms and common spaces.
Amsterdam is a leader in the world of party hostels, too. You can pick one of those if you're heading to the Dutch capital in search of wild nights of frothy Heineken and Amstel beers, topped off with pub quizzes and live music. Evening pub crawls are organised by some places, offering plenty of chances to meet new, likeminded folk staying under the very same roof. But it doesn't end there. Bike rentals are ubiquitous, too, helping couples and groups navigate the cobbled lanes of the Canal Ring with ease, and ticket booking services mean you can bag boat rides or spots on historic walking tours with ease.
Want to be a short walk from the iconic canals and the lion-roaring enclosures of the Natura Artis Magistra zoo? Generator Amsterdam is always a top pick. It's on the south-east side of the centre, but boasts no fewer than two restaurants and bars, along with simple but modern rooms that might have floor-ceiling windows or flower murals on the walls. The area it's in is a great place to launch walking tours of the Red Light District, or cultural adventures down to the Rembrandt House Museum – the onetime home of the revered Dutch master. Meanwhile, there's rarely a name as legendary as the Flying Pig Uptown Hostel. It's credited as one of the pioneers of the party hostel scene in Europe, so you'll need to be in for raucous pub crawls and wild nights if you book that.