Classic youth hostels
Located in the heart of the Red Light District, The White Tulip Hostel is known for its lively Irish pub, the Slainte. While the accommodation is fairly nondescript, it’s a practical place to stay with that offers a festive atmosphere. The smallest dormitory sleeps four but the prices are cheapest (around €14 per person) in the bigger rooms. A fifteen-minute tram-ride from the centre brings you to the Stayokay Amsterdam Zeeburg. This modern hostel in an immense renovated building is located in a calm area, it’s a more suitable choice for those who want some peace and quiet. The facilities remain basic, but the rooms are described as impeccably clean. The surrounding district is a modern suburb near to Blijburg beach, which is a popular summertime destination among locals.
Arty youth hostels
Not all hostels are bland and impersonal! The Heart of Amsterdam and St. Christopher’s at the Winston are two hostels in the Red Light District that have taken a more creative approach to their interiors... The Heart of Amsterdam pays homage to cult films such as Star Wars and the Godfather with large posters of screen heros covering its walls and doors. The originality and central location of the hostel are cited as its main strong points, whereas the general quality of the facilities is apparently nothing to write home about. The funky seventies-style décor and high-quality fixtures and fittings at St. Christopher’s at The Winston, one of the city’s most sought-after hostels, put it in a superior category, with beds from €28. The Winston Kingdom bar-club downstairs also deserves a special mention for its programme of live music.
Rembrandtplein and Leidseplein: modern budget hotels
Hotels with a hostel vibe and hostels offering private rooms: the following addresses are suitable for groups and young couples looking for slightly higher standards. The Rembrandt Square Hotel is located among the bars, clubs and coffee shops of the lively Rembrandt Square. The décor at this recently renovated 1-star is bright and modern (if a little kitsch), and the hotel is appreciated for its friendly service and good level of comfort. Leidseplein is another animated square boasting a multitude of pubs, nightclubs and concert halls. In a nod to the area’s strong musical scene, the BackStage Hotel is decked out with musical instruments, illuminated vanity tables and lighting rigs. The quirky rock’n’roll theme, the general cleanliness of the hotel and the friendly staff make this a popular choice for families with teenagers as well as young people.
High quality, low cost
The Nova Hotel, the Hotel Luxer and the A-Train Hotel are all 3-star establishments that offer extremely good value for money, with rates starting at less than €55. But the similarities don’t stop there… At such low prices, you might expect to find a bland, service-station environment, but these three hotels all enjoy a central location and offer pleasant interiors. The same goes for the Hotel Clemens, which is classed as a 2-star but conceals a surprisingly refined interior behind its historic façade. Lastly, the Hotel Larende (from €52) is located further from the city centre, but this impeccably clean, ultra-modern 3-star hotel is easily reached by the tram and is worth the detour for its low rates.