Amsterdam, Europe’s 420-friendly hotspot, is one of our favorite cities to explore. Find out the best backpacker hostels in Amsterdam.
Cycle through narrow streets lined with brightly colored terraces, cruise down famous canals, wander around park after park and inhale the herbal aromas of coffee shops.
There are many ways to soak up this city’s charm and by the end of this guide, you will know the best places to stay when you are backpacking in Amsterdam.
Amsterdam is the capital city of the Netherlands and is located in the North West region of the country. Amsterdam is very accessible, whether by train from mainland Europe or a budget flight into Schiphol Airport.
Hostel Location: Be sure to research the location of hostels compared to major attractions and areas in the city. Check our map with all hostels here.
Tourism Tax: All hostels within the city limits of Amsterdam are required to have visitors pay a Tourism Tax. The tax is 7% of the accommodation costs (excluding breakfast costs) + $3 per person per night.
Safety: There is no doubt that Amsterdam is a relatively safe place for travelers in general. In any major city, you should keep your wits about you to avoid being taken advantage of. When it comes to assault or physical abuse, this isn’t very common at all. Keep in mind, when traveling, it is important to be smart; trust your gut, be aware of your surroundings and if something seems off, it probably is.
Backpacking in Europe requires a bigger budget than in other parts of the world, so it’s important to know where to stay and how best to get around to make your budget last.
We’ve ranked our top six backpacker hostels in Amsterdam based on location, prices, safety, and good vibes. Follow this guide and you’ll be guaranteed a great trip to the Dam. Take a look at the best hostels Amsterdam has to offer!
The Bulldog takes our top spot for Amsterdam’s best hostels for backpackers and party. This iconic hostel is in the heart of Amsterdam city centre, featuring its famous Lounge Bar, and lively atmosphere. You really can’t get a more authentic Amsterdam experience than staying at The Bulldog.
The accommodation is basic but the location is outstanding. Just meters away from Dam Square, the red light district, and an array of bars and restaurants, you are on the doorstep of some of the city’s best spots.
The photos are really not impressive…let me tell you. Yet, this hostel is a legend for its atmosphere, the coffee shop, and just the overall experience.
The Bulldog is buzzing with a really upbeat atmosphere. They restrict big parties from staying, such as stag and hen do’s, so the vibe is fun without being too over the top. There’s a 420-friendly bar serving happy hour drinks, with a pool table, games, and more.
Dorm beds start from $23 per night and private rooms start from $98 per night. This is really good value in Amsterdam, particularly for such a popular spot. Have fun at the best hostel in Amsterdam.
ClinkNOORD is a creative space in a 1920’s style building that provides a mix of accommodation choices, social areas, a self-catering kitchen, and more.
At ClinkNOORD, you can choose from a basic or standard dorm bed, or a private single, twin, or double room with an ensuite. Dorm beds range from $35 to $45 depending on the room capacity and private rooms start at $140.
ClinkNOORD also has a cool bar, ZincBAR, that hosts regular events including live music, DJs, and performers from Amsterdam’s creative scene.
Enjoy an authentic Amsterdam experience during your stay here and travel via water to the city center. ClinkNOORD is just a three-minute ferry journey from Central Station.
Cocomama is another Hostel Geeks favorite for Amsterdam’s best hostels. With Dutch-themed rooms, sociable common areas, and a central location, Cocomama’s a great stay for backpackers in Amsterdam.
Cocomama’s is a comfortable spot that gets the simple, Nordic interior just right. This hostel is clean and friendly, with a private garden and fully-equipped kitchen. There is also nightly entertainment, including games nights, movie nights, and family dinners. Cocomama’s also provides free breakfast and a fruit basket, a great perk for backpackers on a budget.
Just a short walk from the Heineken Experience and other cool bars, and a 30-minute walk or short metro journey from Centraal Station, Cocomama’s is in an ideal location for exploring Amsterdam.
Choose from a 4-bed dorm, 6-bed dorm, or a range of private rooms. Prices start from $47 for a dorm bed and scale up to $147 for a deluxe double with ensuite.
Stayokay Amsterdam Vondelpark overlooks Amsterdam’s biggest park and is within walking distance of museums and nightlife hotspots. Enjoy Amsterdam’s greenery during your stay at Stayokay, it’s a really nice place to wake up and start your day with a walk through Vondelpark.
Stayokay boasts modern decor that brightens up the different spaces throughout the hostel. There are plenty of hangout spots and a lively bar that offers cheap drinks, good food, and a friendly place to meet fellow backpackers. There are often sports playing on the TV and music setting the vibe in the bar.
What’s more, Stayokay has a laundrette on site and you can rent bicycles directly from reception. The convenient location and amenities make Stayokay a great hostel choice for backpacking in Amsterdam.
There’s space to accommodate 574 backpackers at Stayokay so there’s a good chance you’ll meet some new friends during your stay. Dorm beds start from $40 and private rooms from $129.
BUNK Hotel Amsterdam is a unique property where hostel meets hotel across two renovated church buildings. The interior at BUNK is really impressive, boasting modern and quirky spaces within its ancient walls.
Hold on…did it say HOTEL? Yes, no worries. The accommodations name is BUNK Hotel, but it is really a hostel. They do offer dorms and social ambiance – and for a good price.
Individuality and creativity are encouraged at BUNK. You’re a little further from the city center (approx. 20 minutes walk) but there’s a metro station just a short walk away making it a convenient commute to Amsterdam’s main attractions.
BUNK’s on-site restaurant provides good quality food at reasonable prices and there’s bike rental available from the hostel.
Prices at BUNK are on the more expensive side, with standard pods starting from $85. That said, it’s a truly unique experience so if you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind backpacker hostel in Amsterdam, then BUNK should be your go-to choice.
Flying Pig Downtown is our final pick of the best backpacker hostels in Amsterdam. Not only will you have a comfortable place to crash at the end of your day, but the Flying Pig Amsterdam also has a sociable bar with happy hour deals, an outdoor decking area, a smoking area, and a fully functioning kitchen to satisfy your munchies.
Flying Pig Hostel Amsterdam is in an exceptional location. Just a 10-minute walk from Amsterdam Centraal Station and no more than a 30-minute walk from all the main tourist attractions, you are well situated to explore everything Amsterdam has to offer.
This hostel is particularly good for solo travelers. Flying Pig Downtown is a really sociable place, with friendly staff and plenty of hangout areas to meet new people during your stay.
Choose between a single or queen-size bunk bed in the dorm rooms or upgrade to a private room if you’d prefer your own space. Prices range from $40 to $60 for a bunk bed, and you can choose from dorms with just four beds scaling up to a 32-bed dorm.
Amsterdam is a diverse city with lots of hostels to choose from. Our top six backpacker hostels in Amsterdam were chosen to cover a range of accommodation types and experiences, all with a central location and reviewed highly not just by us but fellow travelers too.
Now that we’ve got your accommodation sorted, let’s discuss must-see places and things to do that will heighten your time exploring Amsterdam.
Are you still in search of the best hostels in Amsterdam for solo travellers? The Bulldog is the best Amsterdam hostel for us, but if you think you wanted to see more Amsterdam hostels, we are giving you more! Get ready for some more cool hostels in Amsterdam.
Hans Brinker Hostel Amsterdam
The Hans Brinker Hostel Amsterdam is conveniently located in the heart of the city, just a 2-minute stroll from Leidseplein. Here, solo travellers, backpackers, and large groups can pick from a variety of private rooms and shared dormitories.
At the Hans Brinker Hostel in Amsterdam, you’ll have your own private shower and secure lockers to store your possessions. There is free WiFi available in all areas. The large dining area serves all three meals of the day. Bars and a nightclub that goes underground are open all week long.
Just 450 meters away, at Prinsengracht, is a tram stop with service to both Central Station and the Museum District. The Vondelpark is a quick 8-minute stroll away. Guests of the Hans Brinker Hostel Amsterdam will also get access to discounted tickets for a variety of activities, including boat tours and bike rentals.
The Train Lodge is conveniently situated right close to the Amsterdam Sloterdijk Train Terminal. The Train Lodge is a one-of-a-kind hostel offering both shared and private rooms, a bar, a sunny terrace, and free Wi-Fi throughout the building.
There are many parking options near the Train Lodge, making it a cool and relaxing place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Each of the three-bed cabins at Train Lodge is equipped with heating and air conditioning, a sink with cold water, and a TV. Bathrooms and WCs are located in the common area, or hallway. The property’s front desk is open at all hours. Bicycle rental is available at the hostel.
Train Lodge is located in Amsterdam’s Westpoort neighbourhood, close to both Anne Frank House and Vondelpark (3.7 km away). Train Lodge Amsterdam is located within walking distance of the Amsterdam Central Station and is only 3.9 kilometers from the Royal Palace Amsterdam and 5 kilometers from Leidseplein. This property is located within a 10-kilometer radius of Schiphol International Airport.
The MEININGER Amsterdam West is a contemporary hotel that provides free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs to its guests. It is conveniently located near to the Amsterdam Sloterdijk Train Station. There is a bar, a guest kitchen, and a large lobby decked out in traditional Dutch paintings at this hotel.
The wooden floors and light, airy decor can be found in all of the rooms at the MEININGER Amsterdam City West. In addition, a private bathroom with a shower is included.
The Meininger Hotel Amsterdam has both a continental and buffet breakfast every morning and if you want to join free walking tours, just ask away and their staff can help you.
The trip to Schiphol Airport from the hotel takes no more than 15 minutes. It is a 14-minute drive to Van Gogh Museum and 13-minute drive to Dutch National Opera Academy. The MEININGER Hotel is a quick train ride away from the heart of Amsterdam. It takes around half an hour to drive to either Zandvoort’s beach or Zuid-Kennemerland National Park.
Stay at this comfortable hotel and Xplore the charming city of Amsterdam. We’re situated in the middle of things, a 5-minute stroll from Amsterdam Central Station and steps away from the historic Dam Square. In and around this well-known public space, you’ll find a wide variety of dining and entertainment options.
Members of our Xplore team are Xperts at ensuring that your trip to Amsterdam is as memorable as possible.
Start Xploring the city with their help; just ask for recommendations and let them know what you’re into.
Fun Tips: Everything You Need To Know About Amsterdam
Amsterdam is a diverse city with lots of hostels to choose from. Our top six backpacker hostels in Amsterdam were chosen to cover a range of accommodation types and experiences, all with a central location, and reviewed highly not just by us but fellow travelers too.
Now that we’ve got your accommodation sorted, let’s discuss must-see places and things to do that will heighten your time exploring Amsterdam.
Cannabis is decriminalized in the Netherlands, and Amsterdam is renowned for its 420-friendly culture. As long as you’re in possession of fewer than five grams, then you can enjoy the green at your own leisure.
Amsterdam’s coffee shop culture is centered around weed smoking. Walk up to most counters and you’ll be able to buy weed as easy as it is to buy your coffee. Most coffee shops will have weed on their menu, where you can choose from different strains and how you want to consume it, for example, edibles, a pre-rolled joint, a loose bud, and so on.
If you’re not used to smoking weed, take it easy. The last thing you want is to find yourself white and unwell. And remember, there are some areas of Amsterdam where smoking weed is banned, so check your surroundings and gauge with others around you before lighting up.
Four Twenty culture is a huge part of experiencing Amsterdam and makes visiting here stand out from other European cities. Enjoy the experience, whether that means you’re joining in or standing back to watch the world in a different realm.
Nightlife in the Dam
Amsterdam has a thriving art scene and its creative soul comes alive at night. Spend an evening around Leidseplein and Rembrandtplein for the best nightlife spots the city has to offer. Of course, Dam Square & the Red Light District are bouncing after sunset, with a great choices of bars and clubs to enjoy.
Leigesplein is a trendy area of Amsterdam with some of the city’s best pubs, clubs, and bars that will entertain you until early hours of the morning.
There’s a fun choice of Irish bars often playing sports, Belgian beer bars for a top quality pint, and famous cafes’ including Cafe Amsterdamned and The Bulldog. Leidesplein also boasts the famous Paradiso – the iconic music venue renovated from a 19th century church.
You’ll not have to walk far before you find somewhere that draws you in, and there’s plenty of happy hour deals and special beer offers to entice you.
Nightlife in Rembrandtplein is really diverse with a good choice of bars and clubs. Home to Amsterdam’s famous Club Rain and Escape, to name a couple, a night out in the Rembrandtplein district is guaranteed to be a lot of fun.
Rembrandtplein is located in the city centre, just south of the Red Light District, so you can jump from place to place without needing to travel far.
Dam Square and the Red Light District
You can’t go to Amsterdam without spending time between Dam Square and the Red Light District. It goes without saying that this area is a tourist hub, but it also has a lot to offer and is a must-see for everyone visiting Amsterdam.
On top of the abundance of sex shops and erotic shows, there’s also a cool selection of bars to re-hydrate after a wander through the glowing red streets.
If you’re in the mood for a fancy cocktail, try Bar The Tailor, an award-winning cocktail bar with historic quirks, and Bar TwentySeven for a chilled cocktail lounge with good music. For a more casual scene, head to Drink N Sink for pub food and a fun atmosphere.
Amsterdam has a rich history and a great choice of museums to soak up the city’s culture. Our favourite Amsterdam museums are:
Anne Frank Huis: We’re sure you know the history of Anne Frank, but if you don’t you should look it up before your trip. Anne Frank Huis is a heartening experience that tells the story of Anne Frank and her family whilst they hid in Nazi-occupied Holland to avoid Jewish persecution. You’ll have to queue to get into the museum, but visiting Anne Frank Huis is worth the wait. It’s a fascinating walk through a sobering time in history.
Van Gogh Museum: If you’re fond of the arts, then seeing Van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’ painting with your own eyes is an experience not to be missed. Van Gogh Museum showcases 1,400 of the artist’s pieces and tells a fascinating tale of the life that Vincent Van Gogh led.
Venustempel: Venustempel is the world’s first sex museum, where you will walk through the evolvement of erotica over time. Here, you’ll cast your eyes upon some eye opening photographs, paintings, recordings, and more. Visiting a sex museum is staple to Amsterdam and Venustempel brings to light the sensual side of the city.
Time to Explore Amsterdam
Now you know where to stay and what to do, you should be ready to explore the wonderful city of Amsterdam.
Our list of Amsterdam’s best hostels covers different types of accommodation depending on the experience you’re searching for, with a fun list of activities to fill your time. We’re sure you’re going to love your trip to the Netherland’s capital.
What about the cheapest hostels in Amsterdam?
Of course, there are always cheap hostels in Amsterdam.
When you are traveling on a shoe-string budget and you want to save every dollar, there are ways to find a cheap hostel in Amsterdam.
Open Hostelz.com with a full list of all hostels in Amsterdam.
add your dates
Order the listing by price
Simple as that.
Hostelz.com is a price comparison site for hostels. They list every single one in the world and tell you exactly which website is cheaper to use.
Good to know: There are even special discount codes that we only share in our newsletter!
How to book?
The two most popular booking platforms are Booking.com and Hostelworld.com. They list both numerous hostels and cheap accommodations. We wrote here a detailed guide on the best booking sites for hostels.
The coolest App for Hostels comes as well from Hostelworld. It comes with super cool features like you can contact your hostel mates beforehand and make plans together.
All that being said, we highly recommend checking out Hostelz.com before making your final reservation. It is a hostel price comparison. Add your destination and dates, and it will tell you the cheapest places to book your hostel.
This is a genuine article to help you travel a bit smarter and find the best place on a budget! We ONLY recommend places we know you will enjoy, no matter what. At Hostelgeeks we will never recommend you any place we haven’t evaluated or are not convinced by.