Budget travelers know that there is no better way to make the most of their trip than by staying at a hostel: save money for exploring during the day, while swapping stories with fellow backpackers and travelers in the shared kitchen or bar in the evening.
Forget affordable hotels in Amsterdam – this is your guide to budget accommodation in the style of cool hostels.
Below you will find our top 3 highly rated hostels, which include two 5 Star Hostels – Cocomama and Ecomama – plus ClinkNOORD along with a few other picks just in case our top 3 aren’t what you’re looking for.
Check-In and Check Out: The average check-in time is from 15:00 (3pm), while the Check Out time is before 11:00 (11am). Hostels usually offer luggage storage in case you arrive earlier or leave later. Make sure you check if luggage storage is free or if there is an extra cost.
Party vs. Boutique Hostel: You will find here a wide range of quality in hostels. From youth hostels, hostels for families to boutique and crazy party hostels, as well as super-budget-low-quality places.
Make sure you make up your mind which type of hostel and experience you fancy. In this guide we share with you the absolute top places, plus where to stay in Amsterdam cheap.
If you are not sure which hostel to pick, always go with Ecomama Hostel. You cannot go wrong here!
Cocomama is your perfect choice to stay. The reasons for that are simple.
Apart from the beautiful interior decor and design, Cocomama Amsterdam understands what their travelers are looking for:
an easy-going atmosphere
cheap bike rentals
private hostel boat tours
free pasta nights, and many more activities you’ll love.
The rooms at Cocomama come with a little surprise, they’re all Holland themed!
You might find yourself sleeping in the Ann Frank room, or a room with tulips, Van Gogh, bicycles and even; for any neon-fans, a Red Light District themed room.
There are a variety of rooms to stay in from privates to shared with a dorm bed for you (and everything in between).
Each dorm bed is comfy and cozy with luxurious mattresses and feather duvets for a perfect nights sleep. You might share a bathroom in some of the dorms but don’t worry, they are kept very clean and tidy.
It may have you feeling like you’re staying in an Amsterdam hotel cheap, yet seriously cheerful.
Cocomama is a place where you’ll make friends and hang out with other international trotters alike in the private garden, living room, cinema and fully-equipped kitchen where you can also enjoy their free breakfast each morning.
It’s a top choice if you enjoy quiet hostels that don’t lack atmosphere.
You are close enough to the city center to explore, and far enough to actually sleep well at night! Personally, for me this is best area to stay in Amsterdam.
Located in the Amsterdam City Centre district, Cocomama is 600 meters from the Heineken Experience and only one block away from the Albert Cuyp market, Europe’s largest daily open-air market, Leidseplein, Rembrandtplein and some of the city’s major museums.
Also located on the border of one of the popular and favorite neighborhoods, “De Pijp”.
Tramstop Stadhouderskade (metro 3,4,12) and Tramstop Frederiksplein (tram 7,10) are located at literally one minute walk away from the hostel.
Who stays here?
Find a mix of couples, solo travellers and everybody that loves the vibes of a smaller, relaxed hostel – yet super social! It feels more like a home to us, where friends from all over the world come and join in.
Only groups with less than 4 people are allowed here.
This makes this place cosy and chill. The common area downstairs and the garden is the place to mingle.
For groups, check out the Ecomama Hostel below.
Ecomama is by far the best hostel in Amsterdam for groups!
Spread over 12 rooms Cocomama offers:
Private Room Types available: Deluxe Double Bed Room, Family room for up to 5 People
Shared Room Types available (dorm rooms): 2-Bed Dorms, 4-Bed Dorms, and 6-Bed Dorms
Cocomama is one of the best hostels Amsterdam has for:
Last but not least, we have a bigger hostel for you with a different location.
ClinkNOORD is a high-quality accommodation created by two backpackers sisters, Anne and Shelly, for budget-conscious city explorers.
Set in a converted laboratory dating from the 1920s, this hip, modern hostel is decorated with a plethora of works of art and is located in the culturally vibrant area of Amsterdam Noord.
The hostel mixes Dutch style with creativity and modern comforts along with beautiful features from the original 1920s building, whilst providing curious travelers with a unique, relaxing and fun place to stay and socialize.
The location is – obviously – downtown. Each bunk bed comes with night light, socket and at the bottom, a secure locker for your belongings. it is one of the most famous hostels in Amsterdam too.
Pig Downtown hostel is also a party hostel, perfect for backpacker and everyone who wants to meet people and have a drink. They have concerts and other events. The bar comes with a billiard pool table.
With all that choice, you may wonder what is the cheapest hostel in Amsterdam? Where to stay in Amsterdam on a budget?
The answer: it depends.
What we mean by that is that hostels change their prices all the time. Cheap places to stay in might not be so cheap during the summer.
It always depends on season.
That being said, we think, it’s not worth it to go with the cheapest hostel out there anyways.
The difference is usually not a lot of money per night, and a lot of amenities are not included. This can be breakfast or linen. Although, keep in mind a bad location far away from the city center costs you more in transport.
Other than the city, there are cheap areas to stay in and often cheap lodging in these areas.
However, if you are traveling on a shoe-string budget and you wanna save every penny, there are ways to find the cheapest places in Amsterdam.
Open Hostelworld with full list of places to stay in Amsterdam cheap
It consists of a hostel, studios for artists in residence, a restaurant, urban farm, exhibition space and much more.
WOW Amsterdam is well connected to Amsterdam’s old city center by bicycle, public transport and car. Within walking distance to the hostel you will find a local market, supermarket, restaurants, bars and shops.
Shelter Jordan is a cheap hostel Amsterdam has in place for you; I mentioned it before. The hostel is located in Amsterdam City West, more precise in the hip district of Jordan.
Just around the corner you have the famous Anne Frank House, Dam Square, Royal palace and the Museum District. You can find the big Meininger Hotel Amsterdam city here too. There is also the luxury hotel of Morgan&Mees around, but obviously a night here is much more expensive, starting from 200€. Here’s a guide of boutique Amsterdam hotels; in case you can afford this.
For all the backpacker like us, Shelter Jordan starts from 15€ only! This leaves more wiggle-room to spend money on experiences, right?!
The hostel is run by Christian volunteers and the staff cooks family dinner every night. This is really more a laid-back hostel.
Alright alright; so we gave you a bunch of great places to where to stay in Amsterdam on a budget.
Now, what can you see in the city?
One of the unique things about this buzzing city is that there is something for just about everyone.
Numerous historical museums to explore by day, beautiful green parks, endless shopping streets and neighborhoods filled with cafes, restaurants, bars and markets.
There’s also a bunch of free things to do in Amsterdam.
No wonder Amsterdam is a long standing favorite place for tourists to visit.
When visiting Amsterdam there are MANY things to see along with the classic Dutch cliches like the tulips, the clogs, the cheese and the Red Light district.
So below we’ve compiled a few must-sees, things-to-do and areas that are worth visiting.
Keep in mind: many of the museums require tickets that should be purchased in advance and online to avoid the long lines, so check first before you go to save yourself the headache.
Something else to consider before exploring the city is to purchase the I amsterdam City Card which is a pass that includes entrances to the best museums and attractions, a canal cruise, free use of public transportation and many other city discounts.
17 Top Museums and Attractions
The city obviously offers so many sights to see, including museums.
The highest swing in Europe is unique and you will be overlooking the complete city.
It is really nothing for non-adrenaline-junkies.
You need to prebook a ticket online before you can actually go up to the roof top. There is also a roof top terrace to have a drink.
Obviously I recommend first taking the swing, then have a drink…prices here are a bit step for having a drink. Yet, I recommend having one beer at sunset. Totally worth it! ClinkNoord is just around the corner of Amsterdam Swing.
You may wonder about the best neighborhoods to stay in Amsterdam.
We wrote up a summary of the best areas to stay in and why they are popular.
Central public square and popular gathering place since the 17th-century, flanked by the Royal Palace.
The narrow canals and streets of trendy Jordaan are flanked by indie boutiques, cozy pubs and hip eateries.
Stalls at the Noordermarkt square market offer jewelry, clothes, antiques and organic food.
Other attractions include the Houseboat Museum and the Amsterdam Cheese Museum.
Vibrant square, a hub for nightlife, entertainment, public transportation, shopping and dining.
Rembrandtplein is a major square in central Amsterdam, Netherlands, named after Rembrandt van Rijn who owned a house nearby from 1639 to 1656.
Bohemian De Pijp’s narrow streets are lined with Middle Eastern eateries, old-school pubs and cafes with sidewalk terraces.
Gregarious stallholders at Albert Cuypmarkt sell Dutch specialties like herrings and waffles.
In a former brewery, the multimedia Heineken Experience chronicles the history of beer making and offers tastings. Also in the area, Sarphatipark features English-style gardens with ponds and meadows.
The Spui is a square in the centre of Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands. The Spui was originally a body of water that formed the southern limit of the city until the 1420s, when the Singel canal was dug as an outer moat around the city.
The Grachtengordel is a neighborhood in Amsterdam, Netherlands located in the Centrum district. The seventeenth-century canals of Amsterdam, located in the center of Amsterdam, were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in August 2010.
Parks in Amsterdam
In and around Amsterdam you will find many parks.
If you’re looking to save money, visiting parks is easily one of the best free things to do in Amsterdam.
Here’s our two favorite parks you might want to stop by for a picnic or take a rest from your bike ride:
Expansive, 19th-century urban park with a playground, ponds and an open-air theater.
Covering an area of almost 1000 hectares, the Amsterdamse Bos is one of the largest city parks in Europe.
It contains 150 indigenous species of trees and over 200 species of birds.
The park sits to the South of central Amsterdam and can easily be reached by bike, tram or metro from the city center.
We have to admit, we love local markets.
There is always a local vibe going, a great way to see the local life in action.
These two markets in Amsterdam are our top choices we like to visit.
Flower market dating from 1862, displaying blooms from tulips to geraniums on floating barges.
Albert Cuyp Market
Iconic street market since 1905 with lots of stands selling clothing, local foods, flowers & more.
Where to Weed – Coffee Shop Amsterdam
Allow me to set the record straight here that NO marijuana is NOT legal in Amsterdam, it is however TOLERATED.
What exactly does this mean?
Basically, thanks to ‘gedoogbeleid’ (don’t worry I can’t pronounce the word either), which literally translates to “policy of tolerance”, you are able to walk into a coffeeshop to buy and smoke marijuana.
Holland cannot technically “legalize” marijuana because of various world treaties. The drug brings in so much money to the Dutch economy that it is something that the state and local police do not criminalize.
In the Netherlands the term Coffee Shop has come to mean alcohol-free establishments where cannabis (weed, hash, marijuana) are sold and consumed.
According to the Dutch Drug and Coffee Shop Law the coffee shops in Amsterdam are licensed to sell small quantities of cannabis to adults over 18.
Keep in mind that when you see signs that read “coffeeshop” it does not mean it’s a place to go and actually sit down to have a cup of coffee, it is instead a place for weed smokers.
If you want coffee look for cafes or coffee houses instead. Smoking cigarettes is not allowed in coffeeshops or other public indoor places.
Also, please be aware of people discreetly, yet persistently, peddling “hard” drugs around the city.
Important to know: Amsterdam and the Netherlands are proud that they have this freedom. However, the police is not really happy when you would start smoking in public. especially in smaller cities you can end up with fines. For good reason, as we think. If you want to to smoke, visit a coffee shop and enjoy the stuff there. Fair enough, right!?
Amsterdam a great city to explore by foot or by bike.
It is no surprise that bikes rule the roads in Amsterdam and with about 880,000 of them (yes, that is more bikes than people), bicycles are definitely the most popular form of transportation around the city and can be a great way for visitors to get around quickly.
Renting a bike in Amsterdam is pretty easy as bicycle shops are everywhere.
Just look for a store with the word “fiet” (bike) in the title and you can rent bikes hourly and daily for very small fees (average prices between 8-10 euros).
There are several located near the Central Station, the Leidseplein and Dam Square.
And remember that bike riding and walking is very economically friendly!
If you’re not one who likes to do a lot of walking, or like to ride bikes, the tram is always another option.
Trams run daily from around 6am (weekdays) and 7am (weekends) to just after midnight.
You can find tram line maps and timetables at any tram stop, with major stops having electronic boards telling you the next departing services.
A one-hour ticket in the city is €2,80 but if you’re planning to get around by public transportation, we’d recommend you to get the 24 hr ticket, which is € 7,50.
Don’t forget to check-in and check-out each time you take a ride!
Yes, Amsterdam is a very safe city to visit, in fact, it is not a dangerous city at all!
First things first; all of the hostels listed in this article are safe hostels in Amsterdam.
In the Safe City Index 2017 Amsterdam takes the 6th position in the list of safest cities in the world (2017).
With a laid-back and care-free atmosphere, violent and criminal behavior is almost non-existent in this city.
In a city with more than 800,000 bikes, bike theft is the biggest crime of all in Amsterdam.
But, because there is always a ‘but’ in this imperfect world we live in, there are a few precautions one should always consider and be aware of while traveling in Amsterdam.
Amsterdam is a safe city for women of all ages traveling alone or together, safe for families with children as well as individuals traveling in larger groups. There is very little harassment in the streets or elsewhere.
The worst incidents are mainly pick-pockets but if you are careful and alert, you can eliminate this problem.
Watch out for these “hungry thieves” on crowded trains, trams, buses and street markets, especially during high tourist seasons.
Tourists are more often targeted than Amsterdam residents because they are more easily distracted while taking selfies, placing their belongings down unattended and for other ‘not using common sense’ reasons.
Remember: simple precautions will minimize your chances of being robbed. Protect your personal belongings at all times, especially your ID and or passport. Simply put, just be smart and attentive and you’ll be fine.
In the event of a serious emergency, the emergency number for police, fire brigade and ambulance services is: 112.
What you should avoid in Amsterdam?
Most neighborhoods are relatively safe for walking, even alone, with a few exceptions.
You probably don’t want to be wandering around in the Red Light District at 3:00 in the morning, but that is due more to possible rowdiness and drunk people behaving more aggressively than anything else.
Maybe checking out the Red Light District area earlier in the evening would present a much better touring experience and of course be a little bit safer.
Please be mindful that taking pictures of the prostitutes, especially around the Old Church area, is strictly forbidden.
I once saw a female tourist taking pictures of one of these ‘women in the window’.
She (the prostitute) ran out from her room, approached the photo capturing perpetrator and made her delete every prohibited picture she had taken, even from her trash bin.
Everyone else walked by either shaking their heads at the tourist in shame or laughing because she was just that dumb for doing something she wasn’t supposed to be doing.
So basically, don’t be THAT tourist while in the Red Light area.
Oh and just so you know: If the bouncer of bodyguard of the prostitute gets you, you can most likely say goodbye to your camera since the camera will end up in the canals.
There are a lot of common questions, especially when you have never been to the Netherlands in general and Amsterdam. We collected the most commonly asked question. If you have any questions left, please drop us a comment or contact us directly.
What are the best sites for finding hostels?
We want to throw our hat into the ring: Hostelgeeks.com Our website is focused on bringing you a handpicked selection of cool hostels all around the world. Here you can find all our handmade best hostels in the world guides; from Paris to Tokyo.
Other than our website, Hostelworld and Hostelz.com is always a great resource and booking platform too.
What are the best hostels in Amsterdam?
This is what this guide on Hostelgeeks is all about. Here is it again in a nutshell:
Flying Pig Downtown and Flying Pug Uptown are great hostels for smokers! The most famous one in the very city center is The Bulldog Hotel. Cigarettes and Weed is allowed here as it is also a coffee shop. Please remember, you are not allowed to smoke Marijuana on the streets; the police has a non-tolerance policy. Stay in and enjoy the ambiance of The Bulldog or the Flying Pigs.
What are some examples of cheap accommodation in Amsterdam?
Shelter Jordan and WOW Hostel are great examples! Both are not too far away from city, still in walking distance. Dorms are clean and the common area is great to meet people.
However, both hostels do not offer a kitchen for guests to use.
Where can I find a good and cheap accommodation in Amsterdam?
There isnt any available places in any hostel hotel to stay this night in Amsterdam - where can I go now?
There is always a place somewhere. Check out Hostelworld.com and Booking.com and look for dates today. It may be possible that prices are super high due to a special event. it is always our best tip to check this ahead of time, and secure your bed. Worst case scenario, you could change the city and take a bus for instance to Rotterdam or Utrecht.
How is Amsterdam in December?
Cold and Christmas time. You can stroll around the Christmas markets which is wonderful. However, the weather is very cold, around 5 to 10 degrees. You will need a warm jacket and especially good shoes. It can rain too.
Any Discounts or Promo Codes?
Currently, we have no special hostel discounts in Amsterdam.
So there you have it; an epic guide to the most amazing hostels in Amsterdam Netherlands, plus insider tips and tricks. This is your ultimate guide for where to stay in Amsterdam on a budget AND in style.
Are you left with any questions, doubts? Still not sure where to stay in Amsterdam?
Then please please leave us a comment. This list of awesome Amsterdam hostels should be as informative and useful as possible.
Your question(s) will help me to understand what I have missed to mention. You will have your questions answered and help me and your fellow travellers by improving this article further.
Therefore, do not be shy, drop us a comment, we are keen to help you and improve further!
Last note: Our commitment
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.
We will never recommend you any place we haven’t evaluated or are not convinced by. As always, we only share with you places we also recommend to our best friends and family!
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Your Smart Packing List
It is time to see what you should pack in your backpack or suitcase. Make sure you always pick a quality hostel, it totally reduces the things you need to pack. Here is our ultimate hostel packing list. It features 23 items you should really throw in your backpack.