Hans Brinker Budget Hostel made its name with witty slogans like “More honesty, less of everything else,” “The hostel that couldn’t care less, but we will try,” and “Proudly ignoring standards since 1970” and yes, it’s basic, but at least it’s never boring. You can boogie in the downstairs club, drink at the bar, and enjoy incredibly cheap meals in the dining room. Beer-soaked Leidseplein is just around the corner.
YOU SHOULD KNOW If you're looking for all the frills, or even just a few, keep looking!
Many of the no-frills rooms−now with freshly painted color-blocked walls−are dorm-style with bunks and sleep up to eight people, but if you don't fancy waking up with strangers, you can also book one of the private singles, doubles, or triples.
All rooms got new bunk beds with ladders and lockboxes in January 2018, so you no longer have to traipse to the downstairs lockers with your unmentionables.
Recently refurbished white-tiled bathrooms with a basic shower, sink, and toilet are dated but clean enough.
The marble tiled lobby is filled with postcard stands, signs proclaiming “No Nope. No Hash” and the hum of vending machines.
Guests can enjoy incredibly cheap food (a daily hot meal for €6.50!) in the dining room.
There’s a bar with affordable drinks (especially during the buy-one-get-one-free happy hour) and a downstairs club.
You’re ideally located in the lively elbow of Amsterdam’s Canal District, with easy access to most of Centrum, the Museum District, and Oud-West. The tangle of trams at nearby Leidseplein will take you all over town.
Stay put and take advantage of those cheap meals, like the “Famous Brinker Burger”. Otherwise, soup’s probably your best bet for an affordable meal in this touristy neighborhood. You can choose from 8 varieties at Soup en Zo (1-minute walk). For fab pho, Saigon Caphe (5-minute walk) is the place to go. For a steaming bowl of chicken ramen, head to Umaimon (7-minute walk).
For affordable alcohol, head to any brown café and order a regular beer. Café de Gieter (5-minute walk) is a popular local student hangout. Or, if you’re looking for the cozy atmosphere of a typical Dutch “brown café”, there’s Café De Doffer (6-minute walk).
WHY WE LIKE IT
Provided that you can, indeed “Manage your expectations,” as per Hans Brinker’s latest marketing campaign, what you see is what you get: a bunk bed in a minimalist (dorm) room with an en-suite bathroom in a central location.