More than 75,000 backpackers every year stay in this vibey hostel that’s hidden on a small side path within Vondelpark. While it’s one of the oldest hostels in the city, the accommodations are modern, ranging from doubles to large dormitories. The common areas have just had a makeover with a botanical theme that connects the hostel to the park. Friendly staff wear t-shirts with slogans like “local know-it-all.”
YOU SHOULD KNOW While Stayokay is aligning itself more with the expectations of its modern guests, it still aims to merely provide an “okay stay.” It is not trying to be a “poshtel.”
Simple yet effective rooms with a white, grey and yellow color scheme are kitted out with wooden bunk beds, lockers with canal house illustrations and a small table with chairs. There are even carafes and water glasses (Amsterdam tap water is naturally filtered by coastal sand dunes, making it some of the safest and most delicious to drink, by the way).
Kids up to two years stay for free. Cots and baby chairs are available upon request.
Every room has its own private (and perfectly adequate!) en suite bathroom so there’s no walk of shame down the hallways here. Some larger rooms offer separate toilets, too.
YOU SHOULD KNOW If you’re sharing your room, you’re sharing your bathroom too. Bring your own towel (or buy one from reception for €4.50)
In the spacious lobby-lounge, which has just been given a beautiful makeover with botanical wall art and hip vintage furniture, you can check in and -out at the large reception desk, but also read, relax, play air hockey or help to color-in a large floral illustration on the wall or get acquainted with other backpackers from around the world.
Yes, there’s a cool looking café in a central conservatory with plenty of plants, which serves simple breakfast, lunch and dinner options.
A pastel-colored central bar offers local craft beers and snacks, as well as other refreshments.
Actually located inside Amsterdam’s most popular park, you’re sitting pretty right where you are in the warmer months, but there’s plenty to do in other seasons too. In fact, you’re next to the Museum District and nightlife hub Leidseplein and the hip parts of West are within walking distance.
Take advantage of cheap fast food–often of the deep-fried and somewhat dodgy variety–served in the automatiek-style at Amsterdam’s famous “snack bar”, Febo (11-minute walk). Otherwise, soup’s probably your best bet for an affordable and nutritious meal in this touristy neighborhood. For fab pho, Saigon Caphe (11-minute walk) is the place to go or choose from 8 soup bowls at Soup en Zo (12-minute walk).
For affordable alcohol, head to any brown café and order a regular beer. Café de Gieter (9-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 Wetering (10-minute walk).
WHY WE LIKE IT
We have four words for you: Hostel. In. A. Park.