Amsterdam is a world of history and heritage, bikes and beer, canals and coffee shops: the perfect destination for a breezy city break. But if you’re planning a visit to Amsterdam on a budget, you may think that you’ll have to opt for sub-par accommodation.

Thankfully, that’s not true. While there are some cheap and not-so-nice hostels in Amsterdam, there are a wealth of top-quality budget-friendly options available. This means you’ll get some boutique-chic accommodation for a steal.

We’ve created this guide to the best cheap hostels in Amsterdam to help you figure out where exactly to stay. Each caters to slightly different tastes, so you’ll be able to find somewhere that’s perfect for you.

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    MEININGER Amsterdam City West cheap hostels in Amsterdam
    You can’t go wrong with a Meininger.

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    If you’re looking for one of the cheapest hostels Amsterdam has to offer, look no further than this Amsterdam branch of the award-winning MEININGER chain. This franchise group of European hostels is well-loved and known for being pretty much a cross between hotel and hostel. You know you’ll be staying somewhere reliable booking this place.

    Not only can you choose to stay at the MEININGER Amsterdam City West, but you also have the option of staying at MEININGER Amsterdam Amstel. Yep: there are two branches in Amsterdam, but we’ve chosen Amsterdam City West because it just about outperforms its Amstel sibling.

    Basically, MEININGER hostels are all about convenience. The decor is modern, the vibe isn’t overly sociable (but there is a bar), and it’s good for a mix of travellers; you’re going to get families as well as solo backpackers staying at this place. It’s great value for money, and honestly better than a few of Amsterdam’s hotels, too.

    Where is MEININGER Amsterdam City West?

    Location-wise, as the name suggests, you’ll find this budget Amsterdam hostel in the city’s west. For added convenience, you’ll have the handy Sloterdijk Railway Station right on your doorstep. From there, you’ll be at Amsterdam Centraal station in just five minutes; it’s also a mere 15-minute train ride to Schiphol Airport. And if you like green spaces, Westerpark is an easy stroll from the hostel.

    Want to know what sort of rooms are on offer at MEININGER Amsterdam City West? Well, even though it’s more like a hotel, there are still dorm rooms on offer:

    • Mixed dorm
    • Female dorm

    You’ll also have a choice of the following private rooms:

    • Single room
    • Twin room
    • 3+ bed private rooms

    Prices per night start from around $38 USD.

    MEININGER Amsterdam City West Hostel

    Any extras?

    You don’t just get a bed for the night at MEININGER Amsterdam City West…

    • Bar with foosball table
    • Breakfast buffet (additional fee)
    • Packed lunch service (additional fee)
    • Communal kitchen
    • Bicycles for hire (additional fee)
    • Ticket services
    • 24-hour reception
    • Outdoor terrace

    All in all, this awesome hostel in Amsterdam is a professionally run joint. The staff are helpful and will help your trip run as smoothly as possible. All you have to worry about is what sights to see… while you plan your day accompanied by a local beer in the onsite bar, obviously.

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    Generator Amsterdam best hostels in Amsterdam
    Enjoy a budget-friendly stay in Amsterdam!

    Generator is another franchise option for your travels in Amsterdam. Just like many of the Generator hostels across Europe, this Amsterdam branch is as cool and quirky as you’d expect. If you think cheap hostels were going to be pokey, mold-infused dens, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by this place. In fact, it’s more like a boutique hotel than a hostel – and costs a snip of the price.

    Design runs riot throughout the hostel, with eye-catching prints, original artwork and eclectic vintage-style furnishings. It’s set in a former zoological university building too, so expect huge windows, high ceilings and plenty of space to chill out. We really mean plenty of space: there’s enough room to sleep 564 guests throughout.

    They’ve really made the most of the old building. The former lecture hall, for example, is now a lounge and chill-out bar; the old library now plays host to the hostel’s various events.

    Where is Generator Amsterdam?

    This very cool but also budget-friendly Amsterdam hostel also boasts a pretty great location. Situated in the up-and-coming east side of the city, the hostel itself overlooks Oosterpark, so you can expect plenty of beautiful views of this large green space. If you like being near transport links, then you’ll be pretty happy here, too: Alexanderplein tram stop, among others, are within easy walking distance of the hostel. It’s easy to explore Amsterdam’s sights from here as well as taking an Amsterdam day trip or two.

    In terms of where you’ll be actually laying your head at night, well, hold onto your hats!  There are a ton of different options at Generator Amsterdam, including 168 twin and quadruple rooms, each with ensuite bathrooms and park views.

    But let’s start with the dormitory offerings (no cramped 12-bed dorms here)… 

    • Mixed dorm
    • Female dorm

    And then there are the privates:

    • Twin room
    • Double room
    • Luxury apartment (including kitchen)

    Prices start from around $40 USD. You’ll obviously be paying more for that luxury apartment, though.

    Generator Amsterdam

    Any extras?

    Generator Amsterdam may look like a fancy boutique hotel, but there’s definitely a fun, hostel spirit at its heart with a ton of amenities. These include:

    • Chill-out lounge and bar
    • Event room
    • Relaxation area
    • Basement cafe
    • Outdoor terrace
    • Secure luggage room
    • Bike rental (additional fee)
    • Convenience store

    Overall, this place has got to be one of the coolest places to stay in Amsterdam. You get a lot of bang for your buck at this branch of Generator. And if you like your interiors modern and hipster-friendly, you’ll fit right in.

    Train Lodge Amsterdam best hostels in Amsterdam

    Once a night train that plied the line from Zurich to Rome, this hostel has been lovingly cared for and turned into one of Amsterdam’s most unique hostels. It’s literally set-up pretty much how it was when it was a night train, complete with sleeper cars and a dining carriage. It’s even situated on a former train platform. Train lovers or anyone looking for a different (i.e. non-chain) hostel to spend a few days in Amsterdam will love it.

    There’s a decidedly retro ambience throughout the hostel, what with all the old-school fittings and fixtures of the train itself. But there are some modern colour pops throughout and (thankfully) updated bathrooms, too.

    It’s not just room-bound trainspotters who want to book this place. In fact, it’s a surprisingly social hub, with a sunny, sand-covered terrace and dining car where you can meet other “passengers”. This place is all about the atmosphere, which it has in absolute bucketfuls.

    Where is Train Hostel Amsterdam?

    Being situated on an actual train line, it’s actually located next to Amsterdam Sloterdijk Station. This means you’ll be very well connected, as there are links by bus, tram, metro and train from Sloterdijk all around the city and beyond. If you’re in town for a festival or if you just want to easily reach Schiphol Airport, it’s a breeze from here. Plus, there are plenty of places to eat (and drink) in the surrounding area.

    Wondering what the sleeping arrangements are on this former Swiss international night train? There are four sleeper carriages in total, with enough room to sleep 132 people in all. And yes, there are even dorms on offer, namely:

    • Female dorm
    • Male dorm

    There are private rooms, too:

    • Triple room
    • 4+ bed private room

    Prices are upwards of $56 USD per person, per night.

    If you want – well, if there’s enough people in your group – you could even opt to book up an entire sleeper car. That fits up to 33 people!

    Train Lodge Amsterdam hostel

    Any extras?

    Aside from the coolest aspect of this budget Amsterdam hostel being situated in an actual train, there are a few other perks to staying here:

    • Bar-bistro train car
    • Cafe
    • Breakfast options (additional fee)
    • Outdoor terrace
    • Bicycle hire (additional fee)
    • 24-hour reception
    • Free wi-fi
    • Linens included

    What more is there to say about this awesome hostel? It may not be Amsterdam’s cheapest hostel, but it’s still budget-friendly and it’s damn cool. Any train fan or retro-lover shouldn’t miss this one.

    ClinkNOORD best hostels in Amsterdam

    Another Amsterdam hostel, another award-winning chain. ClinkNOORD is part of the tiny Clink franchise, which ingeniously takes up space in old heritage buildings. This iteration doesn’t shy away from its vintage past, being set in an old industrial building and boasting original laboratory features. A real unique place to stay in Amsterdam.

    Inside guests can expect to chill out, plan their days or socialise in one of the hostel’s numerous hang-out areas. For instance, there’s the old C-lab (complete with bar and gallery space), as well as yet another bar where there’s live music on offer.  

    There’s a lot of cool artwork that really brings the place to life throughout. At the centre of it all is a huge atrium garden where you can play some giant Connect Four, among other things. Basically, if you’re into the idea of a big, eccentric hostel that can be a pretty dang social place to be, you may want to seriously consider ClinkNOORD.

    Where is ClinkNOORD?

    Located across the Ij River, a 10-minute walk from Amsterdam Centraal station, ClinkNOORD is pretty much “in the heart of the action,” as they themselves say. In fact, it’s set in the bustling Noord District of Amsterdam. You’ll be a 5-minute stroll from a ferry stop, but also just a two kilometre stroll to the Anne Frank House as well as the sights of Dam Square.

    In terms of what rooms are on offer for potential guests, cast your eyes below at the dormitory options at ClinkNOORD:

    • Mixed dorm
    • Female dorm

    There are also some pretty funky room options on offer at this top budget Amsterdam hostel, too… 

    • Single room
    • Twin room
    • 4+ bed private rooms

    And all of that from $39 per night.

    ClinkNOORD Amsterdam

    Any extras?

    Being the pretty awesome hostel that it is, ClinkNOORD has a ton of amenities for guests to make use of, including:

    • Laundry facilities
    • Restaurant
    • Bar
    • Pool table
    • Breakfast buffet (additional fee)
    • Shared workspace
    • Cafe
    • Bike hire (additional fee)

    Like things sociable? Good, because there are some great events on offer, too, which include the following: 

    • Live music
    • Quizzes
    • Free walking tours

    It might seem like a high-end hostel, but the prices are still affordable at ClinkNOORD. Combine that with being a social powerhouse of a hostel, plus the heritage vibes of the 1920s laboratory building, and you can see why it won the award for Most Popular Hostel in Amsterdam in the 2019 Hoscars.

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      a and o Amsterdam Zuidoost best cheap hostels in Amsterdam
      ^ and everyone should.

      Similar to MEININGER, a&o is a large European hostel chain. These are perhaps even more hotel-ish in nature, maybe even more sterile, but they certainly get the job done. So if you’re traveling on a budget and not too fussed about the social aspect, a&o Amsterdam Zuidoost is a solid option.

      Often touted as a “business-friendly” hostel, it caters to a number of different people including families and, yes: people on business trips. Even pets are allowed to stay. It’s not a backpackers’ per se, but it is a reliable option with clean rooms and plenty of space to unwind. In fact, this branch of a&o is set in a pretty sprawling building, so you’ll be able to find a table to chill and plan your trip to Amsterdam, or Zoom your mates.

      Where is a&o Amsterdam Zuidoost?

      You’ll find this hotel-hostel in the Bullewijk District. In fact, it’s a pretty awesome location if you’re in Amsterdam for events or concerts: it’s just a stone’s throw from here to the Ajax Amsterdam Arena and the Heineken Music Hall. Plus it’s just a short walk from the hostel to the Bullewijk Metro Station itself, which makes getting around town a veritable breeze.

      What rooms are on offer, you say? Well, for starters they’ve got the following dorm options:

      • Mixed dorm
      • Female dorm

      If you feel like staying in a private room, however, you can choose from these… 

      • Double room
      • 4+ bed private rooms

      Rooms at this budget hostel in Amsterdam start at around $31 USD.

      ao Amsterdam Zuidoost hostel

      Any extras?

      Even though this Amsterdam branch of a&o is pretty nondescript, there are still some pretty cool amenities to make use of…

      • 24-hour bar (our favourite)
      • Billiards
      • Outdoor terrace
      • Bike hire (additional fee)
      • Lounges (many)
      • Workspaces
      • Cafe
      • Breakfast buffet (additional fee)

      Sure, it’s not the most social hostel out there, and yes – it’s more like a hotel than an actual hostel. But if you’re after efficiency, convenience and peace and quiet, a&o Amsterdam Zuidoost is where it’s at.

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      Cheap Hostels in Amsterdam FAQ

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      Final Thoughts on Cheap Hostels in Amsterdam

      Whatever time of year you visit Amsterdam, you will have a blast. But Amsterdam isn’t the cheapest city in the world, so you won’t find dirt cheap hostels here. But even though the budget hostels here are a little pricier than elsewhere, you can seriously get some great value for money in Amsterdam.

      From boutique offerings and unique stays in historic buildings to places that feel more like super convenient business hotels, Amsterdam’s best cheap hostels come in all shapes and sizes. You’ll be bound to find something awesome to suit you during your trip to the Netherlands.