I fell in love with my citytrip to Amsterdam when I first went a few years ago. Due to the price of accommodation in Amsterdam, I had always stayed quite far from the centre. This time I stayed at an amazing new renovated hostel – Stayokay in Amsterdam Oost, the best Amsterdam hostel! I’ll be telling you why a hostel is a great choice in Amsterdam for keeping costs lower, while also being able to stay in a more local area of Amsterdam. I love the architecture, the tall, narrow, slanted houses. Also, I find it fascinating how they need hooks at the top of buildings in order to bring in furniture, as the staircases are too narrow. I love all the canals, the museums, the tulips and most of all, how everyone cycles to get around. This citytrip to Amsterdam was definitely my favourite one so far!
Why is a hostel the best option for your trip to Amsterdam?
Just five minutes from Amsterdam Central Station is Amsterdam Muiderpoort station. Then from here, a few minutes walk and you are at Stayokay hostel. As I walked in I was really impressed by the interior, very instagrammable! There are lots of chill areas near the restaurant, with comfy armchairs, beanbags and plenty of charging points, which particularly for me is very important.
We were then given our key card and headed up to the third floor to our room. I usually stay in shared rooms, as it’s a great way to meet people and keeps costs down. However, since I was here with my boyfriend, we opted for a private room. It was definitely the nicest hostel room I have ever stayed in! The high ceilings made the room feel huge. There was also a full wall of windows, which was perfect for a view over all the rooftops and the small park outside. All the small details were covered; we had a bottle of water provided, towels, shampoo and body wash. These come included with the full service package.
What impressed me the most though were the lamps, which not only charged your phone when you put it down, also had USB ports in the base! Perfect for people who work on their phones a lot like us and need to charge all the time. Our beds were very comfy and we slept so well each night.
Do you want to be more of a sustainable traveller?
I also loved that Stayokay is a sustainable hostel. So if you are looking to be more sustainable during your travels then this is a great option. Lots of circular materials were used when it underwent renovations. This means that recycled materials were used. Stayokay even organises projects such as fishing plastic from Amsterdam canals, and helping to recycle old clothes.
They also keep their own bees in order to produce their own honey!
Ride a bike around Amsterdam with Stayokay hostel
I had a look on the Stayokay website to find some inspiration for what to do during our citytrip, and I’ll be telling you about what we did below! Stayokay offers bike rental for 12.50 Euro per day. I always prefer to take a bike over the underground or a bus, as it means you can stop and hop off at any time. I always have my camera ready, so cycling around means I don’t have to pass by anywhere without taking a photo. Amsterdam is also one of the safest places I have ridden a bike. There are designated bike lanes everywhere and even traffic lights just for cyclists. It is also relatively easy to cycle around, as there aren’t any hills to go up! And there is a free shuttle ferry that takes you across the river to my favourite place to eat.
What to Do during your citytrip to Amsterdam!
Explore NDSM Wharf
To get here it’s about a 15 minute cycle ride from Stayokay. NDSM is an old shipyard, located just across the river from the main station. There is a free shuttle ferry that takes you across the river, and they go back and forth all day so you don’t need to be there for a specific time. Now this old shipping yard is home to lots of bars and restaurants and even more street art.
My boyfriend and I had our first ever date here at a restaurant called Pllek, so it was great to be able to go back!
The entrance to Pllek is through a shipping container, and the whole area is actually home to a growing number of shipping containers. Pllek is right on the riverbank and has the best views of any of the restaurants nearby. The menu has lots of vegan and vegetarian options. I went for the Falafel plate, and Boyan had the smoked wild boar burger. The food really is good, with all organic ingredients. The most expensive dish on the menu was the Falafel bowl, at 13.50 Euro.
Head to Roest for lunch
Another very edgy place to eat and chill in the sun is Roest, even closer to Stayokay than NDSM Wharf, it is only a 7 minute cycle. They have a beach here in summer! The interior has lots of interesting nooks and crannies, with various artworks, sculptures, old machinery and a variety of old sofas and armchairs to sit in. The machinery is from when Roest used to be a factory where steam engines were built. It’s not the easiest to find due to the construction going on around it, but keep cycling and you’ll get there eventually! We tried a Flammkuchen – which is a type of very thin-based pizza. It was ten Euro but not very filling so if you are hungry I would advise getting some extras!
See the wonky houses of Amsterdam
These tall houses are everywhere, but the most famous ones are right by the train station where boat tours leave from. Most of these houses are on narrow streets, so this is the perfect spot to get a photo, as you can get further back and get them all in your shot. It is such unique architecture that you really must go here and see this spot to appreciate them fully.
Head to Zaanse Schans to see the famous windmills
Zaanse Schans is a long cycle if you want to go by bike, or there are plenty of buses and trains that leave from the central station throughout the day to get you here. It is further out of the centre and perfect for a day trip, or just for the afternoon. Here you can walk around amongst the huge windmills and along the waterfront. It’s a contrast to the city, but nice to get out and see some of the countryside around Amsterdam. If you go in summer, get here early to beat the crowds, as it’s a very popular spot.
See the ‘Wake me up when I’m famous’ wall art
Amsterdam is full of street art and interesting spots. I discovered this last time I was here and decided to go back again. It’s on a very pretty, instagrammable street, which also has a great shops if you decide to go shopping while you are here. There are also a few nice food spots around here too. To find this spot, just type ‘Wake me up when I’m famous’ into maps and you will be able to find it!
Try some Dutch food!
I don’t really have a sweet tooth, but I love Stroopwafels. These are caramel biscuits, very gooey and delicious. Not like a regular crunchy biscuit. You can get these absolutely everywhere. However, when we went to see the Flower Market, there was a shop that sold huge Stroopwafel, as big as your head so I would recommend stopping by if you pass!
The Netherlands is famous for it’s cheese and Amsterdam is a great place to try some amazing different cheeses! As you walk down the canals in the town centre, there are lots of cheese shops, each with small samples you can try of the various different cheeses. They even have pesto, lavender and other interesting cheese flavours.
The chips in Amsterdam are so good. Head to any chip shop, some of which are tiny stands selling only chips, as nothing else is needed. Just a healthy serving of mayonnaise on the side and you have lunch!
Where else to eat in Amsterdam
Stayokay restaurant the 5th
Stayokay has it’s own restaurant called the 5th. Reasonably priced, they serve a variety of burgers and I had fish and chips. My favourite part about the restaurant was the interior, which like the rest of the hostel is very edgy and full of different patterns and furniture. They also do a very good breakfast, although Stayokay do a breakfast buffet, which can be included. At the 5th restaurant you can get a variety of muffins, croissants with jam and fresh juice.
I hope enjoyed my blog and tips and what to do during your citytrip to Amsterdam and exploring some more local areas while staying at Stayokay. I would definitely recommend staying in a hostel while you are in Amsterdam! It really keeps costs down, is a great way to meet people and Stayokay is in a great area as it is out of the main city centre so much less busy!
Looking for other things to do while you are in Amsterdam? Click here to read my blog from my last trip to Amsterdam for other ideas of what to do on your trip!