I’m back again with a travel post for those of you out there who love travelling and are looking for the best budget options that wont leave a hole in your pocket. Because, why compromise ey? I spent two nights at a budget hostel in Amsterdam to see if the hype around Amsterdam’s hostels is real and if they are indeed a good alternative if you’re looking to save some £££ on your next mini break to the dutch city. Come with me & explore ClinkNOORD!
We were both a little worried about moving to ClinkNOORD from our easy-peasy central location at Hotel The Exchange, and taking the ferry out to the Northern (hence “Noord” in the name) area of the city. Yep, you got that right – This hostel is reached by boat. The North area of Amsterdam is separated by the Centraal area due to the many canals that run through the city. The shuttle ferry acts as an extension of the road, so you can even boat on a bike/motorbike.
Behind Centraal station, you’ll find the boat port and you’ll need to hop on the boat toward the other side of the river. The ride is only a few minutes long and you’ll be over to the north in no time! Plus, the boat runs 24/7 daily and every 5 or so minutes (every 15 minutes) in the early morning. It really isn’t as much of an inconvenience as we thought it would be, and we ended up really looking forward to jumping on the boat.
As soon as you get off, you’ll be able to spot the A’DAM Lookout with it’s giant swing hanging over the edge of the roof. The ClinkNOORD hostel is located just behind it, and you should be able to spot the big building from the boat once you know where it is!
ClinkNOORD is an old school 1920’s lab-turned-hostel in the central-north area of Amsterdam. The guys at Clink found the lab building empty and put a plan in action to create a fun, inclusive hostel. They stayed true to simply dutch design and the original aspects of the building have been kept and blended with welcoming, spacious areas.
The staff at ClinkNOORD also run multiple ~ free ~ events throughout the week, and they change daily. We arrived on meditation activity day, but other days include free bike tours of the north of ‘dam, yoga, karaoke parties and dutch beer tasting . On one evening, we went down to check out “Glow in the dark beer pong night” at their ZincBAR- which is exactly what you imagine it to be!
We noticed that there’s a designated “solo traveller” meet-up point, which is a concept that Al and I both *loved*. It can be really daunting travelling on your own, and if you’re not a natural extrovert, getting conversation going can be really difficult. This concept really eases that, and we saw a group of young guys getting to know each other over a few dutch beers.
The hotel has some really cool features like street art pieces and even a stained glass window, it’s almost like an adventure travelling between floors. The lockers by reception are designed like the periodic table of elements, which I thought was really cool. Alix loved the statement wall with all the live music posters plasters from floor to celing.
In terms of common areas, there’s a lot of space to relax and enjoy the day/evening. The main area near reception has ample seating, and desks where you can use the free wifi and get some research or work done.
Whether you’re looking to share a dorm, or stay in a private room, ClinkNOORD is your ideal budget base for Amsterdam travels. Even the private rooms are from £130 a night for a twin/double, with dorms going for as little as £35 per bed per night. The rooms are quite basic and plain, but this is what I’d expect for a budget hostel. It does seem like Clink have really invested all the design and fun aspects into the common areas and that’s a-okay with me.
To enter the hallways to the rooms you need to use a keycard, which you’ll also need to get into the ClinkNOORD main entrance. The level of security and safety here is really high and we felt really safe in the corridors and around the rest of the buildings.
The room itself is again, quite plain, but it has all the essentials you’ll need for your stay. The bathroom has ample toiletries and you can request hairdryers at the 24hr reception. Towels are provided in private rooms, but you can rent one at reception for a small fee if you’re staying in a shared room. We were a little concerned that we had a room overlooking the common areas, and we didn’t know how noisy or late activities or drinking went on to at Clink. To our surprise, we had no problems whatsoever with music or loud talking from outside. We were staying when a large school group arrived so we put in ear plug for good measure, but we had no problems with noise whatsoever.
I’d definitely recommend booking brekkie in advance for your stay at ClinkNOORD. If you book in advance breakfast is only €5.90, if you turn up on the morning of, the price takes a steep climb to €8.00. But is it worth it?
Breakfast is served 7am sharp til 10.30am – Whether you’re soaking in the sights or lying in, you can look forward to a no-fuss buffet brekkie. We arrived at 7.am and there was already a queue of school kids forming so we were one of the first groups to come down in the morning.
There’s a lot of the standard hotel/hostel breakfast stuff included like toast, cereal, yoghurt, meats & cheese and obvz you can treat yourself to tea, coffee and juices. One thing that stood out to me was the… breakfast hotdog?! Not sure if it’s a one off, or if it’s always on offer, but the hotdog was the highlight of my breakfast. Fresh buns, crispy onions, sour pickles… delish!
ClinkNOORD was such a pleasant surprise in the north of the city. If you’re open to exploring more of the city (the less touristy parts) or you’re travelling alone/with friends, this would be a great base for you. The hostel has such an inclusive, fun feel and the atmosphere was amazing every night. They have board games, pin ball machines, garden games, air hockey… and if none of those take your fancy, you can get involved in one of the daily events run by the staff at the hostel.
On a final note, I need to make a point in saying that the staff at ClinkNOORD were amazing. They clearly love the hostel community just as much as those staying in the hostel and always had a smile at the ready. Seriously, even when we got up at 6am to run down and take photos of the hostel whilst empty, we were greeted by a beaming smile and “good morning” at reception. Hostelling, done right. Thank you, ClinkNOORD!
Have you stayed in a hostel before?
Or do you prefer to stay in hotels?
KEEP UP ON SOCIAL