Stayed here for 2 nights as part of an organised tour in December 2012.
As we were part of an organised tour, we didn't have any choice about where we stayed in Amsterdam. A few others on the tour had read up on this place and our tour guide briefed us about how basic it was going to be so I think this lowered our expectations. There's a notice on the way in (see my photos) and the hostel did have the reputation of being the worst in Europe (which it was apparently proud of).
We were dropped off on Vijzelstraat as buses can't get near to the hostel - with cases it probably took us about 5 minutes to walk to the hostel (as always in Amsterdam, watch out for bikes!). Check-in was quick - we were all given a room key (an old skool metal one!) and another key for a corresponding locker in the room. You need to flash your keys to whoever's on duty to let you into the building.
There're two lifts in the building, which are okay speed-wise, not too bad a size but one did stink of weed when we got there. The communal corridors aren't huge and as you'd expect, there isn't a lot of decoration, just painted walls.
We were given a 6-bed dorm for 5 of us - this had three bunk beds and a corresponding locker in one of the storage units. To be honest, the storage lockers were unusable (see my photos of them) as you definitely couldn't fit a hard case in them and would have difficulties squeezing a rucksack in - best bet, would be to take everything valuable out and put it in the locker, then leave your case under the bed or somewhere. It was easier for the 5 of us as we knew each other by this stage of our tour. The room was a fairly good size for 5 or 6 people with bags.
There were a few double power sockets spread around the room and although there was only one main light in the room, there was a light switch by the door and another by one of the beds. For those on the top bunks, beware - there were no ladders on any of the bunks to climb up, nor were there any rails surrounding the beds, so one roll too far, and you'll be on the floor! I slept relatively well, and didn't hear too much noise from adjacent rooms. The mattress was okay (more hard than soft) and the bed linen was all clean if a little dated - we were supplied with a towel too.
The bathroom was relatively small, with no window and fairly dated fixtures, i.e. sink, shelf, mirror, toilet and shower. There weren't any hooks to hang things on, so I just used the door handle and a coat hanger I'd brought myself. The shower is just separated with a curtain, so the bathroom does get fairly wet during a shower - there was enough hot water but the shower pressure wasn't great.
Downstairs, there's a bar with a large seating area. A few of us ordered food, which did take a while to come (although the staff did apologise for the wait) - for €5, I had a mountain for spaghetti, with veggie bolognese and a side salad with some bread, was tasty and couldn't fault the value for money this represented. Breakfast wasn't as good - just a few breads, jams or butter plus tea, coffee or hot milk - they do have juices and fruits but you have to pay extra for these. There are vending machines in the lobby area and the free Wifi works on the downstairs floor - there was good signal strength and the connection was good speed too. There's also a nightclub downstairs (apparently just for hostel guests) - I didn't venture down there though.
Location-wise, the hostel's ideal for exploring Amsterdam; it's about 5-7 mins walk to Keizersgracht for the tram if you want to use it, or it's probably about a 20 minute walk to Dam Square. We also walked from the hostel to the Anne Frank Museum, which again probably took about 20 minutes.
I guess whether you want to stay here will ultimately depend on your budget and how close you want to be to things as I've heard other hostels are further out. I'd probably consider using this place again due to its location and would recommend it if you want somewhere close, on a budget that you'll use for a couple of nights, just for sleeping.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to Hans Brinker, the cheapest, the worst, the best..No swimming pool, no roomservice, no pick-up service, no bridal-suite, no gym, no spa,no bellboy but cheap rooms, a restaurant, a nice bar, a club, 24 hour reception and 500 beds. The Hans Brinker Budget Hotel is the famous budget hotel in the city centre Amsterdam. It's located between the canals with a 2 minute walk to the famous entertainment area Leidseplein and a 5 minute walk to the museums at Museumplein. Public transport is nearby the hotel: you can take the tram to every direction in Amsterdam within a 2 minute walk. From Amsterdam Central Station take tramline 1, 2 or 5 to the hotel (in approximately 10 minutes at stop Keizersgracht). This budget hotel can accommodate individuals, backpackers and groups (students, scholars etc.). The hotel has single, double and triple rooms and dorms up to 8 persons. Each room has a private bathroom and lockers for personal belongings. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served at the spacious common area. There is a bar and an underground club, which is open every night till late. Free WIFI-access is available in the common areas. For the best stay in Amsterdam Hans Brinker provides tickets for many activities, bike rental, boat tours and other great deals. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hans Brinker Hotel