My First Hostel Experience at ClinkNOORD in Amsterdam
I have a confession to make. Even though I’m an avid traveller, staying in a hostel is something I’d never even considered. I’m far from being a princess, but the thought of spending my nights in an environment where hygiene is questionable and sleeping in a room with complete strangers never tickled my fancy. As you can tell by now, my perception of hostels wasn’t the best, but all that changed a few weeks ago, when I spent the weekend at ClinkNOORD. When they invited me to come over to explore Amsterdam with a group of fellow bloggers, I quickly said yes without giving it a second thought. I’ve been dying to go back to Amsterdam since April when I first fell in love with it, and the last few years of my life have been all about stepping out of my comfort zone anyway, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to finally give hostel life a go.
And I’m glad I did – ClinkNOORD was nothing what I expected a hostel to be. It was spotless, comfortable and stylish, with modern interiors and super cool 1920’s features like these beautiful stained glass windows of the original building, which used to be a laboratory! Perfect combo for the hip area the hostel is located in – in Amsterdam Noord, just north of the city centre, but not far at all. It took me only 40 minutes all together to get from the airport to the hostel! The easiest way is to catch a train to the Amsterdam Centraal Station, then jump on a super quick fairy from the outside of the station to Veer Buiksloterweg, and once you come off, the hostel is right around the corner. By the way, the ferry is free and runs 24/7, just like ClinkNOORD’s reception – super convenient if you’re arriving late at night or leaving early in the morning like I did.
ClinkNOORD is quite a large hostel and there’s plenty of different accommodations to choose from. You can book a private en-suite room (single, twin, double or quad) or get a bed in a 4-6 bedded en-suite dorm or a larger 8-16 bed one. The latter comes with en-suite as well as shared facilities options. If you’re a female traveling on her own, you’ll also be happy to hear they even have en-suite dorms for girls only! I stayed in a 4-bed en-suite dorm with three other cool blogging chicks, and I have to say it exceeded my expectations. We had two sets of bunk beds with our own reading lights, overhead shelves and USB slots; four lockers to store our belongings in; a bathroom with a shower and a sink, as well as a separate toilet with another sink, which made the getting ready process a whole lot quicker. Plus we had a big mirror on the wall in the main room too, so we could spread out and do our makeup all at the same time! A very important piece of information, right ladies, haha?! I actually filmed a quick tour of the room we were staying at, so click over here to give it a watch. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, the bed linen is provided, so no need to bring it along, but do bring your own towel (unless you want to hire it for a fee) and a padlock for the locker.
What I liked most about the hostel are all the social spaces they have on offer to relax in and hang out with other travellers. There’s a library/work/general chill area, a spacious atrium, a cafe and even a bar! But that’s not all. To keep the guests entertained, the events team also organises plenty of fun activities on a daily basis – quiz nights, karaoke, live music, beer pong contests, movie nights, yoga, cocktail workshops… you name it! I’ve never experienced such an amazing atmosphere in any of the places I’ve stayed at before. It felt strangely homey, and if this is how most hostels are like, please sign me up for more! One last thing I also need to mention is the food. There’s a self-catering kitchen open from 12:30pm to 12am, but you can also get pastries and sandwiches from their CatalystCAFE or order pizzas, burgers, etc. from ZincBAR. In the morning, they also serve breakfast for EUR 6,90 which I’d say is great value for money, because they have everything from cheese, salami and jams to muesli, sausages and eggs. Oh, the eggs! The scrambled eggs are not to be missed. I don’t know what their secret is, but they were the best I’ve ever had, so definitely give them a try, and if you’re coming over for Christmas, I can tell you you’re in for a treat too! We were lucky enough to be the test bunnies for their all-vegan Christmas dinner menu, and oh my gosh, every single dish was de-li-cious!