I’ll start off by saying that the thought of staying at a hostel just threw not so happy vibes in the air for me when I first realized it was actually an option. It was my first time traveling to Europe and so I figured it was a thing I must try at least once in my lifetime. I should also say that I’m a little bit of a princess when it comes to shelter, though I’ve gotten better thanks to camping music festivals. Sharing a small room and bathroom with complete strangers that may or not may not speak my language is intimidating. You never know who you’ll end up with. Luckily for me, I wasn’t traveling alone and also the people we met at the hostel weren’t so bad.
The hostel my friend and I stayed in was the Van Gogh hostel in Amsterdam, right in the middle of their museum district. We walked into a 6-bed room that was already occupied by five people, two were sharing a bed. They were from France and in general they were nice and spoke a fair amount of English. We really didn’t have any major issues with them except for maybe they were a little too loud one of the nights but their one friend basically told them to go somewhere else because she was trying to sleep too. On our last night there we walked into the room and two new people were there, our France roomies had left. One guy was from England and the other was from Philadelphia. Totally easier to communicate with and we actually ended up going out to a coffee shop with them that night. It was nice to actually make friends with people staying in the same room.
The hostel itself was not bad at all in terms of aesthetic and condition. We did end up having one of the workers there come fix our safes because like three out of the six were broken but he was really nice about it and got at least one fixed really quickly for us. The bathroom was clean except for some reason every time anyone showered it basically flooded the bathroom floor and I could never figure out why/ we didn’t even bother to ask.
We had an early flight to Italy so we ended up leaving the hostel at around 4 in the morning. Trying not to wake up our new friends we were attempting to move quietly and quickly in the dark which was fine until we got to the airport and my friend realized she had left her whole camera inside the safe that we had already unlocked. A few days later when she was still communicating with the hostel about how to get her camera back I realized that I had left my tablet in there too. I know, how I didn’t realize I didn’t have it with me for days is beyond me. But anyway the hostel workers were nice and they ended up shipping both of our things to my friend’s house back in the States. Obviously we had to pay for shipping but the fact that nobody stole it and that they were even willing to go through the trouble to pack and ship our things to us is incredibly sweet.
Overall I’d say I had a pretty decent first hostel experience. Yeah there’s plenty of horror stories out their about them but there’s also good ones too. Obviously I’m not an expert in staying at hostel’s but there are a few things I learned with my first stay, check those out here! The last thing I have to say is definitely don’t knock it til you’ve tried it for this experience.
Happy traveling ❤