I was very excited to be returning to Amsterdam and this time in the Summer. I’d been to Amsterdam once before in the previous November, and although I had a really good time, it was pretty cold and one and a half days really wasn’t enough to see all that this amazing city has to offer.
On my last stay in Amsterdam I stayed at the Stayokay Hostel in Zeeburg and I was coming back to Amsterdam this time to stay at the newly renovated Stayokay Vondelpark Hostel. One quick look at a map confirmed to me that Stayokay Vondelpark Hostel is in a brilliant location, right next to the huge park that is Vondelpark, close enough to centre to walk everywhere but far enough out for it to feel a bit more relaxed. That’s what I anticipated anyway, and luckily that’s just what I got.
Here is an overview of what the Stayokay Vondelpark Hostel has to offer, why you should stay there and 6 things to do in the Vondelpark area of Amsterdam, as staying here add’s a certain uniqueness to a trip to Amsterdam I think!
Stayokay Amsterdam Vondelpark Hostel Review
My transfer from Amsterdam Airport to the hostel was possibly the easiest and most convenient airport-to-accommodation via public transport journey that I’ve ever done in Europe! I exited Schiphol Airport, looked for bus 397 as recommended on Stayokay’s website, headed over to the red stand, bought a ticket for €10.00 return, jumped on, kept an eye on the screen on the bus for when we’d be at Leidseplein which was updating its ETA’s in live time, got off and walked down the side of Vondelpark to the hostel! Easy!
On arrival I was really impressed with how modern and funky the hostel looked with so much personality. I loved the purple Welcome sign above reception, I loved the wall that is full of plastic bottles with information on how bad plastic is, I loved the charging points in by the comfy seats at Reception, I loved the Restaurant/Cafe/Bar area called the 5th which has been well designed and is very inviting. And I loved how friendly the staff were! I knew straight away I was in for a good stay.
I couldn’t check in until 14:00 so I got some lunch in the cafe to pass the 40 minutes that I had to wait, there was nothing Vegan on the menu so I asked about swapping some ingredients in one of the sandwiches, the lady working there checked with the chef and came back to say they actually have Vegan ‘Chicken’ which would go well in a sandwich so had that, it was Seitan I believe, with hummus. It was so good and I really appreciated her going to speak to the Chef.
Stayokay Vondelpark Hostel has a range of dormitory rooms and private rooms. I was staying in a private room in an old building next to the modern, new reception and restaurant area of the hostel. I loved the look of this building from the outside, it’s kind of mysterious and a cool, original Amsterdam building. Luckily the buildings are interconnected so I didn’t have to go out in the rain that was now starting!
My private twin room had a really huge ceiling and 3 floor-to-ceiling windows with a balcony outside, although the access to the balcony has been blocked. I was kind of disappointed to start with but on second thoughts realised that it’s probably a good idea due to safety reasons! The bathroom was really fancy and spotlessly clean.
What I loved most in the room though was the art work welcoming me to Amsterdam a long with some facts about the City! I remembered seeing similar art work in the Stayokay Zeeburg Hostel. I liked the consistency between the Stayokay brand and the extra special touches, and I realise now after staying in 2 Stayokay Hostels is all part of their brand and why their hostels are so great!
I had a really good sleep, the blackout curtains were perhaps too thick because I definitely could have kept on sleeping the following morning but I had a city to see! First of course was breakfast.
Breakfast is served in the main cafe / restaurant area and there was all sorts of food- cheeses, meats, breads, cereal, cake, coffee, teas and juices. There wasn’t too much for me as a Vegan but I expected this and I was fine with a green tea and some cereal with soya milk.
Over the next 2 days whilst popping in and out of the hostel, I really liked seeing the mix of people who were staying at Stayokay Vondelpark Hostel. I saw families with young children, solo travellers like myself, groups of friends who seemed to be there to explore the city, and groups of friends that seemed to be there to experience more of the nightlife side of Amsterdam and the reasons Amsterdam is very popular for some people (well that’s what their tired faces told me in the morning anyway!).
It was a good mix and it just shows how versatile the hostel is. I’m also confident that if you were there as a solo traveller and wanted to make friends to go out with, you could do that in the many social areas of the hostel!
If you’re not too sure on hostel life and are a bit worried, check out these posts to help reassure yourself:
Or if you’re worried about visiting Amsterdam Solo see:
Why Should You Stay at Stayokay Hostel Vondelpark?
For all of the reasons above- it’s in a great location, convenient, really comfy, and basically a great place to come back to after a day of exploring. It has a great atmosphere and attracts cool people. Plus it has a big focus on sustainability.
Stayokay Hostels are a really reputable Dutch chain of Hostels with 22 locations around the Country. They have some really unique and awesome locations and Vondelpark is definitely one of them.
The recent renovation can be clearly seen and they really have thought of everything that a traveller could want- plug sockets, reasonable priced food, friendly staff, bike hire, plenty of seating, a bar, regular events and entertainment like movie nights, pub quiz’s. It really is one of the best hostels I’ve stayed in, and I’ve stayed in a lot!
Things To Do Around Vondelpark Amsterdam
Now onto the location of Stayokay Vondelpark and Vondelpark itself.
Vondelpark is a bit like London’s Hyde Park and New York’s Central Park, well in the sense that its big, rectangular and you forget you’re in the middle of a city when you’re in the park!
I really love the location of Vondelpark because it is so close to the Centre of Amsterdam but it’s far enough way from the busyness of Central Station and the main tourist area to offer a relaxed and more local atmosphere.
- Spend some time walking around Vondelpark, or if you like to stay fit on your travels, pack your running gear and head out for a run! I saw plenty of locals running around the tracks and doing workout classes. Of course you could always hire a bike and explore the park too as it is big!
- Vondelpark has a few cafes in it with plenty of outdoor and indoor seating so if the weather isn’t good enough to sit outside and have a picnic you could head inside for a coffee or lunch.
- The Museum District is really close to Vondelpark so I would recommend checking out at least one. There’s the iconic and famous Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, Stedelijk Museum and the Moco Museum. I went to the Moco as there was a Banksy Exhibition on and although I don’t usually like paying for museums I’m glad I did go inside and use the museum as a wet weather option as the exhibition was really good!
After this, be sure to check out my blog post on how to walk from Amsterdam Central Station to the Museum District in the nicest way possible!
- A few streets away from the park is De Hallen and I would really recommend you head over there. De Hallen is a former tram depot which has been converted into modern space with independent shops and a really good sized food market called Foodhallen. On the day I visited I had just had lunch in the centre and as soon as I got to Foodhallen I instantly regretted my decision as it has such a cool and chilled vibe with so many food options from all around the world.
- More food talk! If you’re Veggie or Vegan you have to go to Vegan Junk Food Bar, it’s just a few streets to the side of Vondelpark and Stayokay Hostel and it’s a Vegan’s dream! I went on a Tuesday evening, there was a bit of a wait for food but there was outdoor seating and luckily it was a nice evening so I didn’t mind waiting. I got the Original ‘Beef’ Burger and the Amsterdam Bitterballen and I’d recommend both! And if this doesn’t satisfy your junk food cravings, a few more streets away is The Dutch Weed Burger which is also Vegan and Plant Based. Unfortunately it’s closed on Mondays and Tuesdays which is when I was in Amsterdam but I had it recommended to me and it looks good too!
- Finally, talking of the streets around the park. I really enjoyed wandering around these streets and seeing the nearby canals as it is a really local area of Amsterdam and when I visit a new city I love seeing where locals live and imagining what it would be like if I lived there… and I definitely would live around here, so make sure you not only explore the park but explore the nearby, quieter streets too for a great Amsterdam experience!
I hope this has helped you decide that Stayokay Vondelpark Hostel is a great place to stay in Amsterdam, and given you some ideas of what to do in and around Vondelpark.
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To SEE my trip to Amsterdam and see the hostel, check out my YouTube video:
For more of my Amsterdam posts see:
I was invited to Amsterdam by Stayokay Vondelpark Hostel to experience the hostel, however all opinions, thoughts and love for the hostel are mine.