Dam Square is more or less the crossroads of central Amsterdam, which means that it’s close to almost everything the normal visitor cares about, although the Museum Quarter is still kind of far away, relatively speaking. But as central as Dam Square is, it’s not really a fun or interesting part of the city all by itself. Though you are certain to be walking through it on a fairly regular basis, there really isn’t a great reason to find a hostel or cheap hotel right on the thing.
The good news here, in a way, is that there really aren’t any hostels within a block or two of Dam Square, but there are plenty of them in interesting pockets nearby. On the map below you’ll see what we mean, and you’ll have your choice of hostels in the surrounding neighborhoods. From any of these hostels you could walk to Dam Square in about 5 minutes, so this really is the best of both worlds.
If you haven’t yet been to Amsterdam you might be interested in reading our Dam Square visitor’s guide so you have a better idea of exactly what you’ll find in this part of town. And if none of these hostels suit you, there are several hotels near Dam Square as well.
More information and hostel reviews are below the map.
Map of hostels near Dam Square
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St. Christopher’s at the Winston
This combination art hotel/hostel is our favorite in the city for quite a few reasons. It’s one of the best party hostels in Amsterdam, it’s one of the better smoking hostels in Amsterdam, and it’s well run with an excellent location. It’s located on Warmoesstraat, which is a pedestrian-only street in the non-seedy part of the Red Light District that is lined with pubs and coffee shops and places to eat. Once you exit the front door you turn left and walk for about 2 minutes and then you are already in one corner of Dam Square, without ever having to cross paths of a moving car.
White Tulip Hostel
This place is just down the block from St. Christopher’s, so the location is basically the same, but it doesn’t have most of the other stuff going for it. If St. Christopher’s is all booked up then this isn’t a bad choice, and it does get good reviews from most past guests. There is an Irish pub downstairs from the hostel part, so you are close to drinking opportunities galore. If you can get a good deal on a room or bed here you are doing pretty well. Sometimes they seem to be out of cheap beds, so trying to book here can be confusing.
Heart of Amsterdam Hostel
In spite of its name, it’s really in the heart of the Red Light District and not really the heart of “Amsterdam” itself. Nevertheless, the location is great if you don’t mind being in the somewhat seedy (and very fun) part of the RLD. This place has high quality standards and the bed prices are quite reasonable considering what you get here and how much the competition charges. If the idea of having prostitutes wave at you as you are going back and forth to your hostel is a turn off, then stay elsewhere. But if you think that’s a worthwhile novelty, then this is your home in Amsterdam.
Not actually a hostel, but it’s close enough that we are including it. This place has small rooms with only a few beds in each, and you have to book the whole room rather than just one bed. So if you are coming with 1 or 2 or 3 friends then this place could be ideal. It’s got a great location in the Red Light District, and it’s also one of the Amsterdam hostels that allow smoking, so it’s a favorite among potheads in particular. Since you book the whole room, you don’t have to worry about ending up with creeps ruining your stay, which is probably worth a few more euros each if you ask us.
Stayokay Stadsdoelen Hostel
It’s not terribly close to Dam Square, but as one of the cheapest Amsterdam hostels and close enough, it deserves consideration. Really you could walk to Dam Square in around 5 minutes anyway, and you are actually quite close to Rembrandtplein and plenty of other things as well, so the location is quite good. This is a mellow place that sees a lot of groups, so it’s the opposite of a party hostel. If you want a cheap bed in a well-run chain hostel, this place should do nicely.
This one might be the closest to the center of Dam Square of all of them, but that’s not reason enough to book here. This place is basic, and cheap, and has an easy-to-find central location, but it’s known for being quite spartan inside, so don’t expect much luxury or many facilities. Really, this place could be ideal for people who ONLY want a cheap place to sleep that is easy to find and they don’t want a community kitchen or a comfortable lounge. It’s popular so you should book early, but don’t stay here if this doesn’t describe what you really want.
Bob’s Youth Hostel
This is one of Amsterdam’s most famous and oldest hostels, but it actually gets kind of mixed reviews so it’s definitely not for everyone. It’s not a party hostel at all, so only book here if you want a quiet and mellow place to sleep. The location is on a busy street, but in kind of a boring little neighborhood, so you’ll almost certainly be walking at least a few blocks in order to eat or go drinking or hit a cool coffeeshop. The location is very central though and it’s easy to find, so at least it has those things going for it.