The Netherlands: Generator Hostel, Amsterdam

Katie Gatens
08 August 2016

Bed down in this hipster haven and you’ll have plenty of change left over to explore one of Europe’s most creative cities. Katie Gatens joins the hostel’s loyal fan base

If you haven’t heard of Generator hostels, you soon will. They’re the accommodation group turning hostels from hideous to hip, one European country at a time. With 12 hostels already under their belt in cities such as Venice, Copenhagen, Barcelona and Paris (definitely the coolest, cheapest hostel in the 10th arrondissement), their latest offering in Amsterdam is a whopper – it can accommodate 564 guests. 

Housed in a former zoological university building in the eastern side of the city, one of the main draws of Generator’s location is that it faces Oosterpark, a quieter alternative in the summer to jam-packed Vondelpark.

We arrive, travel-weary, at midnight. The open-plan lobby and Nescio Café are buzzing and, despite being tired, we can’t resist having a drink in one of the hostel’s three bars – the Auditorium bar, which is a huge former lecture hall with tiered wooden seating, green library lamps and a tiled bar where the lecture desk should be.

There’s also a comfy lounge area and downstairs the hostel has its very own nightclub, complete with a 1980s-style light-up dancefloor. There’s even a screening room. The amount of social spaces is dizzying, making this a great place for solo travellers looking to meet like-minded people.

The rooms are reached via endless winding corridors decorated with murals and local artists’ graffiti. Our twin bedroom on the corner of the building is flooded with light from floor-to-ceiling windows and a view through the trees into the park. There’s a feature wall with funky wallpaper and the en-suite bathroom is basic, but clean. 

All in all, I’m mightily impressed. I’ve stayed in my fair share of budget accommodation whilst backpacking around Europe and I have to hand it to Generator – this is the best hostel I’ve ever stayed in (to be honest, it’s better than a lot of hotels, too).

The hostel is very secure – all of the doors in the building are accessible only by key cards.

You can rent bikes for €14 per day.

A free breakfast is included but it is basic. It’s worth paying a little more to eat the in Nescio Café.

Generator has become synonymous with cheap, chic hostels across Europe; and the Amsterdam number is impressive.

Single beds in a shared dorm start from £12; private rooms from £48. Generator Amsterdam, Mauritskade 57, 1092 AD, Amsterdam, Netherlands (+31 207085600;