• Colorful and artsy hostel with an urban edge
  • Located in the up-and-coming Old West neighborhood, close to hip Bos en Lommer
  • 10-minute walk to Sloterdijk Station for 15-minute journeys downtown
  • Dorms for four to 12 people tricked out in bright colors
  • Limited private rooms featuring en-suite bathrooms are available
  • Innovative urban farm growing fresh produce
  • Exhibition spaces for art shows and events, plus artists in residence
  • Restaurant offering affordable dinners
  • Continental buffet breakfast included in the rates
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout
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  • Cleanliness issues and reports of bed bugs
  • Lack of a vibrant social scene
  • Far from the center and no nearby tourist attractions
  • Noise tends to carry inside the hotel
  • Private rooms have glass-enclosed showers, meaning no privacy
  • Food and drinks are prohibited in guest rooms
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Bottom Line

The two-pearl WOW Hostel Amsterdam is an artsy budget option with an urban industrial vibe in Amsterdam’s Kolenkit neighborhood, close to up-and-coming Bos en Lommer. A simple restaurant serves affordable dinners and continental breakfasts are included in rates. The 57 rooms are mostly dorms, done in single primary colors, and feature free Wi-Fi. In such a cool building with innovative concepts like artists in residence and an urban farm, travelers might expect a vibrant atmosphere -- but the social scene here tends to be low key. Downsides? The location is removed fro the city center and bed bugs were reported in 2017. The WOW is one of the cheapest options in Amsterdam, but travelers should consider paying a little more to stay at the centrally-located St Christopher’s at Winston Hotel. 

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WOW Hostel Amsterdam


Color-pop hostel with an urban-industrial shell and strong art scene, but social vibe is low key

The WOW Hostel makes an instant impression. Housed in a former institute of technology, the urban art theme is undeniable. The building is vast, with concrete flooring throughout and lots of big open spaces that are used to host art shows and events. Each floor has its own bold single-color scheme -- the red floor, complete with red dorms and bathrooms, feels a little futuristic. Surprisingly, given its artsy vibe, there’s not much of a social atmosphere and little in the way of a party scene. The hostel draws a young backpacker crowd and also houses dozens of artists in residence, all trying to launch their career from WOW’s on-site studios.

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In the up-and-coming Old West neighborhood, a 15-minute train ride from downtown

WOW Hostel Amsterdam is located in the residential Kolenkit neighborhood, just around the corner from hip Bos en Lommer (BoLo), which has a multicultural vibe and one of the best-value markets in Amsterdam. The hostel is on a residential street -- with a school and nursery -- that’s overlooked by the city ring road and the metro line. There are a handful of restaurants, bars, and shops in walking distance, as well as two pretty parks. The location is suited to travelers wanting to explore Amsterdam in a more local-feeling up-and-coming neighborhood, without being right in the middle of the tourist district. Though the area is well served by public transportation, the out-of-town location won’t be for everyone. It's a 10-minute walk to Sloterdijk Station, where metro, tram, and bus links make for quick access downtown; it’s a 15-minute journey to Amsterdam Centraal and around 30 minutes for the Anne Frank House, Van Gogh Museum, and Rijksmuseum. Bos en Lommerplein tram stop is also just an eight-minute walk from the hostel. Schiphol Airport can be reached in 20 minutes by taxi.

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Basic dorms and private rooms are decked out in primary colors, but problems include bed bugs

Rooms are basic and most are dorms, though some private rooms are available. All are modern and generally done out in a single primary color -- the red rooms aren’t for the faint-hearted. Dorms can sleep from four to 12 guests, and each dorm has bunk beds and a small bathroom either in the room or the hallway. The bathrooms have a shower and are shared between the residents of each dorm only, accessed with the room key. Bed linens and private lockers are provided (locks must be rented), though you’ll need your own lock. Free Wi-Fi is included. Two private Double Deluxe Rooms are located in a quieter courtyard setting and are mezzanine-style, with double beds, TVs, en-suite bathrooms, and quirky in-room showers that aren't for the privacy-oriented. We noted that the rooms were generally well soundproofed -- which is impressive given the hostel’s close proximity to the ring road. The only noise comes from the banging doors of adjacent dorms, echoing loudly in the large empty corridors. Guests should note that food and drinks aren't allowed in the rooms and fines can be levied. The biggest complaints from previous guests are cleanliness issues in the room -- travelers should be warned that multiple cases of bed bugs were reported throughout 2017.

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Non-traditional features include exhibition spaces and an urban farm; there’s also an affordable restaurant     

The WOW Hostel forgoes traditional features like a pool or gym and instead has a large exhibition space that regularly hosts art shows and events, and inner gardens that provide spots to relax or work in a quieter environment. The urban farm is an innovative area that experiments with growing produce in urban areas. There’s even an ink garden that provides non-toxic materials for printing. The canteen-like restaurant opens in the evenings on most nights and serves up affordable local dishes for hostel guests and locals. A continental buffet breakfast is included in the rates and vending machines are available for purchasing snacks and drinks. Wi-Fi is free throughout. There’s plenty of parking (for a fee) as well as bikes available to rent.

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Best Rates


  • Balcony / Terrace / Patio

  • Cabanas

  • Cable

  • Internet

  • Kids Allowed

  • Poolside Drink Service

  • Swim-Up Bar

Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.