Berlin Criminal Cort: an architectural symbol

Crinal cort berlinAt the begging of our parallel street Turmstrasse is located one of the most monumental Berlin buildings of all times, the Kriminalgericht (criminal Cort). Designed by architectures Rudolf Mönnich and Carl Vohl it is considered one of the most important architectural symbols of the Era of Wilhelmine with neo baroque style, stunning design and a magnificent staircase. Built up in 1906 its construction was technically way too modern for its time. Besides being the first electrically illuminated building in the city, the Kriminalgerichtt had at its completion its own power station, elevators, central heating, a separate telephone system and its own water supply. Continue reading

meet the staff // nico

Meet the staff Amstel House BerlinOnce a month, in our ‘Meet the Staff’ section, we love to take you inside our hostel and introduce you to one of our cute / friendly / hot looking / adventurous / hilarious or all of the above staff members. Please meet our staff member who definitely ticks all the boxes and has been with us the longest; our very own Hamburger-turned-Berliner; Nicos!

Well dear friends, let me tell you a little story. I’ll be quick, cause that’s my specialty… (*for the elaborate version, see below…). I moved from my hometown Hamburg to Berlin right after high school.

At Amstel, I represent the rock-solid old-school staff. I think, I actually might be the oldest member of the reception-staff here, having worked here the longest, which for me says enough about how much I like and respect the Amstel for it being such a cosy, friendly and loving place!

What’s your favourite hot spot in Berlin? Continue reading

Berlin public transportation: best tickets to buy

berlin public transportation

© visitBerlin, Foto: Günter Steffen

Berlin is huge. And it is not only a matter of size. Each neighborhood has its uniqueness: Schöneberg is nice to eat, Mitte to shop, Tiergarten and Moabit have beautiful paths to walk, while Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain are the places to go out and party. To get to know Berlin you have to move!! But don’t panic: moving around here is not a problem at all. Germany’s capital has one of the world’s best public transportation, which takes you up to the most remote corners of the city.

To help you on exploring this beloved city, the Amstel House has made a list of tips and Berlin public transportation: the best tickets to buy! Continue reading

10 things you might not know about Berlin

Berlin is in vogue and in the mouths of the people. But if it is to gossip let’s do it with real facts. This month top10 (in honor of the 10th anniversary of Amstel House) lists 10 things  you might not know about Berlin.

1- Huge Underground World Berlin underground

With a complex and rich underground railway network, many of the left WWII bunkers, escape tunnels, sewers and brewery cellars, it’s estimated that 40% of Berlin’s structures are underground, making the city almost double the size as it appears on the surface. The fun about it is that many of this underground world is open for visitation and surly between Berlin’s most popular tourist attractions. Continue reading

Saturdays at the Kollwitzmarkt

Kollwitzplatz_BerlinWith its cobbled, tree-lined streets, parks, small shops and restaurants with flowered gardens Prenzlauerberg is one of Berlin’s most charming neighborhoods. Known as an alternative district before and short after the Wall Fall, it has changed a lot over the past twenty years. After a heavy renovation process the area turned into a nest of young families, many of which formed by its former and once underground inhabitants. Today successful professionals – what can be assumed by the high rent prices – they live a quieter life, keeping however a sense of open mind and trendy behavior as fans of bikes, second hand shops and bio products.Kollwitzplatz market  berlinIn the heart of this family environment in front of the cute Kollwitzplatz, there is a program that can’t be missed: Saturdays at the Kollwitzmarkt Continue reading

Paris hot spots

Colette concept store parisBonjour!! And welcome again on one of our hot spots tours around the globe! For anyone visiting Paris this summer we have some nice top tips for you. Because Paris is always a good idea…

First put a few songs of popular French singer Zaz in your playlist. Actor Russel Crow has already fallen madly in love with her voice and we suggest you play her music while reading on to get into the Paris mood!

Start your day a little north of Montmartre with a nice cup of coffee at an old abandoned train station called “La Recyclerie”. Continue reading

Save space on your iPhone for photos and videos

cannot take photo there is not enough available storageYou’re at this perfect spot, with the perfect group of friends, your phone’s batteries have never been in better shape and then… Can’t take a photo because your iPhones storage space has been fully used… SO rude! Here are a few ways to quickly solve this problem  and save space on your iPhone for photos and videos.

Quick fix
If you’re really in a moment, open your Whatsapp. Open a chat with your best friend and press the upload button. Press ‘Take a Photo’ and it will allow you to take a few more photos. Continue reading

How to create a personal Google Maps

how to create a personal map with My mapsSummer holidays are around the corner 〰∇∇∇〰 and chances are you are going on some sort of trip. Today we have a super useful tutorial for any trip; we’ll show you how to create a personal travel map with Google Maps. You can keep all your hot spots – restaurants you want to visit, the place you stay at, cultural highlights – in one place. It will save you hours as you now have the shortest route between the hot spots at your fingertips.


  1. Go to My Maps on Google Mapshow to create a personal map with My maps
  2. In the search bar on the top type in the name of the city or region you will visit
  3. On the left hand side where it says ‘Untitled’ type in the name of your map. We named this one ‘Berlin Hot Spots’how to create a personal map with My maps
  4. Now in the search bar on the top, just type in the name of the places you wish to visit. You don’t have to know the exact address, Google will automatically generate the location of your hot spot. We started with your best place to stay in Berlin, the Amstel House Hostel Berlin. Obviously ^_* Click on the location on the left and a box will open with details of the location. Click Add to Map if you are sure you want to add this as one of your hot to create a personal map with My maps
  5. Repeat step 4 for all the hot spots you wish to visit.
  6. You can click any location on the left and alter it’s name or add a personal description by clicking the pencil.
  7. It’s also good to give all the hot spots ‘genres’ a different color. For instance, we made all our cultural hot spots yellow. You can even click ‘more icons’ and add icons to your locations. For instance, we picked a train for Berlin’s main train to create a personal map with My mapshow to create a personal map with My mapshow to create a personal map with My maps
  8. So that’s it; you’ve created your own personal map! To access it, simply go to My Maps on your phone:
    Android: My Maps app
    iPhone: Go to My Maps via this link (open Safari)
  9. All your customized maps will come up. Pick the one you want and it will also show your current location. To save data usage, preload the map and the route to hot spots you wish to visit that day while you are in the wifi zone of your accommodation. Turn 3/4G off and Google Maps will still show you where you are and what route to take all day! Reload a next route when you hit the next wifi zone.
  10. Enjoy your travels! You can access our Berlin Hot Spots map here.

Continue reading

Hostel Walking Tour

Hostel Walking TourIt is summer in Berlin and our backpacker’s season has begun. The Amstel House is already packed with international guests from all over the world and their road used bags. It is nice to see the hostel so colourful and hectic again.Amstel house Hostel Walking TourAs a bonus for this so special time of the year you would like to present you our new tour guide, the Chilean Lucas. With a great experience in the field, this natural traveller has worked as a guide in Valparaiso and Patagonia in Chile as tour, trekking and horse riding guide, as well as in Bretagne-France a kayaking guide. Continue reading