5 free apps to boost your IQ and kill waiting time

free apss that make you smarter

Kill some time and get a whole lot smarter while travelling; win-win! Studies have shown that training your brain regularly will enhance working memory, processing speed and brain function. Download these five free apps to boost your IQ before you travel and you will impress everyone with your new increased brainpower!

    Start learning a new language while you’re waiting! Duolingo allows you to start with the basics and you practice your writings skills as well as your pronunciation The more advanced you get, the more complex the assignments you’ll be given.

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Berlin Marathon 2015

It is time to put Berlin back on track. After a long summer the new season comes to sweat it all out. The Berlin Marathon 2015 is coming.

Flat and full of historical monuments the marathon path of Germany’s capital is known by runner from all around the planet as super pleasant. Besides passing by sightseeing like the Siegesaule, Brandenburg Tor and TV Tower the way goes through really nice green areas such as the beautiful Tiergarten Park.

And as Christopher McDougal said “The reason we race isn’t to beat each other, but to be with each other”. So come join this celebration – as runner or watcher.

For the ones coming to take part we have prepared a great deal. The Amstel House Berlin Marathon Special. Take a look and guarantee your stay:Berlin marathon 2015 Continue reading


Create a travel bucket list

Yeah yeah, we know you are busy bees but bare with us, this is going to be fun! You know the book The Secret? It says things will happen as long as you scream them into the kosmos. Visualise your goals and you will send out the clearest message to the universe. So let’s start visualising and make that Bucket List…

  1. Get your favourite pen and a piece of paper.
  2. Get inspired. Scroll through other people’s favourite destinations and activities.
  3. Write down anything that you’d ever like to see or do.
  4. Prioritise. Pick your favourites and rank them on top. Keep in mind some limitations like budget and time, but don’t let yourself be put off too much as anything is possible. Remember, scream it out into the universe… And want it bad enough!! Want to snowboard in Aspen? Maybe you can do the breakfast shift at a hotel for a winter season. Want to sail around the Caribbean? Maybe someone needs your cooking skills. Want to visit Berlin on a budget? Come stay at the coolest hostel in town.
  5. All done prioritizing? Create your ultimate bucket list, including planning and to-do list. Go go go. Dreams can come true!

meet the staff // angela

Meet the staff of Amstel House BerlinMeet the staff of the Amstel House as they share their tips with you. And their secret super powers. And their celebrity crush… This month, meet our star Angela, who’s fluent in Italian and will sing Hakuna Matata for you if you cook for her… 

I’m Angela, a fun loving girl with Italian roots – so if you mess with me, watch out for the Mob;) I am pretty new in Berlin but things have settled well for me so far; I meet nice people all the time and am feeling at home in my cosy little room in a shared flat in Wedding.

What do you love about Berlin?
That it’s always gonna take you 30 minutes to get from A to B, doesn’t matter where A or B actually are. Continue reading

Boipeba: a brazilian paradise

Boipeba a brazilian paradiseIn our new post on tips “around the world” (see also Bali, Ibiza and Kuala Lumpur) we got inspired by the unusual heat of this year’s Europe summer and traveled all the way to the tropics of another continent, where temperatures above 30°C are a daily matter all year long. We are talking about Boipeba, a small beautiful island in the state of Bahia, in northeastern Brazil. 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

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 spots.how 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 station.how 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.

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Meet the Amstel House Hostel Berlin staff

When you’re staying at the Amstel House Hostel Berlin, it’s not only a bed and a comfy spot at the bar that we offer. Our lovely team of travel experts and Berlin enthusiasts come with the package! On the ‘Meet the Staff‘ tag on the Amstel House Blog, we’ll introduce one staff member and their favourite Berlin hot spots each month. Today, meet our staff star of the month, Maria (lovely lady on the right).

My name is Maria, and I have been working at the Amstel House Hostel Berlin since last October. I come from Spain and have been living in Berlin for the last three years. I studied Fine Arts in Spain and France, and after some years living in different cities I came to Berlin attracted by its culture scene and way of life. Now it feels like home :-)

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