how to pick a great hostel (and not the average. Or worse…)

select a great place to stay

Hostels. They’re all unique in their own way. That’s their charm and what separates them from chain hotels (besides the bill..) that have the same bar of soap wherever you go around the world. But how to pick a great hostel? And not that shady one. It’s not only about aesthetics, location or the amenities. It’s about the little things, about the perfect mix and the right vibe that will take your travel adventure from ‘blah’ to ‘Oh Yeahhh’.  Here’s some insider tips on how to book the best places to stay.

1. Great staff !!!
Great staff is essential for the best possible hostel stay. They are the locals that can give you the best ‘off the beaten track’ tips and the ones hooking you up to likeminded other travellers. And check the hostel’s reviews, they should rave about the staff. If not, pick another hostel.  Did we mention Amstel House Hostel Staff won ‘Best staff in Europe Award’ twice? …

2. Common area
The best place to connect to other travellers is a common area. Check if your hostel has one. At the Amstel Hostel Berlin, we have a common lobby with pool table and plenty of board games, a 24/7 bar, a green terrace, and a play room with ping pong and soccer tables.

3. Organized activities
A pub crawl, a quiz night, a karaoke night, a walking tour, a burger bbq. Check if your hostel organizes any activities. It means they go out of their way to make the stay as nice as possible, it’s often a cool local experience and it’s a great opportunity to meet other people! Win-win-win. And off course Amstel House Hostel Berlin does all of the above. You’re welcome 😉

4. A real bar
No we don’t mean a small fridge with limited stash of the hostel owner’s favourite beer. We mean a proper bar, a (preferably hot) bartender, happy hour. It’s a great place to socialize and exchange the best tips the city has to offer. Amstel House Berlin has a 24/7 bar with daily happy hour 6-8pm.

5. Late check out
If you can, don’t pick a hostel that has a strict check out before 10 am. Sleep is great and hostels that get this are often much more relaxed and chilled over all. Amstel House Hostel Berlin has late check-out up until 1 pm.

6. Communal kitchen
There’s no better bonding than over food. Check if your hostel of choice has a communal kitchen. The recently renovated Amstel House communal kitchen has created many friendships. Get inspired by one of our many easy backpacker recipes! They are printable so you can bring them along in your backpack wherever you go.

7. Free wifi and computers
Last but not least, pick a hostel that offers free wifi in the lobby and rooms.  It’s 2017 for crying out loud. Means they get their guests. You want to be able to check your mum’s latest Whatsapps, Skype with your dog and update your travel blog. And before you ask. Yes, Amstel House Hostel Berlin has free wifi everywhere and computers in the main lobby.