Budget definitely means it

The International Budget Hostel is located on the central canal ring of Amsterdam…but that is about all the good things that can be said about it.

I’m sure that we’ve all been there. We’ve all booked a hostel or hotel because of the price and kept our fingers crossed that it’s not as bad as the price hints.

This hostel was basically the cheapest place I could have found in central Amsterdam – the lowest of the low, and still I held a seed of hope that it wouldn’t be that bad. The room I’m in has eight beds with brick wallpaper. There are steep stairs, like in the majority of Amsterdam buildings, leading up to each floor.

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Charming brick wallpaper

The good:
Located on a charming canal, it’s a five minute walk from a square with a plethora of restaurants (particularly British pubs for some reason) and two different cinemas.
The room also has lockers for which you can bring your own locks, however being the newbie backpacker that I am I have forgotten. Luckily, I have virtually nothing of value with me besides my passport and camera which will be with me at all times anyway! The room is pretty clean and the bedding is provided…hopefully towels are too but I’ll find that out in the morning!

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Lockers in the room

The bad:
Each floor has two toilets and one/two showers. There are four rooms with eight beds each on the floor, so I can imagine that it gets pretty crazy in peak time. As with most hostel beds, they are made of metal and rattle when anyone climbs up or down the bunk beds. The entire building is also not soundproof as you can hear rattling, footsteps and water from the floors above and rooms around.

I was very confused when I arrived and was looking for somewhere to charge my phone because there is a surprising lack of powerpoints. It shouldn’t be surprising, I know, but two points in a room for eight people who intend to explore Amsterdam and communicate with people if and when they get lost is very unacceptable in 2016. There are some more powerpoints in the lobby and I asked the girl behind the desk if I could charge my phone in their office there as I didn’t feel comfortable leaving it in the room while I went and found some food.

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The two lonely powerpoints

The ugly:
If I had to get out of our room in an emergency, I literally would not be able to do it. Myself and two Chinese girls were trapped in our room for fifteen minutes as we took it in turns to try and open the door, to no avail. The girl from reception came upstairs and showed us that you have to lean against the door while you push the handle down before pulling it towards you. Well, fuck it if there’s a fire because we’re probably screwed.

Maybe I’m just being too fussy. I mean, it has free WiFi and a comfy bed. I’m only here for two nights and my budget liked the idea of a budget hostel, but all I can say is that perhaps next time I won’t choose one with the word ‘budget’ in the name!

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The room
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