1. Location – are the hostels in the city centre?
Yes, both hostels are in the city centre. Amsterdam is a small city and it’s easy to walk to most places in less than 30 minutes. Shelter City hostel is closer to Centraal Station and Dam Square, Shelter Jordan hostel is closer to Museum Square and the Anne Frank House. You probably won’t need to use public transport (tram, bus and metro) but if you do then both hostels have stops nearby.
2. Breakfast – is it free and what do I get?
Yes, breakfast is free (included in the price), from 08:00 to 10:30 each morning. You have a choice of 3 options plus one drink (coffee, tea, hot chocolate, milk, juice):
You can also get more bread, jam and juice for free.
If you arrive early and check in before 10:30 in the morning you can buy breakfast that day for 3.75 euro since your first free breakfast will be the next day. If you leave early (before 08:00 in the morning) you can get a free take-away breakfast. Just ask at reception the evening before.
3. Sheets, blankets, pillows and towels – are they included?
Sheets, blankets and pillows are included for free. You should bring your own towel or you can rent one from us for 1 euro (plus a refundable deposit).
4. Internet – do you have free wifi and internet computers?
We have free wifi in each hostel and in Shelter City you can also use our internet computers for free. We can print documents (like boarding passes or tickets) for you for a small charge.
5. Lockers – can I use one, how big are they, do I need a padlock?
Every guest may use a locker for free. Most of them are in the bedrooms, but some are in the hallway just outside. The inside measurements of our lockers are approximately: 29cm wide, 46cm deep and 88cm high. Most need a padlock with a hook thickness of approximately 5mm which we sell at reception if you don’t have your own. Small padlocks (like the ones you can use with a suitcase) are not suitable for our lockers.
6. Luggage storage – can I leave my bags somewhere safe?
As well as lockers we also have a locked luggage storage area at reception where you can leave your bag if you check in before your room is ready (13:30), and you can leave your bag here on your day of departure until 18:00.
7. Showers – are they free and are they clean?
Our showers are free and we clean them 3 times a day. There are separate bathrooms for women and for men with toilets and showers in separate cubicles which you can lock. In Shelter City one of the bathroom areas can be used by both women and men.
8. Kitchen – can I prepare and store my own food?
There is a refrigerator and a microwave for guests to use. You may also borrow dishes and cutlery from our café. Unfortunately we do not have stoves or ovens for you to use. Cheap drinks, snacks and meals are available to buy in our café.
9. Curfew – will you lock me out at night?
No, we do not have a curfew. Once you have checked in you may leave and enter the hostel again at any time of the day or night. The door is often locked for security but the receptionst will let you in when you ring the doorbell.
10. Smoking, alcohol and drugs – what are the rules?
Smoking, alcohol and drugs are not allowed in our hostels. We have a courtyard-garden where you are allowed to smoke normal cigarettes, but no drugs and no alcohol.
11. Age limits – do you have a minimum or maximum age to stay?
We do not have facilities for small children so under 5’s cannot stay with us and we don’t recommend our accommodation for anyone under 15. Most of our guests are in their 20’s. For the over 40’s we just want to mention that all our beds are bunks so you need to be able to climb up into a top bed – but if you’re young at heart then we’d love to welcome you to stay with us.
12. Single-sex rooms – is it possible to have a room for men and women together?
No, that’s not possible. All our rooms are single-sex so men and women need to book beds in different rooms.
13. Special needs – do you welcome people with disabilities or allergies?
We want to be welcoming to everyone but sometimes our buildings make that impossible. There are a couple of steps to get in the front door and we don’t have any bedrooms or bathrooms which are suitable for wheelchair users. Most of our accommodation is upstairs and we do not have a lift/elevator. If you’re not sure whether we can accommodate you then just send us an e-mail specifying what you need and we’ll let you know if we can provide it. If you have special dietary requirements or food allergies then you should probably bring your own food to eat for breakfast as we probably can’t provide what you need. Again, do contact us directly with specific questions if you like.
14. Arrival – how do I get there?
Check this page for directions how to get to the hostels.
15. Car parking – do you have a (free) space for my car?
No, we do not have any private parking spaces. There are spaces on the streets around both hostels but this works out really expensive as you have to pay by the hour. We recommend the P+R (Park and Ride) system in Amsterdam where you leave your car in a safe place on the edge of the city and then travel to the centre by public transport. You pay 8 euro for each 24 hours (maximum 4 days) and get free return public transport tickets for up to 5 people per car. For Shelter Jordan park at Bos en Lommer and take tram 14, for Shelter City park at Zeeburg and take tram 26 to Centraal Station and then walk.
16. Checking in – what time should I arrive?
You may arrive any time from 08:00 in the morning but your room will not be ready for you until 13:30. You may wait in the café until this time, or leave your bags in the luggage storage area and start exploring Amsterdam. The latest you may check in is at 24:00 midnight. After this time we may give your bed away to someone else so do phone us if you’ll be late.
17. Checking out – when do I need to leave?
On the day you leave, you need to leave your bedroom and empty your locker by 10:00 so we can start cleaning. You may leave your bags in our luggage storage area and use our café until 18:00 that afternoon.
18. Booking – how do I reserve?
You can book online now on this site (shelter.nl) with a credit card. You pay a 10% deposit and a booking fee. We can’t make bookings with any other sort of card (debit or pre-pay), or by e-mail. For last-minute bookings you can phone us if you will arrive today or tomorrow.
19. Payment – can I pay by credit/debit card?
When you arrive you need to pay the remaining 90% of your bill. You can do this using cash (Euros only) or with a credit or debit card. You do not have to use the same card that you used to make the booking online.
20. Changing something in a booking – what if the number of people, nights or arrival date changes?
After you book online you will automatically be sent an e-mail with a link to a website where you can manage your booking. You can make the changes here yourself. But if you have difficulties you can also send us an e-mail (the address is in the confirmation e-mail which you received). We will do our best to help, but any request for additional nights or beds is dependent on what we still have available. The deposit you paid when you booked is for specific beds on specific nights. So if you move the arrival date you will lose the deposit paid on any nights you are no longer staying and have to pay full price for new nights. If your change involves cancelling a night or bed less than 48 hours before arrival you may be charged (see below).
21. Cancelling my booking – how do I do it and will I be charged?
You can cancel your booking online using the link you were sent in your confirmation e-mail, or you can send us an e-mail. If you cancel your booking less than 2 days before your original arrival date you will be charged for the first night of your stay. Example: you should arrive on Wednesday but decide to cancel. To avoid being charged you need to cancel before midnight on Monday (Amsterdam time). Cancellations on Tuesday are too late and you will be charged for the first night. The deposit you paid online is non-refundable when you cancel.
22. Sharing with my friends – how do I make sure we’re in the same room?
We always do our best to put people in the same booking in the same room, but it can sometimes happen that we have to split you over different rooms. If this will be a problem for you then send us an e-mail asking to be allocated to the same room and we’ll try even harder just for you. If you and your friends have made separate bookings for the same type of room you can also send us an e-mail and ask to be in the same room.
23. Lost and found – I think I left something there, can I get it back?
We keep items which we find for a couple of weeks, if you fill in the contact form with your details we’ll reply to you by e-mail and hope to get your things back to you. You have to pay the postage costs to us in advance.
24. Christian hostel – if I don’t believe in God, can I still stay?
Of course you can stay – everyone is welcome! Our hostels are run by a Dutch Christian organisation and most of the staff are Christian volunteers from all around the world but most of our guests are not Christians. If you want to know more about Jesus then you can talk with us or come to a Bible discussion or prayer time, but you don’t have to! Click here for more details.