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“Ok hostel in a central location” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Shelter City

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The Shelter City
Barndesteeg 21, Amsterdam 1012 BV, The Netherlands (Red Light District)   |  
Hotel amenities
Brisbane
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
41 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Ok hostel in a central location”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2011

This hostel is not for everyone but it suited my needs. If you're after a more sedate time in Amsterdam that's cheap, this is the place to go. It was a good price and the room and ensuite bathroom (in a 4 bed room) was clean and adequate. I was invited to Bible studies but it wasn't forced on me. It is in the Red Light District which was a little scary early in the morning and late at night but there was always plenty of people around. It was in the centre of Amsterdam close to all the main attractions and was easy to find not far from Central station. The breakfasts were good with your choice of a hot breakfast or cereal. Internet was free and they had four computers which meant you could get straight on most times. If you can handle talk about the Bible etc and aren't into the party scene, then this is a pretty good place to stay in Amsterdam.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
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edinburgh, scotland
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2011

Went with a couple of friends to Amsterdam at the start of June 2011. Stayed one night at this place. It is quite easy to find, just at the perimeter of the red light district. The receptionists tended to be quite helpful at check-in. We didn't get preached at but did get invited to a bible reading. There are no keys for the hostel, just a receipt that they give you which they check each time you enter the front door. They do, however, give you a key for the individual lockers in the room, which are always a useful thing in hostels! The room we stayed in was a 16 man dorm. It was small and cramped and very noisy. Yes, this is what you expect from a 16 man dorm but I can't help but wonder why they don't put up a few ceiling-to-floor curtains for privacy.

The shower facilities are very good. There are about six private cubicles for a whole floor but they didn't seem to be overly busy in the morning. Got showered straight away. Check out was very quick.

Breakfast was interesting. They have a hot meal or a cold meal you can choose from. The hot meal changes each day. On the morning I was there, we had pancakes, but I can't remember what the options were for the other days. Probably things like bacon and eggs. If you chose the hot menu, you couldn't choose anything from the cold menu, like fruit juice. It was one or the other. Strange idea, but I guess it didn't cause too many problems, as you can still pay for fruit juice if you get the hot menu.

Unfortunately, I didn't check to see if there was a common room but there wasn't really a feeling of community in this place anyway. If you are the type of person who loves meeting people at hostels, this probably isn't the best place.

Finally, there are four computers at the top of the stairs which are completely free to use. Very very slow connection, but hey, it's free!

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Halifax, Canada
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2011

We stayed in this Christian hostel to avoid the freaks and drunks that we might encounter in other Amsterdam hostels. Although they do not really push their religion on you, all the "Jesus Loves You" propaganda gets pretty old fast. It's litterally in the middle of the Red Light District, in an alley way which prostitutes in their little windows directly next to it which is ironic, but also conveinent to see all the action and explore the city. If you are actually Christian and are offended by this, I strongly suggest that you find somewhere else to stay as there are illegal prostitues roaming the alley at nightime. We actually saw a few men get propositioned for sex by nasty women. I noticed someone wrote in a review that intnernet it free an it is not, however, breakfast is free and okay considering that it's a hostel. We came into our room from a day out and there was a fluffy orange cat sleeping on my Mother's bed which promptly darted through the open window. It gave us a laugh but this might be a problem for someone with allergies. There is a locker and sink in the four person room, which was fairly comfortable as we had quiet roommates. The trek up the stairs was annoying, and their no drug or alcohol policy seems to not be stringently enforced. I saw (mostly young men) people blasted out of their minds on either hash or weed, which doesn't bother me but like I said, people who hold Christian values might no appreciate this. There were also some sketchy people who worked there and it confused me as to why they were at a Christian hostel. One guy who worked there and also cuts hair is quite odd and kept offering me a haircut and was offended when I said no (really strange). One big plus is that it's close to Cental Station and it was easily walkable distance.

  • Stayed April 2010
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Santa Cruz do Sul, RS
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
122 helpful votes 122 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2011

I was at Shelter for 3 nights on january. Was very nice. I was at a suite for 4, very good. The bathroom on the room was very good, the beds too. The hostel is in a very good location, in the center of Red Light District. Was a crazy location, but don´t worry, there´s security. The staff was very nice and helpfull. Was any noise, very confortable. The hostel offer small dinner and other things to eat, and is very cheap. I recommend.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rio de Janeiro, RJ
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2011

The place is well located, clean, the saff is helpfull and it seems very safe. But is not a place for fun. However, since is so close to everything I didn´t missed that.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Baltimore, Maryland
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2011

Great Place to stay! Talking to other travelers who went to Amsterdam they really enjoyed a hostel called the "Flying Pig", which I am sure had a bunch of wild and cool travelers and the gang of pot smoking fanatics. But don't pass on Shelter City just because it is a Christian hostel. Maybe it is just my personality, but this place was cute, clean and the staff made the stay even better. the courtyard outside is real nice to relax in after a day trekking around. Hostel does have a breakfast, but it is to order. They have a little cafe where you can order meals and snacks. Sheets for the bunk beds are provided. Free use of internet. Great location (right in the middle of red light district tho, so be aware) ! Everything is within walking distance.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
praga
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 25, 2010

I stayed at this hostel for a weekend early in December 2010.
The position is great, the room (4 beds room, women only) was ok , with a small sink in the room. For the showers, bring with you slippers and soap etc, because there is none available. And as you are packing, bring along as well a locker: I forgot mine and had to buy one.... The breakfast is great: each day a choice of a warm meal that changes every day and various alternatives. The other guests, were very nice as well.

ALL IN ALL... IT WAS GREAT!!!

BUT... on the way back, I found a couple of bites: Hands and face. And after 48 h it was quite a few bits. So the bad news is: bed bus ate me alive. They didn't bite my friend sleeping in the bad above mine, but I was one lucky girl... and a juicy dinner :D

I emailed the hostel to tell them about it when the doctor confirmed the cause, but had no feedback.

SO yes. Do go sleep there. But take the higher bed, bring slippers for the shower and be aware that you might be someones dinner. And you do not want to bring bed bugs home with you: had a few sleepless nights when I came back, thinking that I might have takesn guests back with me!

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about The Shelter City

Also Known As:
The Shelter City Hotel Amsterdam
The Shelter City Hotel
Address: Barndesteeg 21, Amsterdam 1012 BV, The Netherlands
Location: The Netherlands > North Holland Province > Amsterdam > Red Light District
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #70 of 168 Specialty lodging in Amsterdam
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Friendly, clean hostel in the centre of Amsterdam. Single-sex dormitories and rooms with 4-8 beds, some with en-suite bathrooms. 24 hour reception, cafe with cheap food and drinks, free use of lockers, great garden to hang out in with giant fish-pond! ... more   less 
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