We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Comfy, clean, and safe place to stay in Amsterdam” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Shelter City

Save Saved
You added The Shelter City to your Saves list
Best prices for your stay
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
The Shelter City
Barndesteeg 21, 1012 BV Amsterdam, The Netherlands (Red Light District)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #76 of 172 Specialty lodging in Amsterdam
Toronto, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Comfy, clean, and safe place to stay in Amsterdam”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2013

I stayed here from July 27- Aug 1, 2013 while traveling solo through the Netherlands. The rooms are clean and comfy, but bit old. The location is great and I felt very safe throughout my stay. The staff are very friendly and helpful.

The only draw back is having to navigate the super narrow and winding staircase that leads to the smaller women's dorm rooms.

Wake up early or you'll have to line up for breakfast.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Write a Review

159 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
    26
    71
    36
    12
    14
See reviews for
1
3
46
1
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
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Melbourne, Australia
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2013

I was immediately impressed by the hugely organised, friendly and professional welcome upon checking in, whilst at the same time vaguely bemused by fact that Shelter City is an overtly Christian hostel (not advertised!). To be fair, this wasn't a bad thing - the staff were great and always willing to help out however they could - no mean feat, given that this was one of the busiest times of the year.

I stayed in a six bed room (paying a premium for the privilege) and was comfortable and slept well both nights. The included breakfast was basic (no toast, just bread with ham and cheese) and I thought it was odd that if you wanted more than one small cup of coffee you had to pay for it ... I presume this was because there was no self-catering and the in-house cafe was there to make a profit, not to benefit the backpackers.

The location is great (if you don't mind staying in a street full of brothels) and this was certainly my motivation to book in the first place (the location, not the brothels!!).

There are four publicly accessible computers plus free wifi, but it's very, VERY slow - be warned! No air con, so my room and the bathroom were both stifling at times ... it WAS unusually hot, however, and I suspect that for perhaps eleven months of the year this would not be an issue, though ventilation or exhaust fans in the shared bathroom would be a vast improvement.

There is no smoking or drinking allowed on the premises, but they do have a pleasant courtyard outside the cafe (where the wifi is no worse than anywhere else in the building).

Pros: Location / Staff / Security

Cons: Expensive / No self-catering

Room Tip: The six bed male room was certainly quiet, though far too small to be comfortable when fully booked...
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2013

I chose this hostel to stay at because I had been traveling around Europe for a few months and was ready to finish up my trip in Amsterdam and was really sick with a cold. I read reviews that said this hostel was safe, centrally located, and quiet. I thought the price was more expensive than most hostels but I was willing to pay a bit more to get a few good night sleeps with my sickness. I think it may have been the location of the room I was in but it was anything but quiet. I was located right next to the garden and could hear people till about midnight being extremely loud, playing games, and yelling. Also, my room was right in the hall by reception so the lights never got turned off outside my room and the curtains were so thin they let all the light in by my bed which caused me to wake up several times as my bed was right next to the light shining in my eyes. I had the worst sleeps here and left sicker than I was when I came which was frustrating. However, I did feel really safe here and it was within walking distance to basically everything. The staff were also really friendly and i like how you can get a packed breakfast if you need to leave early.

If you aren't a light sleeper like myself and are looking for a lower key place then you will probably like Shelter.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013 via mobile

Of our entire trip, Shelter City was by far our most expensive hostel. Given that we'd had some fantastic experiences we fairly assumed that this would be up at the top. It was so far from it.

Ironically for a particularly religious hostel it is situated on a small street with four or five brothels. Whilst the breakfast was fantastic, that was it. The staff were decent but the hostel was not especially clean, the rooms were of an unfairly poor quality and the bathroom was far too small for the quantity it serviced and offered next to no privacy. Considering the price, this was unacceptable. I would recommend all seven of our other hostels in which we have stayed however I would urge you to find somewhere else - if you're determined to go somewhere of such poor quality then go somewhere where you don't have to pay an exorbitant sum for it.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2013

My friend and I spent a night here, and we thought it was great. The location is amazing, walking distance to/from Amsterdam Centraal and downtown hub. We stayed in the shared dorm, and that night, they were fully booked. Even though we had a shared accommodation, it was quiet enough at night to get a good sleep. The room, bed, blanket etc. were all very clean.

The bathroom was clean as well, with a couple shower stalls and bathroom stalls. Water pressure wasn't that great, but still manageable.

The hostel, despite its proximity to red light district, still felt very safe and secure. The employees there are nice and knowledgeable about city attractions. There's also a lounge area and eateries area in the hostel if you're looking for food or a place to chill. Overall, great stay and very affordable!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2013

The hostel is located in the middle of the Red Light district so very convenient!

People are very nice, rooms are clean and breakfast is GOOD (pancakes!!).

It is a christian hostel so maybe they will offer you to attend bible discussions or other but don't worry they don't force you to do anything and there is no curfew. Still, boys and girls are in different rooms and you'd better avoid to drink alcohol inside.

I stayed there in 2010 and 2011 and both times it was really satisfying!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2013

I was happy that me and my 3 other friends are located in the same room (ensuite girl) as I requested. The room is huge and clean. The toilet is clean as well. We slept really well for the 4 nights there.
I also love the breakfast there although the breakfast is quite simple but its just nice for the start of the day.
The receptionists are nice and helpful!
I also bought some postcards and stamps in the hostel to send to my friends! There is a postbox in the hostel too! very convenient! To be honest, the postcards are not very nice but much cheaper. So if need to buy postcards last minute, you can get it there!
You can store your luggage there after you check out too! really convenient!
We felt very safe too staying there!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Been to The Shelter City? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about The Shelter City

Address: Barndesteeg 21, 1012 BV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Location: The Netherlands > North Holland Province > Amsterdam > Red Light District
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #76 of 172 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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with HostelWorld so you can book your The Shelter City reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
The Shelter City Hotel Amsterdam

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage The Shelter City, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.