Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

About Shelter hostels

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 is closer to Centraal Station and Dam Square, just around the corner from the Red Light District and Nieuwmarkt. Shelter Jordan is closer to Museum Square and the Anne Frank House and on a quiet, residential street near to the busy Rozengracht area. 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 included and what do I get?

Breakfast is included in your stay and served from 08:00 to 10:30 each morning. You have a choice of 3 options plus one hot drink (coffee, tea or hot chocolate):

  • Hot breakfast (pancakes, French toast or fried eggs with ham and cheese, depending on the day – one option per day);
  • Muesli with milk or yoghurt plus a piece of fruit (apple, orange, banana);
  • Bread with ham, cheese, butter or jam, depending on what topping you want.

Extra juice and bread are available for free if you’re still hungry – just ask.

If you leave early (before 08:00 in the morning) you can get a free take-away breakfast at no additional cost. Just sign-up at reception the evening before.

3. Internet – do you have wifi available?

We have WiFi (included in the price) in both hostels. We can print tickets at reception for €0.25 per page.

4. Curfew – will you lock me out at night?

We are open 24 hours a day. Once you have checked in, you may leave and enter the hostel again at any time of the day or night. In the evening the door is often locked for security but the receptionist will let you in.

5. Smoking, alcohol and drugs – what are the rules?

People come to a hostel to have a good nights sleep and to help make that a reality, we have decided to be an alcohol and drug-free hostel. This means that drugs and alcohol are not allowed in the hostel or the garden. People that arrive at the hostel under influence can be refused entrance. Smoking is not permitted inside the building and normal cigarettes (and e-cigarettes) can be smoked in our garden. Any guest who disregarded these rules will be fined 50 euros.


6. Sheets, blankets, pillows and towels – are they included?

Sheets, blankets and pillows are included. You can bring your own towel or you rent one from us for 3 euros (and you get 1 euro back when you return the towel).

7. Lockers – can I use one, how big are they, do I need a padlock?

Every bed has a locker available (most are inside the rooms). The inside measurements of our lockers are approximately: 29cm wide, 46cm deep and 88cm high. You will need to bring your own padlock with a hook-diameter of approximately 5mm, or we sell them at reception for 4 euros.

8. Luggage storage – Can I leave my bag before and after check-in/check-out?

Bag drop-off is available from 8:00 and then we ask you to explore the city further.

On your day of departure, you may leave your bags in our storage area until 18:00, if space allows. We are not responsible for any damaged or lost items stored in the luggage area.

9. Showers – are they clean?

Warm showers are included in the price and we clean them 3 times a day.

10. Kitchen – can I prepare and store my own food?

There is a refrigerator and a microwave for guests to use and you may ask for free hot water in the café. Feel free to bring your own food into the hostel to consume in our shared areas. (We ask that you don’t bring food into the rooms.)

11. Parking- Where can I park my car?

Amsterdam is not a car friendly city. Parking spaces are limited and expensive. We recommend the P+R (Park and Ride) system in Amsterdam where you can leave your car outside the city center and then travel to the hostel by public transport.

12. Handicap: Is the hostel wheelchair accessible?

Our building has over 100 years of history. This means that we do not have a lift and our building is not wheelchair friendly. We only offer bunk beds, so if you are in need of a bottom bunk, please e-mail us to see if that is possible.

13. Food allergies- Do you provide food for special diets?

If you have special dietary requirements or food allergies then you should probably bring your own food to eat for breakfast.

Bookings & Reservations

14. Age Limit- can everyone stay here?

To stay in a dorm we have a minimum age is 18. In the private rooms we ask that kids are above the age of 4. (We do not have changing facilities or cots for small children). As long as you can still climb stairs and sleep in a bunk bed, we have no maximum age limit. Please keep in mind that our average guest is between 18 and 30 of age.

15. Private rooms- Is it possible to have a private room for men and women together? What about families?

We do offer private mixed rooms for smaller groups or families who have children above the age of 4. Please make sure you book a private room for this option.

16. Cat Allergies- Is there a cat in the hostel?

Shelter City has a lovely cat named Oliver and she (yes, we know!) would love to meet you. But if you don’t like cats or are allergic, please book at Shelter Jordan instead.

17. Arrival – how do I get there?

Check this page for directions how to get to the hostels.

18. Check in- What time is my bed available?

Bag drop-off is available after 8:00 and the rooms are available for check-in from 13:30 on.

19. Late Check out- Is this an option?

Everyone needs to checkout by 10:00 so we can start cleaning. (Sorry, we do not offer late check-outs). You may leave your bags in our luggage storage area and use our café until 18:00 on the day of departure.


20. Cash payment- Can I pay by cash upon arrival?

To ensure a smoother check in, we charge your credit card one day before arrival for the full amount. It is not possible to reverse this charge and pay cash upon arrival.

21. Change of plans- Can I modify my booking?

We only accept changes to bookings via e-mail. Please contact the hostel where you made your booking directly. Be sure to mention your booking number and first and last name under which the booking was made. After the changes have been made, we will send you a new confirmation of the changes. If you made your bookings via, please contact them to make changes to your booking. Changes made to your booking may result in higher price.

22. Cancelations- will I be charged?

We know that unexpected situations can happen in life. So fully flexible bookings allow you the flexibility to changes or cancel your booking up to 3 days before the arrival date. (Example: a booking for Friday needs to be cancelled before Tuesday at 23:59 to avoid fees). We only accept changes or cancellation via email. Please always include your name, reservation number(s) and arrival date that you wish to cancel. A cancellation or change is only valid when you have received a confirmation email of the changes/cancellation.

In the case of a no show, your credit card will be charged for the first night. If the full amount has already been charged to your credit card, the remaining nights will be refunded to the same card. Once you have arrived and paid, it is not possible to receive a refund if you decide to leave early.

If you made a non-Refundable booking, there will be no refunds for a modification, cancellation or no show.

If you decide to cancel your Non-refundable or Fully flexible booking, the 7% and 3 euro pppn city tax will turn into a cancellation fee. A non-refundable booking for multiple nights will be cancelled in case of a no show and we do not guarantee beds if one shows up one or more days later.
Please see also our Terms and Conditions for more details.

23. Traveling with friends- can we all be 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. 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. For 100% certainty to be in the same room, please book a private room.

General questions

24. Lost and Found- What do I do if I realize I left something in the hostel?

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.

25. Groups- Does you hostel accept group bookings?

We have limited availability for groups. We define a group as more than 8 people traveling together. We do not accept groups in the weekend or during the summer season. For all other requests, please fill in a group request form and our group manager will get back to you during his weekly office hours Tuesday –Friday.

26. Work exchange- Can I work in exchange for accommodation and food?

Yes that is possible. Check out this page.

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