Youth Hostel Amsterdam

Who we are and how it all started

History of our Youth Hostel Amsterdam

The history of our Amsterdam hostels starts in 1855 in the Jordaan. The Jordaan – nowadays one of the richest areas in the city – was once one of the poorest neighbourhoods in Amsterdam. Moved by the deep poverty and misery in the neighbourhood, a pastor named Jan de Liefde started sharing bread and stories from the Bible with people on the street. This initiative led to the birth of the organization THDV (‘Tot Heil Des Volks’, translated: For the Salvation of the People). Out of compassion THDV provided clothing and food to poor families in the neighbourhood. Back in those days poor children weren’t able to go to school, so over time the organization opened six kindergartens (for 3 to 6 year olds) and three primary schools.

The Birth of a Youth Hostel Amsterdam

When the municipality started to offer education for all citizens in the 1970s, some of the charity school buildings became empty. It was during the flower power time, and the parks of Amsterdam were filled with hippies – restless wanderers searching for happiness and the meaning of life. So in the summer of 1971 THDV decided to experimentally transform one of the charity schools into a youth hostel: the Shelter Jordan. The aim was to offer shelter and extraordinary hospitality to the many hippies, but also to meet them in their spiritual journey through life. And even though they didn’t have any experience, money, or knowledge to run a business like this, everything worked out for the best. Knowledgeable people volunteered to help get things started, and lots of people donated bunk beds and other necessities to The Shelter Jordan – our first youth hostel in Amsterdam. They took a leap of faith, and the rest fell into place. In no time at all the hostel was fully booked every night. Because there was still a big need for beds, they opened a second location in 1972: the Shelter City Youth Hostel Amsterdam.

Our two Christian Youth Hostels Amsterdam

The Shelter Youth Hostels in Amsterdam are not just hostels; they are our home, which are open to you. Our goal is that every guest who stays at the shelter receives a home away from home experience. We do this simply because we find hospitality important, as it is the core business of a hostel. But it also goes much deeper: we find it important that each person gets treated specially. We believe everyone is special and we personally care for the individual. In the Shelter everyone is free to be themselves. Everyone has a drive, intention, story, opinion and belief and we have a longing to share what fills our hearts. We place a high importance on connecting with people and exchanging stories: from personal life stories to stories of God. We want to be a place for meeting new people, a shelter for finding rest.

Cozy, Warm, and Friendly – Youth Hostel Amsterdam

The Shelter Youth Hostels in Amsterdam are famous for their friendly, warm, and cozy atmosphere. The volunteers here are not working for money but out of a desire to serve God. Their work comes from a deep passion for people and hospitality. That’s what you can feel when you’re here. We are a Shelter, a place where you feel at home, safe and relaxed. Our reception desk is open 24 hours a day, with someone to help you with whatever you need. Our youth hostel Amsterdam also offers several discount tickets for museums, canal cruises, bike rentals, and more.

Our Cozy Café – In Our Youth Hostel Amsterdam

Our café is where you can meet new people and chill. The café is our living room: a place to read a book, play a game with someone, or just hang out. In the summer months at our youth hostel in Amsterdam, you can also hang out in our lovely garden, enjoy the sunshine, and play a game of darts. In our youth hostel Amsterdam, you can purchase a wide variety of snacks and meals. Come experience why so many guests come back again and again!

Free activities

We want to help you make the most out of this beautiful city, and we want to share our lives with you. That’s why we organize a large variety of activities, from authentic Dutch food tastings to free dinners or Bible meditations. These are all completely free. Check the schedule of our activities in our hostels in Amsterdam. You can also relax in the café with tea and a good book. We’d love to get to know you, so come visit our sweet home! Ever since the beginning, the Shelter Hostels’s desire is to be an oasis of rest, in an often overwhelming city. Through all the interactions and activities that take place in our hostel, we hope these values stand out: sincere, warm-hearted, respectful, thought-provoking, and considerate.

Social enterprise – a one of a kind youth hostel in Amsterdam

Social impact is not just a trend we want to take advantage of. It has always been the core of what we do. The Shelter Youth Hostels in Amsterdam are run by volunteers: Christians aged between 18 and 30 from all over the world. They do not work for money, but out of a desire to serve God. These volunteers love people and hospitality, and it shows. The hostels are known for our friendly staff and warm atmosphere. Together they make our hostels a place where travellers feel at home, are safe and can relax. Both hostels are still part of the organization THDV. With the profit of the hostels other projects of the organization are now supported: freeing women from forced prostitution, helping children in poverty, and addiction care. The Shelter Hostels are one of a kind.

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