The lack of a subjective overview of hostels in Rotterdam, prompted to me to go on a few ‘microadventures’ in my own city. For a few nights, I exchanged the comforts of my Rotterdam apartment, for a night in a Rotterdam hostel. This way, I could truly experience the hostel’s atmosphere.
It was a lot of fun! I met a beautiful long-haired hostel cat named Suzy, enjoyed a cool live music performance, slept in a Cube House, celebrated a hostels’ four year anniversary and much more!
There only 6 hostels in Rotterdam (random order):
- Hostel ROOM
- Stayokay Cube Houses
- Ani & Haakien Hostel
- Hostel de Mafkees
- King Kong Hostel
- Sparks Hostel
Each hostel had their own atmosphere and target audience. Generally, the quality of the hostels was high. All visited Rotterdam hostels had:
- a cool interior design
- a social atmosphere
- friendly, helpful and knowledgeable staff
- clean and spacious rooms and facilities.
- a great, central location
- reasonable (cheap) prices for Rotterdam accommodation standards
I enjoyed exploring my beloved Rotterdam in a different way. There are so many places you walk by every day, but you somehow never visit! It was a cool article to write and I hope that this personal and extensive overview of hostels in Rotterdam, helps you to select a Rotterdam hostel that fits you best!
Hostels in Rotterdam
Hostel ROOM is a long-time backpackers favorite in Rotterdam. Twelve years ago, travel friends Monique and Mirjam, transformed a 1923 ‘National Heritage’ Art Deco building into their dream hostel. Together with local art students, they designed 17 beautiful theme rooms. These days, the building still breathes history and stories. From my atmospheric clock tower room, I move to the lively bar downstairs for a beer (happy hour!) and live music. Room hostel often hosts music nights, which is a great way to meet people from Rotterdam. The next morning, the bar is changed back into a relaxed, homey living room with a leather couch, different types of rugs and colorful chairs. It’s the small details, that makes this hostel so likable, such as a book exchange, ‘How to speak Dutch card’ and free lemonade throughout the day. The friendly hostel crew also organizes regular walking tours, game nights, pasta nights, Dutch snack nights and excursions (e.g. Kinderdijk). Enough to keep you busy! Monique, Mirjam and crew want their guests to leave with the best possible memories of Rotterdam and they succeed in this!
Crowd: Backpackers, city trippers
Available rooms and price per bed: double bedroom with private bathroom (70 euro per room), 4-bed dorm (24,25 euro), 6-bed dorm (23,27 euro), 8-bed dorm (22,32 euro), 12-bed dorm (20,43 euro) and 14-bed dorm (17,57 euro)
Included: Breakfast, wifi, bed linen, locker and city map
Location: City centre. Near Central Station/Museum area.
Number of beds: about 110
–> Book now through the Hostel ROOM website (preferred) or Hostelworld.
“I want my guests to leave with the best possible memories of Rotterdam!” – Monique, Owner Room Hostel
Stayokay is housed in one of the most iconic buildings in Rotterdam, the yellow Cube Houses, designed by architect Piet Blom. We are welcomed in the hostel by Rotterdam local Michael. After putting my bag in one of their spacious dormitories (yups, with slanted walls), I go down to the hostel bar for a beer with Michael. Stayokay is one of the oldest hostels in Rotterdam, but is only since 2009 based in the Cube Houses. These days, the hostel attracts a mix of people: mostly groups, but also families, city trippers and solo backpackers. The atmosphere in the hostel is informal, easy-going and free. People can do their own thing. This summer, Stayokay will open an outside terrace. This is something I look forward to visit, as it will be a great way to mix with travelers. The next morning, I wake up with a view on the famous ‘Markthal’ and enjoy a delicious breakfast at their extensive breakfast buffet. If you’re looking for a relaxed and comfortable stay in an eye-catching environment, Stayokay is the place for you!
Crowd: Groups, city trippers, backpackers
Available rooms and price per bed: 2p bedroom with private bathroom (53 euro per room), 4-8p bed dorm (20-25 euro). Prices vary, so this is just an indication of price.
Included: Breakfast, wifi, bed linen, locker and city map.
Location: City Centre. Rotterdam Blaak.
Number of beds: about 250
–> Book now through the Stayokay Rotterdam website (preferred) or Hostelworld.
“The Stayokay hostel is easy-going, informal and allows guests to do their own thing” – Michael, Senior Reception Manager, Stay Okay Hostel Rotterdam
Ani & Haakien
Tucked away in a residential area near the Central Station, you find the brainchild of creative birds Daniëlle Linscheer and Joyce Brouwer: the Ani & Haakien hostel. After traveling around the world, Daniëlle and Joyce decided to create their own hostel in Rotterdam, a five star hostel where you immediately feel at home. As I walk into the hostel, I’m greeted by their beautiful long-haired cat Suzy, who has her own little house in the cosy common area. The common area is made up of a quirky mix of comfy secondhand chairs and couches, a big communal kitchen and a shaded garden with tulips in spring. The community vibe of the hostel is strengthened by the possibility to join city tours and hostel activities. Because it is a Thursday evening, I join in for ‘Pasta Night’, which is a great opportunity to meet fellow travelers and the fun hostel volunteer crew. It’s all very cool, laid-back and ‘gezellig’ (dutch term for ‘cosy/social’). It’s the type of hostel, where you can have breakfast in your pyjamas in the morning and feel completely at home.
Crowd: Backpackers, city trippers
Available rooms and price per bed: double bedroom with shared bathroom (50 euro per room), 6-bed dorm (24.50 euro), 8-bed dorm (23,50 euro), 10-bed dorm (22 euro) and 12-bed dorm (21,50 euro).
Included: Breakfast, wifi, bed linen, locker and city map
Location: City centre. Next to Central Station.
Number of beds: about 50
–> Book now through the Ani & Haakien website (preferred) or Hostelworld.
“We want our hostel to be a home for travelers!” – Joyce, owner Ani & Haakien hostel
Hostel de Mafkees
Another well-known Rotterdam hostel is ‘Hostel de Mafkees’. The hostel is located next to the old Hofbogen viaduct. The neighborhood is industrial and raw and reminds me a bit of Berlin. Manager Fieke, who recently started in Hostel de Mafkees shows me around. The hostel is very spacious. It has a seating area with a ping pong table and table football, a guest kitchen and three big dormitories of about 30-40 beds. Next door to the hostel is a bike repair and rental shop and in the same hall is the ‘Jong foundation’, which helps Rotterdam youth with housing, school, work etc. The Jong foundation also helps young tourists to find their way in Rotterdam. With Hostel de Mafkees under enthusiast new management, the hostel continues its development. In the future, they plan to organise more activities for travelers and Fieke is currently collecting musical instruments for a hostel music night. Hostel de Mafkees is a typical Rotterdam no-nonsense hostel perfect for young budget travelers.
Crowd: Young travelers (18-25), international students
Available rooms and price per bed: 30p bed dorm (12 euro excluding bed linen which is an additional 5 euro).
Included: Breakfast, wifi, city map
Location: City Centre. Hofbogen.
Number of beds: about 120
–> Book now through Hostelworld.
“Hostel de Mafkees is the perfect place to stay for young budget travelers and students!” – Fieke, Manager Hostel de Mafkees
King Kong Hostel
Former notorious residents of the building in which King Kong Hostel currently resides include a tattoo shop, an illegal casino and a sex club. However, these days the casino tables, ink and needles are gone and made place for a popular cafe, 130 comfy beds and cool, hip Rotterdam design. King Kong is considered one of best luxury hostels of the world. A few years ago, I was present during their opening night. This time, I’m present for their 4th anniversary party and the launch of their own coffee brand: ‘Rainforest Coffee’. Rainforest Coffee contributes to the preservation of the rainforests in Sumatra. Manager Alisa explains that this is the direction King Kong wants to go: a social, responsible hostel experience where guests can leave something positive behind for this earth. Besides the cafe, King Kong hostel has a movie room, a (guest) kitchen and they also run regular walking tours for their guests. According to Alisa, King Kong Hostel is great for those who are adventurous and creative with a love for culture, art & design. Is this you?
Crowd: Backpackers, city trippers, groups
Available rooms and price per bed: private bedroom with private bathroom (from 70 euro per room), 4-bed dorm (29.50 euro), 6-bed dorm (25,50 euro), 6-bed luxury dorm (29.50 euro) and 16-bed dorm (22,50 euro).
Included: wifi, coffee and tea in the morning (08.00-11.00)
Location: City Centre. Witte de With street.
Number of beds: about 130
–> Book now through the King Kong Hostel website (preferred) or Hostelworld.
King Kong hostel is for those who are adventurous and creative and appreciate culture, art & design – Alisa, manager King Kong hostel
The youngest of the Rotterdam hostel family! Sparks was opened as recently as 2017, but it is already a steady member getting excellent online reviews. It’s centrally located and has cool custom-made bunk beds.
Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to visit Sparks this time.
Hostels in Rotterdam are diverse and among the best in the world!
Mini Rotterdam Guide by Manouk
- Best Vietnamese baguette (Boguette) and best Korean food (Gamasot) can be found at the Pannekoekstraat (next to Cube Houses)
- Go to Kruiskade for delicious food from all over the world!
- The best burger (in the Netherlands) is available at Restaurant Hamburg in the Witte de With straat
- You find art & design made in Rotterdam at the Groos store, Achterklooster 13
- Not often visited by tourists, but worth a stop is the ‘Zwaanhals’, which has some shops selling biological food, vintage and art.
- Cool and hip design clothes can be found at the Van Oldenbarneveldt straat.
- Go for a drink to one of the bars at Witte de With straat, Westersingel or Schiestraat
- If the weather is good, the place to go is Biergarten.
- My favorite museums are Boijmans van Beuningen and the ‘Wereld Museum’ (ethnographic museum). The Kunsthal is also worth a visit, depending on the current exhibition.
- Cool day trips from Rotterdam include Kinderdijk (windmills!), Delft & Utrecht. Hmmm, actually, everything is close in the Netherlands ;)
- Rent a bike!!
Have you already stayed in one of these hostels? Or in which hostel would you like to stay? Let me know in the comments!
Are you going to the Traverse travel blog conference in May? I would strongly recommend to stay in one of the above-mentioned beautiful Rotterdam hostels! Let me know if you have any questions about hostels, sights etc.
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