With prostitution and the use of cannabis already legal in this city, Amsterdam is definitely one of the most liberal and interesting places to visit in all of Europe.
The Dutch capital which also serves as the financial and cultural center of Netherlands attracts nearly four million visitors annually.
This 2014, I was one of the millions of of travelers who have explored the canals, and museums of this vibrant city, which is a contrast of modern living and old-world charm.
The big bulk of visitors give life to the hundreds if not thousands of hotels, inns and hostels scattered around North Holland.
There is definitely an abundance of available accommodation in this city that it is almost no longer necessary to make advance reservations. Of course, as early birds, people sometimes get great discounts and promos.
During my visit, I threw caution to the wind and decided to just follow where my feet will take me.
My feet brought me to the shopping street of Nieuwendijk, which about 5 minutes away from the Amsterdaam Centraal Station. In that long alley filled with bars, restaurants, and cannabis and souvenir shops, I stumbled upon Aroza Hostel and decided to stay there for a night.
The girl at the reception was warm and welcomed me with a smile, noting that it’s been a long while since the hostel had another Filipino guest.
Tired from my flight, I dispensed with the pleasantries and ask that she assign me a room so I can wash and rest.
She charged me 30 euros per night. This better be worth it, I told myself, noting however that per European standards, the room rate is a bit affordable.
I was assigned to a six-bed dormitory and at the time of my arrival, I was the only guest so I had the room to myself. The linens were clean and the room was spacious enough.
The room was at the third floor and it gave me a great vista of the people walking to and from Nieuwendijk and out into Dam Square.
The only thing I didn’t like with the hostel is its very confusing doors and pathways. To get to you room, you will literally have to pass lots of doors and it can be quite confusing if you’re buzzed.
I took time taking a warm shower, and I decided to rest for an hour or so before I head out into the cold Amsterdam evening.
The hostel’s wifi’ signal was a bit weak and it works best if you hang around the lobby at the ground floor, where most of the other guests loiter around.
Understand this: it is true that smoking cannabis is legal in Amsterdam but it leaves a terrible stench so most hotels/hostels prohibit smoking inside rooms. Instead, most accommodation in the city have dedicated smoking rooms located at the ground floor where guests can smoke weed to their hearts’ content.
(Disclosure: I did not smoke weed!!!!) hahaha.
As for safety, you can never be paranoid enough when it comes to your personal belongings and expensive gadgets so I asked the reception to have my gadgets locked in the lockers for no charge at all.
What I really liked about Aroza Hostel was its great central location. As mentioned, it is quite near the centraal station, the dam square and the St. Nicholas church.
It is also 10 minutes away from the main red light district, where you can enjoy everything Amsterdam has to offer.
I was traveling with a newfound friend and we spent all evening walking around, drinking, and partying all over the city.
I went back to Aroza Hostel at around 7 am. I took a quick shower and explored the rest of the city.
|View from the third floor lobby|