The Flying Pig Uptown Hostel Amsterdam Review Contents:
I’ve been travelling in and out of Amsterdam for a few years now. And during that time it’s been impossible to work in the hostel industry without hearing about Flying Pig Hostels.
Consistently rated as a top party hostel (see here, and here for examples!), a trip to the Flying Pig Uptown Hostel has been high on my agenda for a while. If you want to see why, just click play on the vlog above! And if you’d rather get into details, just keep reading!
Flying Pig Uptown Hostel, Amsterdam
By the time I left Flying Pig Uptown Hostel, there was a whole crowd of people I was sad to say goodbye to!
Last year, the Pig had a makeover, which included an extension of two rooms and their common area. The added space means that there’s more than enough room for everyone to socialise and get to know each other over the pool table!
Divided into the bar and the smoking room, I found it impossible to sit in the common area and not meet anyone! On my first night at the bar, I got chatting to an awesome girl called Chelsea, who was solo travelling before planning to meet her friend a few days later.
Chelsea and I got to experience the Flying Pig Uptown Hostel secret shot (ask for The Fiery Dragon!). And then on reccommendation of hostel staff we headed off to an incredible beer bar just around the corner and drank the night away!
When I wasn’t in the bar, I was at the pool table. And once you see how it brings together crowds of people at the Flying Pig Uptown Hostel you’ll understand why!
One of my best friends from back home, Ben, taught me a pool game that can take up to twelve players. So when a crowd of Germans asked if they could use the table after myself, Glasgow Gary, Zeshan and Faheem were finished, we all ended up playing together!
After two rounds of the game (called ‘Killer‘), it was well gone 2am. But with the bar still open our nights rarely ended there! In fact, my average bedtime at the end of my week at Flying Pig Uptown Hostel was around 5am. Thank god the beds were so comfortable…!
If shots aren’t your thing, then don’t worry. While the hostel runs a nightly pub crawl to the bars and clubs in Leidseplein, it’s also ridiculously close to the best museums and galleries in Amsterdam.
So if you’re more into culture than partying, the hostel acts as the perfect base to see the best of Amsterdam’s museums! Once you’re done exploring, you can head back to Flying Pig Uptown Hostel, grab a beer from the bar and chill out on the sofas in their psychedelic lounge.
To help you see the best of the city, the hostel works with New Amsterdam Tours who do a free walking tour pick up from the lobby every morning. I’ve taken the tour a few times and can definitely recommend it!
And to help you relax when you get back, the Pig has it’s very own book exchange and magazine rack…
Alternatively, if you’re in town to try the best of Amsterdam’s weed culture then the smoking room at the back is the perfect place to chill out in a safe environment with that special brownie you’ve always wanted to taste!
For those who want to get involved in Amsterdam’s smoking culture for the first time, The Flying Pig Hostels have put together an online guide to their favourite coffee shops in Amsterdam. And don’t worry, the bar also offers a munchies menu of toasties and pizzas long into the night..
I have to admit, I’m not the best chef even when it comes to putting together munchies. But if you’re keen to save a few pennies by putting together your own meals then the Flying Pig Uptown Hostel has a well-stocked guest kitchen on the first floor.
And while I can’t cook that well, I found that using the guest kitchen was a great way to meet people!
One of the things that stood out instantly to me as soon as I arrived at the Flying Pig Uptown Hostel was how great all the staff members are at check-in.
I’ve been to quite a few hostels recently that are quite content to take payment and give out keys without explaining other areas of hostel life.
But by the end of my check-in I knew the times for breakfast, check-out, the walking tour, the pub crawl, the opportunities to join tours and rent bikes, where the lockers are, what I could rent from reception, and most amusingly, what was allowed in the hostel (basically everything that’s legal…!).
But the staff at Flying Pig Uptown Hostel aren’t just informative. They’re FUN! With a mix of paid staff members and volunteers, the whole team can be found drinking in the bar or relaxing in the smoking room once their shift was done.
Even while they were working, time taken out of a shift to dance with the guests didn’t seem to be frowned upon. If anything, this was encouraged and the atmosphere each night wouldn’t have been the same without this energetic and eclectic team of hostel staff!
From my very first day at the hostel, each staff member was also super keen to recommend places to go in the local area. Both Sarah and Slavin are to blame for the fact that I spent too many nights at a bar called the Gollem Beer Café. And Lucas gave a great tip to visit Café de Bieb, where I promptly fell in love with their avocado on toast.
Then there was Patrick and Maddie – two of the most fantastic bartenders in Amsterdam! And who can forget Aaron? Who I hope had the most fantastic birthday, even though we ended up celebrating without him!
As I mentioned earlier in this hostel review, the Flying Pig Uptown Hostel recently had an extension, and the 6-bed mixed dorm I stayed in was part of the refurb.
With added length, there was more than enough floor space. Which came in really useful when getting to my locker underneath the bed.
Each bunk has it’s own locker that rolls out and is free to use with your own padlock. And they’re huge which means that instead of having to fiddle about getting my essentials locked up, I would just throw my whole backpack in there each day.
And while I miss the old days of travelling without a laptop, camera, portable chargers and spare hard-drives, I still get super excited when I see hostel bunk-beds with charging strips!
The beds each had their own charging strip with a spotlight (for late night reading without waking up your roomies!), two USB plugs and a wall charger. These strips definitely make it easier than searching the walls for a spare plug each night!
And finally, the 6-bed mixed dorm I stayed in at the Pig had it’s very own en-suite that was spotlessly clean each day. And I’m not saying this because I loved all the cleaning staff. They just really do a fantastic job.
Oh, and the lime green tiles are just too much fun!
For those of you that book a room without an en-suite, I found that there were plenty of showers on other floors in the hostel.
Amsterdam Centraal Train Station to the Flying Pig Uptown Hostel
It takes just over half an hour to walk from Amsterdam Centraal Station to the Flying Pig Uptown. But don’t be fooled into thinking that this means that the hostel isn’t close to the centre of the city.
Basically, the centre of Amsterdam is enclosed within a circular canal system, and the hostel is just at the other side of this circle. So the best way to get there from Amsterdam Centraal is by tram. You can take either Tram 2 or Tram 5, both of which will drop you off at Van Baerlestraat (just a four minute walk from the hostel).
Or you can take Tram 1, which will drop you at Eerste Constantijn Huygensstraat (just a five minute walk from the Flying Pig Uptown Hostel).
Tram tickets cost €2.90 for one hour, and you can see the routes of all three trams in the map below.
Amsterdam Schiphol Airport to the Flying Pig Uptown Hostel
The simplest way to get to the Flying Pig Uptown Hostel from Schiphol Airport is to get a direct train to Amsterdam Centraal Station, and then follow the tram instructions outlined above.
However, there are two other routes you can take.
- One requires getting a train to Amsterdam-Zuid Station, and then taking Tram 5 to Van Baerlestraat.
- The second route by train is to get a train from the airport to Amsterdam Lelylaan and then taking Tram 1 to Eerste Constantijn Huygensstraat.
Alternatively, you can get from the airport to the hostel by bus. Tickets cost the same as the tram (€2.90 for one hour) and the bus you’ll need it Bus 197. The stop to get off at is Museumplein, and from there the hostel is just a seven minute walk away.
You can see all three routes in the map below.
Prices per bed in a 6-bed dorm like the one I stayed in begin around 15.90 EUR* on weekdays. On weekends the prices rise to around 46.80 EUR* per bed – but that’s because they sell out so quickly! The Flying Pig Uptown Hostel is super popular (a friend of mine only just managed to book in last minute to come join me), so I’d advise booking in advance to get lower prices and more availability.
You can also get cheaper prices per bed for the larger dorm rooms. The average price for 10-bed to 14-bed dorms begins around 13.90 EUR* on weekdays, whilst the average price for the smallest dorm (a 3-bed) begins around 18.90 EUR* on weekdays.
When it comes to added costs, the Flying Pig Uptown Hostel barely has any!
Lockers under the beds are free to use if you have your own padlock (if not, you can buy one at reception for 3.50 EUR). Once you’ve checked out, there are large lockers you can store your luggage in for just 2.00 EUR for 24 hours, or 0.40 EUR for an hour! But if you just need somewhere safe to keep your passport, they will hold it in the reception safe for your for free.
Every morning the Pig serves a full breakfast of juices, coffee, boiled eggs, bread or toast, cereal and jams for free until 11.00am.
And in the evenings the bar couldn’t be cheaper. Shots begin at 1 EUR (seriously!), and a small beer begins at 2.50 EUR. Although you may as well just get a pitcher of beer and a pizza for 15 EUR to share with your new roomies!
As always, I highly suggest booking directly from the Flying Pig Hostels’ website for the best and most up-to-date prices!
*Prices for March 2017
It’s almost impossible to find a city these days that doesn’t offer large chain hostels. It’s also pretty common to visit popular capital cities like Amsterdam and end up in really trashy old hostels.
But the Flying Pig Uptown Hostel is a really special alternative to these two options. Old enough to keep the cosy vibe of a proper hostel run by and for backpackers, but with the times enough to offer high quality beds and bathrooms, the Pig’s personality will win you over in no time!
But if you need a week to get over your hangover after booking your stay there… don’t blame me!
I would like to thank the Flying Pig Uptown Hostel in Amsterdam for sponsoring my stay with them, but as always opinions are honest and entirely my own.