When you choose one of the fine Amsterdam hostels over a traditional hotel, you’re more likely to get to know Netherlanders much better than you would otherwise; it’s one of the benefits that Amsterdam hostels offer over other types of accommodations. Not only that, but hostels in Amsterdam can save you a great deal of money, as they are much less expensive.
They’re Not “Dutch”
Many people from North America call the country Holland and its people Dutch – but neither is accurate. “Holland” is only one province of the Netherlands, and the term “Dutch” is a corruption of the word deutsche, meaning “German” (actually “Teuton”). Nederlaands is similar to German and there is a certain degree of mutual intelligibility between the two languages, but in many ways, it’s closer to archaic English than German. When you stay at an Amsterdam hostel, you shouldn’t be surprised to find that many Netherlanders speak English as well (or better) than you do, and that it won’t be long before you’re able to understand the local language yourself!
There is a very laid-back, informal environment at a hostel; Amsterdam itself typifies this. It’s a curious irony that Netherlanders who settled in other parts of the world – particularly South Africa and the Pacific Northwest region of North America – tend to be socially conservative and even authoritarian and rigid. In the Netherlands however, people are extremely open-minded and liberal about most issues; for many people, this is one of the beauties of staying at hostels. Amsterdam facilities like hostels offer the chance to meet and interact with new and interesting people on a personal level that is not possible in more formal settings – such as tourist hotels.
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What Else To Expect
There is a trade-off of course when it comes to hostels in Amsterdam; hopefully, you don’t mind giving up a bit of privacy. Amsterdam hostels offer a few alternatives on this score; some Amsterdam hostels have semi-private rooms with shared bath and toilet facilities, while other hostels in Amsterdam have bunk beds in dormitory rooms. This latter type of Amsterdam hostel is the least expensive, but also offers the least in terms of privacy; however, there are lockers available in which to store personal items for those who are concerned about theft in such a setting (which occurs only very rarely). In any event, most people who stay in Amsterdam hostels find that the benefits of getting to know their fellow travelers in a social context outweigh privacy concerns. You won’t find a better opportunity to make new friends than at a hostel.
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