Amsterdam has more museums per square metre than any other city in the world. Combine this with an acclaimed club culture and a large but walkable historic centre and there are plenty of reasons for tourists to visit the city.
They have even managed to turn their red light district – an area that would be avoided in most other cities – into a tourist attraction.
Though it remains to be seen how changes to Amsterdam’s famous liberal drug policy will affect young visitor numbers, Amsterdam is sure to remain a backpacker favourite and a place where many visitors resolve to stay longer than they originally intended.
Paid and volunteer hostel jobs in Amsterdam
One way this can be done is to find work at one of the city’s hostels. Both paid and unpaid jobs can be found. Though Dutch isn’t usually required a second language is a big asset when you are going to be dealing with customers from around the world. EU passports are a requirement for advertised jobs, particularly visible ones on reception or tending the bar, but other travellers can still be lucky and get a free bed and food for doing a few hours cleaning or other jobs.
Handypeople are taken on for maintenance roles – a job that is often as in demand in the off season as it is in the summer – and hostels near the station are known to employ runners to meet arriving train travellers.
Though we have found a handful of hostels that advertise for staff on their websites (see below) most jobs in this field will be found by footpadding it around and knocking on doors or being a recognised face in the place you are already staying.
Posting on a forum, a traveller called Kololo gave his advice for finding work at the Flying Pig Hostel: “I was offered a job just because I stayed there for so long (a week and a half, maybe?) and hung out with some of the staff, occasionally.”
Another forum poster, also staying at the Flying Pig, noted that as she was registering “this young-ish traveler simply asked for a job. They sat him down at the table next to mine and interviewed him. It was all pretty much ‘where have you traveled?’, ‘how long are you staying?’ fare. In the end he seemed like a nice enough guy, so they gave him a job.”
Amsterdam Hostels that advertise for staff on their website:
St Christopher’s Inns
The Amsterdam hostel, St Christopher’s at the Winston, was the first of ten St Christopher’s hostels opened around Europe. Along with the normal paid vacancies expected to keep a busy hostel running, they offer a free night’s accommodation for travel, backpacking and hostel stories. The same group also employ bar staff for the branded, English style pubs attached to each hostel.
The Flying Pig
Two hostels, one uptown, one downtown, that always welcome passing travellers with EU passports or ancestry to help with tasks such as cleaning, breakfast, maintenance and more. Aussies and Kiwis with valid working holiday visas are also accepted.
Lucky Lake Hostel
This hostel made up of dorms, caravans and cabins is open during the summer only. Applicants must have an EU passport or appropriate work visa and preferably should be able to work the whole season from the end of March to mid September
Two Christian hotels that offer free accommodation in exchange for four hours of cleaning and laundry per day. Volunteers can stay for up to 28 days.
Image courtesy of Apokolokyntosis